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Accessible summits for the less able

A look for accessible summits, via a search engine, produced a mention of Burton ARC, and a list, possibly held by them.

Unfortunately, www.burtonarc.co.uk is a dead link now, and the address appears to be for sale.

Did a list of accessible sites get compiled on the SOTA site?

Flushed with my chasers success from yesterdays EU-NA “do”, [he say’s, brandishing his one point!], I noticed a dearth of PSK generators out there.

Now, my disabilities are not as bad as others, mine are mainly problems with the thigh muscles, plus a few cardiac bypasses, diabetes and hearing aids - several other things have fallen off, fallen out, stopped working, dried up, or been snaffled by the NHS over the last 71 years - apart from that, I’m OK.

You could say that I am a man of many parts - it’s just that not all of 'em are working!

My increasing reliance on a walking stick, plus walking uphill, tends to take the shine off things, and I am knackered long before I get to the AZ.

I have no wheelchair, I can walk, and if the bit from the car to the AZ was not too “slopey”, and not too far, I would be able to get there, and fill the PSK gap, by creating some, for all operators, SOTA and non SOTA, and gain an activation point for me - my first one, to sort of “counter balance” my one chaser point.

Whilst on the subject of summits, who had the stupid idea of placing them above sea level? -

I was born on the edge of the Fens, and we took a lead from the Dutch, our summits were all ironed out flat, like theirs’, far more civilised, in fact half a mile from where I lived, we had summits that were just below sea level, I got a nasty surprise when I moved to Staffordshire in 1980!

Anyway, I digress, can anybody point me towards “Accessible summits”, if there is a list, please?

John

Hello John, this information request has come up before on the reflector but right now cannot find it. For what it is worth Ditchling Beacon is a good one for you if you are down this way (G/SE-006).
Good luck.
Mike

Try:-

http://web.archive.org/web/20120521205213/http://www.burtonarc.co.uk/sota_easy.htm

The Burton ARC resource was the one that I was aware of.

Maybe a joint effort on this reflector could produce a list.

The kick things off, I know that Rombalds Moor G/NP-028 is easily accessible. It’s possible to drive in an ordinary car right into the activation zone. As expressed elsewhere, the SOTA rules are purposely vague, so as long as you do your operation in the ‘in the spirit of SOTA’ there won’t be a problem regarding validity. The way I see it is that as long as you move some distance from your vehicle and you are totally independent from it (not providing power or shelter), then it’s OK. In my opinion, the amount of separation from the vehicle depends upon the activator’s ability.

Could a ‘blog’ be opened perhaps or even a wiki page?

73, Colin

Hi John,

The nearest accessible SOTA summit to where you live is Gun G/SP-013, although this a quarter of the miles walk and 30m ascent, you only need to to walk 100m to 150m and ascend 5m to get into the activation zone. If you do decide to activate this summit, please let both me and my dad Tom M1EYP know as we may come and join you for this activation. Also Winter Hill G/SP-010 and Great Orme GW/NW-070 are accessible SOTA summits that you can get to.

Jimmy M0HGY
G - Association Manager

Thank you for the responses, everyone!

I realise that trying to produce a list is difficult, because not every disability is the same, and indeed, people are affected differently by their disabilities on different days - I can walk, and there are days when I feel like a spring lamb, and others when I simply don’t bother to go out.

I have found a few “recommended” summits, you have given me others that you think are suitable sites, now the rest is up to me.

Some will be suitable - others not so, it’s a case of “Do what you can, and leave what you can’t”

Thanks very much for the offer of Gun Hill, Jimmy and Tom, but that’s the one that beat me before, but it was rather muddy, and I decided not to take my stick, a bad decision!

I may just go for a “recce” around a few of these places, with only a 2m handheld, and no “SLAB” batteries to drag behind me.

I’ll nip off now, and take a look at that archived stuff - Rombalds Moor sounds intriguing - I love that name!

John

I did a simple ‘flood’ on some Welsh Borders summits some time ago that should give an indication of where it ‘may’ be possible to activate from (It’s up to the activator to ensure that they are inside the activation zone, of course)

I’d say that trying a 2m handheld from View Edge may probably be less than successful though unless an alternative antenna was used!

Don
m0hcu

Hi John,

One very easily accessible summit is G/SP-017 Billinge Hill. This has a road passing through the activation zone so after finding yourself somewhere to park, you would not have far to walk. However the major problem with this summit is that it hosts many commercial transmitters, which will play havoc with many modern handheld VHF radios.

Unless you have a VHF radio with a good front end & good amateur band filters, or you would be operating HF, it would probably be best to give this summit a miss, despite its easy access.

A few years ago I activated Billinge Hill during an early morning bike ride & shot some video demonstrating the problems you may have with modern handheld radios.

I think the video speaks for itself.

Best of luck with your future activations :slight_smile:

73, Mark G0VOF

John, as Jimmy describes, you don’t need to make it to the summit of Gun to get into the AZ. In only a quarter of the distance from the parking area to the summit, you will have ascended the 5m necessary to get to a position from which an activation is legitimate.

For some where you can park in the AZ and set up a short distance from your car, try the following:

G/CE-001, G/CE-005, G/DC-003, G/DC-004, G/DC-005, G/NP-028, G/SC-004, G/SC-005, G/SC-008, G/SE-003, G/SE-004, G/SE-005, G/SE-006, G/SE-007, G/SE-008, G/SE-010, G/SE-013, G/SE-015, G/SP-010, G/TW-004, G/TW-005, G/WB-018, G/WB-021, G/WB-023.

GW/SW-018, GW/SW-028, GW/SW-036, GW/MW-037, GW/NW-064, GW/NW-070.

Any further details or guidance, contact the G AM (Jimmy) or the GW AM (Roger). And please consider taking full advantage of the AZ rule to make Gun achievable for you.

Thanks Tom, I’ve now viewed the BurtonARC list that is archived, and yes, I’ve also discovered that the AZ starts only a short distance up the path on Gun Hill.

As I wrote before, it all depends on how I am on the day - you could see me walking perfectly OK, and think, “There’s nothing wrong with this man”, and on another occasion I can be stumbling, rather like a drunk.

Strangely, in about 2006, or 2007, long before I’d heard of SOTA, I took my “Small Wonder Labs” PSK-20 up Gun Hill, on a “nice” day, that is, weather and leg both fully cooperating.

It was rather busy up there with lot’s of walkers, plus a couple of lady horse riders, so I operated just off the beaten track to the RH side of the trig, about 30 yards away.

So I have been there before, just need to pick the right day, and if I run into problems, wander off the beaten track, and operate, just as long as I’m at least halfway up.

John

Of course, looking at the number of activations that Gun gets, the last of my worries will be walkers and horse riders, the place is littered with cluttered up with Radio Amateurs!

John

2 Likes

littered and cluttered up

Do you know, if you’ve still got your log from that day you could enter it into the SOTA Database and claim a point!

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GM/SS-286 Lamberton Hill has a public Rd in the AZ if you fancy another association.

Seems like a good solution would be to allow activators to select attributes for a summit including whether or not it’s wheelchair accessible, the trail surface, maybe a SAC scale, and other attributes like whether or not camping is allowed on or near the summit. If this information were contained in the summit database then they could be easily searched for.

I think John has inadvertently volunteered himself to make a list - with notes when he has been there and who recommended the peak. No good letting the innocent escape punishment.

Or John could come to VK3 and together we can drive and or hobble in to the AZ of many fine peaks without the mud and rain. (I am compiling a list) Sunburn and extra large March flies provided. If mud and rain are considered essential we can find a few of those two. Would you like snow with that or just a little sleet?

73
Ron
VK3AFW

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In the summit list of information you can view the summit in Google Earth if you check that out it should show any roads passing by or near the AZ of any summit.
Ian vk5cz …

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The thing is that while the Burton ARC list is mainly aimed at UK hams (as I remember it, anyway) we are talking about a universal problem. My personal opinion is that it should be part of the job of an AM to assemble the list of easy access summits for his Association, this list could become part of the ARM or we could have a separate repository for it, that could be sorted out later, but every Association needs such a list. Easy access could include quite high summits with rail or cable car access as well road links.

Brian

5 Likes

Hi Brian,

You are right but I just heard 1,000 AMs say “What?”

73
Ron
VK3AFW

Hi John
There are drive on Summits or really easy access ones. In 2009 Geoff 2E0BTR took me for two trips while I was poorly with a broken leg. Whilst on crutches, I was able to activate Ruardean Hill, Cleeve Hill, Mynydd y Bettws and Mynydd Epynt. Sorry I can’t remember the references. Thanks to Geoff.
View Edge has a road through the AZ but requires crossing a stile to get to a fence across the path where fair line of sight communications are better. On Hegdon Hill, we walked 10 paces from the car and activated the hill on 6m SSB on the AZ.

So welcome and I hope you find some more hills to activate.
73
David M0YDH