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All for a point eh?

I decided to activate G/SE-004 Butser Hill whilst I was staying in Basingstoke, a couple of hundred miles south of my home QTH, Warrington. It looked pretty simple to do, I had a few hours free yesterday morning before work and a company hire car at my disposal. I got up at 0730(L), got organised, had a nice breakfast at the hotel and set off for the 50 min journey to Butser Hill. It was a little overcast and I was a bit nervous about meeting the Ranger and being told to b@*ger off. I arrived at the car park to find the summit covered in fog. My luck was in, I thought, no Ranger will see me now. The feeling of luck subsided promptly after the pay & display ate my first quid. I fed it another to no avail. I thumped it and got my quid back, and again for the second which, was duly returned to me. So who wouldn’t, I thumped it again and got another one!!
I parked my car with a note in the window explaining the lack of a ticket, got my rucksack on and off I went. It is only a short stroll to the radio mast which I couldn’t see due to the fog and then it was a compass bearing for a couple of hundred metres to find the trig. As I approached it, I found a middle aged couple ‘canoodling’ in the fog. What should I do? Go back to my hotel and surrender the activation. Nope! plenty of time for more ‘canoodling’ after I had gone. “hmmm” got their startled attention and I set up my FT-857 and dipole at the trig. I explained what I was doing and proceeded to demonstrate, only to find the SWR thru the roof. With no tools, I packed up, returned to the car. Not to be beaten, I dug out my laptop and mobile broadband and Googled the address of Nevada Radio in Portsmouth. Only 10 miles away, they were very helpful and relieved me of the few bob required to get me back on the air. The £1 from the car park? Easy come easy go eh. Foot to the floor, back I went to the car park at Butser Hill. Now the fog had started to clear . I made my way back to the trig, just as it started to rain. My friends had gone and I was on my own. I set up quickly, an eye out for the Ranger as the rain started to chuck it down. I called CQ Sota several times to no avail and then a Mobile station came back to my call. The water running down my neck, I QSY’d to 145.525, exchanged signal reports, got his name, and my first point. He asked “what is SOTA” and so I explained. “Ah” he said, “not many hills round here.” After a struggle I got a few more, including 2 stations on the Isle of White. I finished up drenched, with 10 QSO’s in total, none of them ever having heard of SOTA and managed to get back in time to start work. So - what’s the point? Well, I got a point, got free parking and a wash. What more could you want?

Dave
M0TUB

In reply to M0TUB:
Sounds like a fun morning Dave, at least you managed to qualify it in the end.
Adrian
Mm0tai

In reply to M0TUB:

I’ve been up Butser a couple of times. First time didn’t even get one contact. Second time played it a bit more cute. Went up there for the PW 4m contest got 9 contacts and S9+ of QRM from the radio towers. So contests do have there place sometimes! Didn’t see any rangers on either occasion.

Peter

G1FOA

In reply to M0TUB:

Middle-aged couple canoodling in the fog, eh? Makes one proud to be British. Personally I would rather be canoodling than operating, portable or otherwise.

73
Ken
GI4FLG

In reply to GI4FLG:

Hi Ken
Of course, I absolutely agree, but she was already canoodling with him!!

Operating, every time.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

This kind of activity, on different summits, could become a serious rival to SOTA, especially if points could be gained
73 Roy

In reply to G4SSH:
Ok, one point for a canoodle. Wonder what 10 points would be??!

Jonathan
M6HBS

In reply to G4SSH:

But would you have to canoodle with 4 different people on the summit in order to gain the points?

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to M6HBS:

A pretty good day out!

In reply to M0TUB:
I guess ‘CW’ would thus be ‘Canoodle With’?

In reply to M6HBS:

In reply to M0TUB:
I guess ‘CW’ would thus be ‘Canoodle With’?

A C2C Canoodle to Canoodle, could be quite challenging!

Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

would you have to be a mountain goat to do this activity ??