Well, it was nice to be back out playing SOTA after my enforced absence for a few weeks. My last two activations had been quick, lightweight affairs with no HF.
The walk up to the summit of Walton Hill was short and not too steep, however, with everything including the kitchen sink in my rucksack, it took me a little longer than I bargained for as the track was an utter mud plug.
As Walton Hill is only 316m ASL, I opted to carry the triple 5/8 colinear and three lightweight swaged poles. It`s strange, but whenever I take a colinear onto a summit, I sort of expect them to all produce contacts like Shining Tor. Silly really as Walton Hill is only half the height of Shining Tor. After a few CQs it didn’t take me long to work out, the take-off North on VHF FM was poor and almost unbelievably the triple 5/8 colinear, failed to find a single GW station!!!
On the bright side, running 6 Watts into the colinear, produced a steady flow of chasers elsewhere and I even managed a S2S with Karen 2E0XYL/P who was activating the absolute bottom of the barrel when it comes to VHF, G/SP-002 Black Hill. Thanks Karen.
40m was a struggle, although a nice S2S was completed with Barry MW0IML/P on his second home GW/NW-022 Moel Eilio
The higher frequencies produced a bit of DX, Rich N4EX came booming in on 15m as did Silvano PP5BS and working Svein JX9JKA on Jan Mayen was a nice touch. Good to see a little activity on 17m too, with Alan VA3AQB making the trip.
Nice days Radio with a lot of new call signs worked on the 2m band. Rather surprisingly, this summit was a unique for quite a few VHF chasers. Even more surprising was the fact that despite Walton Hill being SOTAs 48th most popular summit, for some reason it hadn’t been activated for 6 months!
This may be something to do with the plods leaving a card on my windscreen warning me about leaving valuables in the car. The card is designed to be left on the dash and has a message advising would be theives that all valuables have been removed from the vehicle. IIRC, there’s a warning sign at the parking area of G/SE-002 Leith Hill advising visitors not to leave valuables in the car.
Anyhow, 112 contacts logged.
73 on 2m
11 on 40m
14 on 20m
6 0n 15m
8 on 17m
Thanks to all the chasers who called in, great to be back on the SOTA summits.