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Hergest Ridge WB-008


Hergest Ridge, G/WB-008 - 426m ASL - SO 254 562 - OS Explorer 201 - 1 SOTA point        Map & summit information from SOTAwatch    Click to return to summit index


This was our second summit of the day on Thursday 31st August 2006.  We drove away from Hegdon Hill G/WB-023, and back into the town of Leominster, where we had began the day earlier.  We passed through the town, continuing on the A44 to Kington.  We tried to remember where the access point for the Offa's Dyke Path was, and managed to find it on the west side of the town by Hergest Croft Gardens.  Unlike last time, when the whole lane was filled with a line of parked cars in June 2005, we were alone in the area this morning.  We enjoyed our rapid paced stroll up inclining Offa's Dyke Path, with a firm trodden grass surface beneath making for comfortable going.  Last time, we had 'declared' within the ancient racecourse, half a mile short of the actual summit, but comfortably within the activation area which forms a kilometre-long strip all over 406m ASL.  Like with Black Mountain G/WB-001 two days ago, Jimmy insisted that the summit true was reached.

Tom M1EYP/P on Hergest Ridge G/WB-008        Jimmy M3EYP/P on Hergest Ridge

The summit area was marked by an arrangement of boulders, and it was here we settled down to set up the radio station.  We hoped for another quick activation, but things would suddenly stop running quite as smoothly as for the past couple of days.  Our CQ calls attracted no response whatsoever, resulting in several changes of mode and polarisation to try 2m SSB.  This also proved unsuccessful, but a burst of audio was heard during one of the frequency changes to the SSB part of the 144MHz band.  I had found a strongly received QSO on 144.700MHz FM.  We broke in and worked these two stations.  Shortly Frank G3RMD found us, and our third contact was in the logbook; we were nearly there.  Well not quite.  Still we failed to attract a response through our calls, and we eventually returned to 144.700MHz FM while a mobile station on there drove to the top of his local hill to afford us the all-important fourth contact.

    Jimmy visits the trig point early in the descent

Many thanks to the following stations, all worked on 2m FM with 2.5 watts:

2E1HKT Pershore Derek T, J
2E1HIG Droitwich David T, J
G3RMD Cheltenham Frank T, J
G0IBD/M Brierly Hill Dave T, J

We were disappointed to be walking away from the summit only at midday, when a typically rapid activation would have seen us away a good 75 minutes earlier.  The first objective of the return journey was to visit the nearby trig point, which sits at a point some 3m lower than the summit, for some reason.  Then we really picked up our walking pace for a hell-for-leather charge back to the car.

Perhaps this was a mistake, or at least somewhat over enthusiastic.  On the lower slopes, and as we approached the car, I noticed that my digital camera was missing.  It had been clipped to the waist strap of my rucksack, but wasn't now!  It had last been sighted when used for the photo at the trig point.  We retraced our steps towards the trig point, scouring the ground for the camera which now contained photos from the eleven activations undertaken on this trip.  I began to resign myself to the loss of the camera when three-quarters of the way back to the trig point.  However, a black dot on the ground caught my attention as we approached the far side of the old racecourse.  It was indeed the camera, and it was in full working order.  On the one hand, joy, but on the other, even more time lost from its intended purpose.  Still, the next target summit was only just over a mile away on the other side of Kington.  Onwards to Bradnor Hill G/WB-011.

Hergest Ridge 2005