It being a beautiful day and I having nothing other better to do than cut the hedge and lawns, paint the outside of the house and plaster my hall stairs and landing, I decided a long-overdue trip to my last remaining WB summit was in order.
Having heard stories of the hard pull up the hill from the “conventional” West side, I scoured the map for alternatives and decided to try the approach from the East, which although giving a much longer walk (about a mile and a third) only called for 25m of ascent. There is space for a car to park at SO415488, the farmer working in the adjacent field was quite happy for me to park there. According to a spot height on my map this is actually at the very edge of the Activation Zone, but being the keen type that I am I walked in to the trig point anyway to be sure of not being in the vicinity of my motor vehicle
It was an excellent walk, mainly through open deciduous woodland, giving a wonderfully cool dappled shade on this hot afternoon. The trig point itself is a few metres off the path in open woodland surrounded by dense brambles, but thoughtfully trampled down by visitors to the trig. The summit area has recently been felled and would be ideal for setting up a guyed mast to get aerials in the clear, but I wanted speed so I quickly set up using my highly engineered trig point stand-off bracket and clamping arrangement. My first call on 144.300 was immediately answered by Barry M3PXW (Thanks for the spot!). We QSY’d to 144.320 as .310 was noisy at Barry’s location and quickly completed, Barry requesting a call on 60m for Mike GW0DSP. This was rapidly followed by G3RMD, G4JZF, G0NES and G4OIG/P. Many thanks to you all, and for being there waiting to pounce - time was at a premium on this activation as I had to return home in time to collect my daughter from school!
Having worked Gerald OIG (many thanks for taking the trouble to be on a hill-top specially - much appreciated!) and having no further takers, I had a spare couple of minutes to try 60m. Worked Paul G0HNW in Yorkshire 5x9 both ways but no sign of Mike - sorry I missed you, but could not afford to wait long due to school run commitments!
Having quickly packed up, began a yomp back to the car. As I approached the densest part of the woodland, I heard a tremendous crashing from the undergrowth just to the left of the track and was treated to the sight of half a dozen deer running down the hill. I was musing on how fortunate I had been to see this when in a clearing to the right of the track I came upon another half dozen or so young deer standing in a group. After a couple of seconds’ nervous eying of me, they too took to flight down the hillside. Magic!
After this, the remaining walk seemed to pass in a trice, and before I knew it I was back in the car and heading homewards, dreaming that tales of deer-stalking might persuade my animal-mad daughter (who is generally of the opinion that suggesting she joins me on an activation constitutes mental cruelty and thus child abuse) perhaps it would be worth giving it a go…
Thanks again to all the chasers who were there for me - obviously there is life on 2m ssb yet ;-))
Look forward to catching you all again soon,
73 de Paul G4MD
(And if any of you were wondering, I arrived back to pick up my Little Darling with 5 minutes to spare!)