"The only summit operator in England" - G/SP-011 - 14/05/24

The sister in law had a pre planned visit to the Rochdale infirmary for a small procedure, that was going to take about 4 hours… hmmmm… Freeholds top! G/SP-011.
Its only about a 20-25 min run from the infirmary at rochdale to Sharneyford, and the start of the track up to freeholds top so it was cracking idea!.. except for 1 thing… the weather! The hourly weather was hastily pulled up on the PC and what do you know? dry from 1300 :laughing: :laughing: its VERY unusual for the WX gods to act favourably on me, but hey… ill take it!

The start of the walk is a nice made up track called Limers gate, in the Village of Sharneyford a couple of miles East of the town of Bacup, but be warned it somewhat luls you into a false sense of security! and I somewhat understimated the time it would take me (and my still gammy ankle) to get up the track to the trig point! further up the track its made up of huge bricks and full of holes and chunks, that in the wet made the track quite hard going in places, with water completely covering the track over for large parts, facilitating the need to either wade or find an alternative! The path veers right near the end, and climbs steeply onto the moor plateu, with the wet weather this was by far worse than the track, and “bog hopping” was the order of the day, for the final tortuous 200M to the trig!

Just as i opened the gate to the trig area, lady luck ran out… the heavens OPENED! So a quick operation on the “rubber duck” was called for, I fired up VK portalog, spotted gave it a min or 2 and then called CQ, Quickly Paul @M0CQE came back to me, for number one in the log… “you know my friend, you are the only operator out in England today according to the spots” he informed me! Mind you, i wasnt suprised with the weather! it soon became apparent that paul was the only person who could hear me on the rubber duck, so with the rain pouring i stuck the trusty mast and Spectrum slim G up, and made another call… BOOM! Straight into 3 more M7ELO - John, G1JPV - Tony and G6XBF - Walt! gotta admit it was a releif to hit the 4 mark, it was more of a releif for the rain to be stopping too! I added 6 more to the log for a total of 10, that’ll do!

Anyhow the descent was more of the same, bog hopping, ankle crunching fun and it thankfully stopped dry! if i go again, i might try it from Shawforth next time… steeper, but shorter!

Oh, and im now on 20 Activator points! haha

Thanks to all the Chasers and those taking the time to read.



Very Well Done, Alan. A Good Activation. Great Description. Good Photography. A GREAT TREAT for me to have a SOTA QSO with you yesterday. Many Thanks my friend. 73 de Paul M0CQE.

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Enjoyed the report, Alan.

Bog hopping … heavens opening …

All respect for activators in the UK, and for that matter the rest of northern Europe. I’m a little spoiled by the comparatively arid climate in Virginia.

The one time I’ve been caught by heavy rain on an activation, I had a moment of despair due to total lack of preparation. Then, no joke, I thought, “OK what would the Brits do?”. Improvised shelters for the HF radio (leaning tree trunk) and log (jacket), managed five contacts with the dipole lying on bushes, declared victory and left the field.



I take one of these on every activation. I don’t always need it but it’s a great shelter against wind and rain. I consider it a win if I don’t have to use it!

I peg it in all 4 corners and use a walking pole to keep it up. I bought extra pegs (I use 13 to fully peg it which is necessary in strong winds). I don’t know how I managed before I got it.


I am amazed at having a small lake or pool of water right at the top of a summit or the highest point. We hardly have any water in our creeks let alone on the hills.
Nice report and photos.
Ian vk5cz …


Most of the time here we count the days when it doesn’t rain rather than counting when it does. It’s easier as it’s a smaller number that way. :wink:


On lots of our Pennine hills the bigger risk isn’t falling off of it, more falling into it…


Many of our summit markers are at least partly surrounded by water - erosion by visiting feet leaves a depression and the rain and soil do the rest :smiley:
Today a large pool adjoined the trig - and we have been having a dry period.


Yes Well Done Alan, Thank you for the very first QSO from our new Home QTH. I was using a IC7100 with the White stick in the loft of the Bungalow. I am in sheltered accommodation now and have to wait 12 months to get permission for an external antenna.

I did SP-011 a long while back now and I had already noted it was boggy from that direction, so I went up from Shawforth, no bog or heather hopping that way.

Nice report, hope to get you again and yes 20 points is better than none at all.



It is somewhat of a risk at any time of year! can be sunny and hot in the valley below, and raining and cold on the top… keeps it interesting! Thanks!

^^ This! absolutely spot on! ^^

I have managed that aswell… cant beat stepping onto that innocent looking patch of grass, to then be sunk up to your knackers… certainly makes you question life!

Good to work you buddy, glad you are managing to get a few in, depsite your difficulties!

Thanks all



Super, thanks. Better price than others I’ve looked at and reasonable U.S. shipping too. Will likely order a kit for ridgeline setup. I don’t hike with a pole, but you’re never far from trees here.

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