For some reason I’ve had a real desire to summit Helvellyn (G/LD-003) in winter conditions over the past weeks, unfortunately a good weather forecast and my free time haven’t aligned. I saw a forecast earlier in the week suggesting that I might make an attempt on Helvellyn today, Thursday, so I had a word with my boss and he let me have the day off. Unfortunately the forecast was revised and extremely high winds were predicted I didn’t want to waste my ‘Hill day’ so I decided to climb Ingleborough G/NP-005 instead as the wind strength was expected to be less than in the Lake District.
The wind wasn’t so bad on the way up as I was climbing the leeward side, but at the top the wind was just under the strength needed to blow me over! I’ve recently lost 1.5 stone, maybe it was a bad idea?
I headed for the summit shelter, settled in and then called on 2FM for what seemed like an age, the squelch never broke. I was faced with a choice, either retreat and forget about the activation or battle on and attempt HF. I found slightly less windy conditions slightly down from the top, so I set up my 20/30 dipole at about 1 metre asl (above snow level). I got nicely settled inside my bothy bag and then couldn’t remember if I’d set the links for 30m, doh! As it turned out, the links were set correctly
I put the MTR-5B into auto CQ on 10.118 MHz and hoped for the best. After several minutes, I was answered by Ambrosi HB9AGH, followed straight after by Uli, HB9CGA. A little while latter I was called by Jan OK2PDT and we just scraped a QSO, I was struggling with the noise caused by the wind and QSB didn’t help either. After a little more auto-CQ, I was called by IZ1JMN, phew, the 4th QSO was in the log!
Probably one of most challenging SOTA days in a while but it was a lot of fun!