Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Soaked through on Gowbarrow Fell

I'm finally eligible to claim one of my own WOTA certificates! This morning I made a contact with Phil G4OBK/P on Souther Fell and thereby completed working all of Wainwright's Northern Fells.

Phil had preannounced his intention to visit Souther Fell on the WOTA website, which was the last one I needed. This fell is blocked by higher mountains so I can't work it from home - I would have to get to a good vantage point. I could have driven to a suitable spot, parked and waited for Phil to appear but I decided to make the contact from a summit. The weather forecast was for rain, however, not the kind of conditions I normally choose for an activation. Out of the rucksack came the antenna mount (so I could use the waterproof rucksack cover) and the APRS radios (too expensive to risk getting wet.) The rig for the day was the Motorola GP300 with the base loaded Nagoya half wave telescopic.

The weather lived up to the forecast. By the time I reached the summit my boots had taken on water from the numerous puddles and long wet grass I had to traverse to reach it. My Goretex waterproof was letting in the rain, too. Only the inside of my rucksack remained dry. The views from this summit can be spectacular, but today was no day for a camera. So no photos. Instead, I'll link to a page that has some pictures of what I could have seen on a better day.

I had to make several calls before I could raise anyone. Finally Malcolm M0XAT heard me. Next the Penrith duo, G0TDM and G4WHA, and then Colin G4UXH and Sue G1OHH from "down south" who were both at good signal strength. I then had a bit of a wait before Phil arrived on summit and began to call. I passed the time trying to wring the water out of my socks.

Mission accomplished I headed back down to the car, home and a hot bath. The radio and antenna are now in the hot water tank cupboard drying out. My boots will probably take a bit longer.

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