Up at 05:30 - the earliest that I have ever started for SOTA. First shock of the day was that my son had decided not to come (hastily scribbled note on stairs). Fortunately Mai Ling (10 yrs) was still wanting to go walking. 06:26 second shock of the morning. The Lymm Truckstop Cafe was closed. This very nearly forced cancellation of the entire trip. We ate at McDonalds, next door. Not the same.
09:05 arrived at summit Honister Pass. Cloudless sky. Icy patches but no real problems. Paid £5 to park (National Trust car park). Booted up and set off at 09:20. Took direct route up Grey Knotts (good path), over Brandreth (one of a handful of hills named after politicians). Over Green Gable and down to Windy Gap. No wind today. Started up scree/shattered path for the final assault. ML asked if she could go straight up (she is fearless). I let her go and continued up the “path”. By the time I reached the top, ML was sunbathing behind a cairn having constructed a sort of stone “throne” to sit on. I ditched my rucksack and wandered up to the top to take in the view. Magnificent. Approach took 2hrs 20 minutes, including stops along the way.
Activated but ran into problem with ATU. This forced use of “emergency” aerial configuration. This is a compromise but still works fine. 21 contacts including John G3WGV (surprised that he was not flying).
On descent ML stuck to path on steep section. At one point she slipped and ended in a heap. She got up and announced that she had grazed her hand. Many small girls might have burst into tears at that point. Not ML though. She simply said “Oh that’s OK; it will prove to mummy and Lewis that I was up the mountain”(!)
At Windy Gap we took the G4YSS variation, descending the scree path heading NW then skirting Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts before heading towards the quarry and down an incline to the road. We were not convinced that this saved much time but it offered a variation for the return.
Back to the car by 15:00 and then off the the Derwentwater Youth Hostel. I was rather hoping for a rest at this point but ML noticed a table tennis table. Thus we had to play for nearly an hour
A super day out in sunshine. Cool but not cold and no breeze.
Nice child-friendly stroll (if you have a child like ML). 5.37 miles, 734m ascent. Curiously we saw no other children all day.
Thanks for the spots and contacts!