I spent much of the afternoon in the shack assembling aerials while listening to 7032. The pile-ups continued all the time with hardly a break between one activation and the next. I called in occasionally but as I have never really taken to chasing, my efforts were sporadic. Outside, the weather seemed to be improving so before long I was thinking of doing an activation. I eventually decided on Gun. It is a pleasant hill that is far more rewarding (to me at least) when activated in a leisurely fashion rather than the more common smash-and-grab with The Cloud that most people do. I activate this hill quite often and enjoy seeing it in a variety of different weather conditions and seasons. As it was a windy afternoon I decided to activate on HF which meant that I did not need to be right on the top but could seek a little shelter on the fringe of the summit woods.
On arrival I took the “long” route to the top, approaching from the north. It is hardly any further than the normal route from the south but is slightly more varied. I did not visit the trig but instead went straight to my preferred spot along the fence-line. Setting up 40m took all of 5 minutes.
The skip had lengthened since I had left home but a good pile-up netted 44 contacts on as many minutes. I even had time to chat to some callers. A French station was keen to know the name of the hill although as many locals don’t know what it is called, I suspect he would not have heard of it. It was cool but not cold and my spot was nicely out of the wind. A flask of coffee seemed like a good idea until I knocked over the cup in my equipment box (daft place to put it - with the benefit of hindsight). An S2S with LA1KHA/P was an added bonus. My 3W home-brew system seemed to be working well.
The air was very clear and I could see a huge hill on the horizon. Looking at the bearing on my return it seems it was the Wrekin (63km away). There must have been something odd about the light or the air today as I have never seen it look so big before.
Arriving home I entered my log on the database and was surprised to note that 44 contacts was my highest ever QSO total for a SOTA activation! The activation made a lovely relaxing end to the afternoon.
I quite fancy an overnight activation of Gun so once I can find the landowner and sort out permission, I hope to camp up there.
PS I had not intended to write a report but Gerry’s earlier comment about there being less reports, encouraged me to write this one.