Activation Report for G/SP-003,Wards Stone:30/08/09 11.10am
I was really looking forward to achieving my Target of completing all 17 of these before the year end and today was the day. We stayed over in the Travelodge at Forton Services on the M6,to ensure a short drive to park point at Tarnbrook. Decided on this as looking at other spot it would be a longer time walk in.
Starting off from Tarnbrook,I parked at the end of the cul de sac, where the path goes to Black Side of Tarnbrook Fell,dont take this route as it heads away from the summit of Wards stone. We walked back along the lane approx 100 meters and found the path going straight up towards Coppy Heads and the Summit. First gate is on a bridge across the Brook,then gently rising to next gate on a cattle grid. Third gate has a Derilict Stone Building to the right and from here the walk gets steeper as we headed up to a level section with a Log Cabin well hidden from below.(pic on Flicker). Path remains steep until we passed the Tin Luncheon Hut shelter well buried in the mountainside. a path joins from the right and then a bit further up the path joins one on left,dont go left as this heads towards Grit Fell and Burrow Hill… much steeper section now goes up again to a large area possible used for tractor turning round area.from here the path becomes indistinct and disapears in to slightly boggy Heather,I used the Etrex to ensure we kept to a direct route across this heather. This section slowed us down and made us late for the Alert time. 2 hours from base camp to summit.
Set up of Tent was priority as the wind was getting stronger by the minute.Then HF wire dipole and beam on the Perch rod. Getting to third section up, the wind was now blowing the Rod to a very bad angle, remembering what happened on Black Hill when my rod broke I decided to leave it at this height,which was not ideal as the 2m Beam was just poking over the stones we had hidden behind to protect us from wind. Plenty of S9 Fuzz on 14mhz and 7mhz so went to 2m ssb first to get at least qualifying four contacts,trying HF again later. My Old Pal and Triple Sloath, Bill,G4USW was first to come back and put a spot on,Thanks Mate! after a couple of mins the pile up started with mixed callsigns and garbled voices as everyone shouted at the same time. I managed to seperate them eventually and bagged 11 contacts on 2m SSB.
Stopped for Lunch and then tried 70cm FM,got G4USW again,confirming both of us were at least getting out,no more came back to me on 70cm FMorSSB. Went to 6M SSB and FM calling frequencies but no comebacks. looked at spots on my phone and found G4RQJ/P on LD-041, chased him and got another S2S in the log. Wind was now very strong so no way of getting my Inverted V dipole any higher decided to shout again on 7mhz,no joy on CQ Call ,but scanning up and down found G1INK/P on 7.122 and chased Steve for another S2S. I did say to Steve I thought this was my 1st ever S2S on HF ,but on my descend I remembered I got Mads,LA1TPA/P from Gyrn Moelfre on 14mhz on 09/08,so sorry for wrong info Steve. Still Chuffed to get the Master Activator on a S2S anytime!!!
Shouted a couple of callers on 14 & 18 Mhz but they could not hear me even after tweaking my power to 40watts. Inside the tent was becoming very noisy with the gale force winds battering us and then I spotted through the window the cloudbase had descended and covered us in a fine mist,all views had disappeared and it felt cold,so decided time to go after two and a half hours up there. descent was slightly different way heading towards Grit fell to pick up the path that would lead us to crossroads and then follow our original path that brought us up.
Overall, a long walk in with a couple of steep sections that made my knees grunt a few times. But a much more pleasant walk than some of the SP Summits I have been up. Lovely views from top and I am obviously pleased to achieved another of my personal targets.
12 Contacts on 2m SSB: G4USW, G4ZRP, M6MIJ, M0OYG, G7SKR, G1OHH, G0RQL (furthest contact again Don), G4BLH, G1LAT, G0MDQ/M, 2E0BMO, and last but not least my S2S with Rob,G4RQJ/P
1 Contact on 70cm FM, G4USW
1 Contact on 40m SSB, G1INK/P S2S Thanks Steve
Thanks to all who contacted me on this one,all calls in Database and a couple of pics on Flicker.
The SP Summits as a whole were my Target to get this year and although we enjoyed some of them,there are a few we will not be returning to as we struggled with indistinct paths and Boggy Heather,(White Hill) or were just plain boring such as Winter Hill and Billinge Hill(in my opinion). And of Course from now on there are only 16 SP Summits as Raw Head goes from today(Shame!!