International SOTA Weekend
Sunday 3rd May 2009 - Kinder Scout G/SP-001 - M1EYP, M3EYP and M0GIA
After the exertions of the previous day and evening, Jimmy and I were somewhat sluggish “out of the pit” at 6am. Nonetheless, preparations (soup, SLAB, water etc) were complete by 7am, and we were picking Sean up soon after.
We were doing the standard Pennine Way approach to Kinder Low, so we parked at Barber Booth, just off the Edale road. The walk was pleasant and easy along to Jacob’s Ladder, but in a very stiff breeze that warned of uncomfortable summit conditions. At the foot of Jacob’s Ladder, we had a sit down by the stream and took on our first chocolate energy of the day, in my case, a Kit-Kat with peanut butter in it - yum!
Now came the pull up Jacob’s Ladder and the slog along towards Edale Rocks. Once past this unlikely looking formation, it was an easy stroll to the trig point at Kinder Low. This is well in the AZ at 633m, but Jimmy wanted to use the clear weather to further inspect the true summit at 636m - a mile or so further on.
Sean and I followed behind, but stopped when we spotted a suitable operating position. This was down in an eight-foot deep narrow peat grough. The wind was still howling through it, but it was the best shelter of anything around.
Halfway through setting up, over wandered James G7MLO, Tom M3XFG and Bryan G4UZF. It seemed they had spotted our “antenna farm” from the trig point at Kinder Low. So had some rangers! No less than three sets of rangers/wardens approached us during our five hour operation on Kinder, but they were all perfectly amiable, and quite hapy for us to continue our activity. The last ranger we met was licensed himself with a G6 callsign.
After a social natter with James, Tom and Bryan, we did a couple of group photos, then one of the two Jims and one of the two Toms. They sat a little further down the winding peat ‘canyon’ we were in and had their lunch.
It took a while to successfully erect all the antennas on the spongy peat in strong wind, but just after 11am, we were QRV on 2m, 20m and 40m. My initial run on 40m CW ended with a FB call from Roger MW0IDX/P on new summit Mynydd y Cwm GW/NW-076. A very pleasing CW S2S!
Jimmy advised of Luc ON6DSL/P on 7.130MHz SSB from La Croix du Soldat ON/ON-016. Despite another typical ISW monster pile-up, my 5 watts from Kinder got straight in for a S2S. This was followed by Jimmy M3EYP and James G7MLO for their own S2S QSOs, but Tom M3XFG, Bryan G4UZF and Sean M0GIA all declined the opportunity.
I returned to 40m CW for a S2S with Peter DL/HB9CMI/P on Eichberg DM/BW-176. After four quick contacts on 15m CW (using the 40m dipole), I had a dabble on 2m FM, including S2S with Phil G1OPV/P on Pen-y-ghent G/NP-010 and Mark G0VOF/P on Freeholds Top G/SP-011. A small number of contacts were made on 80m CW and 17m CW, plus a couple of S2S on 2m SSB - Tony 2W0LAE/P on Cadair Berwyn GW/NW-012 and Rob G4RQJ/P on Seatallan G/LD-025.
I finished with a good long run on 40m CW, including S2S with Aage LA1ENA/P on Braknesheia LA/TM-094. I glanced around behind me after working ON6NW on 40m CW at 1330z - to find that Sean and Jimmy had both nearly finished packing their stations away. This was the SOTA equivalent of “coffee anyone?”, so I took the hint and got packed up myself!
However, I was not done yet, and as we dropped off the Kinder plateau, I halted inside the AZ and tried a call on my VX-7R just with the rubber duck. Two QSOs ensued, one with Richard G3CWI in Macc, and the other with Caine M6MOF/P at Nettleton Top in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
The descent down to the foot of Jacob’s Ladder seemed to go quickly enough, but then it was a never-ending plod through Lee Farm and Upper Booth Farm to Barber Booth. We drove around to the Old Nags Head in Edale for end-of-ISW drinkies. The Nags 1577 celebration ale was very good, and went down a treat.
I didn’t even bother trying to watch Match of the Day that night. I was fast asleep by 10pm.
It was another great day and a cracking weekend. I reckon we probably did around 250 QSOs between the three of us, and it was good to spend the weekend in the company of the bloke that thought of it!
Grateful thanks to the very many chasers that called us over the weekend.