G/SB-006 Shillhope Law activation 6 Feb 16

This summit is quite remote like many of the SBs. I had studied the two routes supplied by John G4YSS and Phil G4OBK and on the website supplied by Jim G0CQK. As we were only doing the one summit we opted for the longer route from Shillmoor along a very good track. There were a couple of steep slopes to negotiate but nothing too strenuous. We set off in sunshine and took our gloves off but conditions changed dramatically as we approached the summit shelter and trig point. It became very cold and the sleet had started. During our time at the summit we heard a few explosions from the military testing range across the Vale of Coquet. We had noticed the red flags on our way to the parking spot and I had read Phil G4OBK’s account of his xyl arriving at the summit suffering from shell shock!

We set up using Dave’s home brew dipole strapped to the trig point and my pocket rocket (FT-1900 - modified to 80W on maximum power). Jim G0CQK had advised us that this one is often difficult to qualify on 2 metres and he kindly sent an email out to some of his amateur radio friends in case they hadn’t seen our alert. We managed 8 qsos in the 32 minutes we spent on the radio with stations in Sunderland, Newcastle, Durham and Galashiels and special thanks to Jim for going mobile to work us.

The walk back to Shillmoor was a bit tricky on a very slippery track, muddy with greasy grass patches in places and I ended up flat on my back cloud watching on one occasion. During our descent the mist cleared and we had some good views of Upper Coquetdale.

Dave had commented about the two popular routes up to this one and he reckoned that this was much more enjoyable than the steeper but much shorter bracken covered route from Wedder Leap.

After a picnic in the car we headed back to North Yorkshire with a minor hiccup. I had left my gloves on the roof of the car and after a mile or so I remembered them, so we went back to retrieve them from the road!

Another great day out in Northumberland and we didn’t see anyone on our walk.

Thanks to all our chasers and we look forward to coming back to Northumberland soon to tackle The Cheviot.

Dave G3TQQ/P unpacking on Shillhope Law summit

Upper Coquetdale

Nick G4OOE/P with Dave G3TQQ/P


Hi Nick,
A nice report, tells it all. The first time I saw it I thought Coquetdale was stunningly beautiful and a well kept secret! Well done to Jim for helping you. He is very keen when it comes to SB and has shown that many times. I bet you found some spent cases on the summit, blanks that is.

I think your decision to take the scenic route and not the quick climb was a good one but I have no experience of that track.

I was very interested in the 80W rig. 55W up to 80W is a big step. Presumably either done by software or altering the drive inside the rig. Sounds very useful and it can be used on reduced power if it gets too hot. I have an FT1802 in the car which is similar and solidly built.

Well done to you & Dave for another nice summit - new to you both. I note you are off to do SB1 which is one I love. I will be watching this space!

73, John.

Hi John

The rig was bought new from a dealer in Greece a few years ago and I am not really sure how the mod was done. The drawback in using it on full power is that the LiPo battery doesn’t last very long and our first battery did cut out during our qso with Jim G0CQK. However, we were able to continue with our second battery.

Dave had done G/SB-006 last year with Pete M0HQO but it was a new one for me. Dave, Pete and I enjoyed The Cheviot last year and we are looking forward to doing it again. We may also add G/SB-009 Ros Hill if we are feeling up to it.

We didn’t see any spent cases just heard a few loud bangs!

We are all waiting in anticipation for one of your big rounds! If you can give us some notice we will try and get out to work you s2s or at least chase you if that isn’t possible.


Great to catch you yesterday. I would love to get back up there again. Unfortunately plantar fasciitis followed by morton’s neuroma accompanied by osteoarthritis have taken their toll on my feet and I suspect that SB-009 may be my limit. Upper Coquetdale is beautiful country. For those considering activating SB-006 if you can plan for the period between just before Christmas to around the 3rd of January (if you want the bonus points) or between 15th April and 15th May (approx - as can vary slightly) you can then drive all the way up through Coquetdale then up onto the military ranges that are closed and drive through amazing barren unspoiled territory - the military with all their explosions have not damaged that - and the roads are amazing, I will be looking for you on SB-001 and SB-009 if you can make that as well.