G4YSS Act’n. Report, G/NP-001 & G/NP-007, 03-12-07
Cross Fell from the NATS Radar Site & Wild Boar Fell from Mallerstang. All times UTC.
FT817ND, 5W to a (1988 home-brew) link-dipole. 5m home-brew CFC mast with 1m end supports. One 2.2 Ah SLAB, 85% used.
Left Scarborough at 04:26, arriving in darkness around 07:00 and walking from the top of the Gt.Dunn Fell National Air Traffic Control Radar site road at 07:45. (Parked by the barrier at NY 7163 3160). At 775m ASL, this was today’s snowline and there was a cutting wind and frozen road.
Skirted around the back of the unmanned, fogbound radar site in an inch of snow on a path at NY 7109 3220. Some of the paved-way was verglas-coated, which meant taking the usual precaution of walking on the grass & bog, beside the path. The walk-in was as normal but the strong wind and cloud made it unpleasant, evoking the thought never far away…. ‘Why am I here?’ Cricket from Sri Lanka kept my mind partly distracted and some brief sunshine helped to raise the mood a little.
In 2005, I tried a cross-country route which bypassed both of the Dunn Fells. I later realised that it is more trouble than its worth and the extra 140m of ascent involved in going over the tops on a good path, is best accepted in place of rough country and bog. There is a decent shelter on Little Dunn Fell. Today, the rock-ringed Cross Fell was deserted and covered in an inch of fluffy snow but views were mostly spoiled by low-cloud.
CROSS FELL, G/NP-001, 893m, 8Pts, 08:48 to 10:25, minus 1C, 35-40 mph, one minute of sunshine, then overcast and low-cloud most of the time. 3 cm of lying snow. (IO84SQ, WAB NY63.)
The ground was too rocky & frozen for the mast and the only recourse was to poke it between surface rocks, lean it against the crossed-wall shelter and angle the 80m link-dipole to keep it there. Soon after erecting the aerial, ice started building-up on the wire but I didn’t bother clearing it or erecting the tent flysheet.
Since I was about on time, it was far easier just to call CQ on 3.721 CW, rather than spend minutes trying to extract and use the phone with numb hands. It took only two calls for Mike EI2CL to supply my first 2007-08 ‘winter QSO.’ Mike must have been vigilant indeed, to push Roy G4SSH into second place! After just 7 QSO’s, some of them quite difficult, things went quiet. The sole continental station who called me (ON4ON) ‘got off the hook.’
The move to SSB produced another 10 but it would have been only 6, without the assistance of GW4BVE. Thank’s John. Despite this, I’m afraid Quentin, GW3BV never did receive my report.
I had not announced 40m but a CQ on 7.032.5 immediately brought David, G4CMQ. Strangely, a further 7 minutes of CQ’s on this normally prolific band, produced nothing further before QRT at 10:13.
Regained the car at 11:24 and drove away for Mallerstang at 11:30. The drive around for NP7 took 54 minutes and I was walking again from SD 7828 9973 by 12:28. How nice! Barely 20m from the car and it started to rain, so I returned for the umbrella. The walk up through the farm, past the geese, under the railway (SD 7787 9960) and up to the ridge was wind-sheltered but I had to waste time donning waterproofs in the lee of a wall on the main ridge near NY 7655 0002. Again the notion, ‘Why am I here?’ I walked on, dejected and numb-fingered, gripping the umbrella to keep it into wind. At The Nab, the real ascent ceases and it’s just a matter of walking along the bleak, expansive, grassy top, to a trig-point surrounded by a diminutive shelter (SD 7579 9883). For some reason, the walk up took me an extra 10 minutes today and I saw no one except a girl-runner, anxious to get out of the rain.
WILD BOAR FELL, G/NP-007, 708m, 6Pts, 13:47 to 15:12, 3 deg.C, 25-30 mph, heavy rain-showers and overcast but with no low-cloud or lying snow. (IO84TJ, WAB SD79.)
Being just half an hour earlier than announced, gave immediate success from a CQ on 3.724 CW, with the ever-watchful Roy, G4SSH. Six more followed before a change to SSB at 14:22 and another 14 in the log, headed-up by Christine GM4YMM. During this session, I heard a Morse signal. It was Des G3HKO in Scarborough, so I nipped back to CW to work him, sadly garbling his callsign.
Total: 40 QSO’s, comprising:
15 on 3.5-CW.
24 on 3.5-SSB.
1 on 7-CW.
NP1: 414m ascent / 9.3 km (5.8 miles.) NP7: 432m ascent / 8 km (5 miles.)
Total: 846m (2776ft) / 17.3 km (10.8 miles). (20 points)
Car by 16:04 & home by 18:45. I like these short sorties with a mere 237 miles of driving but somehow, 40 QSO’s seemed little reward for toil in poor weather. I was using QRP but should perhaps have put-on more bands. My heart was never really in it today.
Thanks to all stations worked and for valuable spotting by: EI2CL, G4SSH, GW0DSP, G4BLH, GM4FAM.
73, John G4YSS (using SSEG Clubcall GX0OOO/P)