It’s been quite a while since I was out with radio on the hills for a variety of time consuming reasons, but being in Kielder on Sunday with a likely escape from responsibilities, provided the last horse cleared Bull Crag in time which it did quite early at 11:58am, then an afternoon stroll up Peel Fell in such weather had to be the preferred option. Unfortunately there are access restrictions because of forestry works - see http://www.openaccess.gov.uk/wps/portal/lm/accessmap
(enter OS grid ref NY613980) for details - so the best way to Peel Fell is currently via Deadwater Fell. However there is also the G4YSS approach possible from the west, although I suspect John would not recommend it - see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Summits/message/7584.
Upon reaching the summit I headed for Jennie Storie’s stone where there are a number of large flattish rock outcrops between there and the cairn on the Scottish side of the border, to provided good operating platforms within the activation zone. Having activated this summit from the English side before, I chose to operate from the Scottish side - a bit of a cheat really as it still counts for 4 points. A quick scan of 2FM detected Rob G4RQJ on LD-020, and a call with the VX7R netted us an S2S contact. I set up the SB3 vertically and assembled the HF dipole but I hadn’t quite taken into account its length so although the operating position, pole and one leg were firmly anchored in GM, the other end was fixed in G-land. Rob had warned me that conditions were poor on 40 & 60 and several calls on 5mhz brought only crashes from the lightening to the west. 2FM brought contacts from Tyneside, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire qualifying the summit for me. Setting the dipole links for 80m, that band was clearly in good shape so I called CQ for a while and netted 2 contacts. In the heat couldn’t summon up the energy to rotate the SB3 horizontally for SSB and in any case I’d been there just short of 2 hours, so I packed up and descended.
WX bright, fairly sunny, with high level cloud. Temperature initially 22°C dropping just 1 degree by the close. Wind initially from the north east changed direction several times ending up in the opposite direction, varying between 6 & 10mph with occasional gusts peaking at 16mph. Thanks to all contacts of whom only two were regulars and to David G6LKB for the spot.
73 jim g(m)0cqk