What a splendid day out for the first time in the Lake District as an activator for SOTA. Steve 2E0KPO and myself had planed on doing 3 summits and in a certain order but as we drove up the M6 we decided to go in a different order. As 2 of the summits were to be done in 1 walk from the same parking spot and the other from a different spot, we would do the 2 first. This would put us out on the alert time, but Steve would ring back to base ( Sharon 2E0NBR ) to spot us when we did eventually start.
As we came near to Lancashire we turned on the Tom Tom and selected G/LD-018, as always it took us with ease to our starting point. This did seem a little strange place to start as we had come through the pass and down the other side losing some altitude from where we thought the start might have been. So out the Rover and gear up for the climb, weather was looking good at this point for the time of year but still put the waterproof trousers on.
We had about half a mile to walk before we were through the village and on to the path between 2 hills following the stream. For some time the walk was easy but at the end of the valley we could see a sharp rise to take us up. We had sunshine and some light wind also some hail as we walked, it was going to be one of those mixed bag days for weather. We climbed to a point where another track runs across a ridge, left to High Street and right to Stony Cove. We turned right and found we had some scrambling to do, this was not for long and soon we were walking across to the top of LD-018. We both set out our stations and Steve gave Sharon a call. I worked on 60 meters and Steve on 2.
The conditions on 60 where poor but with 2 summit to summit (MM0FMF/P GM/SS143 and G4RQJ/P G/LD-046) plus 3 other chasers I was able to qualify the summit. Steve on 144 ssb was in demand and showed how 2 meters is a reliable way to qualify a summit. So first one done quick photo and we where of back down the hill to the crossing point and this time take the left path to G/LD-011. The weather was having a hard time to make its mind up what it wanted to do and by the time we had got to the roman road all hell let loose and we sheltered behind a large stone wall with two others. The hail soon passed and we walked an easy path along the ridge to the trig point. As we got there the weather changed again and the wind got up giving us driving hail for this activation.
Setting up the HF gear was fun with the mast falling over twice, but we made it in the end. Again only 5 contacts made with another summit to summit with MM0FMF/P now on GM/SS-128. I was kind of pleased that there was not to many contacts as my fingers where cold with my fingerless gloves, and packing away the fishing pole had iced up and was hard to slide shut. Steve again had done well for contacts on 144, I did try 80 meters on both summits but got no reply. Quick photo at the trig and we headed along the road and come back down to the car at the north end of the ridge.
When we got to the car we had walked over 8 miles and with the weather getting worst we decided to call it a day. What a great introduction to the lakes, we both agreed we would be back, it was one of my best SOTA days out even with the poor conditions on the bands. Again many thanks to all stations worked you made it all well worth the effort, 20 points for the day each and Steve made it to 100 unique as well, he was well pleased. On the drive back down the M6 the expected weather front came upon us, black as night and good size hail, luckily we had stopped at a service station for me to have a quick fag as I cant roll when driving as the worst part went over. With this passed we carried on home to Tutbury.
Steve will be out next weekend but for me that is the end of my winter bonus to next December as I fly to China next Saturday to meet my lady friend for 3 weeks holiday.
Photos will be on the Burton Clubs web site soon and to be found at http://www.burtonarc.co.uk
73 all Dave G0AOD.