9 SOTA activations in the day - a new personal record
31 activator points collected - but no S2S (perhaps not surprising!)
Storm Freya following me through the day!
The Shropshire Five is a classic SOTA day out, and a “must-do” for all serious activators. I was noticing that several such serious activators had indeed been completing this suite of summits in this early part of 2019 - well, who wouldn’t, with the 150% boost on offer courtesy of the winter bonus? So how could I make mine different? Turn the Shropshire Five into the Shropshire Six. The Shropshire Five already includes one summit that isn’t even in England, never mind Shropshire, so why not two? I greedily thought that if I could add in Gyrn Moelfre GW/NW-049 at the end, I could turn my 25 points into 30 - not a bad haul for a day out.
As Del Boy would say, I’d need to “whip round them a bit lively” - so the plan was to go mega lightweight with 2m FM handheld only - no problem in this part of the world. For most of the activations I wouldn’t even bother with a rucksack - just stuff the handheld and logbook into a coat pocket and go for it!
I set off from Macclesfield at 0530 on Sunday 3rd March 2019, and breakfasted at McDonald’s in Bridgnorth around 0700. It was a sausage, egg and cheese bagel, with hash brown and Tropicana orange juice, for those of you that follow these things. I parked at the picnic area, from which probably the most pleasant of the three main routes up Brown Clee Hill originates. In fact there’s a couple of variations available here. Once into the picnic area you can bear right or left. I couldn’t remember which was the way, so I went right. I was soon on an unfamiliar but good graded path, angling upslope through dense forestry - so I must have gone left last time! This led out onto the tarmac access road for the transmitter site, but near to the summit plateau.
At the top I did suspect significant desensing of my rig from the close by masts, as well as the audible pager QRM. As such, hearing incoming reports was quite challenging, but I got qualified with five 2m FM QSOs inside nine minutes. For the descent, I looked for the path off the summit plateau down towards the woods, in order to make it a circular walk. As I got into the wooded section, I noticed that a BMX bike track had been crafted into the soil, so I followed this back down to the road. I didn’t use the ramp to bunny-hop over the gate though. Next, it was over to Titterstone Clee Hill G/WB-004.