Well, we got there (Hayes, Kent), but delayed courtesy of a load of concrete pipes spilled on the M6 near the RAC HQ in Birmingham on Wednesday afternoon. Took 2 hours to get from the end of the M54 to the scene of the spillage. Having had a cuppa before we left Shrewsbury, boy were we glad to get to Corley services.
Having done my duty by taking Janis to Tesco, and then to Beckenham to meet up with some of her school friends for a ladies lunch (mainly rabbit!), I was released and drove off to Botley Hill. A look at the car park suggested I could get in and turned round and had a fair chance of getting out again. I used G3CWI’s suggested activation area - plenty of snow still on the ground but well shielded from the wind, and bombed by snow and hoar frost melting from the trees above. Found one side of the antenna broken at the 5MHz joint, but operated on 40M and 20M to qualify the summit. A twisted-wire bodge got me on air on 80M for a few UK QSOs, but not sure how much that ‘repair’ contributed to the high noise level on 80. Totals of 6 on 80, 7 on 40 but only 2 on 20.
Friday was a tramp through the snow to Downe for a good, but rather expensive lunch in the Queen’s Head, and back.
Saturday was used to go via Edenbridge for coffee (and the obligatory search of the charity shops) to Ditchling Beacon. No point in trying even an approximate spot time - you get away when you get away. Much warmer (or less cold anyway) than Thursday with only a gentle breeze. Activated on a N-S line within a few metres of the trig point. Plently of chasers (16) on 80, and the bodge held. Usual weekend activity on 40 but able to find an initialy clear slot. 19 QSOs but increasing QRM from adjacent stations made it difficult, and when I moved to 20 (only 4 QSOs here), I’m not sure whether I had worked all the chasers on 40. If anyone missed out, my apologies, but I couldn’t hear you.
Watching the increasingly cheerfull face of the weather forecaster on TV today, pointing out the deepening blue tinting of the map, suggests that I may not get to another summit before Christmas, in which case, a Happy Christmas to all fellow activators and chasers.
73s de Dave, M0DFA/G6DTN