Dave, Pete & I set off from North Yorkshire to tackle our first ten pointer of the year! We left Pickering at around 0630 in quite wintery conditions. The A66 had some snow on it in places but one lane had been well gritted. G/NP-001 Cross Fell had quite a bit of snow on it. After passing Penrith we could see many of the Lakeland summits looking quite spectacular with their wintry coats of snow. In particular G/LD-008 Blencathra seemed to be well covered in deep snow so we did discuss possible alternatives if Skiddaw turned out to be too challenging.
G/LD-008 Blencathra from A66
We set off at 0940 along the footpath, visibility was very good and we had superb views of Keswick and Derwent Water with a magnificent back drop of Lakeland summits.
Keswick and Derwent Water
The track was pretty much clear of snow until we reached the gate by the first path junction to Skiddaw Little Man. We continued on towards Skiddaw in about two inches of snow although there were some parts with more significant snow drifts. By the time we reached the second junction path to Skiddaw Little Man the wind was much stronger and the snow was much deeper. We followed the gps track to the summit plateau in the mist and it was quite hard going. It was quite a relief to eventually see the summit trig point and we set up our activation on the outside of the snow clad shelter and we were on the air at 1218. This was a 2m-fm activation with Pete’s Kenwood handheld and his home brew dipole antenna. In about 30 minutes we worked John G0TDM in Penrith, Geoff GM4WHA in Annan, Liz M6EPW and Colin M0XSD in Frizington, Derek 2E0MIX in Whitehaven, Sue G1OHH in Lancaster, Richard s2s on G/SP-005 Pendle Hill, John GW4ZPL/P in Bangor, Declan MI0YCK near Armagh and Lee 2E0DNW in Workington. It was bitterly cold and I had icicles on my eye brows.
(L to R) Pete M0HQY/P, Dave G3TQQ/P & Nick G4OOE/P next to Skiddaw summit trig point
Dave G3TQQ/P on the mic with Pete M0HQO/P
at our operating postion on Skiddaw summit
We were disappointed in not seeing the summit view due to the mist but we were well chuffed with our 13 activator points earned and we celebrated with a well earned KFC (as they say other eating establishments are available - hi hi!) on the way home.
Uldale Fells from Skiddaw footpath
Many thanks to the chasers and we hope to go back to the Lake District soon.
Nick G4OOE/P with Dave G3TQQ/P & Pete M0HQO/P