Sunday 14th June, the first day of our holiday.
We had a leisurely beginning to our big adventure because the day before we had been to a friend’s wedding making an early start unrealistic; by the time we’d finally packed the camper it was getting on for midday. The M6 was running well and good time was made as we travelled North. Along the route there were a number of easy-ish SOTA hills just off the motorway that we’d looked at but nothing really planned; if and when we stopped totally depended on the traffic and weather.
We had been travelling for about about 3 hours and were coming up to the Lake District. The weather was good with bright sunshine and only a few big fluffy clouds. One of the summits that had been looked at was Lambrigg Fell (G/LD-046) so as we approached the decision to stop was made knowing there was no great rush to get to our first camp-site at Jedburgh.
Lambrigg Fell is just off Junction 37 of the M6 only 5 miles (8 km) east of Kendal and is easily spotted from the motorway with the wind generators on its eastern flank. The camper was parked just on the verge adjacent to the start of the path which heads towards the hill. The beginning is a gentle walk on a sheep track towards the wind farm tracks at which point the quickest way to the summit is to just head for the highest point.
At the top the big dipoles were erected and the transceiver (FT-817 with HF Packer amplifier) set up. A quick scan across 80 metres showed little activity, not a good start. Switching to 40 metres was totally different though with lots of very loud and strong intra-G signals. Tuning up to 7.118 we found Lutz (DL3SBA/P) working a pile-up, first call and the first summit to summit of the trip was logged. C QSY-ed down to 7.115 and the first call was answered by Steve (G1)inky. Over the next 40 minutes 32 contacts were logged covering mostly G with a smattering of GW, DL, HB9 and OK. At a natural break in proceedings it was time for H to operate (but this time a band change to 60 metres) where she made 12 contacts to round up our first activation. We had been on the summit nearly an hour so time to move on to the evenings stop.
A good start, no traffic jams, favourable weather, an efficient radio system and plenty of contacts… would it all last?
Carolyn (G6WRW) and Helen (M0YHB)
To be continued…