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Return of Hope Mountain

A few of you might ask, why keep doing repeat activations of a local summit for no points?

Well, apart from the fact that it’s just great to be outdoors playing radio, enjoying stunning scenery and handing a few points out to the chasers, you might just get a day like the one I experienced today.

The summit wx conditions were very sunny, with 7.5c on my arrival but the cutting Northerly wind at approx 22kph gave a chill factor which must have made it 0c or less. Having said that, I was well wrapped up in winter gear so just my face and fingers were exposed to the cold, the latter making keying a bit difficult. Rabbits were everywhere and the sight of a Kestrel diving onto it’s prey and then covering it with it’s wings spread was a sight to behold. A brace of pheasants screamed and flew noisily off having witnessed the hawk’s kill. Truly magnificant, could anything get any better than this? You can bet your bottom dollar it did!!

I have learned from my experience to have my radio tuned to 7.032 while I am erecting the linked dipole, a tactic that served me well today. I heard Ruda DL/OK2QA/P on DM/SX-003 so left the dipole semi erected and gave him a call for the S2S contact. We exchanged 579/599 reports, although I had to ask for a repeat of my report due to the huge qrm from impatient ops calling over the top of Ruda. So, an activation which started with a S2S, great stuff, it couldnt get any better than this, could it?

Next came a test, using 5MHz-CW to see how it performed, in the hope that I can use it to work UK chasers on 5.291MHz-CW on my upcoming GM tour. The band worked well and if it hadn’t been for the S2S I would have qualified the summit on 60m-cw. A great day, surely it couldn’t get any better could it? I followed the CW with SSB on FE, with good results all around from the usual suspects.

After 60m I opted for 40m-cw on 7.032MHz but took a short break to enjoy my soup, Lidl, Cream of Tomato, and very nice it was too!!

My CQs on 40m were met by a mad mixed up muddle of cw cacophany, I really must improve the cw filter on my FT-817. A great time was had on 40m with most of the regulars soon in the log.

I decided to give the majic 30m band a go and called on 10.118MHz, the results were very good with 12 more stations going in the log. I also got my best DX so far from a SOTA summit in Bob W2SF, from Bayshore NY USA plus three Ukraine stations to the east. Both my friend Roy G4SSH and I have always reported the great benefits of 30m-cw in our respective News bulletins, I think 5 watts into the USA speaks volumes for the band! Now I was certain, good things come in threes, so it couldn’t get any better than that, could it? You better believe it.

A quick chat with Steve GW7AAV led to us attempting a 23cms contact. We had tried before and failed, but this time there he was loud a clear allowing me to hand out my first ever SOTA 23cms point. I think it’s fair to say that Steve was rather pleased to get Hope Mountain on 23cms.

An absolutely fantastic day, which might explain why some of us are more than happy to re-activate the same summit over and over again.

Some Stats…

Yaesu FT-817 @ 5 watts into a 3 band linked dipole for 60/40/30m, 1 X 5ah SLAB

Total QSOs = 53

60m-CW =4
60m-SSB = 7
40m-CW = 18
30m-CW = 12
2m-fm = 11
23cms-fm = 1
S2S = 1
DXCCs = 15…DL, G, GW, EI, PA, HB9, F, S5, HA, SM, W2, OK, YL, UX, and OH.

Many thanks to all stations worked and to the many of you who spotted me. Thanks for making it a special activation.

Vy 73

In reply to GW0DSP:
Sorry to miss you Mike.
Grand daughter staying - she wanted to go to the farm at Temple Newsham.
Did get 10 points from Ruda though :slight_smile:

Roger G4OWG

ps hope to be GM/SI week before you lot - only one summit on island - only activated once all on 2m FM and only 8 GM stations :wink:

In reply to G4OWG:

No problem Roger, I had a great time up there today, glad you got Ruda, he was a big signal s2s.

OK on the SI ummit, I’ll be after that one for sure.


In reply to GW0DSP:Hi Mike I was late coming in so I missed you on Hope Mountain .I did listen on 2 meters FM and ocasionally you just and only just came out of the noise.When I hear you from home you are usually about 5/1 on 2 meters FM.Will listen for you again all the best Geoff

In reply to G6MZX:

Sorry I missed you Geoff, I only had a half wave vert on 2 meters and not the beam. At least you can be sure I will be up there again soon.


In reply to GW0DSP:
Hi Mike one thing I forgot to ask you was are we going to start a scoring level for soup EG you are 5 by 7 Netto Pea & Ham.ATB Geoff.

In reply to G6MZX:

We should get a winter soup bonus, hi.


I’ll drink (soup) to that.

In reply to M1EYP:

Essential kit this time of year Tom and nowt better to warm the cockles.

Brian made a good point a few weeks ago that soup might not (shock horror) be the ideal mountain food due to the salt content, with a flask of hot sweet tea being much better for the body on a long day. But funnily enough, on my longest hill days - Pennine Way, Gritstone Trail, Lake District 3 day Trail circular etc - I never used soup.

I always carry at least 1.5 litres of water and a selection of chocolate bars/Nutri Grains as well which covers the hydration/energy requirements, but I do love the soup, even if it’s technically not the optimum choice.

I well recall reaching the summit of Dale Head G/LD-020 for the first time in 2003, with Jimmy. It was the third weekend in November, but a lovely day, rather like today. I had carried soup for the first time, and those sips of hot mulligatawny soup on the summit were almost as magical as the views.

That was on the first ever SOTA Youth Hostel weekend, organised by Myke G6DDQ, and plenty of people out - like Keith G0OXV, Stuart G0MJG, Alan M1EYO, Chris G3XWB, Ray M1REK and dear Shirley MW0YLS - meant there was an absolutely shedload of S2S contacts.

We went onto to do Robinson G/LD-021, then descended by headtorch to Buttermere. Good memories, and to think, Jimmy was only 10!

I’ve got some great new flavours in the cupboard for the Return of the Soup on Sunday.


In reply to M1EYP:

I agree with Brian’s point although I had never considered it before.

I only carry soup in the winter time and if there is anything better than that first sip of hot soup, while taking in the surroundings mid activation, then I haven’t found it yet.

My norm is for a flask of hot sugarless tea or I carry water and I find that a banana plus a nutri bar offers energy.

That changes on a joint activation with Barry 2E0PXW, who packs a stove, kettle, tea bags, coffee, milk, fridge-freezer, kitchen sink etc, hi and the rascal still gets to most summits well before I do. They don’t call him the whippet for nothing!


In reply to GW0DSP:

They don’t call him the whippet for nothing!

Perhaps a SOTA Speed Challenge is in order. Barry vs John YSS might be a good match. It would have to be on the cusp of the winter bonus period though before John goes into hibernation for the summer.

Must say Barry was very kind to Paul and I back in September - he didn’t leave us lagging behind on Raw Edge… LOL.

73, Gerald

May I also nominate G1INK, M0SGB and M3EYP for this event?


PS, I take it Liam’s SOTA Slug Challenge crown remains uncontested?

In reply to M1EYP:

May I also nominate G1INK, M0SGB and M3EYP for this event?


PS, I take it Liam’s SOTA Slug Challenge crown remains uncontested?

Seriously, my money is on Barry all the way.

As for Liam, maybe I could challenge him Tom!


In reply to M1EYP:

I take it Liam’s SOTA Slug Challenge crown remains uncontested?

I would like to nominate my sister, Lorna, for that. It’s really hard work getting her to walk up; she is not fond of hillwalking, unlike someone (who has had a really busy time with other things this year) It must be something to do with younger siblings.

Jordan M3TMX

In reply to GW0DSP:

“PS, I take it Liam’s SOTA Slug Challenge crown remains uncontested?”

He’s got some serious competition, what with Pauline’s knees and a dog thar hasn’t yet discovered the straight line, I took 5 hours to do LD-027 a few weeks ago!


Brian G8ADD

PS When it comes to beveridges (not the antennae!) I favour a thermos of sweet lemon tea, accompanied by a Mars bar thinly sliced with my Swiss Army knife! Of course, when Pauline makes it to the summit, I put her to work peeling grapes for me…

After Mynydd y Cwm GW/NW-076 on Saturday 16th May 2009, we returned to the A55 and head back East towards Cheshire. However, the afternoon was too young not to consider another activation, so the most inappropriately named Hope Mountain GW/NW-062 would receive a visit.

We parked in the pull-in opposite the tarmac access road up to the transmitter site. The gate at the bottom of the road was wide open. We walked up the road and soon saw David, the farmer from the other side where we have always previously approached, with his dog and a colleague. We stopped for a chat, and he advised where best to cross over onto his land. The top of the access road by the transmitters is within activation zone, but you just can’t beat a trig point on the real summit can you?

Having said that, the trig point was a most inhospitable place to be. Jimmy, Liam and I dropped into a hollow a few yards down, soon to be followed by Richard. I set up the SOTA Beam with horizontal polarisation. This one was intended to be an all 2m activation, with Jimmy on SSB and myself on CW. Richard had already completed on 2m FM by this juncture.

Unforunately, my first calls on 2m CW produced nothing, so I left Jimmy to do 2m SSB while I descended back down to the car - to retrieve the camera I had left there! Good job that only a ten minute round trip was involved!

Back with the chaps near the summit, I first took those all-important summit activation photos, then had another crack at 2m CW. Jimmy had worked six chasers on 2m SSB in the meantime. 2m CW produced just Graham G3OHC and Frank G3RMD, but that was it. I realise that I will have to work at it and build the numbers up again if I ever want 2m CW to be a success. I guess I got complacent after my 2m CW pile-up on Cracoe Fell G/NP-032!

A couple of 2m SSB stations in the 24 hour contest completed the quota for me, and all thoughts of trying 2m CW again evaporated with Richard mumbling words like “pub” and “beer” under his breath.

It was the first pub we came to, at a crossroads, that provided the usual refrehsments of beer (2 pints of Hydes), J2O and pint of water, plus pork scratchings all round.

On the road again, and home for an evening of Britain’s Got Talent, Eurovision Song Contest, Match of the Day, Dominos Pizza and more beer. Does life get any better?


In reply to M1EYP:

Based on your report Tom and a conversation I have had. I believe that you may have committed trespass in your aim to get to the summit by accessing the summit via private land. This activation may not be valid according to the rules if I understand them correctly.

You may want to check, http://www.sotawatch.org/article.php?summit=GW/NW-062&id=1071 and decide if you wish to continue to claim the point. I understand the land owner is none to pleased.


In reply to 2E0KPO:

Hi Steve

In fact both landowners were present (Alan, owner of the transmitter site land and Mr Bannister, owner of the farm) and neither objected to anything - Mr Bannister was particularly keen to welcome us. I am therefore puzzled by your comment that the landowner is none too pleased.



In reply to G3CWI:
May be their were some hillbaggers on the site that day as well. Who knows…