SOTA NEWS OCTOBER 2010
EDITORIAL – by Roy G4SSH
Welcome to the October 2010 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Les, G3VQO, Barry GM4TOE, Fred K6DGW, Mike KD9KC, Tom M1EYP, Juerg DO1DJJ, Mick M0XMC, Rob & Audrey G4RJQ, David G3RDQ, Nick G0HIK, Roger F5LKW.
Summer is over for another year and we now move into the Autumn season (or “Fall” as our U.S. colleagues would say – although we try to avoid that word in relation to SOTA). The dismal weather and early nights are already here, with the result that, on the HF bands at least, the number of activators has decreased to just a handful during the week. However, the number of chasers has not decreased, with the result that the ratio of chasers to activators has suddenly taken a dramatic rise and any activator raising his head above the parapet is immediately jumped upon by what appears to be half of Europe, all calling at the same time.
FROM THE SOTA MANAGEMENT TEAM (1)
A whole host of new Associations join SOTA on 1st October.
Let’s start our review in Spain, where interest in SOTA is increasing every day. This month an amazing five new areas of Spain join the fun. Taking them in numerical order, we start with Spain-North (EA2). This sits just to the east of our existing EA1 Association, and includes much of the Pyrenees range. The seven Regions are defined by provincial boundaries, and include 497 summits. The Huesca Region includes no less than 82 summits over 2000m, so there is ample opportunity for some serious climbing! Our thanks to Association Manager Ignacio EA2CTB for his hard work in compiling the data.
Continuing east we find another newcomer as Spain-Catalunya (EA3) joins simultaneously. This is the area in the north-east of the country, and includes Barcelona, as well as another portion of the Pyrenees. Esteve EB3EPR, the new Association Manager, has listed a total of 126 summits in the four provinces that define the Regions.
Moving south-west we next find Spain-Center (EA4). This comprises the area around Spain’s capital Madrid, and, as its name implies it sits almost exactly in the middle of the country. Association Manager Juan EA4WT has chosen to use the seven provinces as SOTA Regions, and has listed 138 summits.
Meanwhile, his compatriot Alex EB5AL has added Spain-Southeast (EA5) to our list of participants. Once again the Regions relate to provinces. This Association, which covers one of the most popular tourist areas of Spain, lists a total of 126 summits across five Regions. What better way can there be than taking a day away from the beach to activate a SOTA summit during your holiday? This could become one of SOTA’s busiest Associations.
Completing a Spanish quintet this month, we move away from the mainland to welcome the Canary Islands (EA8). Association Manager Luis EA8AY has chosen to define Regions as islands of this popular holiday destination. There are 24 summits spread across the seven Regions, so it will take a lot of travelling between islands to activate all summits in this Association! The impressive dormant volcano of Mount Teide (3715m) on Tenerife, the highest mountain in Spain, will obviously attract attention. With road access to 2356m, and a Teleférico (cable car) to 3555m, it looks to be a fairly easy prospect. However, access to the remaining few metres, and therefore to the SOTA Activation Zone, is currently restricted to those holding permits, and only 150 are issued for each day. In view of this regulation, any claim to have activated EA8/TF-001 may require additional evidence to verify its validity. It would be extremely unfortunate if SOTA came into disrepute due to unauthorised activity.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, our expansion also continues apace. Oregon’s AM, Guy N7UN, has set his sights on neighbouring states, and has created an Association in W7 (Idaho). This large, land-locked state has a rugged landscape with some of the largest unspoiled natural areas in the United States, and straddles two time zones. A total of 2461 summits are listed, and these have been divided into twelve Regions. There is some serious wilderness in Idaho, and many of the summits will require a well-planned, lengthy and strenuous expedition.
Simultaneously, Guy has turned his attention elsewhere in the W7 call area, and has created an Association in W7 (Montana). This is a large state, the fourth largest in the US and, as its name implies, there are plenty of mountains to be found. However, it has the third lowest population density in the country (Billings is the only metropolitian area of any size), so there is plenty of open space resulting in such epithets as “Big Sky Country” and “Land of the Shining Mountains”. The 2657 qualifying summits have been divided into sixteen Regions, and with both Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park to attract tourism, hopefully the summits will prove equally attractive to dedicated SOTA enthusiasts.
In addition to these new Associations, there are updates to the summit lists in Norway and Germany (DM), and North Dakota has been added to the W0 Association, albeit with a fairly limited summit list at present.
Meanwhile, work continues “behind the scenes” to cleanse the SOTA database of the various “oddities” that lurk within. It is a slow and painstaking process, but the eventual results will be of great benefit to everybody.
obo SOTA Management Team
FROM THE SOTA MANAGEMENT TEAM (2)
"Over recent months, Marc G0AZS has been finding it increasingly difficult to juggle the demands of his day job, family life, and being a fully-committed member of the SOTA Management Team. Eventually something had to give, and it will be no surprise to discover that he opted for family and salary! He has therefore tendered his resignation from the MT effective on 1st October.
Whilst we are all sorry to see Marc depart, his tenure gave us the lasting legacy of a more robust approach to creating and maintaining summit lists. Many of our Association Managers have reason to be extremely grateful to Marc for his expertise in such analysis programs as Landserf. One highly-visible effect of Marc’s influence has been the number of new Associations that have been successfully formed over the last couple of years, so all SOTA participants have much to thank him for.
We wish Marc all the best in his future endeavours, and we hope that he will not be entirely lost to the realms of SOTA. We may even hear him activating his local summit G/CE-005 from time to time.
Thanks from all of us Marc.
obo SOTA Management Team
SOTA AWARDS FOR September 2010 By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager
September was another bumper month for awards. Congratulations to Bob G6ODU on achieving Shack Sloth also Ingemar SM6CMU on his stunning achievement of 15000 Chaser points and Jurg whose Chaser score improves by leaps and bounds. Kurt, HB9AFI is the star Activator this month while Joerg DO1DJJ has reached the milestone 1000 points.
I must comment on the achievement of Bob, G3VXJ, who has recently discovered SOTA and is steaming ahead. His three claims this month (100, 250 and 500 points) were spaced just a week apart, will he be the fastest ever to reach Shack Sloth – come on Bob, I haven’t heard from you in two weeks, are you resting?
Congratulations to all those who achieved award milestones this month and also thank you for the comments you made about the scheme.
Please note that any claims made recently for Mountain Goat trophies will be slightly delayed as I am having some more made and it will take about three weeks before they are delivered to me; the engraver then has to personalise them and this can take another 10 days before they are available for despatch.
G6ODU Robert Gum-Wah Leong. Shack Sloth
HB9AFI Kurt Wetter 2500 points
DO1DJJ Joerg Pellenz 1000 points
GI4MWA Fred Ruddell 500 points
OE5DIN Helmut Kettner 250 points
2E0XYL Karen Richardson 100 points
2E0TDX Neil Richardson 100 points
HB9AFI Kurt Wetter 250 summits
SM6CMU Ingemar Olsson 15000 points
HB9BIN Jurg Regli 5000 points
G3VXJ Bob Rylatt 500 points
G3VXJ Bob Rylatt 250 points
G3VXJ Bob Rylatt 100 points
MU0GSY Lionel Roithmeir 100 points
M6AMO Allan Fleming 100 points
HB9BIN Jurg Regli 1000 summits
SM6CMU Ingemar Olsson 1000 summits
G4OWG Roger Leighton 1000 summits
G4OOE Nick Langmead 100 summits
G4OOE Nick Langmead. Mountain Explorer Bronze
Following on from last month I would like to announce that we now have a SOTA flag available for purchase. The flag is 600mm x 400mm in size, bright red with the SOTA logo; the cost is £15 plus postage and if you would like one please let me know as the order will be placed in the first week of October for delivery about two weeks later.
Now for a thank you – in the past I have mentioned that some individuals have added a little extra to their payment for awards to help fund the SOTA website and database.
The MT have discussed this and felt it would be appropriate to at give these individuals a mention in the news for their kind help. So may we thank the following for recent contributions made towards SOTA costs: G4OOE, 2E0LAE, HB9BIN, G4SSH, G6ODU and G4WSX. I know there have been others, please accept my apologies if I have left you off this list.
Take care on the hills
Barry Horning GM4TOE
Congratulations also to the following:-
To Joerg DO1DJJ who reached 1000 points and Mountain Goat status on the 5th September 2010 and commented “Last Sunday my brother (SWL) and I were on DM/RP-022 (Aremberg). It was out first time there, a nice summit, pure nature.
The contest on 2 meters brought many stations into my log, so it was not necessary to take out the shortwave antenna. Now it is high time to order the Trophy. Thanks for all loyal point-suppliers who made it possible.
Meet you at the summits or see you on band for the next 1000 points! :lol:
Our congratulations also go to Mick Coad M0XMC, who has upgraded his callsign from Novice M3MCV and Intermediate 2E0MCV to Advanced M0XMC.
Mick commented “Not that I managed to catch BVE out, he still recognised me.
I couldn’t have M0MCV as Bob Treacher has got it (that’s my fault for being so slow)
On an achievement front, on 11th September I finally managed to do NW-003/004/005 and 006 in one day. I know it’s been done before but it was an ambition I’ve had for several years. What next?”
Finally, well done to Colin 2E0XSD, for passing his 750 chaser points milestone on the 21st September.
SOTA HISTORY - 1st Activations - by Tom M1EYP
This month we look at the first activations in arguably SOTA’s epicentre - the Southern Pennines - or G/SP. The fastest growth in those early years was concentrated on those that lived and walked in the Southern Pennines region. But who got those coveted first activations?
G/SP-001 – Kinder Scout ----- Alan M1EYO --------- 9th Mar 2002
G/SP-002 – Black Hill ---------- Alan M1EYO --------- 2nd Mar 2002
G/SP-003 – Ward’s Stone ----- Alan M1EYO -------- 10th Mar 2002
G/SP-004 – Shining Tor -------- Richard G3CWI ----- 11th Mar 2002
G/SP-005 – Pendle Hill --------- Alan M1EYO -------- 10th Mar 2002
G/SP-006 – White Hill ---------- Tom M1EYP --------- 1st Aug 2003
G/SP-007 – Fair Snape Fell – Alan M1EYO --------- 18th May 2002
G/SP-008 – Boulsworth Hill — Alan M1EYO --------- 25th May 2002
G/SP-009 – Hail Storm Hill — Alan M1EYO --------- 5th Apr 2002
G/SP-010 – Winter Hill --------- Alan M1EYO --------- 3rd Apr 2002
G/SP-011 – Freeholds Top ---- Alan M1EYO --------- 16th May 2002
G/SP-012 – Easington Fell ---- Alan M1EYO --------- 26th Oct 2002
G/SP-013 – Gun ------------------- Richard G3CWI ----- 3rd Oct 2002
G/SP-014 – Longridge Fell ----- Alan M1EYO --------- 1st May 2002
G/SP-015 – The Cloud ----------- Alan M1EYO --------- 16th Mar 2002
G/SP-016 – Raw Head ----------- Alan M1EYO --------- 6th Apr 2002
G/SP-017 – Billinge Hill ---------- Richard G3CWI ----- 22nd May 2002
Alan Poxon, M1EYO, dominates the list. Alan - who has the next callsign before mine, sat next to me as we took the RAE in Harrogate in 2001. It was his e-mail sometime later that informed me about the new SOTA programme, and I was soon hooked. Alan of course went on to become SOTA’s very first Mountain Goat. He played a significant part in the development of SOTA prior to its launch, but so of course did Richard G3CWI who also appears more than once as an SP first activator.
So how did I manage to claim a first activation, more than a year after Alan and Richard had managed to bag the rest of them? Well White Hill G/SP-006 was a notorious access problem in those days. The summit was on private land with no right of way passing through. I managed to negotiate with the landowners a single day during which a small number of us could activate the summit, subject to several conditions. The party that assembled were myself, Jimmy (then an unlicensed 10 year old), Myke G6DDQ, Stuart G0MJG and Riley G7GOD. I used the club callsign of the International Short Wave League (ISWL) - MX1SWL/P - and it is this that appears as the first activator on the SOTAwatch and Database pages. White Hill has been activated 64 times so far.
In subsequent years, access to White Hill was much easier due to CRoW legislation. Raw Head G/SP-016 is no longer a SOTA summit, after RHB resurveying deemed it not to be a Marilyn after all. It had 86 activations in its lifetime.
INTRODUCING THE NEW SOTA NEWS NORTH AMERICAN REPORTER. FRED K6DGW.
I was first licensed at age 13 as KN6DGW [Novice] in 1953. Upgraded to General
Class [and K6DGW] in 1954, and to Extra Class in 1956. You had to have
two years service before you could sit for the Extra Class exam at that
time. Also accidentally got a 2nd class commercial radiotelegraph
license at the same time [long story], and had a job as a relief op. at
the local coastal marine station while I was in my last high school
year. 16, A ham for 3 years, working ships at sea on the Holy Frequency
with 5KW and huge antennas … about as good as it can ever get
Graduated from Calif. Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo in Math
in 1962. Enlisted in the Air Force, went through Officers’ School, and
became a 2nd Lieutenant communications officer. Did a year at a small
fighter base in the northern interior of Alaska, and then 46 months in
the two Vietnams and Laos leading an Airborne Combat Communications
Team. We got a couple of “respite missions” in Thailand, where on one,
I got about 3 or 4 weeks as HS1FJ. I was essentially inactive during
these 4 years, however the FCC extended my license period until a year
after I returned home.
Came home at the end of 1967, married Andrea, and was assigned to NASA
in Houston TX working on trajectory planning and guidance analysis for
the Apollo program. Reassigned in mid '70 to an airborne long-range
radar program at McClellan AFB in Sacramento CA. By now I was
approaching a Senior Captain in grade. Failed my annual jump physical
in very late '71 due to combat injuries, and decided to accept a
discharge in mid 72.
Worked in several engineering jobs, the last for a defense contractor
for 13 years and retired in 2000. We live on 5 acres [2.05 hectares] in
the outskirts of Auburn in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, where
there are lots of very big mountains, most of which I can no longer get
to. Stu got the last four SN’s into the ARM for me because I can make them.
We made two kids [one of each] and became foster parents, eventually
adopting two of them [one of each] so we have four kids, all grown. We
have 11 grandkids, and one great granddaughter who is 2.
I left a great deal of my hearing on a mountain top in North Vietnam 45
years ago and SSB is tough for me, especially with weak signals, QRM,
QRN, and accents. Having burned CW into my brain at the coastal marine
station, I stick pretty much to the keyer, with a little RTTY. My
station currently is:
Yaesu FT-847 [mainly for UHF/VHF]
An old LK-500-ZC 1 KW amp [2-3500Z’s]
Elecraft K2/100 [which I use for activations with the QRP lid]
Triband beam at 21m
It seems many males have a “competition gene” on their Y-chromosome, I
do, and when I retired, most of the avenues for competition that I could
still pursue sort of dried up for me. I was badgered by a friend to get
into contesting and I still am, a member of the Northern California
Contest Club. I’ll be an operator at N6A in Alpine County during the
California QSO Party 2-3 Oct.
We here in the colonies are going metric, inch-by-inch. Noting that
SOTA seems to be all metric, I will conform in my reports, I’ve got my
calculator programmed for the conversions.
I’ll get better at this reporter-business with a little practice.
- Northern California Contest Club
- CU in the 2010 Cal QSO Party 2-3 Oct 2010
NORTH AMERICAN SOTA NEWS FOR SEPTEMBER 2010 – Fred K6DGW
Well, this turned out better than I would have thought and the SOTA activity in the New World seems to be growing steadily. I have no idea yet how I’m going to structure this input to Roy, so for now, this is an experiment based on the inputs I have.
We currently have established Associations in VE1 and VE2, and in US call areas 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, parts of 7, and Zero. North America encompasses Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America down to Panama. Most of the Caribbean Islands are also included. Nothing seems to be happening from Mexico south (yet), but that may change. Because only two countries comprise the bulk of the North American continent, our associations for Canada are province-based, and are call-area based for the US.
W7 Association: W7 includes Oregon, Arizona, and Utah as I write this. Guy, N7UN, completed the ARM for Idaho (1,279 peaks, 12 Regions) and Montana (2,657 peaks, 16 Regions) in September, both of which will go active on 1 Oct 2010. Tom, W7TMD, will be the Region Manager for two Regions in northern Idaho. The ARM for Wyoming (1,188 peaks, 7 Regions) has been submitted and Nevada (2,566 peaks, 13 Regions) is nearly complete, and both are planned to go active Nov 1, 2010. A Washington Peak dataset was turned over to Bruce, N7RR, in June who is working on completing the ARM for the State of Washington which will complete the W7 Association. The W7-Oregon ARM has been updated with over 600 peaks and grid square designators and is scheduled for release on 1 Oct 2010.
W5 Association: Mike, KD9KC, finished the W5 Assoc. this summer with 1,692 summits in 75 regions, and he currently has Doug, W5DET; Sean, KD6CUB; and Jeffrey, K5VU helping him as Region Managers. Seventy five regions is huge compared to the other associations on the list, however the south western part of the US is covered with many high mountain ranges separated by more or less flat expanses of mainly desert. Mike’s W5 ARM also contains wealth of information about the states that make up the 5th call area and makes good non-fiction reading. Sadly, due to topography issues over which we have no control, neither Mississippi or Louisiana are blessed with any SOTA-qualified summits .
W5-SOTA was first published on 1 July 2010. Two days later, the first W5-SOTA activation was made by KD9KC, K5VU, WT5RZ, N5NHC and a non-ham friend who hiked along. KD9KC, K5VU and WT5RZ successfully made contacts. N5NHC was the photographer and made no contacts. A slide show of her photos of the event can be viewed here.
W5-SOTA has had a few successful operations since then. So far most of the
activations in W5 have been centered around Texas and New Mexico. Known
activators have been KD9KC, K5VU, KF5BBT, WT5RZ, KC0WKY and N7UN.
I am presently working on a help page for W5-SOTA operators. It is a work in
progress, and not a priority in my daily life, but it will get there. It can beviewed here. Index of /k/kd9kc
A few of us have been playing with some Li-Ion batteries, trying to lower our pack weights. On the July 1 outing my pack was over 45 pounds. I did carry a cushion and extra water for N5NHC along with the station, but we all need to get the weight down.
As the fall season begins and the desert cools, I am hoping there will be several more activations, and several more NEW activators.
Until next report.
Vy73 - Mike - KD9KC
El Paso, Texas - DM61rt
W5-SOTA Association Manager
W5-SOTA info: Index of /k/kd9kc
Molon labe. [mo-lone lah-veh] Google it…
Steve (“Goathiker”), WG0AT, reports an activation of W0/FR-025 (McCurdy Mt. At 3,600m) that sounds pretty difficult. He made two European QSO’s and about 20 others on 20m CW/SSB and 6m SSB, and he managed to get back to his base camp before dark. Approximately 11km round-trip and about 460m elevation gain. He has a slide show at picasaweb.google.com/goathiker/McCurdyPark#slideshow/ and the inevitable video at
McCurdy Mountian Colorado for Summits on the Air (SOTA) - YouTube.
Jim, K9JWV, reports 5 activations in August/September.
08 Aug W7/SU-042 (Flat Top Mountain South)
10 Aug W7/SU-014 (Brian Head)
27Aug W7/SU-051 (Sand Mountain)
29 Aug W7/SU-024 (Cedar Mountain)
04 Sep W7/SU-046 (Mineral Mountain)
Jim uses an ATS-3B, KI6J Tuner, and an end-fed half wave antenna quite effectively, I worked him on all 5 of these activations and his signal belies the fact that he’s on the ATS-3. He has some photos of his rig at cid-cda74515702b545d.photos.live.com/browse.aspx/Weatherproofed%20ATS-3B
Mike, KD9KC, activated W5/RO-015 (Rough and Ready Hills, NM) and I managed to work him also, and I know Stu, KI6J, posted a couple or more W6 activations. I’m hoping to be able to activate W6/SN-046 (Little Bald Mt) in October before the snows start. Last winter, there was over 3.5m of snow on the road to the camp. And Guy, N7UN, reports a total of 8 W7 activations with 2 new activators for September.
That’s all for this month. I send out a report request to the Association and Region Managers, however please, everyone, send me your activation stories and photo links email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
A little profile of you and your setup would really be great too.
73, Fred K6DGW
SOTA Reporter for Canada/US
Many thanks for the impressive profile and excellent first NA report Fred. I am sure that I speak for the many SOTA News readers when I warmly welcome you to the team and look forward to your future contributions - Roy.
SOTA News has been advised of the following additions to the “K9” list, first published in the September 2010 edition of SOTA News
- From David G3RDQ
We have a disabled dachshund called ‘‘Shortie’’ who comes with me on my SOTA activations when on holiday or when my XYL Janet comes too.
She needs to be carried over rough or steep terrain which has probably helped to put me on the waiting list for a hernia operation !! Her highest climb was GW/SW-041 a 6 pointer whilst on holiday in June.
- From Wolf DK1HW
- From Nick G0HIK
Just to let you know that Ben, a Collie Cross, comes with me on most of my activations and has done the summit several time before I get to the top. He can be seen on my QRZ.com page.
- From Roger F5LKW
You can add Maya my dog, she (it) is 16 years old and her breed: Bichon.
73 QRO - Roger - F5LKW - SOTA homepage: http://cwthf.free.fr
THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH 21.
Roy’s article last month about choosing callsigns raised a little smile here. In the days before choice I (Rob) was given G8AOR, this to a station allowed only phone. AOR not IOR I used to repeat endlessly. Finally after passing the CW test I was handed G4RQJ, what letters did Roy suggest avoiding for CW, were Q and J among them? Oh well. Not only that, on phone I’m always repeating RQJ not RTJ. In CW the call often unsettles even experienced operators and I get it wrong myself not infrequently. Roy, you were spot on!
Sunday 5th Sept. Dodd Fell Hill.
Due to fears about the state of the track to the starting point for this hill we have not done it for a few years however the gated road proved to be in reasonable condition all the way to the Pennine Way junction. The only problem was a squadron of cows with young calves camped across the track. Some gentle driving taking care not to separate any of them worked well but took a bit of time.
In the past we have done this hill by following the wall away from the Pennine Way and then striking out across the waste of peat bog aiming for the summit. This time we followed Richard CWI’s suggestion and walked down the Pennine Way to a gate in the wall and about 200yards further along turned up the slope to a small cairn near to the top of the bank. From the cairn the summit is still not visible and neither is any meaningful path but we carried on to our left through dry peat hags until the summit trig appeared in view. Now there were signs of a path which we followed to the top.
This route is much easier and quicker to the top but we would not recommend either of them in wet conditions and fog unless you are an experienced navigator. There is no shelter on the summit and the strong cold wind forced us into the luckily dry peat hags. There was also no mobile phone signal so self spotting was out but super service as usual from the regular chasers. Finding the small cairn on the descent is the clever bit, it’s not visible till you are on the edge of the bank and there is no direct visible track. The cows had not gathered round the car and were off the track making the return journey much easier.
Sunday 12th Sep, Coniston Old Man.
We usually attack this one via Walna Scar Road, Goats Water and Goat Hause which although a roundabout route tackles the hill in several short steep bits with nice walking and views in between. There is parking for a good number of cars at SD289971 just through the gate where the tarmac section of Walna Scar Road ends. There is ongoing dispute over the use of the road beyond this point by vehicles. Currently it is not permitted.
The summit as usual was very busy but there is reasonable shelter within the activation area among rocks to the south of the trig. Warning, proceeding more than a few yards to the north east of the trig poses a serious risk of a very rapid descent! 7 and 10 MHz were very poor with just one station worked on each band. As we worked through the pileup on VHF a chap approached us and said, “You must be from SOTA did you know Shirley?” We did of course know MW0YLS Welsh mountain goat now sadly silent key, in fact she was our very first SOTA contact back in 2002.
Unfortunately we did not get to chat with the chap as he was in a hurry but Shirley is still remembered on the hills. We descended on the grass route down the southern slopes. This route is very direct to the Walna Scar road but is indistinct in parts and could not be recommended in poor visibility with deep unfenced quarries on either side. (We lost the path among rocks at one point in spite of having used it before). Wainwright Suggests there is a route marked by quartz cairns but it seems to have vanished with the passage of time.
Whilst on the hill a station on 2m mentioned that he used a couple of old FT101’s on hf. This was interesting as here at home the main hf rig is an FT101ZD with an FTdx401 as backup. The conversation must have struck a chord as we had several callers straight afterwards telling us of the old gear that they still run successfully. It
doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Sunday 19th Sept, Claife Heights.
A foul day weather-wise so off to a little one. The route from the Red Nab car park is our usual approach, the route from Far Sawrey seems to cause a lot of navigation problems in the woods. For Red Nab take the road to the south of Hawkshead signed Sawrey but almost immediately turn left into a minor road signed Wray. Follow this until you come to a road on the right signed Far Sawrey Unsuitable for vehicles after one mile.
This road takes you to Red Nab where there is room for about ten cars beside the lake. Walk by the lake to Belle Grange, turn right just after the house and ascend via the paved (slippery when wet) track. Ignore side tracks carry on up (signed Hawkshead via Guide Post) to eventually arrive at a broad logging road. Turn left and follow this to a small tarn on your right. On your left up a small bank is a signed track through the woods to Far Sawrey Ferry. About 200yds down this track, turn right up a green track leading to a small signpost To The Viewpoint. The trig is about 50yds up this path, in the open but surrounded by trees. Apologies for the long route info but we hear of and have met so many lost people in the woods so it may help. Today it was WET, on the summit it was like standing in a shower bath and unfortunately we had to cancel the HF section of the activation. It was impossible to sit anywhere and we ended up standing at the trig with the radio and logs in waterproof bags and the mast bungeed to the pillar. This did not cause any inconvenience to others as we did not see a single person on the hill all day. It was so wet that even the egg butties came back to the car and we had a picnic by the lake (still in the car!).
Sunday 26th Sept, Dale Head.
The obvious start point for this one is the summit of Honister Pass with a choice of parking. If you are feeling athletic there are one or two spots on the way up the Pass from the Keswick side which will involve more climbing on foot. At the top of the Pass there are several options, first on the left is the National Trust offering at their usual rates Next is the entrance to Honister Slate mine with an choice immediately inside its gates. To the right is the posh car park which is more expensive and aimed at the short term visitor. Turn left and follow the track to the Wainrights and Walkers car park £3.50 all day, pay at the shop and if on your return you spend over £10 in the gift shop the £3.50 is refunded. The notice to those parking without paying says “We don’t clamp we slate!” and is illustrated with a car hemmed in by a huge block of slate. The gear capable of doing this is all around.
The climb is quite straightforward up the fence line but if you are using the path to the west of the fence be aware of a small unfenced quarry close on your left about a third of the way up. There is a break in the fence at this point and it could be a serious problem in mist. As you have to cross the fence at some point it’s probably easier to start on the eastern side in the first place. At the end of the fence (it turns right and is broken to stumps in concrete) follow the cairned path to the big summit pillar; don’t go far beyond it to the north east unless you can fly. Made a silly mistake on the summit by sending a post to Andys system only to find there was no signal, put the phone back in my pocket only to find it had transmitted the message much later as we descended into a signal area resulting in a false posting. Sorry about that, it’s a mistake I’ll try to avoid in future.
The bands were a mixed bag with 5 and7MHz good but 10MHz had no callers; think we caught most regulars on 7MHz. Two metres was good on both modes but it was noticeable that we did not work many of the regular chasers in the Lancashire area although we had several 59+ reports from North Wales where there are no mountains in the way. Four metres was dead as a nit which in a way was a blessing as we had been on the top in the cold for over three hours and it really was time to go.
All being well we should be at Newark, look for the old faded SOTA sweatshirts and please say Hello.
Take it steady out there.
Rob and Audrey
CW REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 2010 - by Roy G4SSH
The fact that summer is over was brought home to me last Thursday at 17000 feet over Leeds Bradford airport when the pilot announced that we would be circling to see if the fog cleared, otherwise we would divert to Manchester. Fortunately we did manage to land 30 minutes later after a white-knuckle descent, but October also marks a transition time for SOTA activators and chasers as the deterioration in weather conditions creeps across Europe, persuading activators to aim for a lower target and chasers discover that 10 pointers are becoming particularly rare.
Propagation was only moderate on the HF bands during September, resulting in just a handful of activations being heard on the higher bands:-
28 MHz: S57XX, F5UKL,
24 MHz S57XX
21 MHz HA5LV, HA5MA,
18 MHz: G3CWI, S57XX, M1EYP,
F6HBI, F5UKL, F8YU, F/VA2SG
HA5MA, HA5LV, HG4UK,
K9JWV, N7UN, WA3WJS, KI6J, KB1URX, KB1PBA, WG0AT, N7UN, W3FF,
S57XX, S57X, S59Z
VE2PID, VA2SG, VE2TH, VE2JWC,
DL2XL, DF5WA, DR44WFF, DL/HB9AGO, DL6DH, DF3MC,
F6HBI, F5UKL, F/HB9BQB, F8DZY, F/VA2SG,
G3RDQ, M1EYP, GW0DSP, MM0ROV, G3VQO, GW4CWI,
HB9BAB, HB0/PC5A, HB9DGV, HB9BHW, DL/LX1NO,
LA1KHA, LA1ENA, LA8BCA,
OE/DL4CW, OE5DIN, OE5EEP,
S53X, S57XX, S57X,
The 80m enthusiast were grateful to the following for activating this band, although conditions were not good:- OK9HAG, M1EYP, M0RCP, GX0OOO, G3VQO.
A warm welcome is extended to the following newcomers, heard activating SOTA’s for the first time on CW during July:- Erich OE5EEN, Andrew GM0UDL, Aurelio PC5A, Jean-Pierre F8AYU, Zoli HA2PP, Ulrich HB9CGA, Herbert OE5HHP, Lada OK2BLD, Gerhard OE6RDD,
Heard active on expeditions outside their own countries were:
F/DL6UHA, F/HB9BQB, F/VA2SG,
DL/HB9BQB, DL/HB9BAB, DL/HB9AGO, DL/HA2VR, DL/LX1NO,
OE/DL4CW, OE/DJ3AX, OE/DF3MC, OE/DL3VTL,
LIST OF CONTESTS DURING OCTOBER 2009:-
The following scheduled contests are expected to cause severe QRM to SOTA activity, especially on the 40m band. Activators should plan accordingly with alternate spots/bands. This is not a complete list of contests.
3rd only 0900-1100 DARC 40m Hell contest
10th only 0001-2359 UBA CW Contest
10h only 0001-2359 SKCC CW sprint
16th-17th 0001-2300 JA World-Wide RTTY contest
16th -17th 1500-2359 Worked all Germany CW / SSB contest
18th-19th 1200-2300 QRP ARCI CW QSO party
23rd only 0001-2359 FOC CW QSO Party
30th-31st 0001-2300 CQ World-Wide SSB DX contest (Major QRM to 40m)
SOTA News is normally published around noon UTC on the last day of each month and can only be as interesting as the items submitted. If you think your particular field of interest is not being covered then please submit an article by the 25th of the month. Have you a favourite SOTA? favourite mode? favourite rig, antenna, or favourite band? How did you find your first day / month / year as an activator or chaser? Your comments and experiences will be read by SOTA enthusiasts all across Europe, the USA, and beyond, in a total of 24 different countries. Your input will be most welcome.
SOTA News Editor