I havent done a double activation day since,looking at my log, 2008 when i did Dalehead and Robinson apparently!
So the weather forecast was heavy rain and wind on the tops on the morning gusting to around 55-60mph! Luckily driving over the A66 the rain appeared to have came through the area earlier than forecast.
I was doing the walk with Carl 2E0HPI.
We parked at patterdale cricket club(£5 honesty box charge) and was quiet only one other car when we arrived at 9.30am.
We casually got ready and setoff at 0953.
We decided to stay down in the valley and do the rotue in reverse so up Grizedale to the tarn then up Fairfield then St Sunday crag and down. This provides an easy 3km warm up of relatively flat valley walking before the climbing begins. It also ensured we stayed down in the valley longer and gave time for the weather to improve more. Clouds where clear on our summits and slowly clearing off dollywagen pike, nethermost pike and Helvellyn.
We managed to reach the saddle between Fairfield and Seat Sandel just before 12. The path up to that point had been like walking up a river! a stone bottomed river, constant water flowing down the path all the way from the tarn back down the valley. Thankfully once we got to the saddle we had got above all the water.
Looking down towards Grasmere
The big steep climb up Fairfield then began! It is very steep and zigzagged on rock all the way.
We managed to get to the summit about 45 minutes later.
Thankfully there are some small rock wind breaks built on the summit so We managed to use one of thsoe to hide from the wind that was quite strong on the summit. The cloud was just above us and larger summits like Scafell to the west of us were in the cloud.
Taken on the way up Fairfield.
Looking towards Great Gable
Carl working a huge Pileup on 40m
Carl worked 42 QSOs on 7mhz and 9 QSOs on 14mhz including a Japanese station JH1GEX that came out of nowhere. He has a nice QRZ page too. Lovely setup in the view of Mt Fuji.
I worked 8 on 2m FM.
Selfie in the wind on Fairfield, with Place Fell possiby in the background.
Looking NE from the summit.
Once i managed to prize Carl away from the Radio as we had to get going around 1340, we set off towards St Sunday Crag. It is quite steep down and some scrambling downwards around Cofa Pike.
The climb back up the summit of St Sunday Crag isnt as steep as Fairfield but we managed it and got to the summit around an hour after leaving Fairfield summit.
The cloud had dropped a little bit and we didnt have much of a view and there isn’t much shelter on the summit, but we managed to hunker behind a few rocks to get away from most of the wind.
I managed to work 7 on 2m and Carl managed 30 on 7mhz.
We then set off back towards the carpark. The route down from St Sunday back to Patterdale starts from summit quite gently, but then the last 30 minutes or so is very steep and constant rocky steps, which is very hard on the legs. We were quite glad we did the rotue this way round as setting off and going straight into this steep climb would have been very hard.
We got back to the car at 1640 and then just the 2 hour drive home followed by a chinese takeaway and a rest of the legs
VHF - FT817 and RH770 Antenna - 5w
HF - FT891 and Slidewinder DX antenna by M1ECC 40-10m with a 9ft military whip. 20w with 12AH battery.
It was an enjoyable if not long and tiring day but a good 16 points. Hopefully I can get some activating done during the winter bonus season this year.