Scottish Borders visit

Yes, the term is confusing when SOTA Complete actually means you have activated and chased the summit but it seems in this thread that the term of Completist means you have activated a complete set of summits but not chased them Allan.

73 Phil

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It’s perfectly simple. I was talking about G Activator completists, not G Completes completists.

I managed Sighty Crag with Blackwood Hill GM/SS-199 afterwards. I only ascended Blackwood to grab the “first activated” slot… only to be told on air that Derek G1ZJQ had activated it a few days earlier! I could say that it was a disappointing end to a difficult day, but the achievement of conquering Sighty overruled and I returned to base pleased with the outing. I am actually considering a return visit… one day! :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG

Continuous rain widespread today so no SOTA for us, thanks.
Sunday looks possible; Monday probable.
Alerts to follow when appropriate.

For someone as averse to revisits as you Gerald - to be considering a repeat of Sighty Crag - well the mind boggles!

I am surprising myself with my own revisits of several SOTAs I assumed would be “never again” - but when work takes one into the vicinity, one may as well as opposed to sitting round doing nowt all day until soundcheck. But Sighty Crag? Really? Come on…

I can’t really remember how good or bad Housedon Hill G/SB-010 was, but all the rest - apart from Sighty Crag G/SB-005 - are fine, if demanding* walks (*Ros Castle is very undemanding). In nice weather, the views are stunning too.

Must admit my memories of Sighty Crag per se aren’t too bad, even I’d consider it again under the right circumstances… my over-riding memory is of a horrendous delay in getting started - my chosen access point for the forest was bedecked in dire warning signs about construction work going on there… there was a number to ring, which I did, but it took them two hours to get back to me and confirm that there was nothing going on in the area that day and I was OK to proceed… after that the actual walk seemed quite pleasurable!

73 de Paul G4MD

As they say - a bad day on the hills is better than a good day in the office.

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Better day than expected today so running early - sorry if anyone missed us.
Thanks for contacts and apologies to those I just could not pick out from the noise or QRM.
Forecast rather cool on The Cheviot for Monday - better cold than wet so we hope to be there as alerted.

Well, I am always up for a challenge Tom. I found it fairly hard going when I activated Sighty Crag, but that was a long long time ago. I have much more experience now and wonder how I would handle it now. One advantage would be having a GPS to find the summit in as direct a fashion as possible. I recall wandering around quite a bit on the way up, but managed a more direct route on the descent.

I have just returned from G/SB, but managed to miss Rod and Viki on all their activations. My tally of SB summits chased therefore remains a pathetic 3. Hopefully I will manage to be up there when others are on the summits sometime soon.

73, Gerald G4OIG

Sorry we missed Gerald; I managed to miss Allan, GW4VPX, yesterday too.

Lovely day on the Cheviot yesterday.
Now finished in SB and having a go at a few small SS.

Very slow today, so many thanks to the small number of chaser contacts. Another lovely day.
Apologies for 60m only but other activities are restricting SOTA time. (It was Lindisfarne today.)
Two more little hills tomorrow (Dryburgh and Melrose in between) and then it is homeward bound on Thursday.



Now back home so time for a brief summary. I will add a note to any summit pages I think we have anything new for.
Summits 13 ( LD-011. all SB and 4 SS); all new.
QSOs 163, mostly on 60m. LD-011 was 2m FM and I managed 40m and/or 80m on several SB and SS
Conditions seemed very variable - only the vital 4 QSOs to qualify North Berwick Law, SS-280, while The Cheviot, SB-001, generated 22 on a Monday lunchtime.
Chasers had 82 different callsigns with one QSO only from 51 of them. Most prolific was Nick, G4OOE, with 12 for which very grateful thanks. Nick was well supported by Bill, G4WSB (8), Allan, GW4VPX (7), John, G0TDM and Ken, GM0AXY (both 6); my very sincere thanks to them also. I was pleased to hear Karl, M3FEH quietly coming through the noise on nearly all the hills I found time to work 40 or 80m; most others were from Europe.
As a diverting by-product of this trip I find myself temporarily the last activator of every SB summit :slight_smile: It will not last long and will never happen again (for any Region).
More generally, we found walking conditions hard but the autumnal scenery absolutely delightful. Last time we did The Cheviot must have been Easter in the late 1980s, so it looked quite different.

The autumn colour has also covered our garden so there will not be much leisure for activations for a few weeks.


Now for the VHF and UHF report from the North East:
Summits 13 (LD-011, all SB and SS-214, 253, 280 and 286) also Vindolanda, Holy Island, Cragside, Dryburgh and Melrose Abbeys and Andrew’s Fish Bar in Coldstream!
QSOs 125 - 75 2m fm, 49 70cm fm, 1 40m ssb.
A UHF contact was made on EVERY summit (to my surprise but i was lucky to contact a Kielder Forest ranger from Sighty Crag!!) On Long Crag (SB-008) I made one more contact on UHF than VHF and was told there was a thriving UHF net on 433-400 but was unable to confirm this! 7 hills (including 2 SS) were qualified on 70cm and I feel that I would also have succeeded on Shillhope Law (006) had the rain not reached us and a swift and orderly retreat was called for.
All hills were qualified on VHF except for Houseden Hill (in the late evening) which was a disaster and I came away with 1 on each of 2m, 70cm and 40m - but the views were good as the sun went down!

The radio highlights were a S2S from Peel Fell (SB-002) to GW4HQB/P on Arenig Fawr (GW/NW-011) on both 2m and 70cm - thank you Phil. Also talking to Darren in Newcastle who had frantically been trying to get his call sign when the Ofcom site was down so that he could chase me on some summits before we ended our tour. The first I knew about this was when I was called by M7CON - yes a M7! (Was that why the site was down?) Darren chased me on about 4 hills including the last one GM/SS-214 Eildon Mid Hill near Melrose which I wouldn’t have qualified without his help - many thanks and best wishes for future chasing (and activating??)

The low point(s) were, inevitably on Sighty Crag (SB-005) when we somehow found the right route through the trees which led to the fence corner where the barbed wire had been removed. Any celebrations were swiftly cancelled when I attempted the steep small slope in high heather and large hidden boulders - and holes. The second attempt involved the help of the fence and ‘I’m not coming down this way’ thoughts. Eventually the ground flattened and we plodded on with compass and GPS - and discussions as to which group of boulders were the right ones on the distant skyline (the middle ones). These heights were reached eventually and some rather pleasant rocks provided a much needed wind break (pictures of M0JLA looking snug in his stone shelter to follow one day…). The return journey started by a more direct route until Rod turned round to find me lying face down on the heather unmoving some way behind him. He returned fairly quickly to hear that I was OK but i couldn’t removed my left leg from the deep hole it had descended into nearly to the top of my thigh. Each time I tensed my muscles to pull it out the leg was wider than the hole it had gone through and it was not budging. After some external help (tugging on my trouser leg) and 2 goes I was back on ground level and the (now slightly larger hole) was once again hidden to await the next visitor to the summit. We chose a route back which followed the river round to the fence crossing but it was in quite a deep gorge and my vertigo meant that we had to stay higher than we would have wished and then had the steepish descent. This time however, there was some trace of a path and we were descending so could slide down the odd boulder without too much trouble and it was back to the fence, the muddy track which had been chewed by the foresters and the ‘Road closed for forest operations’ signs that we had tried not to notice as we walked in some hours earlier. We had both qualified and survived (just) the dreaded Sighty Crag before the next lot of rain came in and we moved to our second base near Coldstream.

Throughout our stay - in very varied weather and some very cold winds, we both admired the fantastic autumn colours of the trees and bracken - and also the steepness of the ascents on 3 of our little GM/SS summits which warmed us up! Thanks to all the chasers.
Viki M6BWA


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From my visit these were the key coordinates for the GPS.

ident lat long
Start of exit forest 55.11801819 -2.64775688
Top of forest 55.1176224 -2.64592669
Stile over barbed wire fence 55.11828113 -2.64177874

They follow G4OBK’s route.

Here is a video of my trip.

73 de


Hi Viki & Rod
Thank you for all the contacts, helping me to get the SB completes completed. Great fun following you and I hope to work you again over the next few days down in G/WB land!


Hello Nick,
Glad the contacts were of use to you too. Without them I would have had more problems than I did anyway, hence the grateful thanks in post 32 :smile:
Bardon is a bit out of my range from home but I quite often work Walton. I must remember to be around then.
The Shropshire Hills are usually OK but I am on the wrong side of the hill-top here so ssb is definitely better than FM. The Clees must be just about los from the top of my aerial.
I will try to be around for them all.
Hope you both have an enjoyable visit, some good activations and lots of contacts.

Hi Viki
I have just re-read your account on Sighty Crag. You won’t forget that one in a hurry for sure. So glad that you came away physically intact … just about! I climbed it with Dave G3TQQ and Pete M0HQO and remember it was tough but fortunately we didn’t find any deep holes. However, we got attacked by midges climbing up the slope in the heather. I may have another crack at it next year possibly with Geoff M0PYG who hasn’t had the pleasure of Sighty yet!
Anyway congratulations to you both doing them all within a few days.


SB-005 Sighty Crag was first activated by John @g4yss on 1st Dec 2004 on the same day as he activated SB-004 Peel Fell - quite something doing both in one day - although I recall it may have cost him an exhaust box - I chased both.

A few people have ventured out more than once - David @G0EVV and Derek @G1ZJQ each 3 times. I recall that Derek managed the extremely tough northern approach. I have managed twice but otherwise it seems once is just once too many.

You might hold onto Sighty Crag for a bit Rod :wink:

Well done

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