Well UHF was certainly perfectly adequate for SOTA once again today. Then again, the being the only activation in England on Wednesday 17th May 2017 may have helped ease the qualification!
It wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to work out why I was the only G activator. The rain never stopped all day. Which it was something of a surprise to find a National Trust warden and large working party near the summit of The Cloud G/SP-015 upon my arrival. I was intrigued by their mission!
The Cloud has always been off-limits for cyclists. Well, those that insist on actually riding their bikes over it anyway. Officially that is, according to the signs and bye-laws. Many ignored that, and it would be a rare Tuesday night activation that didn't involve at least two groups of mountain bikers passing over the summit. In recent weeks, the frequency and visibility of the "mountain biking prohibited" notices has markedly increased.
The frequency and visibility of mountain biking has not correspondingly decreased though. So, what was the NT working party up to? Well, digging up and moving a huge boulder it seemed. This was a complex operation, and each slight movement was facilitated by two carefully-positioned rails, a harness, and a tug o' war effort by the working party. Surely this would have been the perfect training camp for the nearby, and world-famous Bosley Wood Treatment Tug of War Club?
The boulder was eventually positioned about a quarter of the way down a path off the summit - a particularly popular one for mountain bike descents of the hill, and suffering rapid erosion damage as a result. It will be interesting to see if it dampens the biker's enthusiasm.
I had originally intended to do another 5MHz activation, but the rain washed away any enthusiasm for such a thing, and I didn't even carry the gear up with me. Just the VX7R handheld in my pocket, and the logbook and pencil in the other.
2m FM: 8 QSOs
70cm FM: 6 QSOs
I did also try 6m FM using the extension to the VX7R's helical antenna, but no-one came back, despite soliciting a spot and even settingup a sked on air. Many thanks to all chasers who called in.