Wednesday, February 17, 2010


It's difficult to resist the lure of a bright, sunny day calling you to the hills. It was cold, but not windy - ideal weather for walking. I decided to climb Graystones, a not very often visited Wainwright peak, LDW-187 in the Wainwrights On The Air list.

This modest hill should have been an easy walk, but I took a wrong turn in the network of forest roads and ended up having to climb a couple of hundred feet at a 45 degree incline to reach the top. That got the pulse rate going I can tell you. Who says ham radio isn't a healthy sport?

I took the unusual step for me of announcing my intention on the WOTA web site, but I guess everyone was busy or at work and for a time it looked as if this was going to be a null activation. Then I was heard by George G6AGZ/M heading west on the A66, to great relief. George expressed his opinion that I must be raving mad to be out on the hills in this weather. I told him it's sunny, the sky is blue, it's crisp but not cold and I have just eaten a packed lunch whilst admiring a glorious view. Who's crazy?

I was disappointed not to work anyone who was actively collecting Wainwright summits. I put calls through several repeaters and repeatedly called on the FM calling frequency. When I say VHF is dead in this part of the world I mean dead. I was literally pushing the off button on the TH-F7E to turn it off before packing up when I heard a signal. I switched on again and it was Colin, M6XSD. We had a contact and he earned his point for working this rarely activated hill. Job done, and a nice walk into the bargain.
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