OK firstly apologies for the no-show on Green Hill. Having suffered snow towards the end of my activation this morning on Green Lowther followed by torrential hailstones on the descent I was wondering what could happen next when I got back to the car. Well the sky was the darkest grey I’ve seen in a long time.
“All I need now after that hailstone pummeling is the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse to ride past”. And with further ado, the sound of galloping horses could be heard!
Actually the heavens opened and I had to jump into the car with my cup of Earl Grey. A damn fine lashing with rain for 5 minutes followed. When it stopped I got out and bailed the water out of the tailgate area of the car which I’d left open and looked at the sky. Wave after wave of foul greyness was coming my way and I thought to myself…
“You know, I don’t need those 5 points.”
Green Hill has a nice view in the good weather but today it’s a 30 minute march up a muddy trench and then across a boggy col to a grassy field with a bit more up and a solitary iron stake at the summit. I wasn’t wet and I didn’t want to get wet. Not for Green Hill for the 3rd time. A unique and I’ve have gone up. Had I driven for miles to get here then I’d have gone up. But it wasn’t and I hadn’t. So I didn’t!
Sorry, I have become a fair weather activator
Anyway, I decided on these two because I just didn’t fancy and long drive and a long walk with the WX forecast being not brilliant. Of course this rain wasn’t predicted, just a few showers. Yeah, well it wasn’t a shower it was a monsoon!
So Green Lowther. I parked at the cemetery in Wanlockhead and went straight up the Southern Upland Way. Just up and up without stopping and sh-zammm I was at the radar radome. When I set off the ridge top was in thick cloud. I did think of doing Green Hill first as it was clear. But decided to see if I could get up without stopping for a breather. The result of walking 15.5kms last week and other long marathons is paying off as I simple plodded up the steep bits and fair flew along the gentle bits. There was a car parked by the radome and I did see two blokes walk along the top road as I was coming up. As I said on air, I thought about banging on the door and asking to come in and take some photos. But I thought I’d probably end up in an orange jump suit in Cuba. Of course under new legislation it’s now apparently illegal to take photos of installations such as NATS complexes like Green Lowther. (Same law that makes it illegal to snap a policeman doing his duty.) Well s*d 'em, the photos will be on Flickr when it’s working again.
The path was very wet and badly churned up. Not helped by 2 locals who live near the cemetery riding quad bikes up the footpath. Hmmm, that seems not on to me. Once at the top it’s along the road for 1.5km to the far end and using the fence there, Bob’s your uncle and the HF antennas were up and I was away. I had S2S contacts with Stuart GW0MJG/P and Carolyn GW6WRW/P and worked 2 new stations, G0VOF and G4EGU, hello to them. In fact the snow started whilst talking to G4EGU.
The wind was bringing a wall of solid grey something my way so I packed up, lobbed on some Gore-Tex and set off. 3 more quads bike being ridden by eejits came past, 2 more walkers with a well behaved dog stopped for a chat. Then the hail started. Little ones followed by marrowfat pea size lumps. Heavy, hard and fast. This continued for 20 minutes and then stopped. I hoofed it down as fast as I could as Green Hill was now lost in the murk.
Which brings me back to the start and my decision to not go up Green Hill. As I said, I don’t need those 5 points that much.
Total walked: 9.2km, total ascent: 440m, total driven: 90miles.
Pictures in the Flickr group (when Flickr straightens itself out).