Saturday 5th December 2020 - Shobdon Hill G/WB-017, Hergest Ridge G/WB-008 & Seager Hill G/WB-022
I’d only done this hill one once before, way back in 2006. I’d been putting off a repeat due to access concerns. However, in conversation with Rod M0JLA, he pointed out that the short PROW from the south climbed into the AZ, close to Jones’s Coppice, 1.5km SE down the long ridge from the true summit.
This path was appalling. It was all on sticky slippery mud that I was very apprehensive about descending. There was one bit where a big mound of this soil had been dumped immediately beneath some low branches making it very difficult to get past. (Or so it appeared - I later found out that this was a badger sett!). I did so with some difficulty, but already decided not to attempt to descend the same way.
Once on the ridge, I turned left and dropped to the saddle. From here, a more graded and safer track led back to where I’d parked; I made the decision to return that way. I set up at this junction of tracks. Again, just like on the earlier two hills in the day, I got stranded on three 12m FT8 contacts! A local station finally provided the fourth on 2m FM.
The descent route was much better and I remained upright. The gate at the bottom was padlocked, but there was a wide gap at its side to walk through, suggesting that this route to the ridge is much more customary than the PROW.
Despite the early start, I remained alert for the drive home, assisted somewhat by Red Bull. At home, Jimmy M0HGY and I made some homemade “Christmas Scotch eggs”. For the meat layer between the egg and the breadcrumbs, we used pork sausagemeat stuffing with apple and cranberry, seasoned with nutmeg and English mustard.