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Hope Mountain


#1

Can anyone advise on the ground rules for activating Hope Mountain?

When I do this one I would like to be certain that I arrive at the correct farm (presumably Richard’s POI file will do this for me). Rumours of liquid refreshment being welcome by the host have been noted - any preferences noted? Does the host have a name… besides Sir?

73, Gerald G4OIG


#2

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald
When I activated it recently I couldn’t get access to the farm, only because the farmer was out muckspreading and the sign on the gate warns of dogs being loose.
Being a big wimp, I opted for the other option, see Richard G3CWI’s tip on the summit info page.
You can park opposite the gate to the radio station and it’s a short walk up from there, the gate is always unlocked and there are no “private” signs barring access, so you can park near the masts (remembering the rule of walking for the final ascent).
There is a large grassed area on the radio station car park which will easily accomodate hf antennas and is well within the act area.
I activated from the field between the radio masts and the trig, but suffered desensing on vhf/uhf.
I put some photos on FlickR, these may help.

73

Mike GW0DSP


#3

In reply to GW0DSP:

Hi Mike,

I would like to activate away from the masts to avoid the desensing issue and so offer the summit for more distant chasers on 2m. As you say, the radio station access route is the much easier option, so I might build a filter and fall back on this option.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#4

In reply to G4OIG:

When you leave the dual carriage way to start climbing “Pentre lane” up to Hope Mountain, watch out for a white house on a 90 degree bad right bend, go straight on (actually turn left) at this house and don’t take the right hand bend, this will lead you to the gate (on the right) of the radio stn.
For the farm, take the bad right hand bend at the white house and then take a left just before the country park. The farm is approx half a mile on the left.
I look forward to your activation because it will be a new one for me, even though I only live 12 miles away, hi.

73 Mike


#5

Last time I was there, the gate WAS locked. A PROW runs through from the farm entrance to a field behind. The top edge of this field (by the wall and gate of the adjacent field containing the trig point) is within the 25m AZ.

However, signs for the PROW are non-existent, loose dogs patrol the yard through which it is supposed to run, and it is blocked by an electric fence beyond that anyway.

This is what I do:

Drive into the farmyard. This causes the dogs to run around barking their heads off and the farmer or one of his family to come out and inspect. From the security of my car, I then ask permission to visit the trig point. The farmer directs me to a parking space on his property (very useful since there is hardly anywhere else to park around there), ties up his dogs and points out the route he wishes me to take to the summit.

Several SOTA activators have done this AFAIAA, and the farmer has been similarly accommodating with all.

Note that the viewfinder at the highest point of Hope Mountain Country Park a short distance away, is outside the AZ.


#6

In reply to G4OIG:

I walked from SJ295573 which is on the lower road, the one on the east side of the summit. There is a footpath sign by the road. The gate was tied up quite well , it didn’t look like anybody ever opened the gate so I climbed through the fence rather than disturb it. There isn’t a clear path on the ground, but walking in a straight line across the field of cows in a south westerly direction is about right.
But you don’t really want to follow the path once you’re in the field, I started going towards the south, which is climbing up the slope towards the summit until I got to a fence. This fence is within the activation area. At this point (SJ294570) some of the radio masts are within about 50 metres. But I was OK with my FT817.
It looked like there was an electric fence between the farm and where I left the footpath.


#7

In reply to M1EYP: (From the security of my car, I then ask permission to visit the trig point.)

Why from the security of the car? His Dogs are very friendly, they may shout a bit but they were harmless to me.


#8

In all probability, I guess they are pretty harmless. However, I would dispute ‘friendly’. And I don’t think it is intended that thy are friendly either - there is a sign at the farm entrance stating “Loose dogs, enter at own risk” (where the absent Public Footpath is supposed to be).


#9

In reply to M1EYP:

Being a wimp, or a sensible coward, I’m with you on this one Tom.
The signs are there for a reason, if only to protect the farmer legally, should the dog/s attack.
On one of my recent activations of Hope, one of the dogs went ballistic and certainly didn’t look anything resembling friendly.
I think it is good advice to wait in the car for the “nod” from a family member, when activating from the farm side of the summit, better safe than sorry and more importantly keep the farmer happy, on HIS private property.
Alternatively, activate from the radio station side or up the footpath described by Simon.

73 Mike


#10

It is a funny one, Hope Mountain. There is a PROW running through the farmyard to the field behind. This field extends into the activation area, but the adjacent field containing the summit and trig is definitely private.

It is, on the one hand, unsatisfactory that the sign for this public footpath has been removed, and replaced with a “Loose dogs” warning sign, and that the route of the path has been blocked by electric fence (as well as the dogs).

On the other hand, by doing things in consultation with the landowner, I have got an ideal parking space and access to the private summit itself.

Anyway, both Jimmy and myself have activated this Unique now, so we’re in no rush to return. Then again, if Macc escape relegation, there will be an away game at Chester next season, and GW/NW-062 is the ideal pre-match activity!


#11

In reply to M1EYP:

Although it’s a long way off, and Macc need Houdini hi, if you decide to do it in the morning, prior to the footy and want to “kill” an hour or so, between the activation and the match, please, both feel welcome to drop in at my place for a brew and some lunch.
Chester’s ground is only about 7 miles (15 minute drive) from my qth.
73
Mike


#12

Invitation accepted - many thanks! Now, if we just get three points at home to Bristol Rovers tomorrow night… We don’t quite need Houdini yet; we’re ahead of Wrexham and Boston. Torquay need snookers. I reckon Wrexham wil go down with Torquay, which would be a shame as that is also an away game that can be combined most satisfactorily with SOTA activations. We had a superb weekend towards the end of 2006 comprising Wrexham v Macc, NW-070, The Bengal Palace (Colwyn Bay - highly recommended), NW-042, Ponderosa lunch, NW-043.

Boston, OTOH, does not combine easily with a SOTA activation being in the Lincolnshire flatlands. The nearest is probably Normanby Top TW-005, but it’s hardly local. Here’s wishing all the worst for Boston’s remaining games. And all the best for a rapid rise through the divisions for the newly formed Grasmere United…

We’re away at Accrington next Saturday - now that could easily become a SOTA-football-curry combo weekend… (Edit: No it couldn’t, just remembered, am at the Radio Active show on Sunday).


#13

Good luck with staying up for Macc. Wrexham and Chester have always been a pair of yoyos in the lower divisions.
Maybe if it comes off, yourself and Jimmy could stop over Saturday night, and then maybe activate the Ponderosa pair (half an hour drive) or moel Famau/foel Fenlli (half an hour drive) on the Sunday after a good Sunday roast? WX dependant of course. Give it some thought.
Maybe we’ll discuss it nearer the time.
73
Mike


#14

In reply to GW0DSP:

Mike,

I see you are warming the summit up nicely for me! I trust the antenna tests are going well.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#15

Thanks for the kind offer Mike. May well take you up on that. Since my earlier posting, 2 defeats for Macc, 2 wins for Wrexham and a win for Boston. It’s all going horribly wrong. See you at the Nantwich rally on Sunday if you’re going. Jimmy and I will be on the Macclesfield & District Radio Society stand, which will include a small SOTA display.


#16

In reply to M1EYP:

You would be welcome, footy or no footy.
I won’t be at the rally unfortunately.
Hope the stand gets plenty of attention and you both have a good day of it.

73

Mike