Activation Report on G/SP-002 Balck Hill for 14th June 2009
Another South Pennine summit was planned for today,bringing total to 11 worked.
Weather was good when leaving home,in plenty of time to get there and take a more leisurely walk up as it has been 4 weeks since our last one up Kinder Scout! Hoping the dry warmth would continue for today.
Traffic very quiet on M56/M60 came off junction 23 for Ashton and continued on with Tom Tom saying still about 45 mins to go. Onto Saddleworth Moor with the lovely views it gives once climbing out of town. Wondering which was our summit we arrived at Richards Car Park notes with more than enough time to get up at a real steady pace. Richards tips told us to park up side road opposite Path,but we opted for side of road as there were already the Flip-Flop brigade out like ants on the path. Sunny Weather brings them out,and you would think they were going for a walk in the park with the dog and prams.( yes prams)
Any way you can see the summit plateau from the car,but newcomers beware! Started on path which begins at gate with really good spring on it(watch your fingers here folks!!). then on way two surprises ! as you cross ravines that cannot be seen till you get to them. Both with running streams through them, some steepness to the sides. final ascent is slightly more steep here on in and Pennine way path disappears as you get to section with loose rocks and steps that are staggered far apart.
Reached Summit plateau with plenty of time to spare,longish walk in as you pass two cairns that are not for the Trig Point which is a bit further in on flat level. Bit Boggy on each side of path we reached Trig and put our stones on.
Coming back approx 20 feet we found a flat area of heather which had a cut in to allow me some back support. set up Perch rod with 20m Dipole in inverted ‘V’ and 2m Beam a bit lower on rod. Decided to leave 6m dipole to set up later,had a brew and switched on. There was full blown activity on 2m SSB,I could not find a clear frequency to CQ on. Telling myself to go Chasing instead, as Both the Backpackers and PW 2m contest were on all over the band!! between 11.24 and 11.46 I had contacts with G0HDV/P, GW8ZRE/P, GW6NLP/P, and G3CKR/P, none of which were SOTA. decided then to switch to HF after getting my four QSO’S for activating.
Flicking through 20m I found the usual Italian stations talking to their mate down the road and hitting me with ++20??, went up to near band edge on 14.340 and heard a strange call coming through that I couldnt identify,it sounded like he was testing frequency? I called QRZ and gave him my callsign, He then identified himself as OY1CT,and was calling his friend for the usual sched he has on here each Sunday. Had good QSO with him and got formalities of Sig Report and working conditions. Only when I got back home did I see that the callsign is from Faroe Islands. Chuffed with that as I can class it as a SOTA meets IOTA,and first time working of Faroe! DISASTER struck after that as Perch rod top sections snapped and base fell apart!!! Time to look for new one!!??
Tried 70cm ssb ,but total silence hit me probably they were all on 2m for the contests! Switched to 6m by putting dipole between our walking sticks and shouted on 50.150,silence again flicked through all normal QSO frequencies but all quiet so no 6m today either.
I was not happy with 5 logged ,so back to chasing 2m Contest CQ’s and got G2AS/P,G3ZXZ/P and GW4RWR/P. I decided I was not going to get any SOTA S2S contacts so we decided at 1230 to pack up and get home for a Stew which we had left in our slow cooker.
Descending via same path , I tested the Yaesu VX5 Triband Handy (6,2 and 70) I had bought yesterday to replace my Alinco 596,got call from 2E0ZRL/P Tony, at a Steam rally in Selby good reports on 2m FM with new toy, pleased with purchase,we got down to car in 1 hour and headed back to Helsby with enough in Log to qualify the hill and at least we had one HF contact.
Overall a nice 2 pointer to come back to after 4 weeks off,bit tough but thats down to lack of exercise since SP-001. Easy path in as you follow Pennine Way all the way to Trig. Another SP Summit off my list with Boulsworth Hill next, alerted for Sunday 21st.
Calls in Database although I dont think any were SOTA Chasers and a photo on Flicker,which Mrs C took so dont blame me if you cant see me (Hi Hi) just zoom in a bit.