This arrived yesterday (thanks Barry for the very speedy service). This is only the third UK MG awarded on Winter Bonus points and the first on VHF FM. So Well Done Viki!
It joins mine (awarded on any band/mode I could make contacts on) and adds to Viki’s collection of unusual versions (especially the left-hand one) of the MG trophy on our mantelshelf. I was surprised to be only the second in UK after John, G4YSS, who evidently reached the target some years back.
This now gives us an excuse to take things more gently and only go out for winter activations when the weather is reasonably clement. We just have to hope for a decent spell at the start of March when we head off to the hills around Malham and we can not afford to slack as we have another longish visit to the area between Aberdeen and Inverness with stops on the way there and back. I think we have done the easiest ones so this time it looks like being fewer, longer walks. So hoping for lots of contacts then.
Congratulations Viki! Outstanding work!
Looking forward to the next S2S & 73,
A truly fantastic achievement Viki. Many congratulations.
Congratulations Viki @M6BWA - this is a great achievement! It’s been good making some of your winter logs. Keep up the good work
The BML family
Congratulations Viki on this great achievement.
Hearty congratulations Viki, that is an outstanding achievement
Magnificent Achievement Viki. Many Congratulations and Very Well Deserved. It is always a great pleasure to hear you on the air. 73 de Paul M0CQE.
Many congratulations on the excellent achievement Viki.
Thank you everyone for your kind remarks - it’s taken 13+ years of quite hard work on occasions but also lots of superb views and fun (both are important to me). I particularly like winter walking - especially on crisp and bright days (not to many of those recently) but, sadly, I can’t take advantage of bright snowy days as it is just too bright for my eyes. Hence the peaked hats and sunglasses if the sun does appear. Looking back at pictures of just a few years ago I am reminded how much warmer our winters are now down in South and Mid Wales so ice and snow are much more rare (and I doubt that we will get much down here in the next few days, despite the forecast) but floods are much more common.
I have always advocated, to people striving for a Mountain Goat, getting as many Winter Bonus (WB) pts as possible - especially when 2 pointers give you 5 pts instead and your score leaps up much more quickly. My current total of 4129 consists of 1026 WB and 3123 activator pts - I practice what I preach! I had been aiming for this WB MG target for about 5 years and thought it might be possible (legs and knees permitting) then Covid appeared and, amongst other things, knocked out at least one year and I thought it was out of reach. However, the weather was so good locally in the 2022/3 winter bonus season that we could pile up the points and Rod (M0JLA) reached his 1000 WB pts in February 2023 (many congratulations) and I was left with 6 more summits to ascend - and only 2 local summits that hadn’t been visited during 2023 (Drygarn Fawr and Pen y Fan.)
With a 2 night stay we had often visited the well known ‘easy summits’ round the Ponderosa/Horseshoe Pass and Moel Famau/ Foel Fenlli which would take us 2 days (but GW4BML will knock all 4 off tomorrow - probably before lunch!) but that left me still 2 summits adrift. I then decided that we’d add GW/NW-039 Foel Goch (which we knew well) and also the not so popular (now in the ‘never again’ category for me) GW/NW-047 Mwdwl-eithin on the middle day thus leaving Fenlli and Famau to do ‘on the way home’. We only had one possible slot left before Christmas and were lucky that the weather turned dry (but windy of course)… Not everything went to plan as the Ponderosa was completely shut (it was Tuesday…) despite my reading of the website and the mist was down as I came off Cyrn y Brain and I got lost on the short cut in the surpisingly high heather.on the way down.(we were swapping summits of course) but eventually found the track again and even the Ponderosa itself which was a relief. We had some unexpected sunshine on Foel Goch (while a contact down at Bala Lake was getting wet!) but a long detour on NW-047 (cows) which meant we were running out of daylight before reaching the summit. I had gained an enthusuastic band of chasers by then who answered my call instantly despite my leaning dipole (no time for pegs!) and we decided to march boldy through the cows on the way back and got to the car while it was still light - just. We packed up and reached the Moel Famau parking and up I went onto Foel Fenlli and was surprised how quickly I got there so wandered off to see if I could find a less steep route down. I was still early for the S2s with Rod but thought I’d set up… and discovered my wristwatch had finally stopped and I’d lost 25 mins while sauntering around. Let’s just say my ‘better way down’ wasn’t and I was relieved, but even later, when I found the Offa’s Dyke by pass and could safely descend to the car park, pick up my lunch and start the longish trek to Moel Famau. I was way behind schedule but spurned the idea of giving up but was slightly worried to see the defibrillator had gone (when did that go?) but made it up the final slope. Getting out of the wind was difficult in a hurry but I soon got 4 contacts (thanks to M0CQE Paul in Oldham) and I reached my 1000 WB pts on 14 December 2023.- 13 years and 2 days after my first summit. Phew!
But hang on, that precious new trophy says ‘2024’ why is that? Back in the ‘olden days’ I didn’t really realise that getting a few contacts on 2m SSB (thank you M0JLA) would cause a problem when claiming a trophy for VHF FM only - which it was what I was now aiming for, Hence the New Year rolled by and we could start again to harvest some more WB pts and I knew I’d got to get 6 more points so (mentally) celebrated on Black Mt (GW/SW-041) on 6 January but Barry (many thanks) seems to think it was a week later so I didn’t put an exact date (which would have cost more!)
What now? I’ve just reached my 500 different activators callsigns chased (thanks Jared) so what about contacts from 3991 different callsigns - only 9 more to go, 5808 S2S pts - getting to 6000 will take some time. Doesn’t matter - you can always find a reason. I’d like many more completes but the short range of 2m fm doesn’t help with that and I only chase from summits. I’d also like some more icons please - only 2 since 2018??
Sorry about the long screed. Could add some photos but that would make it longer still. Thanks to all my chasers (all 3991 of you) and, of course, Rod (M0JLA) with whom almost none of this would be possible as I discovered when I tried to use public transport (and hitching!). Keep up the good work!
Many congratulations Viki
Thank You Viki for this Excellent Report and all of the Great QSO’s that I have had with You. Congratulations for Your Determination to Achieve that which You set out to do. 73 de Paul M0CQE.
Great achievement Viki!
I’ve just bought a secondhand Yaesu 897D which can do 50W VHF so if I can drag it up a few summits I hope we can manage one or two more S2S from here in DC land.
Fantastic work Viki.
It was great to manage a S2S with you on Saturday.