Activation NP-001 – or how to confuse chasers

I was returning from a jolly down South (a funeral, a 90th birthday and delivery of a cabinet) and was determined to activate something on the way home. My XYL found me a B&B in Brough – the woman was barking but produced a breakfast and packed lunch to die for! – and set off, late, to have a go at Cross Fell NP-001. All the routes shown on the SOTA database access this hill via the Pennine Way so, because I am just plain obstinate, I decided on a different route. Parking is very easy at NY650326 but the little lanes to Kirkland took their toll on time. The route is via a bridleway over access land (strange habits you lot have down there – there is no law of trespass in Scotland, just turn-up and walk!) and is easy going if a slog in temperatures in the 20’s – in fact it was really hot and I went through my carried water at a rate of knots. Where the track takes a sharp left turn, head straight on following the very obvious cairns until you pick-up another track which joins the Pennine Way and the final ascent onto Cross Fell.

I was greeted at the summit by a walker sitting in the cross shelter so just set-up my HF dipole away from the shelter so as not to obstruct the route too much – many others were on their way to the summit and the caravan was in view coming along the Pennine Way from Great Dun Fell. I had no idea what sort of activation I would have without a posting on the site – back to the good old days when we used to haul ourselves up onto summits and fail to qualify them? Initially I thought this might happen, a CQ brought G3RMD and shortly afterwards a QRZ from G0HNW – how different signals are nearer to centres of population, Paul is almost always 59 with me when in GM, here it was a generous 57 to 8 at best. Confusion set-in here with Paul wondering which GM hill I was on, not helped by me slipping into comfortable callsign mode and announcing myself as GM4 er sorry G4TOE. Finishing with Paul I was called by GW0VMZ to make 3 contacts, then nothing! Calling CQ, a little frantically but with hope, the spot finally propagated around the web and then it was into the usual swing of things – G6ZPR, GM4FAM, G0RQL, GW0DSP (not confirmed), G4OBK, G0NES and finally GM0UDL/P for a summit to summit. There were no other takers so I left Andy the frequency and set-up the 2m beam.

Operating 2m further south than usual was an eye opener – I actually worked people on SSB. A CQ brought in Don G0NES and then this was followed by G4JZF, G3RMD, G1OAE, GW0DSP (we did it on this band), M3PXW, 2E0HJD and G6LKB. I must admit that by now I was rather conscious of the time and with no further calls I closed down to eat my lunch, although I did try a couple of half hearted calls on 2m FM prior to leaving.

I had intended to make it a circular walk back to the car but with a 300 mile journey ahead I just returned the way I had come. For the record, the bothy shown on the map could be used in extreme need but it really is just the two gables, a roof and part of the back wall so offers little real shelter.

All in all a lovely day, a very pleasant walk and a quite different activation (for me). Thanks to all the chasers once again and to GW0VMZ and G0NES for spotting me on the reflector – I notice I was also spotted by ON3WAB, if I had known I would have qsy’d to 40m, so my apologies for not doing so.


Barry GM4TOE

In reply to GM4TOE:
It is very strange that south of the border an exceedingly expensive process to define and map access land was engaged in while at a mere fraction of the cost, the Land Reform Act 2003 provided wider and simpler access in Scotland.

In reply to G0CQK:
In fact it has always been possible (well in my lifetime anyway) to freely access land in Scotland. The Act helped muddy the waters a bit and the outcome of the case of Stagecoach owner Ann Gloag against the Ramblers Association and Perthshire Council has now really put the ferret amongst the rabbits!

Whatever happened to responsible access?


Barry GM4TOE

In reply to GM4TOE:

the outcome of the case of Stagecoach owner Ann Gloag

What happened to the Snowie case up near Perth?

Things do seem so much simpler up here (above cases excepted).

However, to make up for the simpler access we don’t many 2m chasers :frowning:


In reply to GM4TOE:

Excellent report Barry - pleased that you didn’t suffer heat stroke activating this far south!

Re: “slipping into comfortable callsign mode and announcing myself as GM4 er sorry G4TOE” - I know what you mean. I managed to sign GW4OIG/P during several QSOs from NP-005 earlier in the year… however, I have to report that I recently had a near total relapse and offered this call from the comfort of my shack!

The boy’s got it bad!

73, Gerald