Climbing but not activating

I use the discussion title to loosely connect a couple of interesting things.

Tonight, Jimmy and I watched a programme on ITV4 about Sir Ranolph Fienes successfully climbing Eiger, which is HB/BE-003. Now I don’t know if Ran or Kenton Cool or the other chap are radio amateurs by any chance, but I don’t think they activated it in any case! It would definitely be a 2m HH activation, rather than 80m CW I expect! Most of that ridge is barely a couple of feet wide, with sheer terrifying drops on either side. In the programme, it said that Sir Ran suffers from chronic vertigo. Well his fear of heights must be a different one to mine, 'cos you wouldn’t have got me anywhere near any of that lot. And I would wager that it isn’t on RQJ’s “to-do” list either! It’s never been activated anyway - wonder if anyone ever will?

Driving back from work one day this week, I was working through the GB3MR 70cm repeater (433.350MHz output). There was a station on there who was on the summit of Snowdon GW/NW-001. Furthermore, he had simplex capability on both his 2m and 70cm handhelds, and had walked up - well of course, the trains aren’t running anyway.

I mentioned about SOTA to him, but he didn’t seem that bothered. He was just out for a walk, and quite content to chat through the repeater. He did listen for me on simplex, but couldn’t hear me. The A34 at Scholar Green isn’t the best of positions! But interesting that he’s climbed to the highest point in all of G and GW, with radios, but no ambition or compulsion to do SOTA. Come to think of it, I meet plenty of amateurs on summits. They come up and introduce themselves to me. But unlike me, they’d had no plans to use radio on the summit. Some of them had never heard of SOTA, although most had.


In reply to M1EYP:

I didn’t see that program so I don’t know what route was used, but there is more than one! You don’t have to tight-rope walk up a narrow ridge or do battle with the White Spider under bombardment, in fact just like Snowdon you can detrain near the summit - and like Snowdon, it ain’t cheap!

You have brought to mind something that I have experienced a few times and have heard other activators experience, the dreaded contact with someone who has no idea of what SOTA is, or what is involved in SOTA, but is happy to give you a five minute over minutely detailing his station, the weather and the state of his garden with particular reference to the need to mow the lawn if it ever stops raining! Nice guys, and its difficult to be short with them, but they do slow down procedings!

I must confess that I cannot fathom the people you mention, who are hams and hillwalkers but don’t put the two together; the very first time I heard a SOTA station and enquired what SOTA was, it gripped my imagination!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to M1EYP:

Tonight, Jimmy and I watched a programme on ITV4 about Sir Ranolph Fienes successfully climbing Eiger, which is HB/BE-003.

Hi Tom and Jimmy,
if you ever have the chance, watch this film:

The Alps - Giants of Nature
Production: MacGillivray Freeman Films - 2007
Director: Stephen Judson

You can see a 1,1 Mb-trailer (Windows media player)
at the webside of the swiss transport museum Lucerne:

If you qsy to the “german language” homepage you´ll see
a 4,2 Mb-trailer:

Vy73 have a nice weekend