2016 – A Review

Well its now Boxing Day and I have no further hill walks planned this side of the New Year so its time to look back at what has happened this year and what I want to look forward to next year.

Firstly what didn’t I do from the 2016 ‘bucket list’? Well we had to cancel our holiday in North Yorkshire and my wife Mandi cancelled her trip to Portugal, so the hills in those two areas never can to fruition.  I had also planned to complete the Marilyns in South Wales and start on those from Mid Wales.  Well this never fully happened – but more about that shortly.

So what did I achieve in 2016 – firstly the stats:

  • I activated 55 summits this year of which 37 were uniques i.e. never before activated by me, so averaging just over 1 per week.
  • From those 55 summits I completed 444 QSO’s accumulating 166 points of which 36 were winter bonus points.
  • A total of 126 points were gained from Summit to Summit radio contacts.

This was a lot less than I had hoped for this year – so what went wrong?  Well during a fantastic walk up Sugarloaf in South Wales I twisted my ankle and as a result only managed to get up 18 hills during the whole of the 2nd half of the year!  This is the main reason why I have not completed South Wales and only managed a handful in Mid Wales, I had originally planned to do about 100 hills this year.

So what were the high points of the year?  Well this has to be my two mini expeditions.  The first was to South Wales on the 1st & 2nd February where I activated Black Mountain, Mynydd Carn-y-cefn & Craig y Llyn followed by Pen y Fan & Fan Fawr. These 5 peaks accumulated 41 points so a good trip.  I fact in the first 3 months of 2016 I completed all of the high peaks of the Brecon Chain.  My 2nd exped was a 3 day trip to the Welsh Marches activating 12 summits during absolutely glorious sunny weather in May.

So what for the coming year – well this is going to be an extra special year for me as I will have some very exciting news to announce soon although I can’t say anymore until later in January!!  As a result of this I am not going to predict what hills I will be doing as it’s all likely to change.  Suffice to say what I will be doing this year will bring awareness of Summits On The Air (SOTA) to a wider audience for all the right reasons.  One prediction I will make though is that I am currently standing on 371 activator points and this I intend to take past 500 points this coming year.

I look forward to working many of you during the coming year

G/SE-013 Detling Hill

My wife Mandi and myself were visiting our Daughter in Sittingbourne for her 30th birthday party and staying at the Bobbing Premier Inn.  The party was on the Saturday evening and my wife wanted a lay in on the Sunday before our drive back home.  This presented the ideal opportunity for an early morning activation of Detling Hill just 10 minute drive from the hotel.  I overslept by 30 minutes due to my phone running out of battery, so I didn’t get to the White Horse Wood Country Park, that forms the top of Detling Hill, until 0820.  Parking in the main Car Park (TQ808586) I set-up station on one of the many picnic benches that festoon the area.


FT-817 5 Watts, 4.2Ah LiFePO4, 40m/30m/20m linked dipole, 7m sotapole and a palm paddle, VX-8 plus RSS 2M dipole.

Detling Hill G/SE-013

Due to lack of a functional phone I was unable to self spot, so relying on the RBNhole system I called on 7-cw and hoped for the best.  Well it didn’t take long before there was the best pile-up I’ve had in a while.  My apologies to those whom I asked to repeat their calls but there were several stations who were calling me but obviously couldn’t hear me because they just continued to call even when I responded with a specific part callsign.


Anyway fourteen minutes after the first call the pile-up was worked and a total of fourteen station were in the log.  There was a good scattering from all over Europe with 9 DXCC countries worked including the only Brit, Ken GM0AXY in Edinburgh.  The temperature when I started the activation was -3C and although it had risen to 0C I was not properly dressed for staying out too long in these temperatures and my fingers were starting to hurt with the cold.  So with no more stations calling I packed up and headed back to the hotel for a shower and breakfast.