I stopped briefly at Dunmail Raise and looked up at the side of Seat Sandal on the way to High Rigg today. I contemplated activating St Sunday Crag but with the wind forecast meaning wind chill of -10 degC I knew that St Sunday Crag wasn’t be place to be!
My first time on High Rigg, but I knew from the location that with snow on the higher summits the 360 degree views wouldn’t disappoint.
High Rigg Map
I took the path from St John’s Church. This area is steeped in history, well summed up by George Kitchen’s fabulous investigations documented on his walking blog post ‘The Fell King’. The Church was re-built by John Richardson who subsequently re-built the local school and became the School Master. He is best known however for his witty poetry, and I highly recommend attempting to read out the rhyme at the bottom of George’s article entitled The Fell King It was written in 1876 but is remarkably on point, even today.
My path from Church Buidings to summit
I parked on main road directly before it turns off on a smaller lane past a farm on the approach to the Church. I thought this would be better than attempting to find a spot on a smaller track. As it happens if you really wanted to you could drive all the way to the Church and park in a space there, but this was a good excuse to stretch the legs and take in the spectacular sight of Blencathra as it presented itself from this spot.
Arriving at around 8:30 I was greeted by the early morning sunshine turning Blencathra’s ridgeline a gorgeous orange.
Early morning sun on Blencathra
Approach to High Rigg
On the approach to High Rigg I spied a lovely crisp moon, and once again proved the worth of bringing the Panasonic TZ90 with a handheld zoom shot:
I took a quick stroll through the Churchyard to pay my respects at John Richardson’s resting place.
John Richardson laid to rest
Immediately after is the Church Youth Centre and you are on a path on your way up High Rigg
Path next to the Diocese Youth Centre
Snow on the Summit Approach
Looking back at Skiddaw
Skiddaw & Blencathra from High Rigg summit
Looking towards Helvellyn
HF on the Summit
Looking towards Thirlmere Reservoir
I setup on the leeward side to escape the biting NNE wind. Out of the wind it was very pleasant, and I kept warm with a couple of brews from the JetBoil. This time I brought the SotaBeams Band Hopper IV in preference to the Super Antenna because I wanted a tall mast for the Slim J, given that this is a notorious summit for VHF.
I started off with a good run of contacts on 80m just 7 minutes before my alerted time. Propagation was good and noise at this location very low. Had a good chat with Phil @G4OBK who also alerted me to Joe’s spot on 20m. After the final couple of chasers on 80m I quickly reclipped for 20m.
For the second time in two weeks I managed a S2S with Joe @OE5JFE who was over the border on OK/JC-001. Very similar conditions to last time, not strong with me but we made the QSO! I then spotted for 20m and had a short run of chasers before hearing the SotaSpotter App alert that there was someone else out on 2m in the Lake District.
Operating standing up I deployed the 2m Slim-J antenna on the SotaBeams 10m compact pole on the summit, obviously leaving my gloves behind and now in the wind. Andrew (who I did my foundation course with) was out with his partner on Little Mell Fell, apparently inspired by the possibility of a S2S with myself which I was exceptionally happy to provide. Well done them because from previous experience that is another summit with precious little shelter! My only other 2m contact then was Geoff @GM4WHA in Annan, Southern Scotland. So the summit reputation held true, only one chaser contact. I’ve no doubt there were others listening for me, but I could only hear John in Penrith fading in and out whilst he was working Andrew @M0TRI.
JetBoil came in handy today!
So I welcomed my sheltered HF location once again with another warm drink followed by a good run of chasers on 40m with the skip distance bringing in a number of Inter-G contacts.
I took the opportunity to zoom in on a couple of the snow covered summits and I’ll attach those images.
A couple of brave soles approaching the summit of Skiddaw
Summit of Blencathra
Rest of the photos are here.