OK, the actual activation report is perhaps the best way to “unhijack” this thread hi!
We always enjoy meeting up with our Norwegian friends when the come over every October, and Jimmy 2E0EYP had been busy planning and communicating with Halvard LA1DNA and Aage LA1ENA for some time. The upshot was that we would return to a couple of G/SP summits not visited by us for a number of years.
Due to the later alert timings posted by Aage and Halvard, as a result of their attendance at the Rishworth G-QRP event on the Saturday morning, only an 8am egt-up was required on Saturday 20th October 2012. Jimmy, Liam and myself set off north, and pulled in at Reddish Tesco for a cooked breakfast.
Forty minutes or so later, we were in the parking spot on the A681 Bacup to Todmorden road. Shortly after, Aage and Halvard pulled in in their red hire car, and the walking could commence. This route to Freeholds Top G/SP-011 is not the shortest, but it is certainly the easiest, for it avoids any steep climbs and all the bog.
We walked down the track for quite some distance before branching right for the summit. Liam discussed cars with Halvard for most of the walk!
On arrival at the summit, Jimmy set up for 2m FM and made 19 contacts. Halvard went for 80m SSB, but struggled, so went on a combination of 40m SSB and 2m FM instead. Aage had a problem with his rig on 20m, but made 30m contacts without difficulty. I took the MM15 and went on 21MHz CW, making 18 contacts, the highlights of which were W, VE, EA6 and 4O. Quite why there was such a big pile-up for 4O4A I am not quite sure, but it was very satisfying to break it first call! Soup of the day was lamb & vegetable.
Time was marching on, and we were running short of daylight hours - not that this issue seemed to remotely concern the Norwegians! We drove back through Bacup with Halvard and Aage following behind. Jimmy directed me through the village of Turn, but instead of parking in the village like last time, we drove up the road further uphill, and parked on the verge opposite Fecit Farm. All the hang gliders were parked on this verge, so we figured that it was in order.
We crossed the road to enter the PROW at SD818174. Our path soon merged with the Rossendale Way route as it weaved between the hillocks and wind farms thereon. Eventually we came to a sort of gateway marked by two tall stone pillars, and we knew that from here to the summit was plain wet and dirty!
It seemed to take longer than I recalled to get from here to the summit. The true summit of Hail Storm Hill G/SP-009 is pretty vague on a featureless boggy plateau, but it is marked by a small cairn, and Jimmy, again, located it seemingly without difficulty.
Halvard beat Jimmy onto 2m FM and worked a long line of stations, forcing Jimmy to bide his time and wait patiently. In the meantime, Aage activated on 30m CW, and I repeated mt 15m CW of earlier. In my 9 contacts, only two were not into North America. Eventually, Jimmy got onto 2m FM and made 5 QSOs.
It was now rapidly getting dark, so we packed up quickly and donned headtorches. Navigating off the plateau and finding the stone pillars was difficult and a little nerve-racking, but I got there by following where Jimmy’s light was as he, Aage and Halvard waited for Liam and I.
Once on the track it was plain sailing down to the cars, by which time Aage was well into his third can of lager for the activation! This did not stop us from heading to the nearest pub and enjoying some Jennings bitter before the drive home.
Many thanks to Aage and Halvard for meeting up with us again for another great day in the hills.