Yesterday was my first set of activations of the year and a try out on the hills of my toe I damaged just before Christmas whilst failing to negotiate my bottom stair.
The group of 5 hills; Cordon (GW/MW-013), Stiperstones (G/WB-003), Long Mynd-Pole Bank (G/WB-005), Brown Clee Hill (G/WB-002) and Titterstone Clee Hill (G/WB-004) are well know as an easy set to do for quick points in winter.
The intention was to have a gentle day and activate (and qualify) at least two of the hills on 70cm ssb only starting with Brown Clee.
The morning started bright cold and clear without the forecast fog and mist but plenty of frost. The roads across the lanes towards my favoured start point at the bottom of the transmitter road were clear of any ice. At the parking spot I had a quick listen around the bands to get a feel for the propagation on the HF bands because Helen intended on activating on 20m and as I switched back to 2m I heard Mike (2E0YYY/P) who we chased for the points. From the parking spot I use its a steep sharp climb up the transmitter road till you reach the tree-less open space of the Brown Clee then its a gentle walk to the summit. We hoped for a s2s when we reached the top but unfortunately we missed him. We were however able to get our first summits of the day with Edward (M6NSR/P) and Jimmy (M3EYP/P) both on the Cloud (G/SP-015).
I set up my 18el Yagi as close to the toposcope as possible without obstructing any paths and started the activation. First in my log was Matt (GW8XYJ/P) on Rhailgwm (GW/NW-046) and I finished 25 minuets later with Ken (G3XQE) in Coventry who was 12th. Helen worked 18 stations spread across Europe during her activation on 20m using about 20W using the ¼ wave ground plane antenna which was built for our US trip. Once calls dried up we packed things away and returned to the camper pleased with the summit to summits and me with a toe that wasn’t complaining.
Arriving at the busy parking at the foot of the Stiperstones we decided to have a bit of lunch and a cup of tea in the camper before the short bumpy walk to the summit, the rocky outcrop with the trig point on top. While eating we worked Tom (M1EYP) on Gun (G/SP-013) on his way to 100 contacts for the day. Helen didn’t want to activate the hill again so another quick-ish activation for me as I wanted to try to get another hill in before dark. Just as we reached the activation zone we heard Rod (MW0JLA/P) on Waun Rydd (GW/SW-004) calling on 70cm FM on our Alinco handheld and made another easy s2s. Another ½ hour activation saw 13 contacts in my log on ssb including summits to summits with Alun (2W0CYM/P) on Gyrn Ddu (GW/NW-050) and Matt (GW8XYJ/P) on Carnedd Wen (GW/MW-012).
The final activation of the day was Long Mynd-Pole Bank chosen because its the easiest of the five. I set up my equipment on the trig point at the summit and after a slow start finished with 8 contacts in the log on 70cm ssb ending a successful day out on the WB hills.
Frank (G3RMD), Don (G0RQL), Rodger (G0TRB) and John (G3WFK) chased me on all three summits.
Best DX with Michael (G0BPU) from Stipersones to Ipswich (288km, 179mi), 432.220 MHz ssb.
Microwave Modules amplifier which produces 25W
18el yagi @ 4m agl (which is quite sharp)
Thank you to all the chasers and sorry if I missed anyone
Oh, “nearly there”… 999 activator points :o)