Lost log F/AB-427 and 10m on F/AB-362

In theory the descent from Tete Noir to Col de la Forclaz (1746m - 1533m) should have taken about 20 minutes, followed by a 1.5 hour walk back into Les Houches village down wide easy to follow tracks. However I lost the track and then found that I had also lost the compass out of the middle of the holder, hung around my neck. I knew I only had to head sw and I would pickup any number of trails, but in dense trees and rapidly failing light I descended north. Eventually after an hour or so I found a rough logging trail, which I followed until a fallen tree blocked the path, I thought the track continued and so climbed over the tree, but it didnt and then could not find the track again. By this time it was midnight and I was seriously considering spending the night on the hill, I had water and shelter and it was actually quite pleasant. However my wife had been unable to contact me and called mountain rescue, they called me on my mobile and wanted me to keep walking down. I did this for another 30 minutes or so and picked up another logging trail. I then followed the trail for several hours and eventually came out of the forest at Servoz (approx 800m asl) at round 3am. The relief didnt last long when I realised I had a climb up to Les Houches 1100m several km away.

In the process I lost a watch, a compass, lots of skin and part of my log book, but I gained quite a bit of experience as well.

I would appreciate it if you could email me any contact details for the F/AB-427 activation and also any 10m contacts on F/AB-362.

Nigel. F/G6SFP/P

Some more next week when my wife has lifted the sota ban.

In reply to G6SFP:
Hi Nigel
Glad to hear you eventually made it out of the forest, you must have guts to venture abroad on overseas activations of that type without our excellent OS Maps - not sure what the maps are like in France. The amount of ascent you made must have been immense.
It was bad luck your compass falling to bits, something you would never imagine, and who would carry a spare compass?
I listened for you on 10m but heard nowt, we did work on F/AB-427 on 40m SSB at 19:24z though.
See you next week if you get the nod from the XYL to go!
Phil G4OBK

In reply to G6SFP:

Hi Nigel

Sorry to hear of your escapade but thank God you are ok and managed to find your way out of the forest.

We worked…

F/AB-427 7Mhz-ssb at 1921utc
F/AB-362 14Mhz-ssb at 1633utc

Hope this helps and good luck with your XYL, hope to hear you next week.


In reply to G4OBK:

It was bad luck your compass falling to bits, something you would never imagine

I noticed my Silva compass was falling apart on Creaggan na Beinne last Winter. The metal spring that holds the rotating part was working its way out of the slot. I poked it back in with a penknife blade and reseated it properly when I got home.

and who would carry a spare compass?

Two of the blokes at work, who are proper hill walkers, always take a small spare compass. Partly as a result of having lost compasses on previous trips.


In reply to G6SFP:
Hi Nigel,sorry to hear about your escapades but glad it had a happy ending !

We worked on F/AB-362 14Mhz SSB @ 1624 utc & on F/AB-427 7Mhz SSB @ 1924 utc

73 Graham

PS hope the XYL’s SOTA-ban is soon lifted !

In reply to G6SFP:

Glad you got down safely Nigel eventually! and pleased to have worked you from AB-362 on 14170 at 1629z RS 59x59.
Cheers Jeff G4ELZ

Thanks for the 4 contact details I have received for Tete Noir F/AB-427 on Tuesday evening.
Before I enter them in the database are there any others ?.
Nigel. F/G6SFP/P

In reply to G6SFP:

Hi Nigel,

The mountains require some discipline for safety. Apparently you did not do the necessary home work before the expedition. The preparation starts by studying the maps and other information available for the outing. In addition to compass you need also an altimeter. GPS with programmed way points is very useful if you get lost. But you should at least prepare a route plan card, which has fixed points on the route with map coordinates, compass bearings and altitudes. The mountains should always be climbed up on known paths (if there are none then it is a difficult outing) so the way points are likely to be on these paths.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

In reply to F5VGL:

The mountains should always be climbed up on known paths

Well you wont be climbing many summits in Scotland then!

(if there are none then it is a difficult outing)

Most certainly are!



In reply to G6SFP:

Phew! Just reading your report made me come out in a cold sweat.

I am glad you can take something good out of the experience. I am sure your preparation will be more intense next time and you will no doubt take more time to remember landmarks on the way up, to look for on the way down. Maybe this was a case in point for chalk as a rucksack essential. I use it on summits to point they way I came up so we return the same way. You could maybe have marked the trees on the way up and followed them back down (not much good if you get lost on the assent). I usually have a map, compass, two GPS’s and spare batteries because I have always been a little worried that this might happen to me and as I usually have the XYL and some of my kids with me. Having said that I do have a compass that points south rather than north so I should buy a new one.

I hope you can convince the wife to let you out again. I had hell off Helen when I did Moel Famau in the snow. Friends convinced her I would be coming home via helicopter on a stretcher.

73 Steve GW7AAV