SOTA NEWS - FEBRUARY 2015 Part ONE of TWO
EDITORIAL – by Roy G4SSH
Welcome to the February 2015 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Jim G0CQK, Skip K6GDW, Allen VK3HRA, Dennis ZS4BS, Mark G0VOF, Kevin G0NUP, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Phil G4OBK, Juerg HB9BIN, Hans PB2T, Sake PA0SKP, Colwyn MM0YCJ.
The January edition of SOTA News was viewed 800 times.
FROM THE SOTA MANAGEMENT TEAM
We have a new association R9U - Russia - Urals starting up from 1st February with Marat Adgamov a.k.a Марат Адгамов RA9WJV as association manager. There are 3 regions SO with 239 summits, CE with 59 and NO with 40.
There is also a significant update for EA2 following an analysis of SRTM DEM elevation data by Mikel EA2CW. Several summits were found not to have the required prominence and there are several new summits that meet the requirement being added. Activators in EA2 should carefully check the new summit lists in the updated ARM which is already uploaded to the website, before travelling, to ensure they are planning a trip to a valid summit. At the same time Mikel EA2CW will become the Association Manager for EA2 and we wish to thank Iñaki EA2CTB and Iñaki EA2CIA for all their work in initially establishing the association.
Finally there is an update for VE7 with 30 new summits being added to the association.
There is an increasing number of SOTA participants now who are capable of doing analysis of SRTM DEM elevation data using Landserf - I can think of 8 off the top of my head – there may well be more. This is an extremely useful tool in identification of qualifying summits particularly in geographies where mapping is not of good topographical quality. It is not perfect and can yield errors because of tree or snow cover, but when compared to detailed mapping as is available in certain countries it stands up well.
SOTA Summits Team
SOTA AWARDS - JANUARY 2015 - from Barry GM4TOE, SOTA Awards Manager.
Welcome to the first Awards report for 2015 and a Happy New Year to everybody involved with SOTA. Quite a large number of claims this month and special congratulations to Mountain Goats MW0WML, W0CCA and the first in the Far East HL4ZFA. Shack Sloth trophies have been claimed by K4PIC (for 10k points), DH2SN, EA2CW and VK2IB. Well done to all of them. Claims for the Microwave Award have also come in with a 23cm claim from VK3PF and 3cm claims for three different distances (including one Summit to Summit) from G0LGS.
MW0WML Gerald Davison
W0CCA Clinton Allen
HL4ZFA Jason Vlasak
K4PIC Larry A. Phillips 10k points
DH2SN Sascha Neubert
EA2CW Mikel Berrocal
VK2IB Bernard Kates
MW0WML Gerald Davison 1000 points
DJ2FR Frank Heidamke 500 points
HB9FPM Eva Thiemann 250 points
NS7P Phillip Shepard 250 points
HB9FPM Eva Thiemann 100 points
W3AAX Jason Johnston 100 points
MW0WML Gerald Davison 100 summits
VK1DI Ian Sinclair 100 summits
G6TUH Michael Morrissey 25000 points
VK3FPSR Peter Rentsch 10000 points
K4PIC Larry A. Phillips 10000 points
IN3NJB Roberto Gadler 2500 points
W4IHI Gary Pierson 2500 points
SQ9KFW Miroslaw Kulawik 1000 points
VK3IL David Giddy 1000 points
VK2WTY David White 500 points
VK3TKK Peter Watkins 500 points
MW0WML Gerald Davison 500 points
VK3FLCS Brett McAliece 250 points
VK2JDL Philip Clancy 250 points
2E0DSS Don Stewart 100 points
KV4RH Benjamin Gaston 100 points
VK4JD Peter Lambert 100 points
K4PIC Larry A. Phillips 1000 summits
IN3NJB Roberto Gadler 500 summits
M0ZGB Jonathan Hobbs 250 summits
MW0WML Gerald Davison 100 summits
Summit to Summit
VK3PF Peter Freeman Gold
VK3ANL Nicholas Lock Silver
MW0WML Gerald Davison Bronze
DD5LP Ed Durrant Platinum
M0LEP Rick Hewett Platinum
G8TMV Colin Tuckley Platinum
SV8LMQ Dimitrios Palaiologos Gold
KA5PVB Charles Dobbins Gold
G0LGS Stewart Wilkinson (V) Gold
VK3ANL Nicholas Lock Bronze
VK3FQSO Amanda Bauer Bronze
HB9FPM Eva Thiemann Bronze
SOTA Microwave Award
VK3PF Peter Freeman 50Km 23cm
G0LGS Stewart Wilkinson 300Km 3cm
G0LGS Stewart Wilkinson 150Km 3cm
G0LGS Stewart Wilkinson 50Km 3cm
SOTA funds have benefited from the sale of SOTA themed calendars produced by Guy N7UN. This was a generous gesture on the part of SOTA North America and is much appreciated – I even purchased one for myself and it takes pride of place on my shack wall. We have had some other very generous donations towards SOTA funds and these will be acknowledged direct.
Elliott, K6EL has now finished revisions (I hope) to the rules for the Microwave Award and, apart from a couple of minor edits, these are published on the SOTA shopping website. Help received from this quarter is really appreciated as the workload for SOTA gets ever greater and I find myself spending a lot of my time on awards and merchandise.
The SOTA hats have been really successful and demand is quite amazing with some folks buying one (or more) of each type. Thanks to Etienne, K7ATN, and Rich N4EX, SOTA caps will also be available for delivery by US Domestic mail. Not absolutely certain when this will be available but it will be very soon. This will result in a small saving on postage and I must emphasise only applies to the baseball caps not the other two designs which would come from the UK. Watch the website (and the reflector) for an announcement.
Not much to report from the hills this month, we are experiencing typical Scottish weather with 4 inches (100 mm) of snow on the ground and an icy wind from the North!
Take care on the hills
SOTA Awards Manager
SOTA NEWS FROM EUROPE
“Phil G4OBK, Dave G3TQQ and Geoff 2E0NON will be staying at the Loch Long Hotel Arrochar from Feb 3rd - Feb 5th . They will activate on HF and 2m FM each day weather permitting. GM/SS-218 Cruach Tairbeirt (415m) will be climbed on Tuesday Feb 3rd to assess conditions for climbing the higher peaks on the following two days.”
HB9BIN - Jürg
In January I started activating 10 Summits in the region F/AB. This is “HB9AFI-chasing-area”.
In February I will continue activating F/AB and may be OE/VB. But I will also make a break to chase Navassa, my last missing DX-entity.
I also made a break to chase EP6T, where I made the Bandpoint No 3’000 for the DXCC Challenge.
73 de HB9BIN, Jürg (George)
PA REPORT from Sake PA0SKP
I was active from 14 summits during January !!!
On the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th I was accompanied by Hans PA3FYG (SSB) and on the 27th with Hans ,PA0DLN who was making his first appearance with SOTA! (making his debut, using SSB).
Sri for the short activations and my contest-style operation at times, but we wanted to visit as many summits as possible in the day.
We have now activated most summits in our neighbourhood, so we are having to travel a longer distance to find new summits. The weather was not always good and we made many “snow-QSO’s”!! But we enjoy it!!
Thanks all the chasers!!
Check out my photo’s on qrz.com (under my home call)
SOTA REPORT FROM MALTA - by Hans PB2T
From 13-16 January I attended a CEPT meeting on Malta, representing IARU Region 1. Wouter Jan PE4WJ, one of the other delegates to the meeting, and I decided to go to Malta one day early to activate Gozo’s summit Ta’Dbiegi 9H/GO-001.
Operating from Malta cannot be done under the T/R 61-01 regime yet. Obtaining our Maltese licenses was easy, fast and free of charge. Wouter Jan was assigned 9H3WJ and I got 9H3BT, the same callsign as for my visit in 2012.
Our trip to Gozo took a full day, using Malta’s public transport system. From our hotel it was a ten minute walk to the bus station at Sliema Ferry. The bus ride to Cirkewwa took just over an hour. From there we took the ferry to Gozo, followed by another bus ride to Victoria. Before we continued to the summit we had a friendly priced lunch in one of the many restaurants.
Our walk to the summit was around 3 km. We both set up our almost identical stations: KX-3’s with a Half Wave Endfed, supported by a 4.1 meter pole. In the sunshine with a temperature of around 18 degrees Celsius each of us made 49 QSO’s. 9H3WJ/P worked on 20 CW and SSB. 9H3BT/P was on all other bands 40-10. I tried SSB and CW on 40 but was unable to make one single contact on that band. Later local amateurs confirmed that 40 meters is almost dead during daytime. Our stations were less than 50 meters apart. Only when Wouter Jan started to transmit in SSB I experienced some interference.
After about 50 minutes of operating we packed and went back to Sliema, where we arrived just before 7 PM. On Tuesday evening we attended a MARL club meeting, where we received a presentation on the Maltese Ham Mesh Network. We did presentations on our CEPT work and on cubesats (small satellites). A spaghettata (spaghetti meal) concluded a most enjoyable day. Unfortunately we were unable to activate Ta’Dmejrek 9H/MA-001. This is on our to-do list for 2 February when we will be back for another CEPT meeting.
73, Hans PB2T
NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS - from Colwyn Jones MM0YCJ
2015, Happy New Year by the way, started wet. Long before I stretched out from my warm, down sleeping bag I could hear rain hammering on the tin roof. There followed a long, languorous, leisurely awakening, helped by the grey light of the morning.
We slowly enjoyed the first breakfast of 2015. The rain fell. Conditionality reigned; what could, should, would we attempt on a day like today. Just up the road; the A837, was Beinn Reidh. At 567m a relative tiddler (which strangely translates as smooth mountain; I can only assume it was named from a distance!) SOTA reference GM/NS-093. Maybe I could start the year as a ‘smooth operator?’
Like its striking southern neighbour Canisp, Beinn Reidh presents more open slopes to the east and a much steeper western front. East would have a headwind, but a shorter approach and carried the day. We parked at the end of the drive to the lodge at Stronchrubie (Grid ref NC247193, circa 100m altitude). The house seemed empty as we headed almost due west to the bridge over the River Loanan (grid reference NC244191) which no longer exists – the bridge I mean! The remaining bridge piers provide no easy river crossing, which today was a considerable obstacle. I headed upstream to find a suitable crossing and my YL abandoned me to my obsessional behaviour. I may have crossed the swollen river with dry feet, it was hard to tell. From there it was about an hour, half in the cloud, pretty much direct into the rain and up rough ground to the wet, wind blasted summit, by which time I knew my feet were wet.
The rudimentary cairn provided no shelter so I descended into a small depression (physical feature though it could have been otherwise!) out of the wind, almost. Fired up the 20m dipole lightly pegged the ends and started calling from beneath the thin sheet of nylon of the orange bivvy shelter. Compared to the 40m and 12m inverted-V dipoles which had required multiple repairs, the 20m rig got most abuse but was still going strong after almost 2 years. Must be high specification wire I thought! Calling just before 14:00 hours, within 10 minutes I had 7 QSOs; just as I found on Christmas day, there is always someone on air. Happy New Years were exchanged with mainly UK stations, a short skip for 20m; G0TDM, GI0ONL, G4JZF, M0MDA, EA2CKX, GM0AXY and GM4YMM. Christine and Ken confirmed that the weather was no better back at the home QTH! I remember glancing down at the panel of the FT817. Immediately the water ran off my hood, onto my jacket and cascaded onto the screen and switches of the FT817. Time to QRT and get out of there.
Despite being soaked, it was mild and I was comfortably warm. I packed quickly but untidily and with the advantage of the wind at my back now, made good progress back towards the rendezvous, but I’d be far too early; I’d estimated at least an hour on air. A filthy wet quad bike track appeared which snaked off the hill maybe doubling my return walking distance. I emerged from the cloud but along by the buildings I couldn’t see the car; although it was still a long way off. The track eventually brought me to a ford across the problematic river Loanan next to the A837. The water looked bigger, deeper, almost muscular, and purposeful. A quad bike couldn’t have made it across today. Thigh deep I ploughed over the ford, I wasn’t going to get any wetter; quite a strong current though so glad I had walking poles. I emerged just over a kilometre down the road now and dallied on the way back. Three cars slowed but didn’t stop to offer me a lift; I couldn’t blame them, and when I breasted the hill the car was indeed waiting. Perfect, plastic sheet over the passenger seat and, after pouring the water from my boots, I disrobed standing in the drying room of the hut shortly afterwards.
So a good, fairly smooth, if wet, start to the new year; 2 activation points, a well-earned winter bonus of 3, plus a unique activation; and by next morning the radio had dried out.
Friday the 2nd January 2015 had dawned brighter but colder. There was no overnight frost but the wind was still strong, maybe stronger. Breakfast was savoured through negotiation around height, access and river crossings. We opted for Beinn an Eoin (Mountain of the bird). GM/NS-102, only 544m in height, but up a glen we had never previously visited. The drive took longer than anticipated but we eventually crossed Oykel Bridge and turned off up the beautiful Glen Cassley at the village of Rosehall. The area has been shaped for hunting, shooting and fishing, particularly salmon fishing, and while Glen Cassley is a quiet and remote place, the howling wind had changed the character that day. A few flakes of snow were carried along on the wind.
We parked by the road opposite the farm called Badintagairt (NC428103) at 60m altitude. There is a bridge symbol at grid ref NC428099 over the deep and dark river Cassley, which still exists as a fine suspension footbridge and was presumably the usual route over to the buildings at Croich when it was inhabited.
Once across the river there is a large deer fence around some new plantings (forestry and farming also feature in the glen). We found the stile and were soon flogging up the wet hillside when, behold, we disturbed two large birds; black grouse or capercaillie? I couldn’t say for sure, my spectacles were fogged up. Beinn an Eoin (Mountain of the bird) lived up its name. There being no obvious path to the summit we simply followed the compass bearing for 4 kilometres to the large fore summit (NC399086. Height 521m) and could see the main summit from there.
The map suggests a flat area, but the peat hags and full lochans, after the wet weather, dictated a circuitous route to the bleak triangulation station. There was good snow cover and we were able to find a sheltered spot just to the lee side of the summit. Ann was happily installed under the bivvy shelter sitting on both of the rucksacks; I put the 20m inverted-v dipole up on a ski pole, about 130cm off the ground and joined her. I thought that the low aerial might increase the SWR ratio, but on calling CQ at about 12:30 Mike (G6TUH) responded promptly and I was able to make 13 QSOs in about the same number of minutes. Thanks to EA2CKX, OE5JKL, M0IBG, OM1AX, ON5SWA, DL3HXX, G0RQL, M6KVJ, M0MDA, HB9MKV, EA2DT and OK1SDE.
The next squall arrived and we were noisily shot-blasted by the hailstorm. We couldn’t hear anything so sat, while the hail stung the back of my head through the bivvy shelter, a goretex jacket hood and a fleece beanie hat. Sometimes you instinctively know the correct course of action, and we packed and were shortly heading off the hill. First the burn, the Allt Badintagairt on the slopes above the buildings at Badintagairt, then the buildings themselves gave an excellent reference point as we descended. Then the stand of Alder on the north east bank of the river guided us back to the footbridge. Back at the car the sky had cleared and we motored up the lonely glen to have a look, before a leisurely return to the hut. So a further 2 activation points, another deserving winter bonus, plus a second unique activation.
Saturday the 3rd January 2015 involved a change of venue. We rose early, breakfasted and left the hut heading south towards Fort William. There had been an overnight frost. A 558m peak above Ullapool; GM/NS-094, Beinn Eilideach (mountain of hinds) was on the way and before it was really light we left the A836(T) at the Braes of Ullapool signpost and parked high above the town in this rather exclusive estate (NH146932). The sky was much brighter, the wind had dropped and we found an access path through the highest cloverleaf cul-de-sac of houses, into the trees and finally onto the hillside. It was a steady 3km walk up to the summit; we saw a number of red deer hinds, and a few stags for gender balance. The weather was almost good and the triangulation station was enclosed in its own stone wall.
Sheltered and with a central hole for the fishing pole which hadn’t yet been filled by children with pebbles, it was a near perfect summit for an activation, and I was the first. Calling on 20m raised DD2VO, Rene in Koln and he was the first of 48 QSOs (you know who you are!) between 09:22 and 10:13 hours. This included EA2IF/P as a summit-2-summit contact on EA1/CT-086. However, we had a rendezvous to keep, so we left the comfortable summit and were back at the car in good measure for the drive south. Two activation points, a relatively easy winter bonus, and a third unique activation.
At 08:40 next day on Sunday the 4th January 2015, I got out of the car, walked forward, smiled at the driver in front, and when he wound down his window (it was a van) I politely asked if he could turn off his engine to stop the remainder of the queue dying from carbon monoxide poisoning! We were sitting waiting for the first ferry across the Corran Narrows. The target was GM/WS-121, an 888m rocky peak called Sgurr Dhòmhnuill or Sgurr Dhòmhnaill which is the highest mountain in Ardgour and a worthy, peaked summit to crown the grand and rugged mountains of this region.
The ferry docked and a few minutes later left on time and we were soon turning north off the A861 at Strontian heading up the hills past the old mine workings to park near the communications mast at the top of the pass (Grid reference; NM838667. Height 342m). In contrast to the car exhaust calm at sea level, there was a good breeze and we set off along the indistinct ridge, over the electric fence to the triangulation station at Druim Glas 435m.
From here we ascended into cloud and following the compass needle aimed for the 580m high knoll (grid reference; NM858677) next to Lochan Mhic Gille Dhuibh. From there a second bearing lead us up to the summit of point 803m (Grid reference; NM882684). A further compass bearing lead us southeast off the top and down to a pass with an estimated altitude of 660m. At the bealach (665m aneroid barometer height) we started to ascend the NW flank when the swirling cloud cleared allowing sight of what seemed like a vertical face rearing up before us. Perhaps this was why it hadn’t yet been activated! As we tentatively ascended I was aware of the tracks of an animal which delicately criss-crossed our own clumsy boot prints in the fresh snow. It was a fox, which through experience knew to visit the summit to scavenge dropped food and apple cores left by the hillwalking public. Indeed, the fox might only have been a few minutes ahead of us! A cunning plan!
We followed the fox tracks up the face as it wove between the buttresses and outcrops. Only once did the tracks disappear and we were forced to scramble up a rocky lichenous and vertiginous slab, to find them again. Once past the difficulties it was a simple plod to the modest summit enclosure. Interestingly it was full of snow so we arranged ourselves on the sheltered lee side. I had assumed that the triangulation station was in the middle of the enclosure, but Ann soon identified the ruined foundations a short distance to the south. The trig pillar was no longer of any help on this particular summit. We had conquered Sgurr Dhomhnuill (Donald’s rocky peak), although we met neither Donald, nor anyone else that day!
The wind hadn’t eased so I called on 2m with a single contact; GM4 NFI/M (Dave on Cow hill above Fort William). Then, as I rigged the 20m dipole, the wind dropped and some weak watery sunshine filtered through the cloud. The result was 9 QSOs but the skip distance was well beyond the shores of the UK; EA1NW, OK1SDE, EA2CKX, CT1BQH, ON2LVC, IK2ILH, ON7KJW, F2YT, and OM1AX. It was bitterly cold so for safety and simplicity we decided to retrace our steps in the snow, back down to the bealach and follow the embryonic Strontian river. We then traversed right at about the 400m contour to revisit the triangulation station at Druim Glas, and back to the starting point.
Disembarking first from the ferry we had to stop in Glencoe to turn on a house water supply we had mistakenly switched off that morning; I just hope that the frost protection heating hadn’t been compromised by the later power cuts. So a further 4 activation points, a fourth winter bonus, plus the fourth unique activation in 4 days. What was I going to do for the remaining 361 days of 2015?
SOTA ON TOP BAND - from Mark G0VOF
Hello everyone & welcome to this month’s edition of SOTA on Top Band.
There is only one Top Band activation to report this month, but it was rather special one. This took place on 10th January when special event call HA10SOTA was given an airing from HA/EM-012 Karancs. This special call will be used throughout 2015 to celebrate 10 years of SOTA Hungary & has already been aired several times during January.
After a superb run of 46 QSO’s on 80m during this evening activation, Gyula HA6QR decided to offer the call on 160m & was rewarded with an excellent total of 16 QSO’s on the band. For those chasers who may have missed out this time, I am sure HA10SOTA will be aired on Top Band again during the coming months, as there are several successful 160m activators in Hungary who I am sure would also like to use the special call.
For award hunters there are several awards available for working the station, details of which can be found in English at the website below:
Thanks & well done Gyula.
Whilst compiling this report I happened to notice that John K1JD was spotted by the RBN Gate on 1841KHz at the end of his activation of W5N/PW-037 7119 on 26th January. I wonder if this was correct, if so it does appear that he was radiating a reasonable signal on the band.
At the time of writing, those were the only Top band activations during January that I am aware of, if I have missed any others please let me know.
On 10 January, Gyula HA10SOTA (HA6QR) Activated HA/EM-012 Karancs & made 16 QSO’s (16 CW / 0 SSB)
As always, If you do have any suggestions on things that you think should be included, or if you wish to contribute tips, ideas or anything else that you think may help others on the band please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next month,
THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH - 85
A new year, so off we go to climb the Great and Little Mell fells. This pair of two pointers located in the north west corner of the Lake District are good value for points under winter bonus and easily done in a days outing. Today the local radio tells of much icing on the roads so we set off prepared for the worst as our route takes us over Kirkstone Pass, notorious for icing problems but there is little ice up here or indeed any of the roads we use during the day. First target is Little Mell from NY423235, this is a straightforward steep climb mostly on grass after the initial 50yds which can be very muddy. The summit is grassy and bare of anything vaguely like shelter.
The name Mell means bald, bare and the Little one lives up to its name. Mell is thought to be related language wise to the Welsh word Moel. The summit does boast a trig pillar so we expected some interest from WAB enthusiasts but the activity turned out to be heavy going. The area is not blessed with a lot of chasers but does have G0TDM John and GM4WHA Geoff who are ever present and the backbone of chaser activity. Having worked these two things dried up despite endless calling until Simon G1AAV down on Walney at the other end of the county popped up in spite of all the rock in between. Now we needed one more for the four and TDM offered his other call G7GTL which we took making four just in case. Never done this before so we plugged on calling FM and SSB till eventually another station Clive M6CVD again on Walney called in making a proper fourth and we beat a hasty retreat hoping that Great Mell would not be such a struggle.
Great Mell is a longer walk from NY407247 (short drive from NY423235) again room for a few cars on the verge, Quick tips Take the second stile on the right on the track from the start point, skirt the woods both here and half way up. Don’t get involved in the trees, those who have report very hard going. The path used to be more contoured but has now become direct which seems to be harder work. Like its smaller neighbour the summit is bare of shelter and grassy but in this case no trig, just a pile of stones. Think most of the lower woods are old plantation stuff so in the past the hill was as bare as its little companion. A few years back we activated this hill under snow and as we lay low to avoid the wind an RAF Sea King clattered into view and hovered close to our position in enquiring mode. We signalled we were ok and off it went. Sad to see they will soon be no more as the service is privatised, they should put one on a plinth somewhere in the Park in honour of their wonderful service. (Not forgetting the Navy of course but I’m prejudiced ;-).This hill always seems to have a better take off for VHF than its 43metre smaller relative and we managed several contacts down into the south Lancashire area on 2fm. G6LKB Dave popped up as a keen WAB’er looking for a trig, sorry there’s not one on Great Mell.
The weekend of 11th Jan was plagued by storm force winds so we stayed bolted down at home As we’ve said before Audrey is blown over by winds of 50mph. I have gallantly offered her the heavier of our two rucksacks to carry in order to stabilize her but for some reason I cannot fathom this offer was not greeted well.
Sunday 18th Jan and snow lying on many of the tops and a strong wind with more snow threatened but we have cabin fever so off to Hutton Roof Crags one of our closer little ones only about an hours drive away. Once again we opted for a vhf first activation with HF to follow if possible. This is not something that we intend to do when the weather improves but in spite of adequate warm gear a long activity in the cold does not sit well on older bones and the short days need speed in walking, not my strong suit (Rob). There were a few inches of lying snow on the summit which does have a trig pillar but little shelter from the biting cold wind. We have a favourite boulder about 25yards northwest of the trig which can provide a little shelter but the approach is over broken ground of limestone pavement and care is needed to avoid ankle damage or worse, particularly in lying snow. Plenty of prodding ahead with the walking poles is the order of the day. An hours activity produced just ten contacts, all on 2FM bar one on 2SSB.
The level of vhf chasing seems to have fallen quite badly in recent weeks and we got to wondering why. Possibilities include.
1 Outside shacks are cold in winter.
2 Rival attractions such as TV (you must be joking)
3 Improved conditions on HF
4 An impression that SOTA has become, like other things a preserve of the contest/dx brigade and not for the humble vhf only troops.
These are just some of the things that come to mind
Personally like to chat and always will. The only proviso being activator safety situations which may require speed
The problem certainly seems to be UK wide as can be seen from the comments of other activators. Is it just that we’ve been at it longer?
What do others think?
Sunday 25th Jan and yet again a dismal forecast makes us think of another local small hill Gummers How. Walney Island is in its windy but passable weather mode but it’s impossible to judge the Lake District weather in spite of its proximity. Often think a north facing camera on the chimney would be an idea but it would just get blown off. As we arrive at the foot of Windermere the cloud is almost down to the lake but we drive on up to the car park on the fell road. Here it is truly horrid with a high wind, rain and driving cloud and little visibility. We sit staring at it disconsolately for a time, it gets worse. It occurs to us that we can climb this little fell on a nice summer evening with views across the lake and walk down in the sunset for the same one point. We retreat.
The dismal weather has continued through the week as we have looked for a window of opportunity for some points and at the moment it does not look promising for the upcoming weekend. There have been three serious incidents on the hills locally in the last week including one fatality, all on Helvellyn so remember the prime directive, stay safe.
All for now
*************************** Continued in Part 2 **********************
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