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Activation of G/DC-001 High Wilhays

The mountain forecast for G/DC-001 on Thu 30th Dec 2021 was cloudy in the morning and then sunny spells in the afternoon. I am required to stay on the farm in Cornwall, near St Ives, with the in-laws over Christmas and my younger daughter Alice (M7SQT) is in the second year of geology at Exeter Uni, Penryn-Falmouth campus - so her current home is in G/DC land. She is keen to do more SOTA activating so we set off for Meldon Reservoir today (via Penzance Sainsbury’s for petrol). (Meldon is close to Okehampton and a good parking spot for High Wilhays - £2 in coins needed for parking but very happy to support the maintenance of the car park and paths which I walk on - free toilets at car park as well.)
We set off and Alice dashed ahead and kept waiting for me at regular intervals!!! We cleared Longstone Hill and arrived at the boundary of the army firing zone - I had checked to ensure that firing wasn’t taking place - in fact I think the weather deterred all except the determined SOTA activator!! I set the compass to 116 deg as visibility was now very poor and we followed this and eventually we reached the ridge. We followed the ridge south and sumitted High Wilhays. We then back-tracked to a granite tor within the AZ for shelter.
Here, we set up on 2m FM and had a QSO with M1JMH (John in Clovelly) after not too long. Next came the icing on the cake - M0WIV/P on G/DC-005 Christ Cross (S2S for us both and another SOTA complete for M0TYM.) G0RQL, G0FGE and G4RNT then cemented qualification of the summit.
Conditions were atrocious with poor visibility and 40-50mph winds, which made the drizzle and mist very wet. As a result, we were unable to operate HF.
Alice (M7SQT) was very pleased to get another activation under her belt and I was pleased that I could use my map and compass skills to great affect to get us on and off the hill safely - as well as qualifying the summit and moving to within 88 points of mountain goat.
I reversed our ridge walk and compass bearing for the descent and we duly arrived at the boundary marker for the firing zone and the path back to Meldon car park over Longstone Hill. It was a wet and challenging day but I and Alice enjoyed it immensely.
73s
Alastair, M0TYM

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I decided to leave my radio gear at home for my trip to Devon this week. I did think about putting an MTR in my bag, I have done it on previous years. G/DC-001 is usually a winter bonus target for me. I might yet have another shot as we usually spend time in Devon during the February school holidays also.

We visited Dawlish today and the weather wasn’t exactly pleasant (although I’m sure it was nothing like how it was at the highest point on Dartmoor!)

73, Colin

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Alastair, I’m glad you qualified the summit and grabbed the points on our only summit down here with a winter bonus. I’m hoping to do it again early in 2022 having been up there twice this year. I set off from Meldon car park the first time but then went from the road past the camp south of Okehampton. The car park is at SX596922 and this is a much easier point to start from, not least because you are on good tracks for the first part and if there is a SW wind you will be sheltered from it to a degree on the walk in.

2m can be done down here, I was sceptical to begin with but have been swung around a bit but it isn’t the first choice for me except when I want a challenge. :slight_smile: 2m SSB is useful to have available in the armoury and can get French operators from here.

By contrast HF is more or less 100% certain of qualification - but it’s more hassle than an HT!

Many thanks for the S2S! Happy New Year to you and Alice. :slight_smile:

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