G4YSS: G/LD 'Big Rounds.' (Reference notes for po

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This post is a reference from ‘possible’ future G4YSS SOTA Alerts Feb/March 2007. (This post No will be quoted on the applicable alerts. Failing there being a No, the title and date)

LD ‘big rounds.’
I.e: Multiple summits in the G/LD area, which can be ‘put-on’ in a one-day circular walk, preferably in the ‘bonus’ period and where it is not practicable to return to the vehicle, between summits.

LD6, LD14 & LD5. (Honister Pass route: 1380m (4528ft) ascent, 12.3 miles. A 3-hr walk-in to LD6 and a rugged walk-out from LD5)

LD3, LD22, LD7 & LD10. (Patterdale route: 11 miles, 1,476m (4,842ft) of ascent. LD3 approach ridges exposed, LD7 / Coffa Pike is dangerous on ice)

These can be rather demanding and difficult to fit into a winter’s day. In addition, for guaranteed success, other factors, not least the WX and surface conditions, must ALL be favourable on the day. For those reasons, I have traditionally activated these ‘rounds’ using lightweight 2m FM equipment only, enabling short summit times.

If all factors become favourable, I would like to experiment by offering one of these ‘multiples’ to a wider audience. I have had recent success with two-mode / one QRG operation on the 80m band and this would be my chosen modus operandi. However, with summit time severely limited, QSY’s to other frequencies would be ‘by descretion’ and because of the power requirements versus weight, it would have to be token QRP only. Setting-up and taking-down time for VHF is 10 minutes but for HF it can be more than 30 minutes in poor WX or on rock-strewn summits (e.g. LD5, LD14, LD3.) This doesn’t leave much QSO time with a limit of around 80 minutes per summit!

Operating: My natural operating style is quite slow but to fit the above envelope I will be forced to change to a ‘semi-contest style’ exchange with little more than callsign and report. (Thank goodness for that, you say!) This is something I have yet to learn but I will try not to QSL reports on CW. I have it on recent good authority that QSL’ing on CW is not strictly necessary. Apparently, a simple ‘R’ or ‘dit-dit’ at the end of the QSO will suffice. If I know the caller’s prefix, I may just use the suffix. Please be aware that my reading speed for anything not ‘rubber-stamp’ is poor and I will also need time to write your call into the log. ‘Phone’ can take up more time than CW, so I will try to limit SSB exchanges also.

Unfortunately this introduces yet another factor, exacerbated by QRP, into the already crowded mix; that of good band conditions, morning, noon and afternoon. If one or two of the above ‘positives’ are absent on the day, I may have to revert to 2m FM or cancel / miss summits as required, especially in late afternoon. I hope for at least some measure of success. The cooperation of chasers will be much appreciated. Thank you: CU on the wireless and apologies if you don’t hear my QRP signal.

If the WX ‘cracks-up’ none of this will matter anyway!

73, John
(using GX0OOO/P)