So, a long long time since I activated a SOTA summit but today I had a chance of sneaking in what is probably the most known summit in the SOTA world.
First I made an error when asked by the XYL, Cat, if I would take her and her sister to the airport for their holiday to Jamaica. I said “Aye of course.”, thinking maybe Glasgow, Edinburgh, even Manchester airports. Then they found out that it was far cheaper to fly from Birmingham. As I had said yes already I couldn’t turn back on the promise - apart from that I would miss out on my two weeks of peace and quiet. Oops! did I type that out loud?
Anyhoo, I thought I would sneak in a wee summit while down that way, a whole 678 mile round trip. I messaged Tom @M1EYP to see if an early morning activation on 2m H/H was possible, “Yes - Easy Peasy” he replied. So after dropping off the jet setters I headed for The Cloud.
I reached it a bit earlier than the Alert I had put on the day before but thought “Easy peasy” so set off up the short route up those steps. Misty! Windy! Couldn’t see a thing. I wasn’t expect to climb a teeny wee summit in G-land and get confronted by Scottish weather. I put on a spot and called CQ on the handy, and called and called. Eventually I got a reply from 2E0SRL. All in all it took 44 minutes to scrape up just four contacts. I was tired, hungry and now getting awfy drookit.
So was Tom haivering? Probably not. I was just too early on a Sunday morning I think to get the chasers. But I can now say that I have joined “The Cloud Club”. Pity about the weather and not actually seeing anything. A woman I met on The Cloud said the views are great, I’ll take her word for it.
I may go back sometime if passing again and see for myself but a 235 mile trip just to be passing might be pushing it a bit.
You should have tried Walton Hill - M42 and a couple of junctions on the M5 then a few minutes drive. No guarantees for activity, though - or views!
It is easy peasy, honestly. 44 minutes? I’d have anticipated 20-30 QSOs in that time - unless by “early” you meant between 1am and 6am. And that’s operating on a VHF handheld with rubber duck.
You can occasionally get caught out with an 80m type, having an uncharacteristic venture onto VHF. Landing one of these insufferable gasbags inevitably results in long (11 minute) overs that go into unnecessary detail about the shopping demands of the XYL, the progress of various plantations in the garden, and the results and prognosis from the last visit to the GP. Perhaps you copped for four of these?
Arrived on top about 0745 local time. Alerted for 0830 UTC I think, so maybe too early or the Scots tongue put them off.
Did have one contact that went on a bit and couldn’t quite get to grips with the geography of the UK. Did you know that because I live in Scotland I come from near Skye. Also he came from somewhere near to some place down the road from what’s it called along from that place! Where are you again? Don’t know where that is, is it near me?
Anyway, I got it activated and that was the goal, just a bit harder than I thought. Reminded me of the good old days in the beginning on 2m.
Brian I’ll have a look at that for the return. Apparently I’m expected (really!?!) to go back for them when they return. She has pinned instructions on the pin board but I haven’t looked at them yet - scared to! It may be a stupid o’clock pickup.
Sorry you had such a torrid time on the Cloud. Couldn’t have worked you even if I’d realised you were there though… Walton is a different proposition, only 2 miles from the home QTH so should be able to give you a contact (or two if I can tempt my youngest into airing her callsign…) Or if you fancy a meet-up could probably be arranged (I’m off work between jobs for the next couple of weeks )
73 de Paul G4MD
Yes realised Walton wasn’t far from you when I had a look to see where it was.
Do you fancy meeting in the middle of the night? I have just looked at return info Cat left - flight due in 0600 on the 6th August. Honestly REALLY. I’m greetin noo. Another seventeen hour journey! The things we do for our loved ones.
Maybe I’ll take the tent and HF gear and stay all night. You could bring a flask of soup - but none one those strange ones EYP seems to discover.
Train? You could use those 17 hours more productively in GM land…
Clam chowder on the Nantlle Ridge today FWIW.
Generally I’m up for almost anything but on this occasion must take into account starting the new job on 6th August… keep me posted of your plans and we’ll see what we can arrange… Very unlikely to bring a flask of soup but could bring the Trangia to cook up some fresh
73 de Paul G4MD