Monday, 7 January 2013

SOTA - Brown Clee Hill - G/WB-002

Brown Clee Hill - 540m, 2 points

Association: England  Region: Welsh Borders  
Latitude: 52 28 32 N, Longitude: 2 36 2 W
Grid Reference: SO 593867, QTH Locator: IO82QL

After a quick cup of coffee and some lunch, I drove the 5 or 6 miles from Titterstone Clee Hill to a spot at  the end of a bridleway on the western side of Brown Clee Hill (SO585868). There is parking here for a few cars on the grass verge. Today there was no one  else around. The climb initially follows a steep easily followed bridleway, but as the gradient level's off the path veers of to the left across a boggy plateau towards the summit. The cloud base had lifted somewhat and there was slightly more of a view than from the earlier Clee Hill summit, but the cloud and mist rolled in with regular monotony, often hiding the tall masts at the summit. The ground was wet and boggy and there were a number of wild ponies grazing on the dry bits!

The masts at the summit, shrouded in cloud.
At the summit I found a marker post just beside the metalled roadway to the communications facility. I used this as an antenna support and set up the station on the short grass. It didn't take long for the activators to find me, and I quickly rattled off another productive 53 QSOs and 18 DXCC.

Daylight was rapidly fading and with quite a walk ahead of me I packed up and headed back for the car.

A good day out with 10 points earned, almost doubling my current total to date. I'm planning further activations while the winter bonus is still in place!
A convenient pole support

The Shack

Bridleway on Western Approach.

SOTA - Titterstone Clee Hill - G/WB-004

Titterstone Clee Hill - 533m, 2 points

Association: England  Region: Welsh Borders  
Latitude: 52 23 51 N, Longitude: 2 36 3 W
Grid Reference: SO 591779, QTH Locator: IO82QJ

During the winter months (December to March), summits above 500 metres qualify for a winter bonus.
This means that a 2 point summit actually scores 5 points  making activation a much more lucrative business.
I'd realised that if I was ever to stand any chance of accumulating a decent activator score, I needed to set my aim a bit higher. So it was that on the morning of January 7th, I set off  to see if we could activate Both of the Shropshire Clee Hills.

First stop was Titterstone Clee.
 NATS building in the background
I ran into cloud long before we'd reached the big carpark at SO 594776.
Kitted up, it's only a short walk to the summit from the car park, but this was done in visibility of only a few yards. I eventually passed part of the NATS station on the summit and proceeded to the trig point.
The best operating position was found a short distance away where there was a convenient marker post to attach the antenna pole.
Contacts came easily and I was soon packing up to make my way for summit number 2, Brown Clee Hill.
Ready for action

Convenient marker post
 On the descent the clouds lifted for a couple of seconds to reveal the 2 "golf ball" radomes. Before I could get my camera out for a photo they were onc again swallowed up by the mist.

Somewhere there are 2 Golf Balls!

Path to summit


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years Day 2013

Cleeve Hill - 330m, 1 point

Association: England  Region: Central England  
Latitude: 51 55 11 N, Longitude: 2 0 20 W
Grid Reference: SO 996245, QTH Locator: IO81XW

A fine, sunny but cold day and the chance to earn another activator point with the new year, led me back up onto Cleeve Hill. The place was teeming with people out enjoying New years day.
For the first time I was not alone as an activator as Stewart G0LGS was already set up and operating as I arrived.
I moved some distance away, but as he was only working 2 and 60 metres we would not cause each other any mutual interference.

A nice afternoon and a good way to chalk up the first point of the year.