Saturday 5th December 2020 - Shobdon Hill G/WB-017, Hergest Ridge G/WB-008 & Seager Hill G/WB-022
I was awake at 0317 on the Saturday morning and on the road around 20 minutes later. That’s an “early start” for (n - 1) of the SOTA community - or a lie-in for Gerald G4OIG!
It was my only proper opportunity to add some more summit multipliers before the end of the 2020 Challenge. I opted to head south to Herefordshire and do the last 3 WB’s left to complete that region in 2020. I checked and double-checked the latest Covid rules and guidelines, and all seemed to be OK. Herefordshire and Cheshire were both Tier 2, and travelling through Tier 3 to get there was permitted. I wasn’t sure about stops on the way, but just to make sure, I limited my fuel and food stops to Tier 2 locations.
For all three summits, I took advantage of the activation zone rule! For Shobdon Hill, I parked due south of the summit close to Furnishers Plantation. On the map, the route starts and ends with a PROW, but between the two is a seemingly non-PROW track. However, on the ground it was clearly OK for access, was clearly a public path, and was being used by other walkers. I set up at the top of that path, not bothering to turn left and attain the true summit.
It took ages to gather four “secure” contacts. I actually got 4 on 12m FT8 and 1 on 2m Fm. However, one QSO on 12m was D1DX from Donetsk People’s Republic, a proto-state not recognised by the UN. So I didn’t want to leave that as one of the four! Having done Shobdon Hill up from Byton on both previous occasions, I couldn’t believe how quick and easy this route was! Next it was off to Hergest Ridge G/WB-008.