WAJ Award?

= ‘Worked All June’. Well, in a SOTA activating sense, and obviously not in a work sense, this latest activation being as a result of a very rare weekday not at work!

Jimmy wasn’t at work either, while Liam was in school, so we agreed to pop up to Black Hill G/SP-002. We had breakfast at home, and planned to be out within a 9am to 3pm window.

After parking in the usual layby on the A635, we walked along the current official route of the Pennine Way, which is almost all on a slabbed path. The weather was horrid during the drive, but was now dry, if still menacingly grey. I decided to have faith in the forecast that promised it would remain dry, and, eventually, sunny. Apart from two very short periods of very light rain, this was right.

This route drops quickly away from the lofty A635, and half a mile or so must be walked before you are even back up at the altitude of the road! Then there is a steady graded slog up hill, curving around west to the summit.

Jimmy M3EYP set up for 2m FM as usual, while I went for 12m CW using the vertical. But I didn’t begin operating for ages, preferring instead to lounge around by the trig point chatting away to three successive Pennine Way full distance walkers. By the time I was QRV, I was half-an-hour later than my alert time, and Jimmy had already qualified and made plenty of QSOs!

24MHz wasn’t playing, so it was just three contacts on CW, all with regular chaser G stations. I took down the MM12 and replaced it with the 40m dipole, which was also in my pack. On 7MHz CW, I made 11 contacts, including S2S with SM3/HB9CMI/P on SM/VN-022.

The return walk was most pleasant in the early afternoon sunshine, and I enjoyed the far-reaching views over Huddersfield and Emley Moor. I had completed a personal target of activating every day of a month, and extended my run of consecutive days SOTA activating to 39.

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:
Hi Tom When we did Black Hill Joan and myself walked in from the transmitter station at Holme Moss.I wonder if you and Jimmy have tried that route.Or any one else.There is a parking place there as well .ATB Geoff

I have done the old Pennine Way route from the A635, which was dreadful. The new Pennine Way route from the A635 which is good, and the way I normally go. I have also done the new Pennine Way route from Crowden which is long but enjoyable - although we did once have to abandon on that route due to deep snow.

I have never done the Holme Moss route, although I keep meaning to try it. I think that is Steve G1INK’s usual route.


After the Black Hill G/SP-002 activation on Thursday 30th June 2011, I was back at home at 3.10pm. I watched some Wimbledon tennis on the telly, while Jimmy transformed himself into a dapper young man in a dress suit and bow tie. It was the evening of his 6th Form Valedictory Ball, a celebration to mark the end of his A level studies. And guess who was on taxi duty for a 35 mile round trip to Lymm, and then another one at midnight, that included dropping his mates home in Bollington and Hurdsfield? Yes, old muggins Dad.

I decided I would leave the house in plenty of time to pick them up at midnight, so set off just after 9pm. This would allow time to visit the 24 hour Tesco in Congleton to get ingredients for mine and Liam’s school lunches for the Friday - and, of course, to activate The Cloud G/SP-015.

It was only after I had ascended the hill and set up the MM20 that it dawned on me that I had left both headlamps in the car - doh! Thank goodness it was the end of June, but all the same there was some very murky logging going on after 10.15pm BST, and carefully picked murky descent at 10.45pm!

Just 8 stations were worked on 20m CW, comprising 6 DXCCs - DL, G, HA, OK, RA and VE. The contact with regular chaser VE2JCW was obviously the most satisfying. I also heard XE3ARV calling, but didn’t manage to get back to him.

My timings all worked out. I descended, drove to Tesco to do my shopping, then to Sandbach, took the M6 north to J20 (Lymm), then down the A50 to the Mere Court Hotel, where I pulled onto the car park just before midnight. Jimmy and his mates had had an enjoyable evening in their tuxedos. By the time I had exchanged pleasantries with one of his teachers, and done the Borough of Macclesfield Nightbus run, I finally crawled into bed, shattered, at 1.48am. And, somewhat ridiculously, I was intending climbing The Cloud again before work the next morning!


So with June out of the way, it was Friday 1st July 2011, and back to work, after my “unusual day off” on the Thursday. But an early get-up it was not to be. Even a 7am rise meant barely more than five hours sleep, but I kind of had to keep the run going. “Why?” you might ask. Indeed, so might I. But I tend to say “Why not?”.

I arrived at Cloudside at 7.45am, which meant I had time to ascent, make one or two immediate contacts on 2m FM, and descend! I timed my ascent at exactly 7 minutes. I clambered up and stood on the trig point base, but no-one responded to my CQ calls on S20. So I mugged the ever-present morning net on 145.525MHz FM, and as usual Robin G4VXW was in the chair.

All three gentlemen on the net - G4VXW, G4XQB and M3HJH - were worked, and I was straight into my descent without the inconvenience of having to pack up. That now reaches the (very personal, and of no interest to anyone else) milestone of 40 consecutive days of SOTA activating (48 activations, 10 unique summits, points value = 16, QSOs: 1296).