Fred, I know you’re really just envious of Andy’s Anvil …and would love lugging that 100-lb beast up a 14er just for the fun of it!
I have found this thread really interesting, but like Fred I find I do not need to guy my pole. Usually, I lash the base to a nearby object, usually a tree stump, larger rock, or the like. This works quite nicely for me. I do carry three aluminum tent stakes and paracord just in case. I have yet to have a nice barren summit to activate.
Come to Scotland then! We have plenty of summits like this:
But repurposing the cairn and those scrap fence strainers is bad form. Even here, 7.5km walk from the car, 21km down a dead-end glen, you still meet walkers and commandeering the cairn is not acceptable. You have to get a bit off the true summit to play with wires across the hill.
I’d guess 40% of summits look like this with nothing suitable to lash the pole against.
Sure there are plenty of fences and rocks on other summits. But I can guy with 3 tent pegs and 3 lanyards in less time than I can build a rock base for the pole.
What we need is one of these on every summit, just ideal to slip the pole into!
Sadly this is about 400m lower than the summit and it’s the only such thing I’ve seen in 11.5 years of SOTA! The dude who installed this did a good job. That’s been exposed to Scottish weather for 60+years and it was corroded on the surface.
It’s a fundamental mark for the damn construction… there should be another one on the other hill and all the sightings were done from here.
I will trade you “things to lash a pole to” for that view.
I offer you these… I could have built something but I wanted to enjoy the view too, so guying was the answer. Mid-November too!
That’s kind of what I did so far. Here are the reasons why I looked for an guying alternative:
- No tree stumps on summits without vegetation
- I do not use Summit Crosses or Cairns
- I do want to choose the “right” place for the antenna … and not the tree stump
- In summer I often had the problem, that at the shady places there were no suitable tree stumps
73 Martin, OE5REO
Has anyone any tips for winter mast guying, ie in ice/snow?
I find that my light 5m carbon pole can be simply pushed into consolidated snow and stays put. Sometimes I have to break through the hard Neve with an ice axe first, but then it goes in no probs. If you’re looking for a lightweight snow anchor then these may be of interest:
They would be easy to make at home.
de OE6FEG / M0FEU
As most people have already said, my preferred option is bungee cords around a fence post (or similar sturdy object).
Failing that its a couple of lightweight tent pegs.
I have longer guy wires than I need so that I have enough length to tie around large objects (if the summit is rocky then you can use large rocks/boulders).
I prefer not to have guy wires if I can help it though due to the risk of other people tripping over them. Not really an issue on the quieter summits, but there are plenty of summits which do get busy.
Bungee cord and tent pegs are what go in my backpack!
A triangle of 9mm plywood with three corner holes and a big centre hole cut with a Forstner bit [from both sides down a common pilot hole] are how my guying rings are made. Polypropylene cord for guy lines and any old tent pegs. I did give Richard money for kite winders. It all lives in a beat up Jiffy bag envelope.
I do like a screw-in tube thingy / ground spike for plain moorland summits where no fence posts or trig points are provided. I undo the end cap of the roach pole and slide it over. Sometimes there was no wind so no guying was needed.
The majority of “summits” in my neck of the woods (VE7/CL & CV) are quite rocky, with no man-made features, too little soil for pegging and no “scree” or loose rocks to build up a cairn or to lash a guy line to. Luckily, most of our lower summits have the odd tree so I have been deploying either my doublet or my EFHW from a tree.
However, I would like to use my 5m pole more often to try a vertical and also in preparation for the higher summits here that are treeless or have very stunted small trees. I really have no idea though how I am going to mount the pole in those circumstances.
Any ideas appreciated.
I’ve bungeed poles to tree stumps and stunted trees, worst case scenario once operated with the pole wedged between my clenched knees (not easy, not recommended…)
73 de Paul G4MD
We are fortunate around here to have have lots of trees on most summits so poles are not often required. Just throw a light rope over a limb and haul up the antenna.
Where a pole is needed I use ratchet tie down straps to lash to a suitable point.
I use the same tie down strap to fasten the pole to my back pack.
I have used waterbottles, pack etc as anchors for my mast which is about 18’ when I get hard up.
We don’t get many concrete ‘stumps’ growing on our hills
On softer ground such as we get on many of our moorland summits, I sometimes use a short (1ft) length of plastic waste pipe just a little bit wider than the base/bottom of my pole. I’ve cut the end of the pipe at a diagonal for easier penetration into the soil, drilled an inch hole near the top so it can be pulled out and that has served me quite well. A short small slot down the side of the tube also makes any soild removal easier… Weights next to nowt and cost nothing.
After my first attempt to guy a pole by myself, in the wind, on a bare summit, I gave up the entire notion of guying. Six hundred activations later I still haven’t guyed a pole again. The alternative is to “brace” the pole by using the wire antenna to pull the pole to one side. Now, if there are trees I use the pole to hang the insulated wire over a limb. If there are only bushes, I stick the pole in amidst the branches leaning the pole slightly in the direction of the inverted-L wire. If there are neither, there is usually a crevice between rocks or boulders. If not that, I build a cairn of rocks, rarely needed, but on those rare occasions, only takes a few minutes, still easier than guying. If the “peak” is a meadow, then a short piece of PVC poked in the ground, the pole in it, or a short piece of rebar hammered into the ground, the pole over it. That’s the story from our here in mountain west! 73, Fred KT5X (aka WS0TA)
I usually guy my pole to stakes in the ground, but where the summits are too rocky to push the stakes in, or hammer them in with a bit of rock, I have resorted sometimes to using a stronger stake (6mm or 1/4 inch and 8 inches long) and a more serious hammer as a persuader. However that’s not an option if you are a long way from where you left your hammer in the car.
For seriously hard rock, the option of draping the antenna over the rock is always there. Rock is generally not good quality conductive ground material, it behaves much like an insulator though a lossy one. To make your 4 contacts the rock mounted antenna could be sufficient.
In one of the sotabeams video clips Richard shows how to erect a pole with an antenna forming two of the support guys, the third is a cord or rope bisecting the (outer) angle of the antenna wires, resulting in a 3 way guying system. With those wires holding up the mast and forming the antenna, the force on each guying point is much lower than you get with a low guying point, so tying off with (good sized) rocks is quite feasible.
I use this 3d pieces to fit pole yo anothers vertical elements.
For summits without nothing to use, I use four mastrant lines with the sotabeams ring.
Also a Decathlon spike for soft floor is quite practique
I usually guy my pole to stakes in the ground, but where the summits are too rocky to push the stakes in, or hammer them in with a bit of rock, I have resorted sometimes to using a stronger stake (6mm or 1/4 inch and 8 inches long) and a more serious hammer as a persuader.
Andrew, have you heard of Peggy Pegs? They easily screw into icy or rocky ground and save weight as no hammer is needed.
I am not sure about that brand but have seen similar items sold here. Good idea, the ones with the handle would be pretty good. On some of our summits I have sometimes wished for a masonry bit in a high speed drill to get a hole drilled…