100th Unique Activation

SOTA summit: Lamberton Hill GM/SS-286

Activation Date: May 31, 2017

Portable operation: Yes

Radio: Yaesu VX-8G and Elecraft KX2

Antenna: LNR 40/20 trail friendly end fed and Slim Jim 2m/70cm hanging from mast

Bands used: 40m, 2m and 70cm

Furthest QSO: ~900 miles with EA2CKX in Northern Spain

Hike in: Yes, ~.5 miles roundtrip and 200 ft ascent

Solo operation: Yes

Recommend: Maybe

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 4.12.21 PM
Lamberton Hill is teardrop. ~900 mile was furthest contact with EA2CKX in Spain

So many aspects of SOTA stand out for me.

Going to places I probably wouldn’t have visited only to discover they are great is testament to “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. Sure, I’ve have had the occasional “what am I doing here” roll off my lips but when netted out every marginal peak was worth it.

I’ve been up and down the Western US to peaks near Canada, the Mexican border and so many places in-between. Better appreciating and knowing my adopted home is a key goal.

I’ve used family trips to the EU as an opportunity to sneak out and do “city” based peaks and I’ve begun to get a little better acquainted with the UK which became a “casualty” when I emigrated ions ago to California.

The scattering of the uniques across vast geographies has allowed me to meet and interact with so many different people and that has been rewarding and memorable in of itself.

And so here I am at my 100th and it seemed very possible it would have passed unnoticed but for a casual check. Serendipity seem to come into play as next up was The Cheviot not too far from where I had been a university student and a peak that I had wanted to visit sooner than later but weather conspired otherwise. In hindsight my 100th being Lamberton was possibly better given my ancestral connection with the Scottish Borders.

A seven minute drive had me from the centre of Berwick driving up a rural road hardly wide enough for my ultra thin “hire” car. The hedgerows are in bloom and covered in yellow that stands in contrast to the endless green. Looks great!

The immediate area hedgerows were blooming

Phil, G(M)4OBK’s trip report left a useful clue where to park and I drove toward it and admired the herds of stout cows and carves was thankful for Andy’s (MM0FMF) heads up that the “coos” are strangely aggressive with new things to investigate and lick which had me pick the least populate end of a field generally over crowded with bovine members.

Clambering over the quaint old stone wall requires me to pivot over the farmers electric fence. Failure to execute this acrobatic move replete with pack could result in me landing face down in a cow patty. Success and I greet the “coos” in an adjoining field and keep a watchful eye out for the ones that share mine. The curvature of the hill shrouds what lies ahead and instead of “coos” I stumble into a strange ditch that reeks of iron age hill fort.

The sky is blue, the North Sea looks rather distinctive on the horizon and this is a welcome place to be after the rain and attempt my 100th.

2m and 70cm qualifies the peak and I try for 40m. My reward is a summit to summit (S2S) with Allan, GW4VPX in Wales. I love S2S as you get a real sense of camaraderie with someone doing exactly the same as you albeit on a peak many miles away.

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 8.40.32 AM
My exciting Summit to Summit with Allan GW4VPX in Wales

20m was a bust and feeling rather happy with my accomplishment packed up and felt the magnetic draw of something sticky and sweet to be consumed with a cup of tea which I did when back in Berwick.








One comment

  1. Congrats Paul on your 100th activation! That is awesome!

    Got to see Matt, Harold, Budd and Chris at Dayton a few weeks ago. It was another great show.


    Mike – KI8R


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