Early start my alarm Set to 4.00 am. Coffee and toast with bags packed Steve 2E0KPO and John M0JDK arrived at my home at 5.20. Loaded up my new toy a Land Rover, and we were of to the first summit of the day,G/WB-004. It was still dark when we arrived but a short walk onto the hill, we started the activation. The wind was strong and we had rain, it was hard to make my fingers work. I had 2 contacts on 145 with my handheld as John and Steve set up the SSB station. We had SOTA beams and HF dipole with us but WX to bad so we tried with a halo for 144 ssb. This was very easy to put up and in no time the first QSO’S were being log ed. Activation over it was back to the Rover, it took some time to warm ourselves up before I could drive to G/WB-002. It was decided to ascend by the tarmac road, this was done for safety under foot. We parked at the bottom of the road and when up the road which is very steep, with stops to admire the views we got to the top and started the activation. WX was again bad with high winds rain and some bits of snow. Again we used the halo for 144 ssb. Contacts were log ed as we took turns on the mike, logging and holding the pole up. On the walk down the wind was getting stronger and we were all glad to be safe back to the Rover. The WX had taken its toll and we all suffered from water ingress in our clothes. Then across the border to Wales. It has been many a year since I used a GW call and was looking forward to this summit GW/MW-013. We parked at the bottom of the extinct Forrest through the gate and straight up the hill. From now on Steve was walking with us for the company as he had done this hill and also the others to come, so no points for Steve just a good workout. With stops to admire the views again we got to the top. It is a climb all the way up with no respite to the top. Steve with no rucksack was first to the top and was checking wind speeds 55 mph and wind chill -8c when John and I got to the top. You could lean into the wind and not fall over it was that strong. Hiding the best we could behind the rocks with Steve holding the pole we activated using the halo again. Any other antenna system we had with us would have been impossible to use in the strong wind. Activation done back to the Rover and on to the next hill G/WB-003. We parked in the large car park. Before the assent it was tea time and a brew up was had. Felling better for a warm drink we walked up to the summit. The wind was just as bad but the rain had eased a little. We set up behind the rock at the top with the halo again and activated. The walk down is exposed at the top and the wind got up again so walking straight plus picking through the rocky path was a challenge. Back to the Rover and on to the last hill for the day G/WB-005. I had been told the drive up the road near the summit has a good drop at the side of the road. This looked like fun. I was not disappointed with the views on the way up, the road takes your breath away. We found a spot near the summit and with a short walk we were up and running again. Contacts made we packed up and drove back home.
What a day bad wx but good company, and with the winter bonus 25 points in the bag. Thank god for the halo or all might have been lost. I took the 5 meg gear up all summits but it was impossible so apologies to all who might have been waiting for signals on this band. A big thanks to all our contact on the day.
see us all at http://www.burtonarc.co.uk
73 Dave G0AOD