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Fun on Lingmoor Fell


#1

I alerted for Pike o’ Blisco on Saturday 6th November. It was a glorious morning with the autumn colours of Lakeland at their finest, but there was no toilet paper or coal at the climbing hut, Low Hall Garth, so before thinking about the fells it was necessary to go shopping in Ambleside. Not the quickest of procedures when accompanied by the XYL. Having obtained the necessary (and some unnecessary!) we headed back into Little Langdale, still with plenty of debris and water on the road after the torrential rains earlier in the week. The intention was to ascend the Pike from the Three Shire Stone on Wrynose Pass via Red Tarn, but as we approached the pass there was a flurry of snow so we diverted to the NT carpark at Blea Tarn for a rethink (Wrynose Pass is NOT a friendly place in snow!) From here there is an alternate route up the Pike and a fallback summit, but here there was a little snow falling, too. As the snow flurry passed I decided that with a late start and the weather deteriorating it was more sensible to divert to Lingmoor Fell, LD-040. Accordingly I set off up the road to take the path up the ridge from Bleatarn House, faintly marked in black on OS sheet OL6. This takes you straight to the summit without difficulty.

I set up close to the cairn, with 20 watts of FM to a dipole. My first CQ was answered and I soon had a pile-up overloading the receiver. Meanwhile, I watched Crinkle Crags vanish behind a shower. As I worked my way through the pileup Pike o’ Blisco vanished and I realised that the shower was heading straight for me. As it reached me, as driving sleet, I was not to be diverted from a summit to summit which got the notebook well soaked, then I put on my cag, stuffed the rig with its cables up my jumper, turned my back to the wind and waited out the shower. After twenty minutes I was back in business, working the Chasers who had waited patiently for me. At one point I had the feeling that I was being watched, I turned my head and saw a semicircle of small children watching me intently, I don’t know if they were fascinated by their first radio nerd or their first loony, but when called away they were clearly reluctant! By the time I came to the last customer I had 26 calls in the log, and the battery voltage was falling - FM is pretty power hungry. I set aside ideas of SSB and 5 megs, packed the gear and enjoyed a thermos of Earl Grey before reluctantly leaving the summit.

One of the virtues of SOTA is that you spend quality time on the summit. You can watch the clouds change, see people pass, and you stand a better chance of wildlife encounters. As a hill walker I rarely spent more time on a summit than it took to snap a few photos and eat a Mars bar before moving on. During an activation you become more familiar with and appreciative of the summit and the views. Moving off almost becomes an effort, yet in the end the valley calls you home.

As it happened I made no more activations over the weekend, on Sunday my XYL claimed me for low level explorations, my first crossing of Slaters Bridge, and my first trip into Cathedral Quarry, and Monday morning we woke up to half an inch of snow around the hut and the hills in full winter garb, a temporary state of affairs as it quickly turned to rain. Oh, well! Roll on the next meet!

73

Brian G8ADD


#2

Sounds a nice weekend Brian. I found Lingmoor Fell to be one of those that took a bit of effort to get up, but seemed a doddle to come back down! I certainly found Pike o’Blisco the following day to be a much easier ascent, despite its higher points banding.

All good fun, and I agree with your comments about the enjoyment of hanging around longer on a summit and taking it all in. The problem is that this, combined with portable radio, is an intoxicating combination which can lead you to hang around for too long!

Tom M1EYP


#3

In reply to G8ADD:

Well done Brian. I agree with Tom that an ascent of Lingmoor is not to be sneezed at, so I’m pleased that you had a decent activation once atop. It is a very popular summit for a relative tiddler, most people taking longer walks to the summit up considerably shallower gradients than the Bleatarn House route. I reckon Rent A Crowd HQ must be somewhere in the area.

Just one thing about your report - your reference to the beverage that you took with you. Surely thermos and Earl Grey should never appear in the same sentence :slight_smile:

73, Gerald


#4

Surely thermos and Earl Grey should never appear in the same sentence :slight_smile:

Correct Gerald. Surely it has to be…

http://tomread.co.uk/creag_mhor_es-017.htm

(scroll to bottom of page)

Tom M1EYP


#5

In reply to G4OIG:

Earl Grey and Lady Grey are firm favourites here. Putting them in a thermos is a debasing experience for them, they do not taste as good, but better that than brewed up packaged for supermarket floor sweepings!

Of course the alternative is soup, but I prefer fresh homemade soup to these canned or dried concoctions, and you cannot produce a decent homebrew soup in the relatively primitive kitchen of a climbing hut…or the VERY primitive kitchen of a tent!

To return to the activation, I was impressed by the intensity of the pileup that I experienced, and by the civilised way it conducted itself compared with the mayhem of forty metres! Some people claim that activity is waning on 2m FM, I don’t think so!

73

Brian G8ADD


#6

In reply to G8ADD:

Earl Grey and Lady Grey are firm favourites here. Putting them in a thermos is
a debasing experience for them

I always take Earl Grey in the flask now. It’s a bit of a liberty to treat it so but the result is a much more drinkable cup of tea out of the flask that straight tea. I didn’t take a flask up Broad Law last week and really missed it. The week before at 991m on Sgairneach Mhor the tea was essential. It was cold enough that my Mars Bars and Oat Bars were too hard to eat. A quick dip in the Earl Grey solved that problem. Although that will offend purists more than putting Earl Grey in a flask to start with. :wink:

Andy
MM0FMF


#7

In reply to MM0FMF:

Indeed, Andy. What a shocking way to treat a Mars bar!

73

Brian G8ADD


#8

In reply to G8ADD:
Open packet of tea
Scatter contents in the wind
Recycle box
Drink the warm water

The best way to enjoy any kind of tea…

(Busy putting on flack jacket at same time as pressing send)

T!m

G4YTD


#9

In reply to G4YTD:

You stuttered!

We all have our foibles, now I will not drink coffee unless it has a measure of rum in it! In fact I used to carry a thermos of reinforced coffee when I was active in snow and ice climbing…no wonder they say that most accidents happen on the descent!

73

Brian G8ADD


#10

In reply to G8ADD:
Lol, to be sure to be sure!!

Thats what happens when you sneak messages onto the reflector whilst at work!

Have fun in the Hills all, cant wait for the snow :slight_smile:

T!m

G4YTD


#11

In reply to G4YTD:

Thats what happens when you sneak messages onto the reflector

You clicked send and then the screen redrew and your freshly entered missive wasn’t displayed. So you refreshed the browser display and your browser helpfully assumed you’d like to http:POST the data again. At which point you have two replies in the thread. You do get a warning with Firefox saying you’ll have to send all the data again to do the refresh, I’m not sure about other browsers.

cant wait for the snow

The outdoor shops up here are pushing the ice axes and crampons and have been for a month or so. Looks like flexible crampons are back in fashion as there seem to be lots of crampons for non-cramponable boots on offer. Obviously they are after the market that Kahtoola have cornered.

Andy
MM0FMF


#12

In reply to MM0FMF:

It was cold enough that my Mars Bars and Oat Bars were too hard to eat. A quick dip in the Earl Grey solved that problem.

So it was still above freezing then. I must say I found it really tough when I couldn’t eat the pizza I’d taken for my lunch because it was frozen solid… and it was stored inside my pack alongside the 817 which is a notable heat source. Pity I hadn’t taken my hand-warmers with me! (The Cheviot April 2007).

73, Gerald G4OIG
currently weather watching.


#13

In reply to G4OIG:

I had my water bottle freeze up on Ben Chonzie in Dec 2007. That’s the only time I can remember that happening. It was a brutally cold day especially with the wind chill and it was that which, I think, caused the bottle to freeze as it was 1C in the car park when I started. When I did Minch Moor last Christmas with Sarah it was -8C when we started and around -10/-11C at the summit. But there was no wind at all. I’d like to say it was T-shirt weather but that would be silly. It was single fleece weather. The water bottle was OK. In fact we only felt the cold when we got out of the sun on the descent.

Ben Chonzie:
http://www.moosedata.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=580

Minch Moor:

Andy
MM0FMF


#14

In reply to MM0FMF:

Years ago I climbed Meall Glas near Crianlarich in early January. It was cold, very cold! I got out my thermos, took off my gloves and put them on a cairn, poured a drink and it was lukewarm. My hands were starting to freeze so I tried to pick my gloves up only to find they were frozen to the rock. I had to chip them off with an ice axe! We didn’t bother with the second summit, we got the heck out of there!

One of those days that were more fun remembered in the pub than they were on the summit, and in those days the pub in Crianlarich was a pretty cheerless place which put the towels up at 10 o’clock!

73

Brian G8ADD


#15

In reply to MM0FMF:

< I had my water bottle freeze up on Ben Chonzie in Dec 2007.

I recall Richard G4ERP saying that he had his water bottle freeze up. It has never happened to me, but I have had to be careful not to get indigestion by drinking water that was near freezing on several occasions. I now keep my water bottle in an insulated sleeve - the kind that is supposed to keep your water bottle cool in summer when lazing on a sandy beach with the Med at your feet… :slight_smile:

73, Gerald G4OIG