The alerts for Kisdon G/NP-026 and Rogans Seat G/NP-014 had been posted, and I got a call from Richard G3CWI. He and his son were originally going to do Cracoe Fell G/NP-032, to maintain Richard’s “completeness” of the G/NPs, but deferred that agenda, preferring some company. Furthermore, Richard insisted it was his turn to drive - result!
After the traditional breakfast feast at Lymm Truck Stop, we headed north, unimpeded on the M6. Exiting at J38, we drove through Kirkby Stephen, Nateby, past Nine Standards Rigg G/NP-018 and down into Keld. Just beyond the village, we pulled into the lay-by opposite the start of the track, and changed into our walking boots.
The march up the green track along the side of the hill was rapid. We turned the corner to follow the high dry stone wall to the summit, and were there in short order. Richard set up his 40m dipole, and I the 80m dipole. In no time at all, Richard was reporting 20+ QSOs on 40m CW. A little later, both Jimmy and I had plenty each in the log for 80m SSB and 80m CW respectively.
The descent commenced, and just as we were nearly down to the car, Jimmy led us up a bank and into a large sloping field. Here, the route intercepted the Pennine Way between Thwaite and Keld and crossed a footbridge.
We now climbed briefly alongside Kisdon Force, and then looped around to pick up the wide bridleway edging up the lower flanks of Rogans Seat G/NP-014. The views down Swaledale were stunning, as was the narrow winding valley through which we were walking. We stopped for lunch (Baxters Deli Soups range: Chilli Beef with Lentils and Buckwheat) in a ruined stone building, and then pressed on. After a series of sharp mini-ascents, we were back on a wide firm stony bridleway track.
The final approach was confirmed with a sharp left turning, and another firm track to the summit. By now, the snow was coming down moderately, and soon turning the green of the moor to pure white. After identifying (and photographing) the small summit cairn, we used a large long peat hag to settle in under, and shelter from the wind.
Pile-ups on 80m SSB and 80m CW were worked through by Jimmy and I respectively. It was another most satisfying activation. In particular, it was special for me being my 700th activation in the SOTA programme. It was also a new unique (my 198th).
After a long descent, briefly punctuated to finish the soup and have a Double Decker chocolate bar, we drove to the Black Bull pub in Nateby for a well-earned pint. For the final part of the descent, we walked up through Keld village, rather than up over the steep slippery fields which would have been the more direct route back to the car. For me, this was now by torchlight, because I couldn’t see. Richard, Jimmy and Lewis walked on ahead, grumbling about me threatening to ruin their night-vision. It seriously enhanced mine!
The long drive home was exacerbated by a one-hour traffic jam on the M6 in Lancashire. But we made it back to Treacle Town by about 9pm, pretty tired after being out since 6.40am.
A great walk, the highlight of which was the traverse from Kisdon G/NP-026 to Rogans Seat G/NP-014 without touching a road or car park. The latter was a long old walk though!
So, the ghost of Kisdon was exorcised (we only got 3 contacts each there last time), and the reputedly long-to-walk-in Rogans Seat was done - this is a real challenge, being up to two hours in and 90 minutes out.
Thanks to all callers, and to Richard & Lewis for their company and the driving. The whole day was a great deal of fun.
Tom M1EYP & Jimmy M3EYP