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Final SP Summit completed today-Wards Stone Report

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!!

73

Tony

In reply to 2E0LAE:

Congratulations on achieving your first goal Tony. Of course now you can move on to complete the next section such as NP or LD. There are some much more serious challenges in these groups than the SP hills but as you continue to hill walk you can work your way up to the bigger stuff.

Of course now you have experienced the hills in the lovely summer weather you can look forward to some winter activations. I have to say that I much prefer walking on a cold, crisp day with a blue sky and the ground frozen hard than when it’s hazy and humid. Sitting on top of a summit when it’s -5C or below, without the wind chill even, brings a whole new range of sensations to experience. You soon learn how to assemble the station with gloves on!

I’m still looking for our first S2S contact, perhaps you’ll be on for the forthcoming SOTA VHF fun day next January.

Andy
MA0FMF

Congratulations Tony on completing all the G/SP SOTA summits.

Andy, I also prefer go walking in the winter because the rucksack is a lot lighter to what it is in the summer.

Jimmy M3EYP

Well done Tony. It only seems like yesterday that you started them… or have I been asleep? No doubt it seemed a little longer to you.

Interesting comment Jimmy - I assume you have a lighter pack in winter as you are wearing all your clothes and maybe are carrying less water. Anyway, who is carrying that soup? - don’t tell me, EYP senior. I seem to carry the same pack weight all the year round - it’s only the base layers that get shed in summer.

Andy - I have never learned to assemble the station with gloves on! And what makes you think the SP’s experienced lovely summer weather?

73, Gerald

Hi Gerald,

The weight is lighter because I’m wearing all the cloths, but I do carry the same ammount of water all year round. Yes, my Dad M1EYP carries the soup and most of the radio gear. The only radio gear I carry is my hand held ant the SOTA beam.

Jimmy M3EYP

In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy thanks for the congrats, and yes I have been doing GW/NW summits aswell as SP and I suppose these are closer to home so may be next to complete will be these.

I did start off with my 1st summit in a snowstorm admittingly it was only Raw head,but there were a couple of others when I first started back in February. Snow Storms,Strong winds and Driving Rain have followed me up most summits , so I am used to the Typical British weather. But I do Admire those of us who go up 8 to 10 pointers in Winter!! I have already set my mind on not doing the big ones in winter as I know my limits.

Yes I am getting close to my 50 S2S target but dont think I will get it this year,but who knows. I would Love to get all the Big Guns on S2S log and fingers crossed it will be soon with you and others. January sounds good, will plan closer to the time.

73

Tony

In reply to M3EYP:

Thanks Jimmy, always good to get you up a summit or as a chaser

Hope to get you again soon

73

Tony

In reply to G4OIG:

Thanks Gerald, It has taken me 7 months to complete with other summits in between that time also, I was determined to get them done by end of this year and the chance came to complete in plenty of time.

I have completed 31 unique Summit activations,which I am personally pleased with,and with a few more planned for next couple of weeks.

I am lucky I have Elaine carrying all provisions including Flasks and water. although I would probably not be able to take my FT897 if I carried too much food and water aswell. I have done some summits on my own and took minimum provisionsto cut down on weight.

only one 70cm contact on this one for you sorry and it was only down the road from the summit

73

Tony

In reply to 2E0LAE:

Congratulations on activating all SP summits :slight_smile:

It’s a shame I didn’t manage to catch you on your last one, but I was very glad to give you a 6m S2S earlier on in the year.

Good luck with your next target!

73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to 2E0LAE:

Hello Tony

I have enjoyed following your progress on the SPs over the last few months. I took much longer to complete them. Well done!

I would commend the WBs to you as a next objective. They are very varied and quite different to the SPs.

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G0VOF:

Hi Mark, I know and as I said in your thread you were up one of my favourites so would have been a real good one!

never Mind,always grateful for contacts from regulars on S2S as I say I am looking to get 50 unique S2s before the year end so hope to catch you up another soon?

73

Tony

In reply to G3CWI:
Thanks for that Richard coming from one of the original crew that is praise enough.

I have started doing WBs aswell as NW and with Stiperstones planned this weekend on way to Telford rally,its another one off the list.

Onward and upwards should be the motto of SOTA ???

73

Tony

In reply to M3EYP:

The weight is lighter because I’m wearing all the cloths, but I do
carry the same ammount of water all year round.

Hi Jimmy,

Technically you are carrying the same weight whether the clothes are on your body or on the backpack, but somehow for me it always seems to be heavier when I add them to the pack. I suppose it is a question of balance.

How often have I said “oh, that’s better!” hoisting my backpack up onto my back after eating my lunch and drinking a load of water. The backpack is lighter, but part of its previous contents are now inside me. The load on my feet is still as it was before lunch.

Do others find the same?

73, Gerald

In reply to 2E0LAE:

I have completed 31 unique Summit activations,which I am personally
pleased with,and with a few more planned for next couple of weeks.

Again, well done Tony. I’ve 241 under my belt, but there are still 3 SP’s to be activated… and 2 of them are well footworn by SOTA Activators.

73 and I look forward to an S2S from GW.

Gerald

I definitely find the same Gerald! I don’t even feel the weight of my coat and fleece when wearing them, but certainly do when they are in the pack! Same with food and drink - seems to weigh much less when in my belly!

Furthermore, I know Jimmy finds that if he wears his coat, it provides a welcome bit of ‘padding’ between his shoulders and his rucksack straps, so the ease is doubled.

On a similar note, when carrying walking poles, I am carrying extra weight. But that extra weight is significantly less than the bonus of ease of progress by being able to distribute one’s weight over double the number of limbs!

Well done Tony on the SP completion. You do realise that you’re hooked now, don’t you?

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

Same here, guys - wish the batteries were lighter when discharged! :slight_smile:

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

wish the batteries were lighter when discharged

I’ve not verified this but I’m fairly sure Zinc-Air batteries will get heavier when discharged!

Andy
MA0FMF

In reply to G8ADD:

Same here, guys - wish the batteries were lighter when discharged! :slight_smile:

Actually Brian I would prefer them to be lighter when charged. It’s no problem carrying them down hills, just up them!

Of course battery weight is no longer a problem since I discovered LiPoland!

73, Gerald

In reply to 2E0LAE:

Tony, congrats on all of the SP’s especially White Hill (Not looking forward to that one!). Stiperstones will be a nice, gentle stroll for you at the weekend and there should be plenty of activity on 2m at least with the 144MHz trophy in progress.

73 Chris

In reply to M1EYP:

“Well done Tony on the SP completion. You do realise that you’re hooked now, don’t you?”

Thanks Tom, I was hooked after Raw Head back in February,I knew I was not going to be a “one hit wonder” as far as SOTA is concerned. I have said on a mumber of times, I feel Portable ops from the summits and unusual locations is my little Niche in Amateur Radio.

73

Tony