I seem to remember something like this thread before, so apologies - but given that it is likely that for the next 7 weeks activations are unlikely what will be your breakout activation? ( PS Answers referring to The Cloud will be marked down for lack of imagination )
After having read Matthew’s Lake District epic that sounds like my fantasy activation, but given my age (like Andy I can just remember the Moon landings) and fitness level that is probably a fantasy choice, unless I suddenly come into money and can employ a sherpa…
So more realistcally I have not done Great Gable (G/LD-005) in ages, and I could spend some of the time thinking about a more appropriate antenna for the summit than a 80m linked dipole which could upset the end of lockdown crowds on the summit.
Lack of imagination maybe, but you know I’ll be there within 48 hours of coming out of lockdown!
My other priority targets are also predictable, but arguably more justifiable:
Shining Tor G/SP-004 - not done it yet in 2021 - and there’s winter bonus points available.
Gun G/SP-013 - did it this morning - and made 3 contacts! So there’s a point going begging when I next activate it.
Given that there may only be 3-4 weeks of Winter bonus left in the UK by the time we emerge from lockdown, the other agendas are pretty predictable too - the Shropshire 5, the Ponderosa Pair, the Clwydians, Kinder Scout, Black Hill etc.
Back to my Lockdown Walks - routes that start and finish at my front door - for my exercise for the time being I think.
[Not all of these start/finish at my home QTH - but those that don’t are as off limits as SOTA summits, so won’t be considered, as won’t the routes that are excessively lengthy in the current circumstances].
See what you’ve done now, Paul! You were tempting fate with that remark.
In answer to your antenna question, I would use my LNR Precision EFT-40/20/10 EFHW on a 9m pole as a sloper to ground or a wall if nearby [about 12m ground length]. VSWR okay on 80m with my KX2 internal ATU. A compromise on 80m but necessary if summit busy. If really busy, I would stick to VHF/UHF.
My end of lockdown plans (somewhere along the line) will include Ben Nevis GM/WS-001. Originally an outing was planned for autumn 2017 with Paul G4MD, but a heart attack put paid to that. The following year was off the cards on account of a bypass operation, but a few months later with me back in harness and in much better health, we started planning for autumn 2019. This time it was down to work (or rather the lack of it) that we failed to make the proposed outing. Our third attempt was focussed on early June 2020… enough said about that!
So when will attempt number 4 come to fruition? I’ve no idea, but then again I haven’t got a clue what I am doing tomorrow.
This brings to mind a hectic winter week in Scotland about 40 years ago, blessed with unusually fair weather. I was staying at Laggangarbh with the climbing club. We did WS-044, WS-078+096, WS-007, WS-074, WS-011+087 and finished with WS-001. If SOTA had been in existance then, it would have been 86 points in the kitty. I could dream of a repeat of this after lockdown, but alas I am twice as old now, and my dreams are more modest! A couple of the Shropshire summits would be very satisfactory now, say Long Mynd and Stiperstones.
Easter 2020 was to be Jura. Not the paps, well maybe, but mainly to active the less well activated wee ones from the Northern end back down to “civilisation” The sticking point was cost of accommodation there. May have been worth renting somewhere for the week and sharing with some like-minded SOTA buffoons.
Aug 2020 an island hopping trip from Barra via Eriskay, South Uist, North Uist, Harris and Lewis. There are some quite serious lumps on those islands but my plan was to bag as many as possible so mainly the easier ones but plenty of them. SOTA (HF and UHF/13cms from some better sited summits to Martin GM8IEM’s QTH near Quinag) during the day and also some MS (FSK441) in the evenings or if WX was pish. I’d sorted a generator and would have had about 100-150W on 2m to a 13ele Tonna (706MKII + Tono MR150W)
Oct 2020 would have been Ireland as Villaincon was in Dublin. Car hire and a few days of some of the summits South of Dublin.
Autumn 2020 would have been to F/JU, F/MC, F/PO around my sister’s QTH.
Amongst all of these, the usual nonsense in GM with some 13cms etc. and also some bike assisted trips such as bike from Inverey to Altanour Lodge then walk to Beinn Iuthern Mhor back to Altanour and camp then Carn Bhac and back to cycle out. Only way I can see me ever doing them.
So all this needs replanning as and when vaccinations get some serious coverage and we can go out.
Oh, dear. I can not only remember the moon landings but I was stationed at HMS Forest Moor near Menwith hill outside Harrogate. One of my/our jobs was to monitor the various HF ground links which automatically relayed some of the live conversations from the moon to elsewhere in the UK (or beyond).
I can’t recall hearing anything particularly interesting at the time, it was pretty quiet for a lot of the time. I’d be about 20 I guess - perhaps that might explain it?.
I’ve answered the question in terms of where I’ll be off to in the hours after lockdown - if indeed we are released at February half-term - by no means guaranteed. I’ve answered it in terms of the weeks following lockdown, assuming there are any weeks of UK winter bonus remaining.
In terms of grander ambitions, well the bigger plans put on hold, some dating back almost a year:
Family road trip holiday to Bruge and Freiburg.
Family holiday to Greencastle, Co. Donegal
Family holiday to Ayrshire coast
Family break to Hampshire (early morning, probably solo SOTA outings for me)
…plus of course M1EYP & M0HGY’s day out to GW/MW-038 to complete activating all of GW.
The only one of those that is a certainty is the latter; the other three are just casual ideas and discussions with very little in the way of firm planning.
Let’s just hope the new lockdown can reverse the growth of the infection rate so that the vaccines are able to bring this sorry episode to a conclusion.
What about your plans to activate those remaining unique SOTA summits south of Glasgow/Edinburgh Andy and your plans to activate GM/SS-067 and GM/SS-089 so as you can delete these SOTA summits as they are no longer Marilyns along with the other GM SOTA summits that are no longer Marilyns and to enable you add the new GM Marilyns to the GM Association also including another one you’ll need to activate as it will be south of Glasgow/Edinburgh! Were these going to be your 2021 plans as I see you didn’t list these in your 2020 plans!
They’re not expeditions where you go away from home for days on end but a case of drive down, activate and drive home. I should have bagged Craiglee in 2019 but had an issue with some ice, a rather deep boghole and some very cold water and came home for an early bath.