As some chasers will know, I have been having problems with a sprained ankle since February (a hidden hole on GW/SW-013) which is refusing to settle but is sometimes almost ‘there’. Bearing in mind that we (with M0JLA) are booked for a trip to the Isle of Mull and then near Pitlochry in mid June, we were expecting to be improving our fitness during April and May and 4 nights were booked near Dolgellau 2 - 7 May. The ankle has other ideas so we are still going but I shall be slower (and lower) than I would otherwise have been (weather permitting) and I will need a considerable amount of help from the locals (and visitors with ‘handies’ on the hills and beaches …) to qualify some of the likely summits.
Our plans are flexible but it is possible that I may make more than one visit to GW/NW-055 Foel Offrwm (if I can get up it on the super new path) and my success rate on 2m and 70cm fm on 5w has been ‘variable’. The worst was when both of us went up in late August with just my dipole and obtained 2 contacts each -1 on each band from Mike 2W0WMW just round the corner in Rhydymain and absolutely no-one else despite our very best efforts. Hearing of this, in July 2021, GW4VPX rallied the local facebook group I believe (thanks Allan) and I was stunned to log 14 contacts including 6 on 70cm!
I do hope that I will be able to get this sort of help when I also tackle (if lucky) GW/NW-074 (Craig y Castell which is tucked under Cadair Idris), GW/NW-052 (M Cwmcelli) and, on the way in/out, GW/MW-017 (Garreg-hir) and GW/MW-015 (Bryn Amlwg) or GW/NW-061 (Y Golfa), GW/NW-059 (Allt y Main) or GW/MW-026 (Long Mt Beacon Ring)/Powis Castle gardens (NT)! If things go really well I might try something a bit higher GW/NW-041 (Moelfre or its higher neighbour 017) but the lower hills are more likely. At the same time M0JLA will be ascending (probably higher) summits and working on HF ssb and he also looks forward to lots of contacts. We will upload alerts when possible but my timings are likely to be even more erratic than usual.
Sorry to waste your time on attempts on such lowly summits when you have the exciting news and pictures of the recent Cairngorm expedition of Fraser and Ben (congratulations to both of you and thank you for letting us dream of such activities) but sometimes we all may find ourselves restricted to the lower hills. I am hoping that, in time, I will be able to set more ambitious targets and continue to increase the number of different callsigns I have talked to, which is, apparently, 3652! What wonderful statistics are provided for us by the super SOTA database - many thanks to all involved!