Heatwave! Well, you’d have thought that at ‘ground level’ but the 20 mph wind that constantly blew from the East on to the top of Red Screes told a very different story!
With predicted blue skies and warm, dry weather in the Lakes over the Easter four-day bank holiday weekend there were always going to be plenty of folk enjoying the fells. I was up at 5am local and at the base of Red Screes around 5:40am - the ascent takes around 45 minutes and I was treated to a spectacular sun rise.
Looking back towards the Kirkstone Inn
With the chance of ZL/VK contacts I was keen to make use of the sharp drop off to the South East that Red Screes provides. My position was just south of the summit tarn.
Benchmark Selfie towards Ullswater
I let Mickey @2E0YYY know I was QRV and jumped on his 40m frequency when invited to work my first two stations: ZL4RMF, Ron in New Zealand - a rising signal culminating in a true 59 copy - and VK7JON/P Jonathan in Tazmania still perfectly readable at 57, although it was slightly more difficult from his end.
Wow! What a start. Having moved to my own frequency Fabio @IK2LEY was first in the log followed by a lot of early risers in the Europe! My first S2S was with Herbert @OE9HRV on OE/VB-494 - 59 both ways, followed by Chris, DL4FO, on DM/BM-379.
SOTABeams QuadBander Dipole 20/30/40/80m on 10m Compact Mast
The constant Easterly wind at around 20 mph wasn’t being experienced by the North Wales activators - I almost didn’t take my winter coat, I was really glad I had that as well as gloves and a hat. I think SOTA activators are really quite unique in the clothing requirements for summits. I hadn’t really warmed up properly until I started the descent, and at ground level it was scorching!
When the 40m and 80m activations had dried up I re-clipped for 20m to chase @YO6PIB on YO/EC-367. I will thank Csaba-Zoltán in advanced (his QSL card by the way is amazing) as I then happened across E6AF which was working 7 up split. I’ve not really worked split until a couple of days ago when another station was using it SSB. I’d worked out the fairly easy menu settings on the FT-857 and gave it a go. I got through after a couple of minutes without a clue where they were operating from. The phone battery had died by then. Anyway, I’d happened across a Dxpedition to Niue, an Island near the Cook Islands. It was christened ‘Savage Island’ by Cook himself as the natives greeted them covered in blood! Love it! What a day!
I’d fixed a broken joint in my 8 element coaxial co-linear which therefore made a fresh outing and was bringing in loads of 2m stations, including Phil @G4OBK in Pickering who had a cold and sounded odd both because of that and because I normally work him on HF SSB! MW1HAX/P was booming in from his Snowdon GW/NW-001 activation, MW0BLF/P in the log on GW/NW-004 and then I hung on for Paul who had just caught me /M after his first SOTA summit and was now on GW/NW-035 - last S2S of the day
Thanks to all the chasers, including the ZL/VK stations who were kind enough to persevere to get contacts in the log.
Had a nice chat all the way down to the car park with the keeper of GB7FF, a C4FM repeater in Blackpool, in a net with G7CDA Douggie and G1OHH Sue.
Regards, Mark M0NOM