I haven’t been on Shillhope Law before, although I have done a few walks in the imediate area. For some reason I thought it would be like Ross Hill…right next to the car, and a short climb to the summit.
I was wrong!! My GPS only clocked half a mile, but it seemed to be straight up!! I would recommend anyone climbing this hill to use the slightly longer Barrowburn route, and not the ‘direct ascent’, that I used. I came back that way and the gradient is much easier.
It was still a nice day out though…very foggy from Newcastle Area (Seghill actually), until just after Simonside/Rothbury, when in the space of 400 yards, the sun came out, and Upper Coquetdale could be seen at it’s best. In fact my alternative summit, Tosson Hill, was in bright sunshine, with Simonside (1 mile east) covered in fog…weird!!
Being a weekday, 2m was pretty quiet, so I took a casual approach and had a bit of a natter on FM before trying SSB. Many thanks to G4RFD, M1BTG, M0KLL/M (Sorry Keith , I lost you as you descended to the coast), G0GLH, G0CQK, and the final surprise was M0RCP/P on Helvellyn!.
I’d just finished talking to Jim (G4CQK), had set the beam to horizontal polorisation for SSB, and was checking it was OK, when I heard a /P station on 145.475. I was sure I heard the words Helvellyn, so it was a mad rush to repolorise the antenna… pleased I did, as we had a 5/9 contact. This was Ricks 250th activator point so congratiulations to him… it also put me over 100 chaser points…
I nearly forgot… half an hour of CQ calls on SSB…Nothing!!! I was only using 5 watts, into a 4 element beam…
As always though (in spite of the lack of SSB activity) a most enjoyable ‘activation’, and even my 4 element beam behaved itsself!!