G/LD-030 Report and apology

A quick summary and apology - the better write up will follow shortly. Quick Summary. Late start followed by a very fast ascent (1hr 15min) so was quite hot by the time I reached the summit. WX on the summit was mist, cold wind and temperature just above freezing. Didn’t put enough layers on but managed about 30 mins of activation before I decided that if I didn’t move soon I would be in trouble. So the apologies are for those at the end of the pile up on 40 - I had to go - it took me most of the descent to get warm!


A good decision!

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I’m sure a couple of chasers may have been disappointed but safety must come first.

As an activator, I want to be there fore the chasers. I go out hoping to generate a pileup, “put on a show” for the chasers & make sure that everybody gets their chaser points but I absolutely will not put myself in danger or take stupid risks to achieve that goal.

As a chaser, I don’t expect activators to put themselves in danger just so that I can get a couple of chaser points.

I had a similar occurrence a couple of days ago when I pulled the plug early on an activation due to feeling extremely cold, physically shivering & needing to make a quick descent.

You made the right decision!


Most definitely! I guess most of us have had a similar experience when activating. I know I have, and I did feel guilty about pulling the plug when I knew others were calling, but always right to put your own safety first. It’s only a hobby after all, and the summit will always be there for another day.


Thanks for the summit Paul @G4IPB . I could feel your pain so kept it short. My cold threshold is poor these days so I make sure I’m really prepared and comfortable before announcing CQ SOTA. When I feel the shiver I pull the plug. Looking forward to our next contact👍. 73 Allan

Certainly the right decision Paul.
Thanks for the points
73 Dave

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The longer report…

About six weeks ago we had a call from the motorhome dealer, explaining that it looked like we would be waiting until May 23 to get delivery of our new (and first) van, this was followed by another call slightly later asking if we would like a cancellation that was in stock. So the piggy bank was emptied and we now own a rather nice camper. Using it, despite my retirement has proved somewhat harder, with either no gaps in the diary or horrible weather, so when the weather models (Wetterzentrale - Top Karten - GFS Europe 12Z) looked good it was time for the first trip in the van to do some SOTA.

The last time I frequently drove a van was when a student, so getting used to the length, width and an automatic gearbox has been a bit of a uphill task, the roads of West Cumbria providing some suitable challenges…. Stopped for a Greggs at Newby Bridge, where there was a huge queue and the Traffic Sergeant next in the line failed to calm my nerves by explaining this particular garage was an accident hot-spot. So a slightly late start, a queue at the shop and roads with lots of twiddly bits resulted in my starting at least an hour late.

(The van is hiding if you look carefully)

I’m not entirely sure how I managed to get to the summit in 1hr15 - possibly canine assistance …

particularly as I went off-piste contouring below the blindingly obvious path, but I did (This must be about the only time I have beaten my Nasmith estimate) which is why I arrived at the top rather warm. Unfortunately weather models are just what they say, models and the weather was less than perfect.

The Met Office had Black Coombe just on the edge of the cloud, and the sun did briefly break out but it was cold and windy, and given my late arrival I decided to go for a quick activation rather than faff around with lots of shelters. This was a mistake as I rapidly went from hot to cold, and by the end of the activation I was struggling to hold a pencil, and having had a chat with the Policewoman in the queue I defiantly didn’t want to appear as a black circle on the Cumbria Police Map…. So apologies for those chasing who I didn’t work.

Since acquiring a second dog Woody seems to have become slightly quieter, so for those of you listening on 40m for QRM that sounded like a dog barking, on this occasion it was not my unlicensed canine friend.

We had a quick decent and by the time we were down I was warm again. One night in a small campsite near Gosforth was remarkably uneventful. The van was warm and dry. The dogs behaved. The food I cooked worked, but the forecast for Thursday was worse. My plan “A” was Illgill Head, which I didn’t fancy in the rain with a strong wind. Plan “B” was Muncaster Fell, but it is only a 1 pointer so no winter bonus, and I’m rather hoping to persuade Mrs IPB to do that one with me, so on to Plan C - Blake Fell - which met the criteria, not a massive walk, 2 points to get a winter bonus, a van sized car park. I was just going to do 2m, but as it wasn’t raining when we left the van I took the HF rig. On the summit I took my time to prepare this time with more layers, fingerless gloves, more hats so that I would’t get too cold. It worked. As it was still not raining I started on 40, and again had to cut it short as the rain came in (The KX2 was in a bag with a polythene hairnet pulled over it, but it was not a perfect solution)

The bit of the walk up Blake Fell that was visible, this is Cogra Moss and Blake Fell is somewhere in the cloud at the end of the lake.

I then had a fairly uneventful drive home, listening to Fleetwood Mac. Even BBC Radio 4 finished the Today program with Songbird, which has to be a huge improvement on listening to the increasingly depressing news…. As a student Rumours was an essential album and as I listened it took me right back to 2H Thermodynamics. I don’t remember a huge amount about Thermodynamics, but I can remember the lecturer explaining that the first law said that you never win, and the second law said you always loose….and then probably the bit of thermodynamics that really stands out - it has a zeroth law although I can’t remember what it was.….all of which came back listening to Fleetwood Mac as another band is no doubt about to get added to the never ending thread on dead people from Andy’s formative youth. So a good couple of days, the van worked, huge pile-ups on 40 and on 2, the dogs were happy and an album rediscovered from my long lost youth, RIP Christine.


Finally all the model runs seem to show quite a lot of winter arriving in the UK in about 10 days - so it might be the last sota van trip for a bit…