3 in England and 1 in Scotland. (reports now added)

As I was down in Englandshire for the NARSA Blackpool Rally I decided I have some me time and try and get some completes in the Lake District. Also it was just pleasant to stay in some nice B&B/Inns and have a cooked breakfast each morning and a nice meal and some fine ale in the evening. In the end I activated G/LD-015 Grisedale Pike, G/LD-041 Binsey, G/LD-054 Watch Hill & GM/SS-289 White Hill (on the way home).

The full reports will come along later but I’m home alone so I have Hank Mobley’s “Hank Mobley Quintet” on loud and a large glass of Malt. However, here’s a trial at me pretending to be an artistic photographer with a work titled “Rock”. The cognoscenti will know that it’s LD-004 Skiddaw in the background.


Tnx for S2S between White Hill and Grass Hill (Grasberg DM/NS-107) . The White Hill should also be called Grass Hill, right? Or Grass Ant Hill :+1:
73 Chris

1 Like

Unfortunately no copy on any of your summits. I think someone had thrown a Faraday cage over my QTH… another person suggested I’d upset you. :worried:

I worked Phil G4OBK on 10MHz, must have been groundwave. Nearest HF QSOs in the morning were into ON on 7MHz.

Ha, a weekend away at Blackpool Rally them some SOTA bagging then 2 days mad part-time work and it’s Friday before I get any me-time again!

I shared a lift with John G3WGV from his QTH near Penrith to the rally. Good fun was had :slight_smile: Then Sunday late afternoon we got back to John’s, I collected my car and high-tailed to Troutbeck where I was staying at The Troutbeck Inn. Fantastic place, great food and ale and someone has done some proper design on the room decor and materials. I was hoping to nip to G/LD-044 High Rigg for a quick activation but some fool had ordered rain. So after I got the Wifi fixed (the nice man behind the bar rebooted the router) I had some fine food and ale. Yum!

Grisedale Pike G/LD-015

The forecast for Monday suggested it could -15C in the windchill on Skiddaw, -11C on Grisedale Pike and -8C on Lord’s Seat. It was a bit sunny just a painfully cold Northerly wind. I went for Grisedale Pike in the end from the car park at Whinlatter. The car park cost £8.00 for just over 4 hours. A lot but when you bagging several summits, parking here saves about 50mins from parking for free in Braithwaite. It was fresh as I booted up. I followed the GPS along the tracks before I turned off up the path. Andy, how long have you been doing SOTA? Nearly 17 years yet you didn’t look at the map carefully. 460m ascent in 2.2km means 1 in 5 slope ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP. Yes, legs suitably warmed up by the time I got to the summit.

How steep? This steep! I emerged from the trees at the clearing in the centre then it’s up, up and more up. About 1hr15 to the top is OK though.

There was a a young dude at the top with a Pentax Spotmatic F (in black!!!) I haven’t seen anyone using a real film camera for years and I last saw someone with a Spotmatic back when I was at university at the start of the 80s! We had a chat as he was fascinated with my radio stuff. He wandered up and I notice no phone service. I was out of the bitter wind so back to the true summit and we have a signal Houston. Why is there an R on the S-meter. Roaming? What’s happening. Then a text “Welcome to EE Isle Of Man”. Nooooo! That will cost a kidney and some fingers to use. No 4G, que pasa? No problem I’ll use RBN.

The noise sounded wrong. After some minutes calling CQ there were no replies… the sky was broken. After that my phone declared proper EE 4G service and I sent an SMS to spot myself. Boy was the propagation appalling. OK I worked people on 10MHz. 7MHz was hard work. During my activation it hailed, 4 times. Quite a lot in one shower. As I wanted to do 2 more summits I packed up, took some photos and made my way to the car.

OS Benchmark at the summit Grisedale Pike G/LD-015

Grassmoor G/LD-009

Criffel GM/SS-130 across the Solway Firth.

A stylish and handsome dude at the summit. I think I’m in love :wink:

Back the same way and descending 1 in 5 fast got my legs to complain. They’re still stiff 4 days later. At the car I had some water and a Mars Bar. As a diabetic I know how much climbing lets me eat a chocolate bar. The Mars Bar had been in the SOTA tuck box for a while…“best before Feb 2014” it said on the wrapper. No… it was “best when in my stomach”. I’m still here, chocolate doesn’t go off :slight_smile:

Watch Hill G/LD-044

A short drive around Derwent Water gets you here. I followed Phil G4OBK’s route which is quite direct. Damn stupid idea, it seemed to be up what felt like a vertical slope in a forest used by crazy mountain bikers. Phil is a lot lighter and fitter than me so it made sense to him! I was tatered when I got the summit and just as I was calling CQ, the female dog walker appeared and did her striptease. (Activation of EA5/MU-162 - #4 by MM0FMF) The radio propagation was much better than in the morning but not as entertaining as an attractive woman showing me her bra :slight_smile: % worked on 14MHz and 1, Eric F5JKK on 21MHz. I didn’t waste time calling and calling as I had one more on the list. Packed up and back the same way. On the descent I felt I was working in a call centre. I got a missed call from Geoff G6MZX and 2 from Brian G4ZRP.

6m Decathlon carbon pole, EFHW inverted sloping L.

Binsey G/LD-041

At the car I called Brian and spent 10mins trying to get the stupid car GPS to get a route to Binsey. Sorted, I nattered to Brian as I “made good progress” to Binsey by using a lot of the power and torque available. I parked up at Binsey NY235350. Lucky for me I could park, there were cones and signs saying no parking on Wed-Fri as there was road works. Binsey is a doddle of hill. I felt it as my legs were complaining. The haze had lifted somewhat and the views where good. Boy was it blustery and cold in the wind at the top.

I was bored of setting up HF stations so I tried 2m FM with a spot. I managed G0HEC and Geoff G4WHA. Even going a J-pole on the pole I could not raise anyone else. It was commuting time there should have been people out /M. No I would have had more success trying to raise the dead than a QSO. So “null points” but it was activated so another unique and a complete like Grisdale Pike. The views were good though.

The Northern side of Skiddaw G/LD-004

Trig point built from local rocks. Built end of 1949 and still standing.

Whitewater Dash. A path leads to this from Peter House Farm (where there are about 4 car spaces) and a path leads from the top of the waterfall to the summit of Skiddaw, this would have been my route if I was less wimpy.

From here it was about 10miles to my hotel, Wheyrigg Hall Hotel. Very different to Troutbeck Inn, the beer was cheaper! Lovely food and beer and very nice staff.


Checking the map for the best route to White Hill, I realised I was just a short drive from Anthorn radio station (where MSF the standard time and frquency signal comes from. First M call used in the UK in 1951 I think)

The full glory of a VLF station. The tower on the extreme left is MSF. The rest is a NATO submarine comms station. There are 6 elevated rhombics for receieve held between the towers. The central tower is a base loaded vertical with the mother of all capacity hats.

Insulators and anti-corona equipment.

This antenna arrangement makes sense to someone!

Skiddaw G/LD-004

Chapelcross MAGNOX Nuclear Power Station

Back in to GM and I knew I would pass close to the old Chapelcross power station which is being decommissioned. This was the second commercial nuclear power station in the UK opening in 1959. However, the generation of electricity was a by product. Chapelcross’ entire raison d’etre was the generation of weapons grade Plutonium for fission weapons followed later by production of Tritium for fusion weapons. That’s why there are 4 small reactors. If you leave the fuel in a reactor a long time you make plenty of Pu-239 (what goes bang in a big way) but also Pu-240 which you don’t want in your bomb material as it stops the bang being very big. So you run the fuel for a short period then change the fuel and send the used stuff off to get the Pu-239. 4 reactors means you can have one being refueled and the others operating. So 4 small reactors makes electricity for the smoke screen and lets you make more weapons material. Nice.

4 reactor houses, 8 emergency CO2 vents and 16 CO2/steam heat exchangers. The reactor is graphite core with CO2 cooling. The CO2 (radioactive) went into those rusty cylinders at the top at 350C and generated steam for the turbines to make electricity. Much pipework has gone but yes, there was no containment building about the steam generators. Again, nice. :frowning:

Another view of the reactor buildings.

The turbine house.

A pre-1964 Warboys Commission road sign. All UK roads signs have used the same design and fonts since 1964 that make them very readable. This is what the old signs looked like. You can still find them in out of the way places.

Watch Hill GM/SS-289

I only needed to do this as it replaces Hightown Hill next door. I followed Phil G4OBK’s route again but it was a good one. Apart from there being a bull bigger than King Kong hiding in a field on the way up :frowning: At the top it was 20m only. Conditions were better again. They’d have been much better if most of the antenna wasn’t laying on the grass. Ooops, forgot to put it out properly. I worked 5 on 14MHz and then packed up as I had another 90mins drive to get home. Back down avoiding the bull!

Looking North at the previous SOTA summit Hightown Hill witha the trig point.

The arty photo at the start was taken on Binsey. I think it’s turned out quite arty and quite a few of you seem to like it as well.

Two completes, four uniques, a nice haul. Now if only my legs would recover…


I checked the timing for the ascent of LD-015 that Paul and I did back in 2011 and found that we bimbled up in 1 hour 25 minutes. We were on a two summit outing taking in Grasmoor as well with a return using the bus. Your timing looks to be spot on, so your reputation for lardiness is in jeopardy. :joy:

Many thanks for the excellent report - it invoked lots of memories. I see now why you didn’t appear on 40m from all the summits. I must admit that as time goes on, having to set the kit up several times a day is losing its appeal. The recent single summit days I’ve done have only reinforced that and the relative lie-ins have made a change to being on an ascent by 07:00. I need Paul to come back on board and drag me up and down the hills. It’s so much easier when there is someone enjoying the pain with you. :grin:

73, Gerald