G/LD-044 High Rigg

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.

Parking Position

High Rigg

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

Blencathra Ridgeline

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:

Morning Moon

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.

QSOs today

Looking South

A couple of brave soles approaching the summit of Skiddaw

Summit of Blencathra


Rest of the photos are here.
73 Mark.


Excellent Mark, the snow looks very inviting.


Great pictures, Mark. After 60 years of exploring the Lake District I am almost ashamed to admit that I have never been to the summit of that one - my excuse is that there is plenty of great rock climbing in the vicinity! Perhaps there’s still time…


Great story and great photos. I really appreciated your moon shot with the TZ90, a camera with a real optical zoom. (I have a Pentax compact with 18x zoom, which makes so many shots possible). The craters on the moon are clearly visible in your photo.

The lake district has a legendary reputation for me as I read and enjoyed the Swallows and Amazons (Ransome?) series about some kids sailing on the lakes there. One day I hope to visit and activate one or two summits myself.
73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


Thanks Mark for good contact good pics mate but makes me shiver with cold.
Best 73


Hi Heinz When I read the post it wasn’t there but now it is so maybe mark sawe my post before I edited it .
Best 73

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GM Mark
I can see that you had a great day out on High Rigg. Thanks for sharing those brilliant pictures.

Stay safe

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Hi Andrew,

With 55 or so G/LD SOTAs packed into the Lake District region you would be spoilt for choice. There’s a certain magic about this corner of England. I know there are many locals like Mark as well as incomers like me who would make you welcome, give you some good suggestions on summits and maybe even do the odd joint activation with you. That’s not even mentioning the 303 Wainwrights-on-the-Air summits in the Lake District - oh, I just did.

Anyone thinking of coming to G/LD land [once we’re all vaccinated of course], especially if coming from overseas, should give us a heads-up on this reflector.

73 Andy


Here’s the view from Skiddaw the following day…This is supposed to be a gate!

Also the views were stunning :joy:

A bit further down and out of the cloud Derwent water looking quite nice with the sky clearing from the west.


Hi Mark,
Yes we managed twice recently. I was about 3 m from the state border into OK and I checked the official infos. Transit to OK from OE up to 12 hrs is allowed without any actions needed. And the same air like 3 meter further south hi
Not much snow here but a warm southern “Fön” wind that made it quite comfy for December.

73 Joe



Thanks for the photos, was your white cat in there somewhere :laughing:
Unfortunately the cloud seem to cling resolutely to a number of summits when looking from my location today on Brant Fell. Often the Old Man of Coniston is in the ‘clag’ when other summits are clear, but today it seemed to be the opposite - the Langdales were clear but apart from that most summits seemed to be covered at one point or other.

Good effort, the photo of that gate is priceless! Hope you have radiators in your house for drying stuff out.

Mark. M0NOM


It was minimalist today @M0NOM

I was particularly surprised to see someone go up in trainers whilst someone else was on treking ski’s. Very Cumbrian!

I’m keen on the snow, sadly unlikely to get to France this season so I’ll settle for snowy fells

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Well done Joe, 13 points is very rarely earnt easily, even if you make it look that way :grinning: - you were a bit higher than me, lets leave it at that :astonished:

Here’s to many more S2S, regardless of the summit!

Mark. M0NOM

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It’s “only” cheap 10 points as OK winterbonus has not started yet.
But a 2 hour nice forest and ridgeline walk in the sun is nice before the snow shoe season starts hi

73 Joe

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Hi Mark,

Thanks for the S2S, I needed to start getting myself out and seeing your alert early on we managed to get a good start and saw your spot appear just as we were heading up.

Only managed the 4 2M contacts bit didn’t take the HF rig with us.

Think your summit was just out of this shot!

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Hi Andrew,

Great to get you in the log, it was a lovely day to be out playing radio. When I did Little Mell Fell with Alex two years ago she got onset hypothermia, even the little ones can catch you out!

Yes, from your lovely photo you can see Clough Head left centre and High Rigg is directly behind that, just checked on the map, so not much bending of signal required.

Regards, Mark M0NOM.

Thanks for QSO and sharing your part of world.
Nice to chase you.
73 QRO

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