Third time lucky, I successfully activated my first summit today after two failed attempts. My XYL and older children wanted to go to Alton Towers theme park, and I really didn’t, so I dropped them off and went for a day out with the youngest at the nearby Gun G/SP-013. I had never been there before, but it was clear that Gun is a very easy if muddy walk to the top. Since this was an impromptu expedition I only took my FT-65 HT with a slightly improved ‘rubber-duck’ the only advantage. A small waterproof notebook and pencil was my only other equipment.
The wind was strong and gusty, strong enough to make logging non-trivial and hearing the other stations difficult. The heavy rain of the morning had cleared before we left the car, thankfully.
I could hear some local stations but had no replies on the calling channel. Eventually I heard GW4TGJ on Tal Y Fan some 76 miles away. A nice DX S2S (and a personal 2m FM record) to start me off. Some time later I heard a HEMA activator on The Lawley (a hill I know very well from growing up in the area) around 50 miles south. He was suffering in the wind too, but we had a good contact. I worked hard for my final 3 contacts, all locals, finally qualifying a summit. Some things I found useful:
- Persist. Keep calling. Keep replying to other stations.
- Logging well in poor conditions is a knack I don’t have yet
- Ditch the Baofeng. Even the relatively inexpensive FT-65 has a much better receiver.
Thank you to all of the stations who put up with my dodgy logging and windswept incompetence to get my first activation out of the way.