Corndon Hill and Heath Mynd Activation


Summit notes on the website by Richard Marshall G4ERP were spot on and Alastair and I found the parking spot from where the route to the top looked easy. Wrong. It’s the hard slog that Richard describes. Nonetheless we were at the summit in 25 minutes. The SOTABeam was strapped to the summit bench for that de-luxe touch. Weather conditions cleared up and we had the full panorama of Shropshire highlands and foothills of the Berwyns. I hadn’t finished calling CQ on 144 MHz SSB when Roger G0TRB / GB1WAB replied. I said this will give Alistair a false impression of how easy SOTA activations are! Prophetic words. Thank you Roger for the spot which attracted a small pile-up. Well perhaps overstated but 3 of the 4 QSO’s that followed on SSB replied to QRZ? at the same time. Thanks to G4DEZ [I was on IO82LN. 400W stations sometimes have difficulty hearing], Frank Regan G3RMD and Don G0NES from Hollywood. Pete 2E0NEY called in from Chippenham before I changed to 145 FM where I found David G3ZPF a fellow Wufrunian. Calls dried up and we packed up and descended without incident. I did send a CQ in Welsh towards Llanberis just in case Alun 2W0CYM was listening…

G/WB-007 Heath Mynd

Back to Blighty or drive a very short way to the other side of the valley to the parking spot noted at SO329938 by G4ERP. The gate notice noted herbicide spraying of the bracken on the hill and the other sign confirmed Open Access Land. We couldn’t find the path, kept walking on the concentric paths made by vehicles treating this grouse moor and eventually decided the only way was up. So we staggered through the bracken and heather to the summit. On eating my second bilberry, I decided that the spraying notice might be applicable!
Heath Mynd demonstrated to Alastair how difficult it can be to activate a hill surrounded by higher summits. Alastair is reading ‘Amateur Radio Explained’ [sometimes while I’m busy on the radio] and may take his foundation licence next year. Anyway neither of us could get our phones out of predictive text to send a help! to SPOTSMS so I carried on calling CQ on 144 SSB. Nothing heard. I started call CQ on 145 FM for what seemed a fair while. Then I heard the wonder that is Brownhills School radio enrichment class. Brilliant! I could help out. So I answered the CQ calls and wasn’t selected. I QSY’ed and listened and called at the right moment but the youngster’s script couldn’t be varied. David Reynolds G3ZPF was doing a sterling job with each of the 12 students and answered my break call to get the first in the log. Surely M1EYP/A would answer a call from a mildly desperate SOTA station? No and I offer my sincerest apologies to Mr Read just in case I made an unhelpful mess of his radio lesson. The pupils were wonderful Tom and sounded great. Luckily I found Brian M3BJH who acts as a West Midlands county beacon due to his good, steady presence on the band so we chatted about people we knew. I tried SSB again and found Tom G0WTD / G7NER in Chorley and his mate Tony 2E0UOG in Wigan which qualified the hill with Alastair looking quite keen, to say the least, to get his youngest daughter from the child minder back in Wolverhampton. We searched and followed what we thought was the path to descend. It petered out and we waded back through the heather, bilberry bushes and bracken.

I can’t see me repeating Heath Mynd. Corndon Hill was super and with Stiperstones and Long Mynd could make a 15 point, long day during early next year.

Thank you to all callers and to Mr SOTABeam Richard G3CWI for sending a new feeder cable at short notice. Activation saved! Mine had broke earlier in the week and I’d no possibility of visiting Radioworld for a new connector in the time available. I posted the cheque yesterday BTW.

Next activations will be mountains of the Wainwright variety 11-14 November with my favourite real-life mountain goat - my Dad. No scrambling yet mind you. 73 David 2E0DAI / Dei 2W0DAI

Hi David,

Sorry, I was well and truly in “work mode”, and didn’t even gather that you were doing SOTA until Jimmy M3EYP told me when I got home earlier.

I only heard you call the once, when David G3ZPF worked you, but as I say, when I briefly chatted to you I didn’t even realise you were on a SOTA. I would have definitely exchanged with you if I had known. You probably did tell me, but the class was hectic as usual with no less than 48 individual practical assessments being carried out today!

I suspect that with each extra pupil that called CQ on S20, that G3ZPF (who as you rightly say, did a marvellous job for us today) called at the same time as you, and hence it was only David that my pupils heard, and therefore responded to.

I also think 2E0XOJ (Northwich) suffered a same fate as you, as he broke in as well, and like you I invited him to listen for the next student’s call on S20. However, the only station heard coming back on S20 was David, and as you spotted, we were rigidly following a protocol to directly address the practical tasks being assessed.

Sorry to have missed the chaser points - Corndon Hill is one of my favourites - but glad you got it qualified and had a good day.

73, Tom M1EYP