G4YSS: G/LD-003, One Million feet, 24-12-22

G4YSS: Activation of G/LD-003, HELVELLYN 24-12-22
Issue-1 (errors?)

Christmas in Keswick 23 to 28-12-22:
G/LD-003, HELVELLYN on 2m-FM QRO, using G4YSS
A Million Feet for SOTA
All times UTC

Moonraker MT270M Dual Band 25W Mobile
PYE Cambridge Filter
Turnigy 11.1V – 5Ah Li-Po Battery
2m Band Vertical J-Pole on short 2-section mast
IC-E90 4-Band, 5W, V/UHF H/H for 70MHz.

Black Mountain Warehouse ‘auto-up’ umbrella
Pack-weight: 8kg (17.6 lbs) inc 0.5ltr fluids & primaloft jacket.

Another 4-night stay with my XYL Denise at the Derwentwater Hotel in Portinscale, Keswick, enabled this activation. It’s not cheap (£599 pp) but to my mind well worth it. No meals to get ready and no washing up! Hopefully some of it will go towards double time for the staff? They deserve it.

The MWIS forecast was for low-cloud, 3C with winds 20 to 30 mph and rain, some heavy. Why we do SOTA in that sort of weather escapes me but there are plenty that do. Unless the weather conditions ‘wipe you out’ completely, there is enjoyment to be had from the activation itself but the rest of it is only appreciated once back in the dry. Fighting with the elements and eventually prevailing does at least lend some satisfaction and reward.

Route from Swirls:
I usually go up from Wythburn Church but I needed a change. Always with an eye out for the easiest way, I chose Swirls (Thirlmere) as the start point and I should think it gets walked more than any of the alternatives. One could be excused for avoiding it for that reason but I was unlikely to meet hordes of people on a day like this. Besides, there’s some security to be derived on a well trodden way when you’re an old timer going for it solo!

Swirls car park is at NY 3171 1685. Turn left off the road from Keswick to Windermere. The exit from the car park is over a footbridge and further bridges follow. A path junction is at NY 3186 1685. Follow a stepped path steeply up via NY 3231 1656 passing a ruined sheep fold at NY 3246 1646 and another path junction at NY 3274 1625. If you don’t like steps the alternative is a grass path through bracken via NY 3215 1663. This can be useful but mainly on descent. Pass by Browncove Crags at NY 3321 1569 and carry on to the summit via Low Man at NY 3372 1541. On the way down, take care to find the left path here. I went wrong when I found myself up at NY 337155, in fog and driving rain today and had to correct the mistake with some cross-country. Trig Point TP-3724 is at NY 3416 1516 but for VHF activations I normally carry on to the summit cairn at NY 3424 1512.

All the prep including booting up was done at the hotel. All I had to do was park up and walk away but as I did so the drizzle turned into a torrent of rain. The words in the notes of my alert came to mind. ‘Subject to cancellation due to WX.’ Beating it back the ten yards to the car, I jumped in and folded myself in half due to the rucksack I’d forgotten I was wearing. After 10 minutes thus contorted and trying unsuccessfully to get the weather forecast on the phone, the rain abated to a heavy drizzle again.

The second attempt to climb the mountain commenced at 09:32. The umbrella enabled walking without wearing a waterproof jacket but further up, in increasing wind, the brolly had to be furled and fixed to the rucksack. The hated jacket came out; the over-trousers were already donned at the car park.

This was another of those ‘grit your teeth’ days. One of countless others, unfortunately. I caught up with a party of four young people. They were stopped and in discussion. One of the girls wanted to turn back and another thanked me for my attempt to offer the reluctant one some encouragement. We were at 780m ASL with about 1.5km to the summit so after relaying those facts to them for a decision, I trudged onward. By the time the trig emerged from the clag, I was well into my second one-hour episode of Ray Robinson’s offshore radio archive on Caroline Flashback. Thanks Phil!

HELVELLYN, LD-003, 950m, 10 pts, 11:17 to 12:51. 2.5 deg C. Wind SW 23mph plus gusts (data from Zac – the summit assessor who was taking the readings). Constant low-cloud above 750m. Driving rain or hailstones most of the way up. Stopped raining for the activation. LOC: IO84LM, WAB: NY31. Trig TP3724. Vodafone coverage/ 4G.

Once again, I chose the grassy ledge about 2m down the steep eastern slope from the summit cairn. Slipping off here would be the start of a very rapid decent into Red Tarn. Care would be needed as there were patches of snow around plus a large drift just where I wanted to sit. Fortunately the snow was soft and the verglas of two days prior had gone. A preliminary to this was mast/ antenna assembly but after the cold snap two weeks ago, the ground was still too frozen to make it stand up.

While struggling with this and the tricky process of getting down the slope, I noticed someone standing at the cairn with a wind speed meter. A bit slow these days, it took me a while and some conversation to realise that this was no less than the Helvellyn Summit Assessor, name of Zac. He was interested enough to ask questions about the setup and wanted to know how far I could get. I offered the usual explanation about VHF and HF.

Spotting a discarded beer bottle a few feet below me and resting precariously on steep ground we both agreed that neither would risk retrieving it today. Zac went on to say that he’d been hit squarely on the head by an empty Red Bull can while leading a winter skills course on that very slope! This is the price of popular summits like the litter encountered on Ben Nevis last year by our friend Dave M6GYU.

145.400 FM - 1 QSO:
Having put on a self spot for 145.500 with the note, ‘QRV in 5min’ I was getting the log ready having switched the rig on and who should call me but Geoff GM4WHA. My spot was for .500 but .400 was just what happened to be on the rig when I switched it on. Geoff the mind reader! 59/ 56 but I had to move due to stations underneath us.

145.550 FM - 17 QSO’s:
A CQ on S20 resulted in multiple responses. Stations worked were:
G7CDA Dougie followed by G1OHH Sue, both in Lancaster; G7WAW David in Barnoldswick; G6AEK Dave at Knott-End-on-Sea; G6LKB Dave in Ulverston and MW0PTE/P Peter S2S on GW/NW-043 using 50W to a small beam (59 plus 10dB both ways).

Asking if anyone was ‘in a hurry to go out’ I worked G0TDM John in Penrith on a handheld; G0PMJ Dave in Darlington and M1DHA - Alan in Barnoldswick.

Next in: 2E0XUP Steve in Dearham; G3PSB/M – a difficult QSO with Phil located in Halifax (44/ 32); MM3TMX/P Jordan S2S on GM/SS-256 – a tricky 33/ 51; 2E0MIX Derek - Whitehaven; G8KBH Dave in Poulton-le-Fylde; G4OBK Phil in Pickering – another challenging QSO but good in the end at 57/ 44 whence the frequency dried up. I announced ‘monitoring the frequency for a few minutes’ and had started the process of packing up when two minutes later G0MHA John called in from Birkenhead followed by 2E0LDF Reg in Cockermouth. Power was 25W throughout the 52 minute session.

Just as I was gingerly extracting the IC-E90 from the rucksack intent on avoiding anything including me going down the slope, Geoff called in again to remind me about 4m. ‘Let’s try it’ said I.

70.450 FM - 1 QSO:
The single 4m QSO wasn’t the expected one with GM4WHA, though I could hear Geoff calling me loud and clear, but a contact with Derek 2E0MIX at 59/ 33. I was using a 2m rubber duck extended to halve the resonant frequency and 3W. There were no more takers.

After extracting myself from the delicate position I’d spent the activation in, I repaired to the shelter to prepare for the descent. I didn’t bother with gloves or the new hand warmers I was carrying but with hands in pockets, rain and hail battered at my hood for the first 20 minutes. Lower down and out of clag it was much warmer and less wet. After the nav error described earlier, the walk down was tedious, being mainly on steps. By the end my knees were starting to feel it and I’m always relieved to open the car door, which today was at 14:02, and flop inside.

I was back in Portinscale in time for a shower and a cream tea. How they expect people to eat all this grub and still climb mountains I don’t know but it’s about to get even worse as Christmas unfolds further. In fact were forced to miss breakfast altogether on Christmas morning – a trick we learned last time.

This was an unpleasant day weather and walking wise but balanced by an enjoyable activation. That said, we can barely move in our room for drying walking kit and radios.

Though not as intense as the early days the knowledge that you’re giving away 10 points makes for a good feeling and after clearing the bulk of the pileup, there was time for some minor chatting.

Ascent time was 8 minutes longer than 2008, the only other time I used the Swirls route. Too much walking on the flat I should think plus stops to don waterproofs and chatting with other walkers. However in 2008, the LD3 climb was preceded by LD8 Blencathra. Today makes 20 consecutive years activating Helvellyn apart from missing out in 2020 due to the covid-19 lock-down. I must love the mountain and indeed I do. While others go for uniques I like the familiarity of annual repeats best.

Once again I was somewhat let down by the receiver in the MT270M but the temptation to field 25W as against QRP seems irresistible. Swings and roundabouts but surely the 600 gram Pye Cambridge double BFP must help a lot. However, one is never sure if someone is calling and you can’t hear them due to overloading? Derek commented that the filter was acting as an attenuator and he’ll be right as all practical filters have insertion loss. Geoff said my audio was a bit muffled. On top of questionable mic quality, I was probably overdoing the modulation. I must read my own notice on the front of the mic more often, ‘Not too loud.’

There were three or four difficult QSO’s but cracking those makes for great satisfaction. To get over the Pennines and down into Pickering was notable but Phil was using power and a beam. Through the noise I heard him say that it was a long time since he’d worked Helvellyn (presumably he meant on VHF). Two S2S contacts were made with Wales and Scotland, one easy, one hard. Thanks for those.

One of the best things about SOTA and mountain walking in general is the people you bump into, which is especially true when you meet them in adversity. As well as the Polish/ Czech Republic group, it was really interesting to come across the Summit Assessor after I’ve looked at his Helvellyn photos for years and benefited greatly from them. In fact the operating position safety was assured after seeing Zac’s summit photo of the 22nd. Alan Hinkes, who I had the pleasure of meeting on Helvellyn in the snow of 2017, was mentioned as was putting my photo on the Weatherline blog.

A Million Feet Climbed:
The LD3 activation takes me over the line of a million feet climbed for SOTA. I keep an accurate record in my excel log, of the ascent for each summit activated from the start point to the summit plus any re-ascent on the way up and down. That’s my last milestone for SOTA. I can’t think of anything further but I will continue to activate where and when I can without pressure from goals. I continue to thank the chasers and fellow activators for their encouragement year on year. Not forgetting the MT of course!

QSO’s - 19:
18 on 2m-FM
1 on 4m-FM

Walk data:
09:32: Left Swirls Car Park
11:17 to 12:51: Helvellyn summit
14:02: Arr. Swirls

Ascent, Distance, Walking times from Swirls:
735 m (2,411 ft) of ascent / 2 x 3.8 km (4.8 miles) walked
1hr-45min up, 1hr-11min down
Summit time: 1hr-34min

Thanks to all stations worked and Spotters 2E0MIX & GM4WHA. Also SOTA spotter. Thank you to the intrepid Helvellyn Fell-top Assessors who battle the elements daily to gather their important and useful data. SOTA are just one group that benefit.

Stay safe in 2023!

73, John

Photos: 5-7-8-14-15-20-24-27-28-30-40-47
It was such a dim day that the photos came out poor. Maybe the lens got wet too?

Above: Climbing out of Swirls

Above: Thirlmere below

Above: Rocky Road

Above: An item left in a cleft. Unknown?

Above: Man from the Czech Republic & Polish Girlfriend. The only snow encountered on the way. Rain eased from here.

Above: LD3 Trig, TP-3724

Above: Eastern face

Above: The summit assessor Zac taking a wind speed reading of 23 mph and temp 2.5C.

Above: Activation of G/LD-003 on VHF

Above: Returning to Swirls

Above: Swirls car park would be full in summer but not today

Above: The Summit Assessor Zac’s photo for 24-12-22.
A thank you to Zac and the Weatherline website. A pleasure to meet you Zac.


1,000,000’ or 304,800 m of ascent John. That’s some “feet”. You’ll have everyone going through their logs now and trying to work out where they measure up against you.

Thanks for another cracking report.


Thanks for the reply Fraser. Love the ‘feet.’ At the rate you’re going up there north of the border, it won’t take you that long. It’s taken me 20 years! Steady away. Enjoy your activating, I know you do and a Happy Christmas to you and yours!


That’s a precarious looking operating position John! Probably good for VHF take off to the east. I generally prefer the more gentle slope to the west. Congratulations on your latest milestone. You’re an inspiration to us yoofs, every activation is an achievement, we don’t need arbitrary numbers.

Happy Christmas and a great 2023 to you and your family


There was a hidden page on the old DB which would tell you the sum of the heights of all the summits you had climbed. It used the published height not any particular route info. It was considered as part of an award that never got any traction hence its demise.

In your case, the sum of all the hills you’ve climbed for SOTA is 1, 905,178ft


Thanks for taking me on your journey John in yet another great report and an excellent read. Your write-ups are always a great source of information when planning a trip!

The mind boggles even thinking about quantifying 1,000,000 feet of ascent.

As you mentioned you featured on the Fell Top Assessors’ twitter page including a response from Phil.

Merry Christmas!
73, Robert


Well if we look at John’s figures, he gets about 52% of the height of a summit per activation.
You have 801767 ft and using his figures, you’re at 416918 ft.

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I think I need to lie down for a minute… :face_with_spiral_eyes:

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A great report & pics, John & tnx for the qso! A Happy Christmas to you & yours, 73 John.

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I mention occasionally that I summited 220 vertical kilometers of summits in a year for my Goat. Before 'fessing up that that is just sea-to-summit altitude, and most of them were not climbed from sea-level.

So very well done - first for the discipline to actually record those ascent figures for each peak, and secondly for actually achieving such an impressive milestone for real…


Thanks John for a great report with photos.

Geoff vk3sq


I tried to keep a log of distance hiked for one year but eventually I run out of steam on my record keeping. I know one year was 180km and another 163km for 43 odd summits.
That’s a mighty achievement all the same 1 million feet. How many pairs of boots is that, I am on my third pair of SOTA hikers, and equally third set of tyres on my SOTA transporter. Diesel, Distance Travelled and Accomms is another set of rubbery figures, makes the radio bit seem easy.
Ian vk5cz …


Great report John!

I love Helvellyn too, I know people feel bad about liking that summit due to the sheer amount of people who go up there, but then again, why are lots of people drawn to going up there? :slight_smile:

I like a lot of the hills that I’m not supposed to - Ingleborough mountain is my favourite of all, I just love it’s shape and dominance over the landscape.

Ingleborough G/NP-005 with it’s distinctive shape. Taken 3 weeks ago from Burton in Lonsdale whilst I was out delivering veg.

I saw the Fell Top Assessor’s tweet and knew instantly that the ‘John’ in question would be you! I retweeted the tweet and it seemed to gain some traction, spreading the word of SOTA. You represented SOTA extremely well.

Regards and very best wishes for 2023.



Hi John

An other interesting read John. Damn those who leave litter. Especially those who drink Red Bull. If it advertises itself as giving you energy, how come it never seems to give them the energy to carry the empty tin down again.

And a big congratulations on your 1,000,000 ft of ascent - and operating in those foul conditions.


Cracking report, as always. You can’t mark a summit down due to popularity! I didn’t do Helvellyn this year which is ridiculous given my proximity.

I maintain it is the best summit in the Lakes for height easily gained (a relative term). However, I have the luxury of picking the ascent and it is wonderful early in the morning or especially on a long summers evening after work.

Congratulations on the achievement. I strive for accurate logbooks these days and enjoy writing the trials of an activation, as much for my own enjoyment given my terrible memory! However, there is always opportunity to do better!

Cheers, Mark


Hi John
Congratulations on achieving yet another milestone. I still remember with fondness the time you took me up Helvellyn for my first visit in 2011 and I love going back to it too. Along with Skiddaw and Blencathra I try and activate for SOTA every year. So I would like to thank you for introducing me to the mountains of the Lake District.

All the best for 2023 and I look forward to seeing you at SARS meetings in our new venue soon.



Hi John

Ours was the next to last QSO before I shut down for Xmas at home and visited family for 2 nights…

Nice to work you on “legacy mode” 2m FM over a good distance and lumpy terrain (legacy mode eh - sickening term for anything other than FT4/8 etc) and I followed ours with a final QSO with GW4SKA using 20m RTTY (“legacy” also). Not SOTA though, as the other John was using the special historic callsign GW5WS from home.

Very good on your stay at Portinscale. For the Xmas overlap it has to cost a lot more than normal and as you like it there and know what you are getting it doesn’t sound so bad to me cost wise for Xmas. I have heard of people paying as much as £100 just for a pub dinner on Xmas day. I noticed the photo from the fell top assessor on Twitter as I check in there every day or two (as others such as Colin M1BUU does) and said to myself that’s “our John G4YSS” sat on the edge. I couldn’t have coped staying up there longer than 20 minutes I reckon, well done on your duration sat in the bitter cold.

I’ve been missing from SOTA action quite a lot this month since I got home from EA8 on 6th December as I have been taking part in the historic RSGB Transatlantic Challenge using G5AT, G6XX and G3DR from home, and chasing as many of the 11 callsigns possible on all HF bands and modes available. Victor GI4ONL has been doing the same, but more activating than chasing than I so to speak. He’s made over 3000 QSOs with GI5WS against my 521 QSO total so far! Its been great fun and we have a few days left before the transatlantic challenge ends on 31st December at 2359z.

If anyone wants to chase a few of the historic callsigns this link takes you to a filtered connection on the DX Summit Cluster, where the operators themselves and others are spotting the calls. Its very easy to qualify for the basic activity award and you can print it as a PDF yourself:

DX Summit

All the best for 2023 John in your outdoor activities. I am unsure what I will be motivated to do in SOTA next year at this stage, but I will continue with some sort of activity I am sure.

On Friday 30th December XYL Judy and I are going to a German Hutte. Not part of a German SOTA Tour unfortunately - a temporary Hutte has been built on Parliament Street in York for the Christmas Market celebrations. I will let my imagination run riot by thinking that the German summits I may chase of Friday in the DM/BM and DM/BW areas I actually activated, whilst I eat the (slighty) German themed fayre!

Ours friends in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DB7MM especially - thank you Michael for DM/BM-064 today) can have a laugh at the menu if they wish… Winterhutte in York

Happy New Year, Phil G4OBK


RESPONSES to Replies. Better later than never!

At risk of bumping this thing up to the top again (it seems it can’t be avoided) I’m just getting round to returning all the Christmas and New Year greetings to everybody. Thank you for those and also for far more comments than I expected not to mention a high number of likes. What a lot there were.

MM0EFI Fraser - Already replied but now that it’s arrived, a Happy New Year to you and keep on doing what you’re doing!

G6PJZ Andy:
You’re right, that edge can be precarious but mainly when there’s snow and ice over it and of course most winters, when there’s a cornice to avoid. This time the fog was a blessing. I could only see the first bit of slope much of the time.

The western incline was windswept as usual. It’s a bit stony but I’ve set up there for HF many a time myself, mostly in summer though. I sometimes run my dipole along the eastern lip in summer. Also several times at the shelter if it’s 7 in the morning but it’s very rocky there too.

The milestone was identified as being possible a year or two ago but with ever decreasing activity, not attaining it was always on the cards. I just forgot about it until now. There must be plenty of activators who have long ago surpassed it, especially those in GM and elsewhere (for example Robin GM7PKT).

MM0FMF Andy:
I vaguely remember someone asking for that as an award but I can see why it didn’t go forward. It’s nonsense unless you use the route figures which is a totally impractical approach. There are drive-ons and cable car summits etc plus others like Ben More in Mull where you go up from the sea Loch. It might give a very rough guide only. Thanks for working out that figure of 52% which is interesting.

M0RWX Robert:
One way to amass a Megafoot is to start early, in my case 5th April-2002, only a month after SOTA was launched. In those days there was just England and Wales in it. Six to eight QSO’s was more the exception than the rule back then. 176,000ft was the ascent for my MG (May-2004) and I’ve been coasting ever since in relative terms. Part of that was 12,700ft in 2.5 days in GW/NW but there was 8,400ft added in a day much later on. It’s taken so long because I don’t live near any summits of note. That forced me into going for the highest possible points average meaning multiple summits with minimum driving for each day walking.

Twitter: I first heard of it from Aggers on TMS (Test Match Special). I noticed it again when it seemed to become a tool for running the USA. That is one of not many photos of a G4YSS activation, taken by someone else. Great to meet Zac on the hill. In fact an honour in a way.

G0MHF John:
Yes, thanks for the QSO on 2m. Your collinear and LD3’s height combined to give us the QSO. HNY comes back to you and CUAGN.

ZL4NVW Matt:
That’s 720,000ft but it really brings it into perspective when you put it in km or miles. Well into inner space. In fact half way to the ISS!

Recording the ascent data was made easy by SOTA (co)-founder John G3WGV. He sent us all an excel-97 log to record our SOTA activity on. There was no universally accessible database for us to use then. You just emailed it to John and he would kindly add it for you. I think it got to be quite a workload for him so that soon gave way to a DIY database like we have today. I kept up to the excel log, adding an ascent column for each activation. Then it’s a case of select and hit Epsilon. I do a lot of repeats using the same route which also helps. I also record distance walked and distance driven.

VK3SQ Geoff:
Thanks Geoff, I’ll try to keep writing 'em if you keep reading 'em but it’s taking me longer and longer. This post has been in the making for over a week.

VK5CZ Ian:
My record of distance walked may be said to make disappointing reading. It’s still only just over 3,000 miles after 20 years. I walk the dog nearly half that in a single year! Ascent is more representative of real work done. I have driven 94,000 miles in pursuit of SOTA but that does include driving up to GM every year to activate plus a nice quiet holiday for the XYL.

In answer to your question. 7 pairs of leather boots, 1 pair of lightweight boots. I have winter boots too but only wore those once and that was enough! I agree. The radio is easy compared to the rest of it.

M1BUU/ M0CGH Colin:
Always a pleasure Colin. All the evidence says I love LD3 but I missed out in 2020. It can be spectacular in winter but Swirral can be intimidating to say the least. I don’t mind at all that it’s popular. It just means saying hello to more people and talking to other walkers brings me a lot of pleasure. I’ve seen bikes on the top and a few years ago that western slope looked like Scarborough Beach except the sun bathers were a bit more spread out. I agree re Ingleborough. It is iconic but there are too negatives for me. I usually go up the flat boring way from the south and the record says I’ve neglected it since 2018. That needs to be put right for sure. Maybe this summer with Finn? When my Niece Nicky came over from Maryland in 2014 we climbed it the interesting way and she’s never forgotten that.

I’m glad that it was you dealing with Twitter because I wouldn’t have a clue but if it gave SOTA even a small publicity boost, that’s good. It’s interesting who you can meet on the hills. On certain days in winter, it’s no exaggeration to describe those assessors as heroes. It’s a service we all appreciate.

M6GYU Dave (SARS):
The weather eased for the activation so it wasn’t too uncomfortable.

That is a very shrewd observation. I never thought of it that way. Generally speaking and taking an average, you don’t get much litter on SOTA’s but there are a few people uncaring enough to do it. When I was young we had a campaign, ‘Keep Britain Tidy.’ Judging by the amount of rubbish thrown onto grass verges that I walk along with the dog, we need to bring that back. While walking up Osgodby Lane the other week, I picked up 8 discarded items to put in the bin at the Eastfield turn-off. Wrappers from sandwiches, cans and even a glass spirits bottle. On Christmas Eve in Cayton, somebody heaved a glass bottle over the fence where Finn lives. He could easily have cut his pads on it. It’s not a bad area either.

M0NOM Mark:
I am full of envy for your place of residence Mark, especially when I think of all that A66 driving I could have avoided completely. Up to three hours after walking all day and starts as early as 02:30 to do LD’s from home. Couldn’t hack it now for sure. When they sprinkled the UK with summits they weren’t too even-handed!

Yes agreed, out of England’s three 10-pointers, LD3 and LD4 demand a similar effort with LD1 the hardest by a fair margin. In 2002 I even put on LD2 having not noticed it had been struck from the SOTA list! It wasn’t totally wasted effort though. I got to go up and down Lords Rake but only ended up with 18 points instead of the planned 28 that day.

Keep writing. It is a lot of work but you can re-live it as you write with no pain in your legs, no frozen fingers or wet clothes.

An (unlicenced) friend William who used to come with me on SOTA’s years ago, until he sold his furniture business and became a taxi driver, has started bagging Wainwrights with his wife. He has asked me for the old photos. I hope WOTA is still going! I lost my bookmark for it but I found Phil G4OBK’s account of 214 of them. A tremendous achievement that was!

G4OOE Nick (SARS):
Yes, that day was a good one. I remember you saying, ‘I just got 13 points!’ A nice snowy day on Helvellyn when it’s at its best and once we cleared Swirral we could enjoy it. There are many things on the SOTA journey that stand out and that was one of them.

I hope that new venue works out OK. What worries me is when we turn up with all kinds of radio rubbish for the junk sale, then drag it all away again chipping the paintwork and tripping up the barmaid on the way out. The cricket club was a superb place to meet but Westover is going to be a whole lot cheaper with none of the worry of keeping up to a shack. According to what was told to me in a 3-way QSO on 2m this afternoon, the next meeting will be next Monday16th and not the 23rd as advertised. Janet is arranging for David M0YXD to do the SARS history – the first 8 years 1922 to 1930. That way we’ll be in synch but out of phase with the fortnightly darts matches. BTW until last night, I hadn’t realised that you carried your goat around with you!

Phil G4OBK:
That was a good QSO. The difficult ones are often memorable. Son Phil said, ‘Not bad getting into Pickering.’ There are a few lumpy bits in the way so good job there was a beam at your end. 57 was blurted out without thinking and you were inaudible half the time.

Legacy mode. I’ve not come across that before. I’ll know to call ‘CQ Legacy’ from now on! – HI.

Never seen what it looks like but I’m living and learning about this Twitter thing. I doubt if I’ll be getting my head around it and time soon or ever. I assume it’s something like Facebook which my son kindly got me out of in 2009. By all accounts that took some doing, though it was all too easy to get into. Seems like this was a bit of advertising for SOTA though, which can’t be bad. It wasn’t that cold up there just over the lip but without that it would have been.

I remember something in Radcom about that and I know your eyes light up when you read the word ‘challenge.’ You two have been busy but Victor is a bit nearer. It proves the aerial systems at you new QTH are well up to the job.

SOTA motivation? I’m not sure either. For me it seems to be boiling down to a sideline for holidays with the missus these days but I can pick and chose anything due to having no targets any more. Summit camps, VHF evening contests and 160m as reasons still interest me but it’s easy to think about them and a lot harder to carry them out. The problem of distance, identified from before I started SOTA but accepted then, still applies as does the physical nausea at the sight of the A66, A648 and the York bypass etc. Also the summits have gone back to their proper size. They started to look like pimples to me back in the mid noughties. All too easy then but I confess I always did hate walking uphill which is perhaps an odd thing for an activator to say.

Hutte. I imagined something like my garden shed plus a bit but it’s massive. It reminds me of a friend who used to go to Norway ‘huttering’ as he called it. Same idea in DM it would seem. The nearest I can come up with to match that is a night in Pinkney’s Bothy on Wheeldale Moor when my lads were young. I hope you enjoy(ed) it but no SOTA? Tut tut.

Thanks for your good wishes for '23 and HNY is coming back to you and Judy. Keep up the high level of activity. The chasers must love it!

Thanks again to everyone.
I hope I didn’t miss anybody out.
Take care in 2023 but have fun.

LD37 Boxing Day report soon.


It is the SOTA Goat app on my iphone! It can be quite a talking point if I forget to turn it off while shopping!

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It’s still going.

It always amazes me that people are prepared to carry a full bottle of pop up a mountain but can’t be bothered to carry the empty one down. Fortunately it isn’t too common a sight.