Having now activated all the 7 summits in G/DC, this year I have started on the G/SC summits. Two of them I have already activated leaving 10 still to do.
I thought a good place to start would be Minehead on the north Somerset coast where there are three summits very close together with the opportunity of a fourth on the way home.
So this morning I drove to the car park at SS 910477 just west of Selworthy Beacon G/SC-005. It is possible to park closer to the summit at SS 915477 but I was reluctant to leave the campervan on its own so I chose the car park where there were other cars and a few folk wandering about.
There was a chill breeze blowing so I found a sheltered spot to set up with the usual IC-705, AH-705 ATU, 6m carbon pole and Bandspringer antenna.
It was hazy and the views were a bit muted. Looking north I could just make out Wales.
South and perhaps hard to spot in the centre of this shot is Dunkery Beacon G/SC-001 which is the objective for tomorrow.
Opening on 30m CW brought in a few QSOs including a S2S with Ulrich HB9CGA/P on HB/AR-004. I struggled as always understanding the HB9 but we completed in the end thanks to Ulrich’s patience.
A switch to 40m SSB brought in Ben GW4BML who was booming in 59. A little later Aleksander S57S was added to the log, my third recent QSO with him. He must have sharp hearing as he gave me a 31 report and we were still able to complete.
After logging Allan GW4VPX I closed down as it was 1330 local time and I hadn’t had lunch yet!
My base for this little expedition is the Caravan Club site at Minehead so from Selworthy Beacon I drove for 20 minutes to the site and after checking in and finding a pitch finally made myself some lunch.
The second summit for today was Periton Hill G/SC-006. I had looked on the map for somewhere to park the campervan closer to the summit but couldn’t find anywhere amongst the narrow roads in the area so it would have to be a walk from the campsite.
I use the Ordnance Survey mapping app a lot but had never tried its route plotting facilities until this trip. Looking for the shortest route to the summit it proved very easy to use on an Android tablet. And of course having saved the route it also then became available on my 'phone.
Crown copyright Ordnance Survey
The route is the black line starting two thirds of the way up on the right and ending in the activation zone in the lower left. The app said it would take me 1hour 14 minutes which I think is based on Naithsmith’s rule of 15 minutes per kilometre and 10 minutes per 100m of ascent. I managed it in 50 minutes but I was walking fairly briskly. For a family outing the OS estimate would be very close I think.
What I did discover is it is possible to park closer to the summit at SS 964446. The summit is about 20 minutes from here.
The road to this point is used by logging trucks so watch for the potholes if coming in your car!
The summit lacks any views, being surrounded by trees. The activation zone is very long but for completeness I pushed on another 500m to the trig point, which is built on an impressive plinth.
With no views to photograph it will have to be another selfie.
30m CW brought a quick response but there was an EA?/G callsign I couldn’t make out, other operators were sending at the same time. After working through them I saw Tim EA1/G4YBU/P was activating from EA1/CR-035 and it had to have been him who had called earlier. It wasn’t the quickest QSO but it was my second CW S2S of the day which for me was a major milestone!
40m SSB and 2m FM yielded just one QSO each but that was more than enough to see me packing up and heading back to the campsite.
Here is the map from G/SC-005.
And from G/SC-006 this afternoon.
Tomorrow, Dunkery Beacon G/SC-001.