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G4YSS: G/LD-007, LD-010, LD-022, 07-06-19

G4YSS Activation Report, G/LD-007, G/LD-010, G/LD-022 on 2m-FM, 07-06-19
Issue-1

LAKES WEEK-2019:
This was day-5; the final day of our annual six-night break in the Lake District with the usual walking group; just three of us this year plus two non-walking XYL’s.

G/LD’s activated in the five available walking days:
Day-1 LD11 and LD18; Day-2 LD20; Day-3 LD4; Day-4 LD3; Day-5 LD7, LD10 and LD22

This activation:
G/LD-007- G/LD-010- G/LD-022.
FAIRFIELD; St.SUNDAY CRAG; SEAT SANDAL on 2m-FM

All times BST (UTC + 1) and UTC for Radio ops
G4YSS using GX0OOO/P
Unaccompanied

EQUIPMENT:
Moonraker MT270M 2m / 70cm 25W mobile rig
IC-E90 4-Band, 5W, VHF H/H
Half-wave vertical J-Pole for 2m
5Ah Turnigy Li-Po Battery

Other:
Garmin Geko 301 GPS
Hitachi MP3 Player (DAB Cube – not used)
Pack weight: 8kg including 750ml of water, primaloft jacket and umbrella

INTRODUCTION:
David mentioned the night before that he would be walking with me for the fourth day but changed his mind at breakfast. I could well understand it. He had spent time and effort devising routes in advance and having been on three SOTA missions in three days, he naturally wanted to try one of them on the last day. He chose the hills south of Braithwaite; Barrow Door was one of his targets.

Because it’s the shortest distance to walk and the highest start point available, the best place to access this trio of summits is from Dunmail Raise (240m ASL).

The weatherman said ‘good’ for the morning but also warned of an incoming low pressure with heavy and persistent rain some time in the afternoon. This was predicted to arrive in Northern England between midday and 2pm, so I decided to start the walk and monitor the weather. That way I could decide in real time how many of the three available SOTA’s to put on and in what order. At the start I was only aiming for two.

ROUTE:
Dunmail Raise to Fairfield:
From the ladder stile at Dunmail Raise - NY 3278 1160, walk east and uphill beside Raise Beck via NY 3352 1194 to the 574m spot height which overlooks Grisedale Tarn at NY 3438 1208.

Turn right (SE) to skirt the Tarn anticlockwise 30m above the water on a fairly height efficient path via NY 3441 1206; NY 3453 1191; NY 3480 1174 and NY 3488 1171, then climb Fairfield via a steep path starting at NY 3490 1168. The path zig-zags up via NY 3535 1182 and NY 3547 1176 to Fairfield’s extensive top at NY 3586 1173.

Fairfield to St. Sunday Crag:
Climb carefully down Coffa Pike on a steep path via NY 3572 1185; NY 3581 1198 and NY 3593 1235 to a low-point at Deepdale Hause NY 3609 1258. I make a mental note for later that here the path down to Grisedale Tarn goes off left here (west) but keep walking NE and uphill to St.Sunday Crag’s summit at NY 3693 1340. If doing HF, the best place to put a dipole is on a grassy area 100m short of the summit and off to the left of the path at NY 3685 1335.

St.Sunday Crag to Seat Sandal:
Retrace your steps back to Deepdale Hause to turn right (west) down a steep, stony path to NY 3595 1264 where it turns left. Pass through NY 3568 1237 to NY 3536 1220 where the path down to Grisedale Tarn branches off to the right. Keep left and walk via NY 3532 1213 and NY 3504 1188 to start the climb up to Seat Sandal from Grisedale Hause on loose rock and gravel at NY 3487 1166. At NY 3463 1150 the gradient eases and the path becomes grassy to the summit at NY 3439 1152.

Seat Sandal to Dunmail Raise:
Downhill all the way, the path off Seat Sandal goes due north via NY 3440 1169 and NY 3437 1193 to the 574m spot where you turn left by the remains of a steel fence post, to walk down beside Raise Beck and back to the ladder stile by the A591 at NY 3278 1160.

EXECUTION:
The drive down to Dunmail took just over 15 minutes. Getting off the dual carriageway onto the 4 metre wide verge quickly is an art on a 70mph road. Hanging back to allow overtaking traffic, I indicated early. Traffic was light but I couldn’t shake off the tailgater until the very last minute. Parking just short of the ladder stile, I got the car as near to the fence as possible.

Getting started at 10:20 later than I’d hoped, I climbed the stile and headed up the valley determined not to fall for the right fork which takes you up the side of the hill. It’s a steady climb up a reasonable path with a few semi scrambly bits beside a waterfall.

At Grisedale Tarn I took the anticlockwise path past Seat Sandal and around the tarn to the foot of Fairfield, arriving at the top by 11:38. Wind speed was less than 5 mph so I set up a short distance from the largest shelter. That’s when I found my error of forgetting to pack the logsheets so I spent the next ten minutes drawing a table on the back of a spare map with a pencil.

FAIRFIELD, G/LD-007, 837m, 8 pts, 11:38 to 12:29. 13 deg C. Cloudy bright/ Hazy sun with <5 mph wind. LOC: IO84ML. WAB: NY31 (No trig)

145.575/ 145.550 FM - 11 QSO’s:
Checking S20 first, I heard Jimmy MW0HGY/P calling CQ SOTA. At the same time I heard Geoff G4WHA/M calling me. After our QSY to .575, knowing Geoff was at the shop and might be hard pressed for time, I had to think fast so asked Jimmy to work Geoff before working me. In the event Geoff could not copy Jimmy so I was really cheeky and worked Geoff myself directly after logging Jimmy. Fortunately Jimmy was unfazed by this and I think he’s worked Geoff enough times to know the score. Thanks Jimmy! Jimmy’s Dad Tom MW1EYP/P followed up with a 59 / 57 exchange. Their summit was GW/NW-070 Great Orme.

With 10W to the vertical, I went on to work the following stations after a QSY to 145.550: G0TDM John; G7CDA Douggie; GW4ZPL/P John; G1OHH Sue; G0UXC Peter; MW1ISC Steve; G4BLH/M Mike on the Clitheroe/ Kendal road and M0NOM/P Mark.

Now there was a decision to be made but the skies still looked clear and settled. Looking across at St. Sunday Crag and despite telling myself beforehand that I really ought to avoid going over there because it would add anything up to 2 hours to the schedule, it now got the nod over Seat Sandal. Benign right now, this decision eventually got me a good wetting from the incoming bad weather.

The walk down Coffa Pike and up onto St.Sunday’s took 39 minutes and there were one or two walkers on the path. Taking my phone out of my pocket, I noticed that the screen was black and curiously the torch was on. I tried to bring it back to life but nothing worked. Now I couldn’t self spot and having forgotten on Fairfield, I couldn’t text the XYL either. The phone was to stay like that until I got back.

ST.SUNDAY CRAG, G/LD-010, 841m, 8 pts, 13:08 to 13:41. 13 deg C. 10 mph Wind. Overcast. LOC: IO84MM. WAB: NY31 (No trig). (Phone out of action)

145.550 FM - 12 QSO’s:
Sitting at the cairn overlooking Dollywaggon Pike and Helvellyn, I was QRV six minutes after arriving.

The following stations were worked with 10 Watts: G4WHA/M Geoff in Carlisle; G0TDM John; MW0ISC Steve; M0NOM Mark; G7THI Frank - Appleby; G0SLR Roy; G7OEM Tony; MW0HGY/P and MW1EYP/P Jimmy and Tom S2S on GW/NW-070; G7CDA Douggie; G1OHH Sue and G0UXC Peter. Five reports were 59 both ways with the remainder 55 to 57 and the session spanned 23 minutes.

Unusually it was St.Sunday that had the most people on it today but the distraction of them coming up to talk made me forget the summit photo. I remembered when about 50 metres from the top on the way down and annoyingly that’s all there is. Someone pointed to a summit on the horizon and asked if I could identify it for them. I tried to fire up my GPS for a ‘Go-To’ but it was taking too long. Someone brought out a 1:25,000 while I ‘sloped off’ unnoticed. The unknown mountain turned out to be Great Gable but I only realised that after looking at a map that evening. Shameful!

To be honest, it didn’t help that I was thinking of the weather front which was on its way and I was as far away from the car as I would get that day. Some of the chasers reported rain already and someone said it was tipping it down in north Wales. That information could have come from Jimmy and Tom on Gt.Orme. There were a few grey clouds on the horizon; nothing serious yet but it was time to get moving again.

LD10 to LD22:
After passing some walkers before Deepdale Hause, I turned right there and made my way towards Grisedale Tarn. I can’t remember seeing anybody after that. They’d all got the message but it was beginning to look like I was the only one not heeding it.

Once past the Tarn and turning to look back into wind, I got something of a shock. There were some nasty looking dark grey clouds and clag following me up the valley and just then it started to spit. Rushing to climb Seat Sandal, I was panting when half way up the rain came down in earnest. My umbrella was fastened to the rucksack, as was my fleece and I was walking in a base layer. Nevertheless I made the decision to go for the top knowing there was a low wall there. It felt like I was stuck in treacle but I was going as fast as possible which was a bit pointless as it meant I had to keep stopping. By the time I got there I was pretty wet already. However once the brolly was up things improved and the antenna was assembled under its protection. I leant the mast against the wall and wedged it with the rucksack. All in a day’s work.

SEAT SANDAL, G/LD-022, 736m, 6 pts, 14:33 to 15:13. 9 deg C. 10 mph. Overcast with rain, heavy at times. A grassy top with a cairn, wall and small shelter. LOC: IO84LL. WAB: NY31 (No trig). (Phone not working).

145.550 FM - 14 QSO’s:
Carefully holding the brolly and thankful for the wall, I worked the following stations using 25 watts: GM3VMB Peter at Eaglesfield; G0TDM John in Penrith; G1OHH Sue - Lancaster; 2E0EVD Clive on Walney Island; G7OEM Tony nr. Blackpool and MW0ISC Steve Pantymwyn.

Continuing on: 2E0BLL Mike in Preston; GW6STK Robert in Colwyn Bay ;G7CDA Douggie on Morecambe Bay; MW1FGQ John wishing me all the best from Holywell; 2E0MOW Chris in Poulton-le-Fylde and M0LJH Les at Bispham. The final QSO on the final summit of the final day of the holiday was with G0NAJ John in Dukinfield (Manchester).

Final Descent:
Downhill all the way, the walk back should have been pleasurable but the weather made it anything but. Once again I forgot to take the summit photo until a short way down; this time the excuse was the driving rain. The final walk, with brolly deployed most of the way, took 42 minutes and I was back climbing the ladder stile to the road at 15:55. My walking trousers were soaked through along with everything in the pockets; anything electronic having been moved to a higher position.

It was far too early to go back to the B-and-B; my XYL suffers from MS and sleeps in the afternoons, so I went round the shops in Keswick again. Our final evening meal was at the Casa Bella again. Establishments used on other evenings were, The George, The Thyme and treat of treats - The Pheasant Inn.

QSO’s on 2m-FM:
G/LD-007: 11
G/LD-010: 12
G/LD-022: 14
Total: 37

Walk Data:
10:20 Left Dunmail Raise (240m ASL)
LD7: 11:38 to 12:29
LD10: 13:08 to 13:41
LD22: 14:33 to 15:13
15:55 Rtn’d Dunmail Raise
Drive from/ to Keswick: 17min

Walking times:
Dunmail to LD7: 1hr-18 min
LD7 to LD10: 39 min
LD10 to LD22: 52min
LD22 to Dunmail: 42 min
Total time spent walking: 3hr-31 min
Average walking speed: 2.1 mph

Summit Durations (min): 51+33+40
Total Summit time: 2hr-4min
Total time Dunmail to Dunmail: 5hr-35min
Ascent and Distance: 940m (3,084ft) ascent/ 12km (7.5mls)
(Dunmail – LD7-LD10-LD22 - Dunmail)

…………………………………………………………………………

STATS for 5-DAYS:
Activator points for eight summits: 62
Ascent and distance walked (5 days): 3,666m (12,027ft) and 47km (29.4 miles) comprising…
LD11-LD18: 838m (2,750ft) ascent and 12.3km (7.7 miles)
LD20: 444m (1,457ft) ascent and 4.4km (2.8 miles)
LD4: 680m (2,231ft) ascent and 10.6km (6.6 miles)
LD3: 764m (2,507ft) ascent and 7.7km (4.8 miles)
LD7-LD10-LD22: 940m (3,084ft) ascent and 12km (7.5miles)

Total distance driven for week: 408 miles
(Inc. from/ to home in Scarborough)

QSO’s (5 Days):
2m-FM: 83
4m-FM: 2
Total QSO’s: 85

Comments:
This Activation:
This was more or less a repeat of last year’s final day using VHF equipment again. The same summits were done but in a different order and total walking time was just one minute different. I was a little unlucky with the weather, getting a soaking on the final summit but what’s the worry when all you have to do is walk back to the car and drive the short distance back to where you’re staying? Adding St. Sunday Crag was well worth the wetting. This is a good way of getting 22 points without killing yourself. The round is compact meaning not too much walking in between summits. Adding Helvellyn and walking from Patterdale requires more effort than Helvellyn adds points.

The Five Days:
In terms of effort at the summits, all eight VHF activations added together were about equal to one of the multi-band, multi-mode HF QSO activations I often do. Simple FM is very much easier but one could argue it’s less fulfilling too. However it can be more personal and great to hear the same people calling in day by day. A kind of loyalty and camaraderie developed over the 5 days. Geoff and John G4WHA and G0TDM gave me great support as is often the case but there was no prearrangement.

Summit times were measured in minutes rather than hours so the emphasis was on walking for a change. Very noticeable was the amount of time I had on my hands after each day’s activating and despite the late start times, all could be easily fitted in with time to spare.

I intended putting up the HF dipole on at least one summit and resonating the new 160m coils. It never happened because I could hardly subject David and/ or Rob to watching me take VSWR readings in a cold wind. On the first day I walked part way with David and Rob but due to circumstances that was the first and last time Rob hill walked this holiday.

For the next three days there were only two of us, David and myself. On the last day three summits were put on the air in a solo round. That has been HF QRO territory for me in the past but not usually in summer between set meal times and not with the weather threatening as it was.

There was nothing wrong with my phone. On returning to the car a faint glimmer was visible on the screen. Somehow in my pocket the brightness had set itself down to just above zero and the torch had turned on. This despite having an app which tells the phone not to do anything when it’s in my pocket. It had taken 73 black photos whilst it was in there and sent the lot up to the cloud. Was that the cause of the bad weather?

Speaking of the weather, it wasn’t as poor as the forecast tried to make us believe before the holiday. In five days of operating we were curtailed for one afternoon, one morning and only got wet twice. It was non too warm much of the time but that was OK by me, being traditionally a winter activator. Despite the rain my waterproofs stayed in the rucksack, the umbrella being sufficient.

Our ‘Lakes Week’ break has been going since the early 1990’s and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it since 2002. Only five people made it to Keswick this year and from these only three were hill walkers as such. It was much the same last year but we are hoping for better support in 2020. Lakes Week has got me an awful lot of SOTA points over the years not to mention the friendship and exercise.

After Steve and Margaret retired from doing bed and breakfast at Sandon guest house where we’ve stayed for the past 12 years, this year we were over the road at Avondale with Pearle and Tony. A very good place as it turned out. Rob and Chris continue to stay at Edwardean. Both these places have a lounge with WiFi, useful for typing up reports and putting SOTA alerts on.

For my first year, coincidentally the first year of SOTA too, we stayed at Bluestones which is run by Michael and Debbie. Michael is car crazy and runs a Sunbeam Tiger. All this accommodation is on Southey Street where there is on-street parking and a short walk to town for evening meals and the sandwich shop in a morning if required.

Keswick and the LD region in general are not cheap. Typical costs are around £54 pppn for B-and-B with evening meals in town coming in at around £20 to £22 per person including two courses and a tip, though you could pay more for certain choices.

Thanks:
Thanks to all stations worked for your repeated support through the 5 days and to the spotter for today: G4WHA/A Geoff. Also for spotting during the 5 days: G4WHA Geoff; G0TDM John; M0NOM Mark and the SOTA Spotting ap.

G4SSH:
If anyone is wondering why Roy G4SSH didn’t join us as a spotter, he’s currently in a retirement home called Briar Dene in Scarborough. It’s looking like this will be a permanent arrangement as he is unable to cope at home on his own even with full professional support and good neighbours. He did make a 2-hour visit to his bungalow last weekend, actually managing to fire up his FT5000 and work one station in Spain.

When Briar Dene commission their new building next door in September, the plan is for him to move into it, if possible bagging a top floor room. If that happens we’ll see what the possibilities are but you can bet HF will be very noisy indeed and there will be little or no chance of an outdoor antenna. Perhaps this kind of situation is worthy of a special dispensation for the use of an online receiver? It wouldn’t solve the possibility of transmitter interference however.

73, John
(G4YSS using Scarborough Special Events Group Club Call GX0OOO/P)
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Photos: 1-3-7-9-10-11-16-20-26-28-29-31-32-34-36-37-42-46


Above: Grass verge at Dunmail Raise on A591 dual carriageway


Above: Walking east along Raise Beck to Grisedale Tarn


Above: Grisedale Tarn with Fairfield G/LD-007 behind


Above - Left to Right: Grisedale Tarn; Sunday Crag G/LD-010 in distance and Fairfield G/LD-007 in foreground


Above: Seat Sandal G/LD-022 (left) and Grisedale Tarn (right) from the path up Fairfield G/LD-007


Above: Fairfield G/LD-007 path


Above: Vertical J-Pole for 2m-FM. Fairfield G/LD-007


Above: Fairfield G/LD-007. Pre-activation ‘office work’ necessary due to forgotten log sheets


Above: Overlooking Sunday Crag G/LD-010 from Coffa Pike


Above: A parting shot of Sunday Crag’s (G/LD-010) summit


Above: Path down from Deepdale Hause with Grisedale Tarn ahead


Above: Further along path from Deepdale Hause to Grisedale Tarn - bypassing Fairfield (left of path)


Above: Path up Seat Sandal G/LD-022


Above: Ugly weather on its way up the valley. From the path half way up Seat Sandal G/LD-022. Fairfield on the right


Above: Seat Sandal G/LD-022 and the price of adding St Sunday Crag. A good wetting in progress with Fairfield obscured


Above: Seat Sandal G/LD-022. Leaving after the activation


Above: Walking down beside Raise Beck and back to Dunmail Raise


Above: Back at the A591. Job done.
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Links to other Lakes Week 2019 reports:
LD11-LD18: G4YSS:G/LD-011 High St & G/LD-018 SCP, 03-06-19
LD20: G4YSS: G/LD-020 Dale Head on 04-06-19
LD4: G4YSS:GLD-004 Skiddaw on 05-06-19
LD3: G4YSS: GLD-003 Helvellyn on 06-06-19
LD7-LD10-LD22: This report

Please reports errors… Thanks Jimmy. Don’t know my left from my right! Errors corrected, I hope. Will reply properly to all later,
73, John

8 Likes

Hi John,

Great report as always and great to work you summit to summit from Great Orme GW/NW-070 when you were activating Fairfield G/LD-007 and St Sunday Crag G/LD-010.

I couldn’t hear Geoff G4WHA/A either, so looks like neither of us could hear each other. I am totally aware that Geoff has a shop to run and is always priority to be worked. However please note that also some summit to summit opportunities could be missed to this as some activators may not be aware of this situation and could also just want to get their 4 contacts quickly before descending if the weather is bad on their summit.

It was me who gave you that information John, you mentioned about the threat of rain coming in your area and we also had a threat of rain that afternoon in North Wales. We ended up packing up on Great Orme G/NW-070 just as the rain started and it quickly got heavy. Me and my dad Tom M1EYP were thinking about activating Foel Cedig GW/NW-034 that morning as we haven’t activated that one from the new summit and under the new name before the rain came or alternatively adding in Tal-y-Fan GW/NW-040 before Great Orme GW/NW-070. Both of these thinking back probably would be been possible before getting any rain, but I was tired and after getting caught out a few times in the rain that week, but avoiding the worse of it thankfully and activating what we set of to do of completing GW/NW, I was happy to have more of a rest day on the way home by just activating Great Orme GW/NW-070.

Spotted a couple of error, first one being on my first quote above where you started Great Orme’s reference of GW/MW-070, the correct reference is GW/NW-070.

Here’s the 2nd error.

I am you must mean right here John not left.

Jimmy M0HGY

1 Like

John, just made it to this report - amazingly comprehensive as always!
St Sunday Crag is my favourite summit in the Lake District for views but definitely best done in fair weather - it provides zero protection any elemental forces! I think you were definitely right to take the risk on this occasion however and include St Sunday Crag and was genuinely surprised how quickly you made it there, cracking on somewhat I would have said!

Not made it there this year, the weather has been pretty awful compared to last year’s clemency. I quite fancy an evening activation when the weather is stable.

Noted about the weather reports being somewhat pessimistic - I am trying to train myself to assess information from various services to form a likely picture of the day, and not be put off because there is rain predicted at some point during the day. The last few times I’ve called off an activation there has been a window of opportunity, I just wasn’t assessing the situation well enough. Which is all very well but does still require a huge slice of reality sprinkled with unpredictability!

Kind regards, Mark

1 Like

Replies to Jimmy, Mark (and Allan GW4VPX – ref Helvellyn Rprt.)

Jimmy M0HGY
Hiya Jimmy,
Thanks for all the comments and the errors reported, now corrected. Also thanks to you and your Dad for the mountaintop linkups. I know Great Orme well, having stayed in Llandudno maybe 4 times since SOTA began and walked up it, even activating it a time or two. It can be a challenge on VHF when all that hardware on the mast strikes up but an FT817 is better than a handie.

I never doubted that you’d know about the different approach to handling the QSO’s with Geoff, because you’ve very likely worked him even more times than I. In this case less than 30 seconds were expended on you trying and me succeeding, me being nearer. Pity you didn’t make the QSO but since Geoff got moved from Penrith to Carlisle, he has found it much harder to chase SOTA. I used to marvel at how well he did from Penrith but he has taken steps and will be taking further steps to improve the situation from Carlisle. I think he’s right in the town centre, which won’t make it easy to start with. It would be just his luck that they move him back to Penrith right after he’s done the work and made all the improvements. John G0TDM is a great ally when it comes to support too but you’ll know that of course.

You got wet as well! The weather certainly did deteriorate suddenly when the front arrived but it’s not much of an issue in summer. In winter I have much more respect for rain deeming it much worse of a threat than snow, especially when combined with high winds.

You told me something I didn’t know there Jimmy - Foel Cedig GW/NW-034. Sounds very much like a Thorpe Fell/ Cracoe Fell or Horse Head/ Birks Fell situation following a re-survey. As for Tal-y-Fan; I love it. When I go there it always seems like I’m visiting a ‘friend.’

Sounds like you succeeded in giving GW/NW your full attention that week. Well done on your achievements and thanks again for your comments,
73, John.
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Mark M0NOM:
Hello Mark,
Thanks. Though many of these reports can be almost identical, I can relive the experience while writing plus they’re a good history and can help with planning repeats or similar.

You like St. Sunday? I do too. I found a nice bit of crystallized quartz there one time. It’s on my hearth to remind me of the mountain and its views especially the one down the side. In fact I actually walked over it with the walking group in June 2002 not even knowing it was a SOTA. I was on my way to Fairfield, another name I’d never heard of at the time. When I did finally identify these and Helvellyn as a lucrative round for points, I then went on to miss out Seat Sandal due to ignorance. After that I started plotting SOTA’s on maps properly so I knew where they were relative to one another. Seems like my learning curve was far from steep back then but we all had to get used to SOTA. Activating has given me a knowledge of the Lakes I just didn’t have back then.

As you say, LD10 can be a bit of a terror in winter, especially when doing HF. I think your idea of a summer’s evening ascent could be good to avoid the heat of the day and maybe get out better on 80 or 160. A low-pressure VHF job is always an attraction too.

The walk to LD10 from LD7 or vice versa is quick if there’s no ice on Coffa Pike and I’m told I walk at a decent pace. It seems slow when you’re doing it however and it’s hard to average much more than 2mph. You’re left wondering how we manage to get round and there’s no wonder it takes us activators hours and hours to get our jobs done. Inserting LD10 ‘cost’ 88 minutes including its activation time. I said 2 hours at the time mainly to take pressure off as I didn’t know how many chasers I would work from there so that’s what made it seem quicker to you.

It sounds like we both independently arrived at the same conclusion. You do have to read between the lines somewhat. In a blame culture World that we now find ourselves in, the forecaster’s aim it seems is primarily to ‘cover themselves’ so the tendency is to add a bit on for safety. The MWIS wind speeds are more often than not significantly lower than forecast and that being the most important factor for an activator, you have to consider just ‘going for it’ sometimes.

It’s a lot harder when you’re a worker. I used to be a wage slave up to 2005, which left me Friday afternoon from 1pm or most Sundays. Fixed opportunities usually mean discord between the activator and the weather so back then I was regularly forced to endure conditions that no reasonable person would want to go out in, particularly in winter. Sitting in the office with the sun shining all week just to see it turn ugly by Friday didn’t help the human spirit either.

I can pick and chose a bit more now thank goodness. However, just as you say, I too have ‘kicked myself’ countless times at ‘crying off’ following a poor forecast and there’ll be many more of us in that category. The main factor of course is that this is Britain! The saying ‘We don’t have a climate, only weather’ just about sums it up.

Thanks again for doing your work for WOTA. I will try it out next time I’m in LD or I could maybe try it with the LD7-10-22 logs.

73, John.
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Allan GW4VPX (Re: Helvellyn Report).

Just to avoid ‘bumping’ the Helvellyn report up again, I’ll reply here and hope you see it?

It was regrettable that I didn’t hear you. I did de-squelch at times. Either the path wasn’t too good or more likely my receiver wasn’t up to it. Either way it was a pity. I would have got a lot of satisfaction with a Pencader QSO and the same thing happened with Victor the day before on Skiddaw. All I can say is I hope we’ll have more opportunities in the future. Thanks for your reply.

73, John

2 Likes

Hi John,

Thank you for correcting those errors.

I agree that Great Orme GW/NW-070 is a nice hill and I’ve walked to the summit of it a couple of times from Llandudno. The first time was with a couple a school friends of mine where I walked up and down it and I also wrote an activating report of this myself on this reflector which you can find here Great Orme by Foot. This was back in 2010 and the 2nd time I walked it was a year later with my dad Tom M1EYP and we ended up getting the cable car down which was scary. Both times I’ve walked up the walked this hill was very enjoyable. I agree that this summit suffers from transmitter QRM which does affect the VHF bands, sometimes it can be really bad, others times not so bad. Thankfully on my recent activation, the QRM was bearable and I was able to make quite a few QSOs on 2m FM, last year was completely different as I got S9 QRM and was really struggling to make the 4 QSOs.

Thankfully I managed to get to the car before getting a complete soaking in that heavy rain, but was very close to getting completely soaked. I agree that in winter it is better to walk in snow rather than rain, unless the snow is really bad.

I am aware that Geoff GM4WHA can’t chase as many 2m FM SOTA activations since his shop move to Carlisle as Carlisle does hot have as good VHF take off to Penrith. I think I may have been able to make the QSO with him if he was still in Penrith. Hopefully either the VHF set up in Carlisle will be improved or he moves back to his shop in Penrith. I’ve worked John G0TDM plenty if times to from SOTA summits.

Foel Cedig GW/NW-034 was re-surveyed last year and is a similar situation to Horse Head Moor G/NP-021/Birks Fell G/NP-031 and Thorpe Fell Top G/NP-025/Cracoe Fell G/NP-032. However there is one major difference to this one and that is both the old summit and new summit were within activation zone of each other which was why there was no deletion of the old summit and addition of the new summit.

My focus in Snowdonia 2 weeks ago was to compete every SOTA summit in GW/NW which we did. Tal-y-Fan GW/NW-040 was my first ever SOTA activation back in October 2005 and I agree that it is a nice hill also.

Jimmy M0HGY

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Sounds like you’ve had some trouble on 070 for sure. I don’t think I’ve done HF from there and I’ve always had a certain amount of trouble with handhelds. As you say it’s variable. I walked from where we stayed half way along the sea front and did Little Orme while I was there too.

So a new Welsh summit has been conjured up from nothing. Must have been 149.XXX m prominence then they deemed it 150 m. A bit like Lovely Seat in reverse. I find it rather disconcerting when things change to that extent but at least this added something rather than losing. It’s so weird that Scafell LD2 got on the list for 4 days. I often wonder how that happened as it’s a long way off 150m. Interesting!
73, John

Hi John,

Great orme GW/NW-070 is just pot luck on whether or not the QRM from the transmitters is very bad on VHF or not. I have done HF on there quite a few times and never had any trouble on HF. I’ve never walked up Little Orme, but it does look like a nice hill through.

Not really a new Welsh summit, just a relocation of the summit position. Originally the highest point for GW/NW-034 was Cyrniau Nod until the re-survey where it was found that Foel Cedig was actually the highest point. As the col between Cyrniau Nod and Foel Cedig is less than 25m below both these points, the SOTA reference remains GW/NW-034, so a change of summit position and change of summit name, but won’t be a unique when I do activate it from Foel Cedig.

Jimmy M0HGY

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Yes I see now Jimmy. Thanks for the explanation.
73, John

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