Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A walk up to Urra Moor - Round Hill TW-001 from Chop Gate (Yat) Car park

My view over the Cleveland Hills on 12 December 2012
My route to Round Hill from Chop Gate (Chop Yat) Car Park 
The ice bound car park at Chop Gate (Yat) 12th December 2012
December 12th 2012 - the twelfth of the twelfth of the twelfth, a quite unique date and it was time for my annual visit to the highest point of The North York Moors - Round Hill. As the SOTA Regional Manager for the TW - Tees to the Wash region I try to visit all summits every year if possible, it is not too dificult as there are only five to monitor, although I have to admit I seldom visit the "pimple" of Normanby Wold in Lincolnshire, as I rarely go down that way.

I had dropped my wife Judy off at the Ryedale Folk Museum in thick mist where she works as a volunteer and proceeded on to Bilsdale. I left the mist below me as I passed the Hawnby junction on the Helmsley to Stokesley road (known by some as the "Yorkshire TT").  

Treacle ready for off in her fleece lined sports coat
Treacle our cross Border/Lakeland terrier accompanied me on this solo walk, and I left the car park at Chop Yat via a route I hadn't taken before. This was a longer and more adventurous walk, rather than my usual route from Clay Bank car park up the Cleveland Way. The temperature on departure at 10.30 am was -4c, with no wind so it was pleasant for walking.

My view to the Clay Bank gap
The other benefit of this walk to the summit was that I could recce a few more footpaths and bridleways which I hadn't walked before to assist with the planning of any future walks which I lead for the walking groups I help to run. 

The Byre near to Medd Crag - inside and outside views
It took me 75 minutes to walk the 3 miles to the summit, passing south of Bilsdale Hall and then taking the bridleway to pass the byre below Medd Crag.

Shooters track junction with the Cleveland way - this is within the activation zone for TW-001
The old bridleway has become a shooters track now and today it was snow bound, but the walking was easy as I had plenty of grip. The air was clear, unlike back in Helmsley and in the Vale of Pickering where I live, which was fog bound all day.

Visitors are welcome on the grouse moors - information board within the activation zone for Round Hill TW-001
It was the shooting season and there were plenty of grouse on the moor today. The sport is big business on these moors with rich people paying well in excess of £1000 per day to bring their guns up here. I could hear shooting some distance away, but fortunately this was not taking place on either Bransdale Moor or Urra Moor today. 

One of  the very shy grouse of Urra Moor
I reached the trig point and set up my transceiver. I was running the higher power today of 30 watts (Rig - Yaesu FT-857) from an 11.1v lithium polymer battery, and it paid off with contacts as far as Lancaster (Sue G1OHH (FM)), Ulverston (Dave G6LKB (FM)) and Welshpool (John GW4BVE 144 miles (SSB)) in Wales.  The only CW (Morse) contact I made was with Roy G4SSH in Scarborough. I did hear Kevin G0NUP but he wasn't hearing me sufficiently to complete the Morse contact. The contact I had with G6LKB was made at 12:12 on 12 of the 12 in 2012!

Treacle feeling cold and getting ready to leave at the end of our 45 minute stay on the summit
The trig point on Round Hill has a hole in the top wide enough to take the shaft of a walking pole and this was used to support my vertical dipole, giving me a little more elevation for the antenna.  

The afternoon mist blowing up Bilsdale from the Helmsley direction - Tyne Tees TV Transmitter mast visible
I completed 22 contacts, had my lunch and set off back to Chop Yat using the same shooters track, however when I reached Medd Crag I continued along the ridge to take the slant bridleway down into East Bank Plantation and returned to Seave Green that way, reaching the village hall car park and toilets by 2.20 pm. On account that I was on access land and that this was a prized grouse moor my dog had remained on her short lead all day. 
Bilsdale below me on my way back down
The time was right for me to collect XYL Judy from Hutton le Hole on our way home on what was her last day of work at the Folk Museum this year. 

Distance walked: 6.7 miles - 1200 feet ascent

 Contacts made from Round Hill by G4OBK/P

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