A Good Idea? (G/SE-001 Walbury Hill)

Yesterday I had to go to Bath to see someone, and figured, since it was quite a long round trip, that I’d break the journey one way or another by trying to activate Walbury Hill G/SE-001. Plans for an early morning activation on my way there were scuppered when I didn’t wake up early enough. I set an alert for 16:00z, and headed for Bath. Around junction 5 on the M25 I learned of a complete M25 closure a little further round, and abandoned the motorway for a scenic route. Inevitably, the drive to Bath took about an hour and a half longer than I’d planned for. Thankfully, it was a fine day, and the scenic route was mostly pleasantly scenic.

Inevitably, I was a bit late heading back from Bath, hit the beginnings of the evening rush, and took longer to get to the summit than I’d expected. I updated my alert along the way, first to remove the “145-fm” bit when I realised my handheld was still on charge at home, and later to shift the activation from 16:00z to 17:15z.

My GPS played a trick on me by taking me over the summit to the parking spot I had bookmarked; not the best of tracks to take a very small car over. Having reached the car park, I then walked back up the track, and bearing in mind the chilly breeze and G1PCR’s comments about sheep, I decided to make use of one of the fences. I picked a suitable fence post, and set up my inverted-V link dipole within sight of the trig point on the sheep-free side of the fence…

It was a little breezy, and the wind chill made life less comfortable than it might have been. That, added to the late start and the setting Sun, set a limit on the time I had on summit. I spent about 20 minutes on 60 metres SSB, having chats with 11 stations in that time. It was pleasant relaxed pile-up-free activating. When calls dried up I then opened the links and had a listen on 40 metres. It was a busy band, both in the SSB and CW sections. I opened a couple more links, found a clear spot on 30 metres, put out a CQ (pre-stored in the rig’s memory) and RBNgate worked its magic. My CW is still far from perfect; it took me a while to get 7 more contacts. I’m sure, miss at least one or two more. (Sorry, SP7FRO, by the time you called the wind-chill was getting to me…). Sunset wasn’t far away, so I packed up.

I got home a bit after 22:00z…

73, Rick M0LEP


A Good Idea? Well any summit is a good idea Rick, any time of day. Looks like it was worth it for the sunset. I can recommend sunrises as well. :wink:

Thanks for the report. Walbury was my first summit - I can blame it wholeheartedly for 9 years of pleasure!

73, Gerald G4OIG

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I’ve not been near Walbury Hill for a couple of years or so, but I wouldn’t be driving my car over the tracks anywhere near the summit, last time I went along those on a powered vehicle was probably about 30 years ago on a motorbike and they were probably in only marginally better condition then than your pictures show now.

Stewart G0LGS

I’ve just come back from three weeks in Kenya, and when the GPS said “go this way” I wasn’t really thinking in a UK way. Ok, so it’s not tarmac? Doesn’t look too bad. Press on regardless! (Photo shows the present entry slip at one junction of Nairobi’s equivalent of the M25…)

However, had the GPS suggested I repeat the route the other way when I set off home, I’d have ignored it completely…