A last minute call yesterday meant a trip from The Flatlands up to Cheadle for a meeting today. Aha, I thought, that will take me near some Summits wont it?
I hoped the meeting wouldn’t run long so a lunchtime jaunt up a hill might be in order, and having consulted the map, I saw that I would have to drive back passing close to The Cloud. The die was cast and a plan was made.
Thankfully the meeting did not overrun today so it was not long before I was driving across Cheshire avoiding all the footballers and WAG’s who seemed to be out in force in their Bentley coupes.
Anyway the Tom Tom brought me to the parking spot in good time although I could see it was a tad “grey” on top. The clouds were low although there was very little breeze to move them. Not being able to find a telephone box, a quick change in the back of the car and I was soon walking up the track and then the steps before the path to the summit. It was just the job after a long mornings driving and sitting in a meeting room. Unfortunately I realised there was no prospect of a view as I could barely see a mile or so in each direction being so close to the cloud base.
I arrived at the trig point and set up the Sotabeam away to one side. I settled down and called on S20 although I was aware that the VX5 was being severely affected in being overloaded. Steve GW7AAV answered and we QSY’ed. He was a strong signal so no problem but I was already beginning to wonder how I would fare next. After Steve I worked a couple more stations including Arthur GW1LDY and then Mike G4BLH who I was very mean with on the signal report but I just could not hear him because of MY problems!
Then I heard a GW4 calling but it was no good, I could not make out the call. At this point I was ready to send the VX5 soaring into the clouds over The Cloud! However sanity prevailed and I unplugged the beam and screwed the dummy load… sorry… rubber duck back on. At last, I could hear something. I then went on to work Ron GW4EVX/M albeit with me radiating a poorer signal but at least I could hear something.
Things dried up and I went back to S20, called and had a QSO with Les M3UOA. After this I packed up and started walking away from the summit calling as “mobile” on S20 for the walk down. I was immediately answered by Bob G4HRG in Wolverhampton who was very strong… not surprising with 100w beamed at me but I stopped and continued as “portable” in the AZ and we had a very nice QSO with Bob asking a good number of questions about participating in SOTA that I was pleased to answer. During the QSO, Tom M1EYP/A called in for a report and then, as I wrapped things up, Mike GW0DSP called for the point too.
I then got back to being mobile and trotted off back to the car and set about the journey home that only took about 2 ¾ hours… not too bad I thought and home in time for pancakes!
Thanks to all callers and to Steve for the spot… and can someone please recommend a 2m handy that actually has a front end!
73 Marc G0AZS