Well, it was a good day for me. I originally intended doing Pendle Hill G/SP-005 with Jimmy M3EYP for this 5th and final Backpackers, but an illness to Jimmy meant that he was grounded and I was relatively grounded. I therefore had to choose between my local threesome, and on balance of projected QRM from other contesters, and likelihood of being asked to move on by wardens, I opted for Gun G/SP-013.
All turned out well. I got S2S with GW3GUX/P on Mynydd Bodafon GW/NW-071, G8ZAY/P on Ruardean Hill G/WB-021 and GW0IBE/P on Waun Fach GW/SW-001 - who thanked me for the descent route I described on the reflector in the last few days, which he used as his ascent! I got quite a few Maidenhead locator squares that I had never got in my log previously on VHF, and QSOs into G, GW, GM, GD, GI, EI, PA, ON, F and DL. And there was me thinking that Gun G/SP-013 would be too close to The Roaches (not a Marilyn, but 130m higher) to get any DX into Europe!
A finishing serial number of 073 was my best ever in any form of VHF contest, although I only do the 2.5 or 4 hour events. I think the only ‘regular’ square I missed was IO91, plus I didn’t hear Don G0RQL in IO70, but this was more than made up for by the addition of the new ones in mainland EU.
Ray M1REK and Andy M1LOL, who had been contesting on nearby Wincle Minn, came to visit me for the last half hour of the contest, just as I switched mode to FM to “mop up” a few last ones before 4pm local.
A good afternoon out, and nice to get some DX on 2m at last.
(BTW, although Keith G8HXE was on Winter Hill, either his location or wkg condx or both were not SOTA qualifying - he told me this in our QSO).