M6YLH: My 1st SOTA: G/NP-004 on 09-08-11
WHERNSIDE on 2m FM
2415 ft - 6 Points
WAB: SD78. IO84TF.
Accompanied by John G4YSS and my Son, Jack.
All times UTC.
IC-E90 Handheld, 5W to a half-wave vertical end-fed.
My 1st Summits On The Air activation was a success, despite being very nervous! This was actually my 11th mountain since I began walking up mountains with my Father-in-Law, John G4YSS, in March 2010. This was during the Winter Bonus, in which I expressed a desire to go to these places (as I’ve always been an outdoor person). John thought he would drop me in at the deep end and I climbed a very snowy Pen-y-Ghent for my 1st walk up a mountain. Over time, I got interested in getting my own Radio Amateur licence so I could also participate in this hobby. In May 2010, I struggled up Ben Nevis, but unfortunately I hadn’t got my licence so I sadly didn’t claim the 10 points!
We set off in John’s car at 06:05z from Irton, Scarborough and arrived approx. 09:05 parking the car near White Shaw Moss. After getting ready and strapping Jack into the child carrier that John carried, we set off walking at approx. 09:34z.
The ascent was very slow, due to John carrying Jack and the radio equipment for me and himself but mainly me as I have trouble with my joints and chronic back pain, making the ascent and descent very hard indeed. I try not to let it stop me getting out because I would just stiffen up and that wouldn’t be good at all. I have to walk through the pain and the desire to get to the summit and achieve my goal is fantastic in boosting my confidence.
11 Deg C, Wind NW, about 15 mph. Quite sunny with bit of cloud.
We settled for a place by the wall not far from the trig point, near where some sand and cement bags had been dumped. John kindly set up my equipment for me while I tended to Jack (3.5 years old), who was complaining of tummy pains.
2m FM - 12 QSO’s:
Roger G4OWG gave me my 1st ever SOTA QSO on 145.450 but this frequency became occupied. The following stations were worked on 145.400: G1OHH, G4FPJ, G4OBK, G3OPW, M3LCZ, G6ODU, G4ZRP, M6DLT/P, G1KLZ, G4PF and also a Summit to Summit with Rob G0HRT/P on the neighbouring summit of Ingleborough NP-005! Mostly good signal reports of 59, though there was a couple of 52 from Roger G4OWG nr Leeds Bradford Airport, Brian G4ZRP in the Liverpool area and a 57 from Phil G4OBK in Pickering.
After the 12 QSO’s, it was my turn to occupy Jack while John called CQ on HF. Jack was still suffering with a poorly tummy, but that didn’t stop him throwing himself around and tripping over tussocks, etc!
We began our descent at 14:12 and it took 40 minutes. We finally arrived in Irton, Scarborough at approx. 17:52. Just as well it didn’t take any longer because within minutes of stepping through the door, Jack started with a bit of sickness.
The distance driven was 120 miles each way and we cut out York, Harrogate and Knaresborough both ways.
This was a very interesting and enjoyable activation and of course will help calm the nerves for next time. I feel that I have achieved something to be proud of. I am really pleased about the S2S contact from Ingleborough on my 1st SOTA activation. Of course, the company certainly helps make the ascent more bearable!
A great big THANK YOU to my spotter G4OWG and also to all stations worked for your kindness, support and understanding. Suddenly, I found my mind went blank and I temporarily forgot who I was, and what I was doing! HI! I’m afraid that my nerves got the better of me at times so I appreciated your words of encouragement.
73’s to everyone - it was a pleasure!