New Years Day activation of G/CE-004 Bardon Hill, joint with G7LAS, short report.
It was a toss-up whether we activated G/CE-004 Bardon Hill, nearer for Rob, or something in G/SP Association, nearer for me. Bardon Hill it was.
At just 278 metres ASL, in terms of height, this is only a Mickey Mouse summit. However, don't let this deceive you. The the take-off on both HF and VHF is extremely good and in half decent conditions, it will reward you handsomely. For the SOTA DXer, it can hold a sack full of surprises.
If anyone is planning to activate this summit at the moment, be warned, it's like a skating rink.
The walk up to the trig point, took much longer than anticipated and as we were carrying a lot of gear, it was hard work for a summit that's usually a nice steady 30 minute walk.
It was still dark when we got to the trig and had to set up using our head torches. Our first port of call was to be the 20m band and so we bungeed the Antron-99 to the fence, in the hope of finding some DX. After the first 40 minutes, with just 10 EU contacts logged, there was little sign of DX, or anything else for that matter. This gave Rob the opportunity to set-up his 4m station,
The 20m band was proving to be hard work until Itzhak 4Z5TT, called in at 0815z for our second contact in as many activations. Hiroshi JH0INP, who was beaming long path, was next and he was quickly followed by another 7 JA's. all easy copies, most of them also beaming long path. Talk about feast or famine! It's not very often I've worked Japan on the 20m band from a summit, it's nearly always 15m, so to nick eight on 20m was a real treat. Dunno if any of them were SOTA chasers, maybe, I'll take a look later.
Things then livened up on 20m and soon I had 75 contacts logged Once again, the A-99 was in
overdrive. My visit to 10m was to be a much tougher proposition, just half a dozen contacts, the best of it a 3200Km trip into Russia. Great to hear Steve G1INK, John G1STQ and Gez M0NTC on 10m groundwave. I did briefly hear Michael M0MDA, but the trip from Leeds was just a summit too far. My only other contact for the activation, was an s2s on 2m SSB, with Mike G7HEM/P activating Walton Hill.
Thanks to Rob for lending me his rig to make the 2m SSB contact. It's been far too long since I last made a VHFcontact using SSB. As we were closing down our stations, Peter M1CNL arrived at the summit and we left it to him to have some SOTA fun.
On the decent, both of us had trouble staying on or feet as it was so slippery, then it happened, I went base over apex ending up covered in mud and worse still, cracking the screen on my mobile, which really hacked me off
When Rob and myself got back to our cars in Vercor Close, I pulled the 2m handheld out of my jacket and heard Pete M1CNL working the band. We both gave Pete a call, giving him a couple of contacts for his log. .
Thanks to all the chasers...Wonderful days radio.