Mountain Mule?

Just a (very tongue in cheek) suggestion for a new award.
Criteria - failed activation
my eligible ascents (to date):
GM/SS-276 no contacts
G/TW-001 forgot the radio to connect the aerial to the battery
GW/NW-070 no contacts
G/TW-004 no contacts

Sorry if I’m being too lighthearted!

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I managed no contacts from Detling Hill twice. The first time I broke my antenna when the tripod it was on blew over. The second time I abandoned the attempt because of an approaching thunderstorm (and “interesting” static levels) and dented my car on the way out of the car park. It took a bit of persuading to get me to go back…

By comparison, the Wilmington Hill activation, during which I broke the top of my antenna pole, so could only set up one of the antennas I’d taken up, and then managed three (and only three) QSOs counts as a brilliant success… :wink:

Maybe a new reflector category “FAILED activations reports” would be both instructive and funny…

I hope I am not the only one who has been about to call CQ on a summit and realized he forgot the summit reference…


Thankfully I would have nothing to report… I’ve had a few near “misses” though:

The most frustrating and annoying day ever was 25th February 2014 when conditions on 2m were dire. The weather wasn’t any better. On both Tinto GM/SS-064 and Dungavel Hill GM/SS-165 I spent so long trying to qualify the summit on 2m SSB that I had to add a couple of HF contacts to the log using Paul G4MD’s set up.

Other “difficult” days were -

5th April 2006, Houseden Hill G/SB-010, back in the days when I was only running 2m SSB. I made one contact and then had to bungie the beam to the mast and use 2m FM to raise the guys up in Edinburgh. The summit was qualified with the assistance of Ally 2M0PMR who rallied the local troops.

23rd May 2009, Gamallt GW/NW-065 - another 2m SSB activation from a screened summit. I managed two contacts in quick succession and then nothing for an hour. Thankfully it was another joint activation, so I crossed to Paul’s position and requested that he ask one of his chasers to spot me. John GW4BVE did so and I managed another 4 contacts including John.

14th November 2010 Nine Standards Rigg G/NP-018 - despite being on charge for well over 24 hours, the 12A SLAB I was using expired as soon as I went to transmit. It was a bizarre occurrence really, as I had LiPOs in the car and was only using the SLAB so that I had enough battery power for the next couple of days as a total of six summits were planned. I now take my charging kit with me on all outings where an overnight stay is involved. NP-018 was qualified using my 1W handheld.

As for broken antennas, I did once have to use the aluminium foil my lunch was wrapped in to mend the dipole on the 2m beam, using a stick and a couple of tie wraps to splint the joint. I worked well for 3 activations.

…and as for summit references, yes I have had to ask several times. Much more common is someone calling in for the WAB square - usually I haven’t got a clue!

After a drive of 1.5 hours I found in the parking lot that I have the bag with my alex loop antenna forgotten at home. On Sunday, no stores nearby are open where I could buy wire for an antenna. So I went back home without points. Since then, I check my equipment always twice before departure.

Another interesting subject Rick … What is worse 3 contacts or none?

Sorry Tom but that cannot qualify for the Mule award - you didn’t lug the equipment up the hill
For the same reason I’ll have to delete my G/TW-004 !

Three is a seriously frustrating number of contacts, but at least with one, two, or three contacts the summit counts as activated, even if you don’t score any points for it, so none is definitely worse… :wink:

I think I would rather not submit a log to the database if I got 1, 2 or 3 contacts. I would be cursing because I had to go back to activate the summit again, but that’s just me being a Uniques Activator… I consider making less than 10 contacts to be a sub-standard activation. Isn’t making 3 a bit like coming 4th in the Olympics? :frowning:

Someone is failing to grasp the rules here as you only need 1 contact to be a Uniques activator. :wink:

Edit: I forgot the wink, just added now!

[quote=“MM0FMF, post:10, topic:11210”]1 contact to be a Uniques activator.[/quote]Heh! The Ultimate Uniques Activator makes exactly one QSO during his single visit to each summit… :wink: :wink: :wink:

I hadn’t thought of that! I think that’s another potential award- the “Pointless Activator” for those with the most activations without any points. Truly selfless😇
I’m too shallow and like the points! (And the walk and the camaraderie)

I love making contacts, but am sometimes grateful for the 4!

Failed activations?

How about:
Beacon Batch (G/SC-003) July 2012, one qso before a load of ponies came along and seemingly took a liking to my linked dipole and sotapole. result was a link dipole snapped in several places, and 3 or 4 bits snapped off the pole :frowning: I swear they were laughing as they wandered away.
Had to return a couple of weeks later to qualify it!

Brown Clee Hill (G/WB-002) 2012. Probably a mistake to try on the day when Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France! - 2 qsos on 20M, nothing at all elsewhere…
Back couple of weeks later to qualify it! (Didn’t really mind as its only about 10 miles away!)

Pico Ruivo do Paul (CT3/MI-006 ) January 2013. Phone was flat, wouldn’t charge, couldn’t self spot. MFJ Travel tuner fubarred by some baggage handler somewhere. Ended up trying to measure out wire to cobble together a 20M dipole, obviously wasn’t great, with one QSO to Greece (and a failed QSO to someone mobile around Blackpool… quite random!)
This one was quite a bit more than 10 miles away, but I just HAD to go back and do it again earlier this year :slight_smile:

True dedication Don! My respect and congratulations. I set off this morning from Thwaite to conquer Shunner thinking is this wise (the forecast was 30mph gusting to 50 on the top). “Fortunately” I met a walker descending with a bad foot/ankle. I decided that was the sign from above and aborted my mission to help him. Always a next time

My most memorable failed activation was Watch Hill G/LD-054, particularly memorable because it was the first hill I failed to qualify, and it was my Silver Wedding Anniversary. I got one contact, then spent too long failing to get an S2S with Great Orme. Martyn qualified on 5MHz, but light was fading so we had to descend.

Moel-y-gest GW/NW-067 has also evaded us twice. The first time we just ran out of time. The second we took a wrong route and ended up in a quarry with no way up to the summit, we backtracked and found another path, but that led to the wrong summit, and we didn’t have time to attempt to find a way between the two summits. Little hills can often be difficult!

We’ve also managed to forget equipment, but when activating in pairs there’s some hope that the other person will have what’s missing.

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I myself have had 7 failed activations in the past year including an 11,600ft peak requiring 5,200+ climb and electrocution on another peak during a thunderstorm (yes graphite poles in rain storm bad idea, but at least I did not fry my radio). So the dumb mule award would probably be appropriate for me :wink:

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This topic resonates with me:

  • W2/GA-010, forgot battery-to-radio cable
  • W2/GA-061, 2 contacts, Winter activation so couldn’t stay longer
  • W2/WE-068, 2 contacts, Winter
  • W1/AM-007, 2 contacts, Winter, limited peak time
  • W1/GM-001, 0 contacts, Winter. Effin cold, but a nice day with a great view.
  • W2/GA-370, 1 contact, Winter
  • W2/GA-046, 2 contacts.

The main problem is that I didn’t get spotted in 6 out of 7 of the above disappointments.

I almost had another one. I was travelling in South Africa, and got permission to operate. Got on a SOTA peak with a verticle hoping for some DX. I heard nothing on 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m and 20m except for a PY call that couldn’t hear my 12 watts. The activation was saved when I set up a dipole for 40m and had several nice QSOs with South African operators.

I’ve been muled twice this year! March 14th this year, Patterdale with the climbing club, intended to do LD-018, Stoney Cove Pike with a nice covering of snow, I found my boots were still in Birmingham, so substituted LD-037 Little Mell Fell (in Karrimore walking shoes), got to the top and found I had no power lead! Back at the hut found the power lead on the floor where it had fallen out while I was packing the rucksack. Fast forward to June 5th, I intended to do a lightweight activation of LD-035 Great Mell Fell after the MT meeting, got to the top and the rig would not power up! I had spent a lazy fifteen minutes reclined and taking in the view (that summit is a great viewpoint) when Andy MM0FMF turned up, so I had the pleasure of watching the accomplished way he had set up and was working DX in an amazingly short time - as they say, you are never too old to learn!

Anyway, a nice pair of summits and a nice pair of mulings! (Oh, and the rig failing to power up was a very dead NiMH cell!)


I think I’ve been very lucky so far with muling incidents. I forgot my GoreTex jacket once and having put my boots on to discover it missing, took my boots off and came home. That was 2007. 2008 I forgot my SLAB but as I was getting ready a dodgy sky turned to heavy rain. Back in the car and home.

That was that till:

22-Apr-2014 GM/ES-074 - Ord Ban, got to the top and setup as rain started. I was away for several days and didn’t want to get the gear wet before I’d got to the real destination. 0 contacts as I ran back to the car.

10/Jun/2015 PA/PA-002 (Vrouwenheide) Just 2 contacts, 20m works great from Scotland to Europe. But when you move South 1200km, 30m is a better choice except the 30m antenna was 1200km away back home. 2 contacts.

13/Jun/2015 F/NO-047 (Moulin de Thilay) same problem here 20m was the wrong choice. But as I had activated ON/ON-006 (La Croix Scaille) OK and the distance I moved from ON-006 to NO-047 was about 3m, I hadn’t made a big trip for no gain! 3 contacts.

I forgot the log paper last week on Turner Cluech Law & The Wiss but had some spare paper that worked.