G4YSS: G/NP-006, NP-015, NP-016, NP-009 on 09-02-15

G4YSS Activation Report NP6, NP15, NP16, NP9 on 09-02-15

GX0OOO/P on:
G/NP-006 /6 Great Shunner Fell
G/NP-015 /4 Great Knoutberry Hill
G/NP-016 /4 Dodd Fell Hill
G/NP-009 /6 Buckden Pike

G4YSS - unaccompanied
2m-FM QRO only.
All times UTC.

Kenwood TM702-T; 25 Watt 2m/ 70cm Mobile.
Two 6Ah Li-Po Batteries for four summits.
Home-brew vertical J-Pole for 2m.
Two-section short aluminium mast.
Icom IC-E90 4 Band, 5W H/H in reserve (not used).
Go Outdoors windbreak (Dodd Fell only.)
Pack wt: 8.1kg (17.9 pounds) inc. 250ml water but exc. windbreak.

A continuing quest for winter bonus provided the impetus for this expedition. The original idea was to put on G/NP6, NP15, NP16 and NP17 but the final destination was changed to NP9 on the day. This was done to reduce driving distance and to avoid returning via Harrogate and York.

Left Scarborough at 04:45, arriving via the A684, at Buttertubs Pass in gathering daylight at 07:00 (86 miles). After some difficulty parking where the track leaves the road at SD 8688 9570 because of snow, I got walking by 07:23 in a cold wind but otherwise promising weather. Attire, as always in winter, was the standard base layer, walking trousers, 200 grade fleece and hat. The Primaloft jacket is carried solely for summit activities but the mittens were soon needed. At about the half way point, the sun rose putting a good complexion on the day’s prospects.

From SD 8688 9570 the track is easy to follow via Coal Pit to the fence corner at SD 8694 9639 but there were some large patches of lying snow on it today and I quickly found that it was the non-supporting type. Evidently the frost had not been severe enough to stop the boots sinking into snow much of the time but on the other hand the bogs through Grimy Gutter Hags were all frozen. It’s just a case of following the fence and it’s a long walk but eventually you reach a stile at SD 8503 9723 not far short of the summit. Here the choices are to cross it onto a tussocky path or to continue outside the fence on better ground, which is preferable. Ascent time was much the same as on previous activations.

G/NP-006: GT.SHUNNER FELL, 716m, 6 pts, 08:11 to 09:17, 0 deg.C. Wind: 20 mph. Sunny with blue sky above. Cloud on some surrounding hills and in valleys. Patchy lying snow along the route and in the shelter. IO84VI, WAB SD89. (EE- Orange phone signal.)

145.425 FM - 17 QSO’s:
The half-wave vertical was mounted in the stonework at the top of the shelter wall. With the power set to the maximum 25 Watts, a CQ call on S20 brought in a waiting Mark G0VOF. I apologised for getting him out of bed, he being off work with flu.

After a brief chat the rest of the chasers found Mark’s SOTA watch spot. G6XBF Walt-Leeds; GM4WHA/M Geoff-leaving Annan; G4KPM Malcolm - Portishead, North Somerset; M0RSF Chris-Leeds; 2E0MIX Derek-Whitehaven; M0OAT/M Graham-A66; G2IF Wallace-Nelson; 2E0OAP/M Michael A1231 Sunderland; G0TDM John-Penrith; G6ODU Bob-Ormskirk; G1PIE Mark-Preston; G8MIA Andy-South Staffs (110 miles); G0JEI Les-Nottingham; M0XRS Chris-Leyland; MW3HRE Steve-Wrexham and finally M6DFU Kenny-Blackpool. At this point (09:10) the frequency was somehow relinquished to G4OIP c/o the Barnsley Flyers group and I made ready to leave. RST’s sent and received averaged 58 and 56 respectively and there was a 41 from M0XRS.

After a few final photos of the splendid views, I made my way back through the large snow patches, sinking a little more deeply than earlier due to the sun’s action but arriving at the car a little ahead of schedule at 09:58. At 7am I had parked on a frozen verge but it was no longer quite so solid. I had to rock the car out of a rut that the front wheels dug for themselves, splattering the entire near-side and windscreen with mud, grass and ice in the process.

Drive to NP15:
With only 2WD available, the drive around to NP15 via the coal road was not without excitement but that was expected. The ramp just past Garsdale station was quite icy and deep drifts covered much of the road higher up. Making snap decisions each time, I had to pick my way, sometimes past but often through deeply rutted snow and along torn up verges without knowing for sure if I would get through in the end or not be able to turn round. Some of these sections were uphill, making a certain amount of speed essential and on two or three occasions the car bottomed out completely. I feared for my exhaust system but eventually the satnav was telling me ‘half a mile to go.’

I pulled into to the deserted track junction at 1,700 feet ASL with a mixture of relief and a nagging concern as to whether I would get back. Shouldering the rucksack without any real need to change the battery, I was on my way in good time by 10:28. The approx. 13 mile drive had taken under 30 minutes.

Leaving the Coal Road at SD 7796 8805 you walk via the track, turning left at the gate and sheep pen at SD 7768 8744 and thereafter, beside the fence. The pathless bee-line of old is now just a distant memory and the above ‘two sides of a triangle’ is far more civilised and less demanding on the feet. The boggy bits of ground were mostly frozen and the ascent took just under half an hour.

G/NP-015: GREAT KNOUTBERRY HILL, 672m, 4 pts. 10:56 to 11:46, 3 Deg.C. 15 mph wind. Thin low-cloud with hazy, then full sun. Lying snow: 0.5m x 2m drift along length of wall and patches elsewhere. IO84KP, WAB SD78. (EE - Orange phone signal.) Trig Point TP3461.

145.425 FM - 18 QSO’s:
As the battery had already supported the NP6 activation, the power was set down at 10 Watts apart from the QSO with a marginal G4WHA/M Geoff, whence 25 Watts was briefly used. QRO with FM is hard on batteries whereas 25 Watts of SSB is quite forgiving.

Stations worked between 11:04 to 11:40z: G3UDA Ken-Shrewsbury; G4RQJ Rob-Walney Island (thanks for the spot); M0SSD George-Dalton in Furness; M0VHG Vince-Long Preston; 2E0RWB Ron-Nelson; G6LKB Dave-Ulverston (for the trig point and SOTA); G0HRT Rob-Southport; G8MIA Andy Rugeley, Staffs; G6ODU Bob-Ormskirk; 2E0MIX Derek-Whitehaven; G4YLB Jim-Darwen; G4OBK Phil-Pickering; 2E0KXD Chris-Gleadless, Sheffield; G0NAJ John-7mls East of Manchester; G4WHA/M Geoff-Penrith; 2E0RYP Chris- Warrington; G4ZWY Steve-Bromyard, Hereforshire and G1HZR Keith-Doncaster.

Incoming signals were mostly 59 with a 52 for G4WHA/M and 31 in return. Other than that reports on my signal ranged from 53 to 58 with one 59.

Just as I was finishing off, I heard voices. Three chaps were arriving and as is often the case, they were curious about the antenna. However the first question they asked was, ‘Is that your car down there?’ They had come on the train and alighting at Dent station had walked up the hill. I had thoughts of getting out that way until I was informed that the road was covered in black ice. I resolved to chance my arm once again and go out the way I came in. With any luck I would ‘sledge’ back over the drifts whilst hopefully not having to waste time tying my exhaust up with the aircraft locking wire I carry for the purpose.

The descent took until 12:06 followed by a 35 minute, 12 mile drive to Kidhow Gate along a surprisingly snow-free Cam Houses road. Well, almost. In theory this 1,900 foot ASL road should have been worse than the first one but it was south facing and there was less snow on Dodd Fell than on Gt Knoutberry. There were patches of compressed snow turned to ice but they presented no problem compared to the Coal Road. All three gates were open saving valuable time and once again, I took the liberty of driving an extra 320m up the Pennine Way track to a point by a wall where the snow track’s covering started in earnest. Lazy? Maybe but when there are four SOTA’s to cram into a short day, time is of the essence.

While I was preparing for the walk, a couple approached. They turned out to be the owners of the farm at Seathwaite, the yard of which you must walk through to access Scafell Pike. I agreed with their comments; walking the Dales is somewhat easier than the rocky tops of the Lake district.

At Kidhow Gate, park near the gate at SD 8298 8339 and walk up the Pennine Way North. (Today I drove as far as SD 8305 8370 along the PW.) A minor path leaves the track at SD 8339 8434 but it is not obvious and easily lost. From there it’s steeply up via SD 8344 8435, crossing a beck at SD 8352 8432 and following a boggy track via SD 8364 8434, SD 8376 8439, SD 8386 8443 and SD 8397 8453 to the ‘moated’ trig, today frozen solid.

A new 6Ah battery replaced the one used on NP6 & NP15 and the start time for the ascent of NP16 was 12:57. With only small snow patches to hinder me, I was soon at the trig point.

NP-016: DODD FELL HILL, 668m, 4 pts, 13:20 to 14:08, 2 Deg.C. 15 mph wind. Thin low-cloud and sunshine. Patches of lying snow. EE (Orange) phone signal. LOC: IO84VG, WAB: SD88. Trig Point.

Dodd Fell was the only target of the day without shelter or wall so I erected my newly acquired windbreak a few metres from the trig point. This is two section 3m wide x 1m high and made by Go Outdoors and is rather like a beach windbreak but lighter. It has three guy ropes, one for each of the three poles but I replaced the sectional poles with my own 1.3m slender carbon fibre sticks of the same type I use for dipole end supports.

I was able to get out of the wind by this means but the windbreak was not as easy to erect as I’d hoped; the guys tangling up in the stiff breeze and there were problems inserting the sticks into frozen ground. Also the included angle between the two 1.5m x 1m halves ended up quite small because of wind pressure. However, total weight is 470gm so little penalty there and it rolls up to be carried like my HF mast on the outside of the rucksack.

145.400/ 145.425 FM - 7 QSO’s:
Dodd Fell has caused me difficulties in the distant past when it comes to VHF but this time I had more power available and there are now considerably more chasers than in the winters of 2002-2003. The plan was to use the new battery on this and the next summit so I set the power to 10 Watts initially with the proviso that the final CQ’s would be put out with 25 Watts to give everybody a chance.

A CQ on 145.500 attracted the attention of GW4AZS/P Adrian S2S on GW/MW-001. We QSY’d to 145.400 and exchanged with 52 both ways. After changing to 145.425, I worked: G6XBF Walt-Leeds; M0RSF Chris-Leeds; G1OHH Sue-Lancaster; M6DHV Dave-Walney Island; M0SSD George-Dalton in Furness and G1PIE Mark-Preston who took the trig point, the WAB square and the SOTA from me. The final two were worked with 25 Watts and after a brief return to S20. A decision had been made to try for NP9 next and that intention was announced on the air and kindly posted by Chris M0RSF.

Due to a minor fight with the windbreak, it took a little longer to pack up but I was away and back to the car by 14:26. As I set off for Bishopdale a glance at my schedule told me that I was slightly ahead of time. The 12 mile drive in sunshine, which included some reversing for a massive tractor with muck filled trailer, took until 15:00 and there were lots of photos of Langstrothdale to take on the way. It could be seen from there that Buckden Pike looked almost free of snow; a pleasing sight indeed.

The walk started at 15:04 with every prospect of getting back to the car before dark

NP9 ROUTE (Tweaked):
From the quarry parking place at SD 9455 7996 (413m ASL) the way goes initially up the tarmac, through a gate at SD 9454 8000, across fields then through a second gate at SD 9475 7979. A path across pasture land, today filled with grazing ewes, connects the two.

Today I followed a sheep path (indistinct in places) via: SD 9493 7964 and SD 9514 7965, then up to SD 9521 7966 which is on the 2011 route. Pass through a gateless gap in the wall at SD 9534 7954 and up steep ground to SD 9539 7951. Cross Cow Close Gill beside by the wall at SD 9546 7947, loosing a few metres here.

From the Gill crossing, swing right (south) to pick up the meagre path again at SD 9547 7936 and SD 9551 7933. Less than 300m later this wall-path joins the ‘main drag’ coming up from Cray, at SD 9565 7921. The Cray path now takes you all the way to the top, via SD 9609 7885 in luxurious manner, being surfaced with fine gravel and stepped in places apart from one rough section.

The above route is a slight variation on the one followed last time I came this way. The sheep path near the start bypasses some boggy ground enabling a climb from the car to the top of around 40 minutes. I think the variation makes it easier and it’s no further. Who said sheep were stupid?

BUCKDEN PIKE, G/NP-009, 702m, 6pts, 15:44 to 17:00. 4C initially, 0C at sunset. 15 mph. Sunshine. Lying snow in patches with a 1m deep x 2m wide drift on the east side of the wall. Nil Orange mobile coverage. LOC: IO84XE, WAB: SD97. Trig Point.

As I topped out I could see the deserted trig point, the stone stack and the wooden pole that occupy the summit. On top of the pole was what looked like a raven. As I approached it flew off but not before I had the camera up and ready. The shot I took was especially good as the raven flew away against a backdrop of cloud flowing down off distant hills. I sent this photo to the BBC and it was featured on the Look North weather forecast the evening after.

145.450 FM - 28 QSO’s:
The equipment was set up on the lee side of the wall over the stile from the trig point. After kicking a seat in the sizeable snow drift and sticking the short antenna mast and half-wave vertical into the top of the wall, all was ready. Settling down with fine views in the last of the sunshine, I logged a goodly selection of stations between 15:55 and 16:50z with a 25 Watt power output. This much interest was not expected.

As I checked the frequency, G7MZE called from his cliff-top QTH in Filey. Roger and I sat our RAE together way back in 1983. Since then he has been into RAYNET. After turning his beam my way, we exchanged at 59/ 55.

The remaining stations were logged as follows: M6FJC Callum-Barnsley; G4IBS Geoff-Darwen; M0XLT Kevin-Gargrave; MW0PAD Paddy-2mls south of Holyhead, Anglesey; G6HMN Ray-Colne; M6VGU Kevin-Burnley; G8VNW Nick-Threshfield; G1OHH Sue-Lancaster; M0SSD George-Dalton in Furness; MD3OED Rhett-Port Erin, IOM; G0STK Allan-York; M0IGG Steve-Walney Island; G0HRT Rob-Southport; G4BLH Mike-Nelson; G6ODU Bob-Ormskirk; G4OBK Phil-Pickering; GM4WHA Geoff-Annan; M6AIA Andy-Dewsbury; G6XBF Walt-Leeds; M0XRS Chris-Leyland; 2E0MIX Derek-Whitehaven; G1OAE Tony-Workington; M0LUD Graham-Wakefield; EI9GGB Michael-Wexford; EI9GLB Jim (in Michael’s shack)-Wexford; 2E0OGZ Gary-Durham and 2E0WJC Bill-Pudsey.

Buckden Pike is more east than west of the Pennines so the contacts into Eire (helpfully alerted to me by Mike G4BLH) came as something of a surprise. The exchanges were 57/ 52 perhaps with a bit of QSB. Phil G4OBK reported my signal as 59 going abruptly down to 53 which made me think the TX was defective as the rig is secondhand. However, that could have had more to do with the lift conditions bringing in unwanted signals rather than any fault at my end as all other stations confirmed steady signals.

After a reluctance to leave the fine weather and good views, the final return to the car was completed at 17:30 just before nightfall. I almost tripped over a rake on the way down and stood it up by the wall restrained by the wire. It was half covered by grass and lying near a pallet of stones which were obviously intended for path repairs. No doubt the rake had been used to smooth out the gravel surface which covers the path in places but it looked like it had been there for some time.

The 80 mile drive home via A684 & Sutton Bank, completed between 17:38 & 19:38.

Total: 70 QSO’s on 2m-FM only; comprising:
NP6: 17
NP16: 7
NP9: 28

NP6 & NP15: 6 Ah Li-Po 75% discharged.
NP16 & NP9: 6 Ah Li-Po 68% discharged.
Total power used: 8.6 Ah. (72% of the total 12Ah).

Round Trip Ascent & Distance:
NP6: 195m (640ft) ascent, 7.1 km. (4.4 mls). Times 54U, 41D.
NP15: 176m (577ft) ascent, 3.9 km. (2.4 miles). Times 28U, 20D.
NP16: 94m (308ft) ascent, 3.6 km (2.3 miles). Times 23U-18D.
(NP16 is usually 4.2 km from Kidhow. Reduced by driving 320m along the PW today)
NP9: 297m (974ft) ascent / 4.8km (3.0 miles) up/down. Times 40U, 30D.
TOTAL: 762m (2,500ft) Ascent - 19.4km (12.1 miles) walked.
Times: 2hr-25 min of ascent; 1hr-49 min descent. Total: 4hr-14 min at 2.9mph ave.

Walking time: 4hr-14 min.
Summit time: NP6: 1h-6m. NP15: 50m. NP16: 48m. NP9: 1h-16m. Tot: 4hr-0m.

Distance driven: 203 miles. (86+13+12+12+80).
Activator points: 32 (inc 12 WB).

Scarborough: 04:45
Arr. Buttertubs (86 miles): 07:00
Walk for NP6: 07:23
NP6: 08:11 to 09:17
Rtn. Buttertubs: 09:58

Drive 13 miles to Coal Rd: 10:00 to 10:26
Walk for NP15: 10:28
NP15: 10:56 to 11:46
Rtn. Coal Rd: 12:06

Drive 12 miles to PW past Kidhow: 12:15 to 12:50
Walk for NP16: 12:57
NP16: 13:20 to 14:08
Rtn. car at PW: 14:26

Drive 12 mile to Bishopdale: 14:30 to 15:00
Walk for NP9: 15:04
NP9: 15:44 to 17:00
Rtn. Bishopdale: 17:30
Drive home 80 miles: 17:38 & 19:38.

Though I made the excuse to Kevin M0XLT in Gargrave that today was part of a quest to increase the use of the 2m band in the Yorkshire Dales, the main reason was to accrue winter bonus whilst reducing the weight on my shoulders. Compared with HF-QRO, that and the much reduced setting up and multi-band operating times enabled four NP’s to be completed between dawn and dusk without ‘killing’ myself.

It is surprising to note that though 12 miles were covered in the day, these four summits added together only rated 2,500 feet of ascent. Quite a bargain considering the points gained. There was some risk attached in accessing the high roads beside which lie the summits of Great Knoutberry and Dodd Fell but it was these two ‘easy’ summits which provided most of the efficiency.

It was pleasing to make contact with Adrian on GW/MW-001 but he was the sole S2S in the day. The 2m band was in an enhanced propagation state which I should have expected judging by the high pressure in charge over much of the UK but it still came as a surprise. Best DX was Portishead in Somerset but Southern Ireland wasn’t bad on FM either.

The WX was nothing short of glorious all day apart from some bits of wispy low-cloud on NP15 and NP16. Clouds were in evidence flowing down off surrounding hills into the valleys below which gave a visual indication of the temperature inversion which was providing the lift conditions.

Due chiefly to the small number of QSO’s from Dodd Fell, always a bit of a VHF desert for me, nobody managed to collect all four summits. Two stations came close; M0SSD George-Dalton in Furness and 2E0MIX Derek in Whitehaven. Later analysis will no doubt show others who scored three summits.

All these NP’s with the possible exception of Buckden Pike, have bogs waiting to swallow the unwary. Today, these were mostly frozen over leaving snow patches as the sole impediment to fast travel; some of which were extensive on NP6 and deep enough to reach the fence tops in places. The snow was coated by a sandpaper like icy crust which provided grip on the few occasions it didn’t collapse under the boot. As has been the case in the past, the Coal Road barely allowed safe passage to NP15 and waiting until the snow had thawed sufficiently was certainly worth it.

I must say I think WAB have come up with a great scheme with their Trig Point Award. I was able to offer three trig points in the day. Despite it being the highest, Great Shunner Fell doesn’t have a trig but I made sure I was operating within 30m of the others. I like any association with WAB and greatly admire their friendliness, operating skills and methods. I trust that WAB’s popularity will now increase still further but with so many SOTA operators available, many offering trig points, I hope 7.160 doesn’t become overwhelmed.

Seeing my photo of Buckden Pike’s summit on the BBC Look North weather forecast gave me some pleasure. The presenter, Paul took the time to describe it briefly, most notably the cloud on the distant hills. This is the first time I have sent a valid photo in, though there is a prolific photographer with the same name as I who regularly scores successes on Look North.

I hope to be out operating on 2m-FM from a SOTA (or three) again next week so here’s hoping for some more good WX and no additional snow.

Thanks to ALL STATIONS WORKED; for the friendly conversations throughout the day and to the spotters: G0VOF Mark (NP6); G4RQJ Rob (NP15); M0RSF Chris (NP16) and Nick G8VNW (NP9).

14 down - 10 to go.

73, John G4YSS.
(Using GX0OOO/P; Scarborough Special Events Group Club Call)

Photos below: No’s: 19-59-96-135-146-170 G4YSS.

Above: Sunrise on Gt.Shunner NP6

Above: Gt Knoutberry NP15 visitors. Two from Lancs, one from Baildon. They travelled to Dent Station by train then walked up the black-iced road.

Above: My new windbreak by Go Outdoors. Trials on Dodd Fell NP16.

Above: The route to Buckden Pike NP9. The snow mostly gone making for good progress.

Above: Arrival at Buckden Pike summit NP9 with raven in flight. Photo featured on BBC Look North weather forecast by paultheweatherman.co.uk on10-02-15.

Above: The Buckden Pike NP9 activation and sunset.


Another fantastic effort John, never ceases to amaze me how many summits you activate in one day and the speed of your ascents. A friend of mine Neil M3UNG and I activated G/NP-015 Great Knoutberry and then G/NP-006 Great Shunner Fell in the same day a while ago. Both summits were bog trots and our feet were so wet ascending G/NP-006 that we gave up trying to avoid the boggy parts and trudged straight through them instead laughing as we went. Unfortunately Lovely Seat had been removed as we would have liked to get that one in from the same parking spot.

Your Buckden Pike photo’s are excellent, especially the one that was featured on Look North.

Many thanks for the two summits that I chased you on during my breaks from work.

73 Chris M0RSF

Hi Chris,
Thanks for the reply. All I can say is that after all these years of activating, I’m used to it and I tend to set off early, which helps. Well at least fairly early as it can sometimes be 03:30 or earlier for the LD region. I can’t say I like it though. I have an irresistible urge to go to sleep when I arrive at the first parking place after 2 or 3 hours driving and quite a few times I have given in to that urge, particularly if it’s still dark and the wind is cold!

I’m completely with you there. Grimy Gutter Hags can be a terrible place unless it’s frozen like it was this time. Usually, I am like you and lucky if I don’t get a bootful or two. I’m pleased you can laugh at it. My attitude is quite the opposite so it’s a good thing there are usually only a few grouse to hear the cursing.

As for Lovely Seat, I was gutted when they removed its Marilyn status. I have enjoyed activating NP30 from Buttertubs no less that 9 times but 2010 was the last. Pity because though I wouldn’t describe it as ‘lovely’ there is a seat at the top, a bit like the one on Gt Knoutberry. It’s certainly a nice little grassy mountain and totally overlooked by most walkers. Despite walking in the Dales a lot, I never did it before SOTA in 2002.

If you look at the map there is a difference of 149m between the spot heights of the road near the cattle grid and the summit. At that you think, why was it a SOTA in the first place? The answer seems to be that you have to descend at least a metre down a boggy bit just after leaving the road which makes it 150m. Sadly that is no argument now apparently. It has obviously been resurveyed and the relative map heights are now wrong. It is out of the SOTA organization’s hands of course. They just went by the book and removed the points which is right and proper until somebody in authority tells them different. One SOTA has been removed, put back in and removed again. I think that’s called Baystones but I never got around to doing it.

NP30 will now be a HuMP no doubt but if you really fancy having a go at it as a SOTA, we need to raise a team of 50 activators with shovels to dig the low point deeper. When we’ve finished that we can have a go at turning Scafell (ex G/NP-002) back into a 10 pointer!

Just to complete the nostalgia trip for me and to show you what NP30 is like, here is a photo of the lovely seat at the top.

Above: Lovely Seat SOTA G/NP-030 on 08-02-07 (G4YSS)

Yes, thanks for chasing those two and see you again next time.
73, John.

Hi John,

Thanks for another brilliant report & for the first contact of the day on G/NP-006 Great Shunner Fell. I had hoped to be back at work on Monday but after getting out of bed earlier I was still suffering from the Flu, & yes it was a proper debilitating Flu, not “Man-Flu” :wink:

I knew you were going to be out early so I left the radio on 145.500 & thankfully caught your CQ. It was nice to have a quick chat & I listened to your following contacts. It was nice to hear how pleased you were to work Portishead, a place that is a familiar name to anyone who has been around on radio for a while.

After you had finished I spent the rest of the day making sure I was fit for work on Tuesday so my QSO with you was the only one I had all day. Thankfully although this Flu came on quickly & ruined my weekend, it has seemed to leave almost as fast & by Wednesday evening I was pretty much back to normal, if I could ever be such a thing :wink:

Thanks again & best 73,

Mark G0VOF

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the reply which I have only just noticed.

Pleased you got rid of the flu. You must be pretty fit if you threw it off quickly. I have been plagued with sore throats since mid October, only going away for periods of 1 to 3 weeks; enough to get some operating in. December was nearly clear of it though. All these germs are the down side to life. I had to see the doc today due to bronchitis again but I’m hoping it will shift soon. I got some pills but only if required. The doc & I are in agreement. No antibiotics if you can manage without so I am fighting back with exercise, fresh air and sleep at the moment. I will need to be out soon if I am going to hit targets but no pressure yet.

You are right. I was pleased and surprised to work into Portishead on 2-FM. I don’t go looking for raised conditions so when they occur it’s a bonus (unless you’re in a tearing great hurry of course.) 2m-FM seemingly needs some attention in the Dales but there are so many bands and modes in SOTA that you can’t cover them all. Also there are some like Hoove, the Mells and Burnhope Seat that struggle to cooperate with VHF. Interesting to see that despite an almost World-wide removal of the Morse requirement some years ago now, CW is still SOTA’s top mode.

It would be nice to get in some Top Band!

Hope I’ll be out and working you sometime soon likely on 2-FM.
73, John.