Activation Report for weekend of 1st & 2nd August 2009
White Hill G/SP-006 10.00 UTC: 01.08.09
Our plan was to activate 3 SP summits this weekend starting with this one. We had arrived at our base camp (Premier Inn at Gargrave) the evening before and settled down for a good nights sleep. This gave me the advantage of not worrying about traffic delays to the car park for White Hill,as we were only 35 mins away. Usually we would have had to travel the approx 2hr journey from home ,so this idea was better suited for multiple hills. We set off from Gargrave after a good breakfast and we were at the park space on TomTom in plenty of time to walk up. We had been pre-warned by Ian 2E0EDX that this was boggy all the way in.
We had already decided not to come in from Bottom Head and save our energy for the shorter walk in. What hit us almost immediately was the ground had been drenched all the more since Ian had gone up earlier in week! Wellies or even in places, scuba diving gear would have been a better option!! Then the rain started, just after the fence turned for the second time,making the going even worse. Once in the AZ, we utilised the fence and posts to set up and get on with it.
Concerned for the atrocious weather we abandoned the planned frequencies apart from 2m SSB.I had left the 897 in the bag and hung the bag from the post giving me a free hand to write the log,under the Fishing brolley which was also strapped to the fence. 6 contacts later it went quiet on 2m,so we decided this nightmare of weather conditions was enough as we still had SP-012 to do later,so we hastily packed up and down through the same swimming pool we had come up previously.
Overall this was the boggiest Hill in the worse weather since I started in SOTA.
Close to an hour walk in trying to avoid the pools and bogs: 6 contacts on 2M, G0VOF,M1AVV,G6XLL in London,G3OHC,G4OWG,all SSB and my only S2S up there with Ian 2E0EDX/P on NP-010 on FM.
Easington Fell G/SP-012 13.00 UTC: 01.08.09
After getting off SP-006 the weather as usual had improved,enough for us to hope for better on this one. From White Hill we were soaked to the Knees and no spare pants so I put heater on in car just blowing down to our legs for short journey to park for SP-012. Because we had left White Hill earlier than planned we had plenty of time to walk in to this one. Easington Fell walk in was the shortest we have done to date,although again quite boggy but nowhere near as bad as White Hill!!
Plenty of spaces at Park area again using Richards TomTom File. The path was visible all the way to corner where treeline starts,after which you can see the stones to the left. The weather had improved to such a degree that we decided to set up next to stones rather than utilise the fence by the treeline,in the hope it would be a better take off point. Setting up camp this time with picnic blanket and Fishing Brolley.( I know some of you must be saying he is already crazy taking all the weight of the 897 up summits ,and now he is adding 4-5 pounds of weight with the brolley) But then aren’t we all a bit crazy at times??? HiHi
Checking the spots on my Phone ,I found Phil G4OBK/P was on NP-032 and decided to chase him 1st before doing my CQ Calls. Then spending time switching modes SSB to FM and back again,eventually getting 13 contacts in the log on 2M. Switching then to 4m FM with the Wouxun and the wire dipole,giving a good few CQs but no reply back? having fetched Lunch up with us we decided on a well earned break before setting up beam for 70cms. Beaming south with Horizontal Polarised on 70cm SSB,again we shouted on a number of times hoping to get some just to get in Geralds book!!?? We had dried out from the mornings drenching and decided at14.30 UTC to get back to base camp for a well earned shower and Lovely Meal followed by some Red Medicine!!
Overall Easington Fell was an easy walk in and although only a 1 pointer it had given us more contacts than White Hill.
Only 20 mins walk in with a bit boggy in places, 13 contacts on 2M, G4OBK/P S2S on NP-032, 2E0EDX/P S2S on NP-010, M3LIU, G6XLL again from London, G4USW, G7OEM, G3OHC, M0XLT, M0PVA, M0OYG & M6MIJ, G4BLH, M6GLA (my Mate Glad, nice to get you 1st time from Summits).
Pendle Hill G/SP-005 10.30 UTC: 02.08.09
After a really good nights sleep we left base camp again in plenty of time to arrive at my alternative Park space. Instead of parking in Barley as Richard and others had done I decided to go out of Village and park by Entrance to Pendle Side Farm,as this looked a shorter walk in to preserve energy for Steep Ascent on this side.Spaces for at least a dozen cars here and at least 25 mins shorter walk than from Barley. From car walking along past farm through two gates and then deciding which path to take? One left ,which looked further from Trig when on top,one Straight up nearly vertical to Trig or one to right(which we took)and looked closer to Trig when on top.
Large boulders marking good path leading to smaller stones forming steps and small gulleys,going was slow as weather was a lot warmer today. For Myself and Elaine still apprentices in Hill walking it took just on 50 mins to reach Trig. But the feeling of Achievement when reaching that right side top is brilliant. Just as you get to top there is a Cross on the ground just to the right made out of stones and laid there for all to see. A few steps further and Trig is visible on its little lump about 200 yds ahead.
Looking for somewhere to set up,just in front of trig and only about 20 feet below is a man made erosion with stones for seats and it is out of the wind!! we were early enough to get a space here but we could see the procession of ants below on the way up to disturb the peace. Found a small hole in the ground for the pole I devised a unique guying system(photo on Flicker) which held it really well,put beam and 4m dipole up and sat down to get on before too many people up there.
Again checking spots,I found M3WJZ/P on NP-012 and decided to chase him 1st. 7 more contacts on 2m both SSB & FM later,switched to 4M and got two contacts.tried 6M with the wire dipole just spread out on ground 2 contacts there also. Having a visit from a very interested SWL(or was it a mountain goat!!HiHi) (Photo on Flicker)
Overall This was best summit of weekend not only were the views excellent,including the reservoirs and all the other pennine summits.
50Min walk in and 13 contacts again but this time 3 bands, M3WJZ/P S2S on NP-012, M0LMP, G3OHC, G0TRB, G4BLH(3 times, 2M & 4M & 6M), 2E0CSG (twice, 2m & 6M), M3NVJ/M, G4ERP/P S2S on LD-013, MW1FGQ (4M) and finally G4OBK/P S2S on NP-008.
A BIG Thanks to Mike G4BLH for most of the spots and some support while up there!!
we were happy to set off home and agreed it was an adventure weekend to remember.
Thanks to all who had contact with us and as usual all logged on SOTA Database and some pics on Flicker.