The weather was unusuably hot weather at 27c. And as we were just out of ‘lockdown’, the hills were alive with walkers. I intended to be one of them.
I’d already been out and activated the 9 standards rigg, on my way over from my home a couple of days before, then Skiddaw & Great Mell Fell the previous day. I can’t remember ever visiting Blencathra before. I’m not sure it had much to offer a keen climber and mountaineer. I knew there were some attractions such as Sharp Edge a graded ‘scramble’, but there were always better things for me to do in the Lakes. But now my motivation was SOTA and Blencathra represented 8 points. Thats enough motivation for me now!
I parked at Threkeld along the old road above the A66.walking along the old road and then along the footpath until I accessed the fell side at at Scales. Inspite of the early hour, it was before 8utc, there were a few people already on their way up. I decided to go and tackle Sharp Edge on the way and saw no reason to slog up one of the steep ridges which face the A66. I had plenty of time. as it was relatively early. I soon saw an individual on his way down. It was only when he got nearer could I see he was completely naked, and was carrying his shorts. He quickly covered his wobbly bits when he noticed I had my camera at the ready, and I had to make do with a rear view shot. Probably just as well.
Sharp Edge proved easy enough and was pretty simple and hands were only needed to keep your balance.
A short while later I was sat in the lee of the wind well ahead of my alerted time. It had taken me 2.5 hrs to reach the summit. There were plenty of people wandering about and several people on mountain bikes too.
I looked at my phone and I had no signal, so I listened around the bands to see if another activator was calling CQ SOTA. No one! At 1020, well before my 1100 alert, I started calling CQ. on 7mhz. I was soon answered by EA2DT/Manuel and a new chaser for me, F2YT/Paul. And that was that!
No more replies. A QSY to 10.116khz soon got me 3 S2Ss all from HB land and then all silence again. 14mhz got me no where either. Not one answer!.
Back to 10mhz and I soon got one answer. Then silence. I had no way of self spotting and i guessed that I wasn’t being picked up by the RBN either. Pounding the morse key was getting tedious. Almost at the point of giving up, Eric/F5JKK answered and said he’d spot me. A minute later and I had several callers and 15 minutes later I had another 10 QSOs including another 2 S2Ss. I’d got everyone in my log book I heard chase me. It was time to go.
I packed up and continued along the crest to Knowe Crag (804) and then descended to Blencathra Field centre and my van a short way beyond Threkeld.
You Kits HB-1b MkIII with a 2amp Lipo battery
A tiny Russian ‘spy key’, which is much better than many keys I’ve used.
An inverted linked dipole supported by the obligatory pole.
Paper log book and a couple of propelling pencils (are these called mechanical pencils in the USA?)
M6GYU/P David P from RHB
(Above) The Naked Man
The approach to Sharp Edge
Looking down the ridge:-
And below, some views along the crest. Much more dramatic than I thought.