Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Activity Report G/LD-028 Harter Fell


The original plan was to climb Seatallen but the high wind forecast sent us to Harter Fell instead. We parked in the Forestry Commission car park in Dunnerdale at Birks Bridge about a mile south of Cockley Beck, room for about twenty cars. Cross the bridge and follow the surfaced logging road round to the left for about half a mile and find a small way marker for Harter Fell on the right. From here it’s straight up the near vertical fell to a high gate. To normal folk this is straightforward, with my vertigo it is my personal “Eiger North Face”. Some work has been done on the path mostly loose shale to reduce erosion, this did not help! The wind even at this height was much higher than forecast and by the time we reached the summit we had both been blown over. We decided initially to omit HF as keeping an antenna up looked impossible so we started with 2m ssb. Four stations were worked but no regulars and no spot. Two FM was better and Jordan M3TMX soon got the spots going which rounded up some trade When this petered out we decided to try HF with a mast height of only about 3metres at the centre of the trap dipole.This had worked on Rombalds Moor when I forgot the main pole so we thought it was worth a try given that the wind was now a steady gale with even more severe gusts. It worked quite well with an S2S with Andy MM0FMF/P on 5Mhz plus several regulars Frank G3RMD spotted us for 7Mhz cw but short skip seemed to be the order of the day and just two inter G contacts resulted. On to !0MHz and there was Lutz DL3AX/P for a S2S. This contact was made much more difficult by a member of the “Band Police” (no call sign) who kept repeating “no contest stations on this band” on top of us. Luckily Roy G4SSH spotted what was going on and sent him off “with a flea in his ear” Thanks Roy. Just four contacts here but not bad considering the antenna set up.
Now for the descent, I was not going back down “The North Face” with the wind as it was so we decided to lose height quickly and gain some respite. On the path down to the south of Denning Crag I was held at a total standstill by the head wind for what seemed like a long time, Luckily Audrey who is small was behind me or she would have been blown back up the hill! We headed for the gate in the Forestry Commission fence on the bridle way from Birks to Eskdale via Hard Knott… Here there were minor navigation problems as they have removed the forest leaving a forest path through a pile of firewood! Part way through there are red disc markers but whether they are route markers or keep out markers is not clear We followed the trodden path which brought us eventually to the logging road at a point about half way between Birks Bridge and the Harter Fell way marker. Quite a nice descent route but it would be nice if the odd map detailing the footpath diversions was posted at the car parks and entry stiles. Is red a very good colour for markers? Danger?
Learned today that a young lady was blown off the cliffs just to the west of us and had to be rescued by helicopter so guess it must have pretty windy.
Thanks for all the contacts, posts, etc