Mickle Fell report. 24/05/09 G/NP-002
Well after a week off riddled with bad weather and an assignment to finish for OU it was a welcome change when Stuart G0MJG said did i fancy doing Mickle fell this weekend as it was an open access day. So a plan was born. Stuart was away up near Carlisle with his wife Dee walking sections of Hadrians wall. The plan was to meet at the starting point recommended by Richard G3CWI and follow the track to the summit with me to check the weather and double check access.
For anyone planning to do this summit, it does lie in the middle of a firing range and they are empowered to shoot on any day except Christmas day. I service some equipment on the range and quit frequently hear machine gun fire and tank firing, on one occasion they set fire to the heather on the hill side. So be warned do check non shooting days via the telephone line.
Access used to be granted via an estate office too but now open access land runs right up to the range markers, the MOD controls the area from there. Well with the weather looking good and a confirmation of non firing the ascent was on. I had a two hour drive and Stuart a one hour drive, Dee chose not to accompany us fools.
With a long walk in and Richards mention of a bike i quite agree with this, the track is very good and goes further than suggested on the map. In fact it just finishes just short of the final push for the trig point. Some two hours walking later we reach the trig, once here there is another mile or so round the ridge to meet the summit cairn. Fortunately the going is somewhat easy if sometimes a bit up and down.
Just short of the cairn and flagging legs we spied what looked like wreckage, indeed it was , i found it a bit eerie mooching amongst this. Bits of old aluminium and broken gearbox bits but nothing to identify what type of aircraft this was. Later in contact with G4RQJ i was to learn it was an old stirling bomber.
What apparently happened was the aircraft crashed in October 1944 after clipping one wing on the summit, ripping it off and cart wheeling the rest of the aircraft over the summit. Six crew members were killed and only the rear gunner survived. Apparently this was one of the most complete wrecks left in England until the late seventy’s early eighties when the RAF and ATC recovered most of the fuselage and anything else they could get. What happened next is bit vague as it seems to be languishing in some museum somewhere (or maybe scrapped now) with the original intention to get another stirling flying again. ( or at least construct another). Maybe John Yss may know??
Well from that distraction we went to the summit cairn sheltering out of what was a wild wind across the summit. Whilst eating Lunch Rob G4RQJ popped up on nine Standards rig and as if by magic 3 or 4 other summits suddenly became alive. After setting up Stuart found 5megs dead but with a struggled contact with Andy on his summit he abandoned hf and took over on 2M, Meanwhile i had worked few on ssb but struggling with the beam in the wind. A lost contact with Mike G4BLH was sort after on 2m fm but could not find him. An hours struggle in the wind was enough and with a long walk back we packed up and left.
Some 2.5hrs later we arrived back at the cars, the only person we had seen was a shadowy figure up at the cairn as we surveyed the wreckage but by the time we had got there he was off in the other direction oh a land rover that gave us a cheery wave on the track (well the occupants).
Thanks to all who called in, both Stuart and myself have now completed all the NP,s and with me to do Raw head unless it gets chucked out first i will complete all the sp,s.
Rgds Keith G0OXV.