Having read Johns carefully and scientifically written report of perfect executions I have become aware that mine reads more like a lost episode of Hancocks half hour with a litany of forgotten lost or broken bits, impossible deadlines and children who believe thier father should be treated for this “SOTA” illness…
Well today it went surprisingly to plan, other than a late start. For once it seemed to work out well with the rest of the family indulging in retail therapy whilst I was in charge of dog minding, with some SOTA for good measure.
I downloaded and followed Phil, G4OBK’s route, and for the first time downloaded the route to my newish watch (Suunto Ambit Peak3) . I also had a map and compass… but found it surprisingly easy to follow the track by using the watch, although the constant tracking of distance remaining and altitude still to climb was a bit depressing at times. Underfoot it was quite damp, but I still had dry feet at the end so not a swamp.
Most of the climb was spent following Woody who seemed to stay remarkably well on the track. I have found that our Springer is the 4PD ( 4 Paw Drive) model with traction control, and a fully enabled GSM (Grouse Surveillance Mode) on by default. The combination of these propelled me up the hill with the occasional detour off the path as something interesting
The Summit of Cold Fell
The summit was deserted so we took full advantage of the shelter. After feeding the dog (last of the turkey) and putting on his coat I set about assembling the station.
After two or three calls I found myself in the middle of a huge pile up - I did try to work everyone. there was almost no noise on the summit and almost all the calls were 59+
Just as I was finishing on 80m Woody decided that he needed a good bark, and other walker appeared. As I was starting to get a bit cold this seemed like a good opportunity to have a natter, a tidy up and descend.
The WX had been good, slightly windy at the start but not too bad at the top, and the view over the Solway Firth was quite good.
The drive from home was about an hour, about 1hr 30 up and an hour back down again with an hour on the summit in the middle.
I have a couple of 4Ah batterys (Turnigy Multi Star - according to the blurb lower weight but reduced max discharge rate) but only carried one up the fell which still had capacity at the end of the activation.
Finally the new boots - Altberg Kisdons continue to be warm, dry and comfortable, so unusually at the end of the activation as far as I know nothing broken, no tears or tantrums and a “Grand Day Out”, although if anyone has any advice on how to get the Springer out of traction mode into walking steadily I would love to know…
PS - Just one mishap as Woody gave an even bigger than usual pull on a section of wet mud which I found myself sitting in…
73 - And Happy New Year…
Paul … out to walk the dog!