Tuesday 23rd March 2010 brought my 6th activation of Hope Mountain. It was to be, like all the previous, a 2m activation, although that is quite unusual for me on SOTA these days.
However, the main purpose of my journey west was a booking to deliver a SOTA talk and presentation to the Marches ARS, about 10 miles south of Wrexham in Halton, near Chirk. I had the bright idea of sneaking an activation in, and then the constructive concept of advertising it to the Marches club members, so they could work a SOTA activation ahead of the evening talk. Hence the rare selection of 2m FM.
The walk up to the trig point on Hope Mountain was, as usual, short and quick. But pleasant it was not with much drizzly rain, cool breeze and no sign of my waterproof overtrousers! I set up the SOTA Beam on the WASP and Leki pole, and mounted it with vertical polarisation.
Dave MW0AYM - the Marches ARS committee member who booked me - called me after my very first CQ call. This headed up a sequence of 19 QSOs in 44 minutes of operating. Many of these were Marches club members that I would meet later at the talk, but in the middle was Jimmy M3EYP whose subsequent spot brought a few SOTA chasers out of the woodwork.
The weather was reasonably kind while on summit. I was in thick cloud, but it wasn’t actually raining on me. I learned later that it had been raining heavily on those down below this cloud during this time! After packing away, care was needed when leaving even this most trivial of summits. Visability was truly awful, and I was glad to find my way to something recognisable!
Via fish and chips in Caergwrle, I then drove down to Halton on the A483, untroubled by the reported problems. The talk went well, and I received a warm welcome from everyone at the club. I hope that some of the four club members that worked me set up SOTA accounts and log the chaser contacts. After the talk I connected the 817 back in the car and listened on the 6m AC. I heard Dave G8ZRE, Chris M1DTJ/P and Pete M0COP/P. None of them heard me though, unsurprising given I only had the 2m vertical mobile antenna with me!
A pleasant evening, but a long day!