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G4YSS: G/LD-033 Lords Seat, 26-12-19

G4YSS: G/LD-033 Lords Seat, 26-12-19
Issue-2 (East-West errors)

LORDS SEAT G/LD-033 on 2m-FM QRP only
G4YSS using GX0OOO/P unaccompanied
All times UTC (GMT)
RADIO EQUIPMENT - HF (Carried but not used):
FT817ND HF/VHF/UHF 5W Transceiver without internal batteries
MX-P50M, 50 Watt HF Linear Amplifier
Link dipole for 80-60-40-(30)-20m
Four section, 5m CFC mast with 1m end sticks
One 5Ah Li-Po
Unitone ‘D shape’ ear-cup phones.

Equipment - VHF:
IC-E90 4-Band, 5W-VHFM Handheld with integral 1.3Ah battery
Baofeng UV-3R pocket rig with set-top helical (not used)

Other Equipment:
Garmin GEKO 301 GPS
Pack-weight: 9.5 kg (21 pounds) including 0.25 litres fluids (not used)

INTRO:
This was the third and final full day of a 4-night stay at the Derwentwater Hotel with my XYL. I’ve been healthy enough for months but never quite got round to activating. The usual thing happened; a sore throat developing on 22nd December. Care must be taken with this as I have suffered from chronic bronchitis most of my life. It seemed that SOTA must be off altogether but after a restful 2-days things improved somewhat from a bad throat and headache to mild asthma.

Just my luck. The Mountain forecast for the three applicable days was only good for Christmas day which turned out quite sunny with light winds and no cloud on the hills I could see from the hotel. Boxing day’s forecast didn’t read well – ‘Snow or rain most of the day, winds up to gale force.’ Despite MWIS having a tendency to exaggerate somewhat, I took that as a warning to stay low which is why LD33 was chosen. That and the fact that it’s close to the hotel.

When climbed from Whinlatter Pass, LD33 standing at 522m ASL is a relatively quick and easy SOTA; the start point being at 320m ASL on the road which goes west from Braithwaite to Lorton.

The 4-mile drive took under 10 minutes and I was able to park on the verge with a dozen other cars in Whinlatter Pass a couple of hundred metres west of the large parking area.

Route:
The path leaves the B5292 road at NY 2047 2452 and heads NE uphill to NY 2082 2483. Follow the forest trail to the left passing through NY 2072 2496; NY 2076 2518 and NY 2079 2536 to NY 2065 2544 where you have a choice. Straight on NW (west route) is slightly more direct but it descends a little. The alternative is to turn sharp right here (east route) which seemed to be a bit of a ‘round the houses’ route when I accidentally came down it on the return. However, further investigation has deemed it to be the better option due to less re-ascent (See ‘Descent’ and ‘Walk Data’).

West route: At NY 2049 2554 the track angles right and generally north via NY 2058 2577 to a smaller path at NY 2052 2597, which leaves the track near a hairpin bend. You then walk steeply up via NY 2063 2625 to NY 2075 2635 and here a sharp left turn is made at a ‘T’ junction to join a gravelled path. This leads to the summit via a stile at NY 2042 2646. At the summit there is a steel post which I GPS’d today at NY 20417 26551. The ascent took 37 minutes but that was with quite a heavy pack. There is some re-ascent required with this route – perhaps around 30 metres one way. I set off walking in very light drizzle at 14:04, meeting a few people on the way up, though the summit was initially deserted.

LORDS SEAT, G/LD-033, 552m, 2 pts, 12:41 to 13:39. 4 deg C and dropping. 25 mph wind – decreasing. Increasing rain, sleet or snow showers but no low-cloud. IO84JD, WAB: NY22, No Trig. Phone coverage unknown (not tried).

145.550 FM - 9 QSO’s:
Having no idea how this would go, I carried up 50 Watts of HF, a mast and a dipole as insurance.

A CQ on S20 with 5 Watts from the IC-E90 opened the activation at 12:50 when GM4WHA (Annan) called immediately. Geoff had seen the SOTA alert I’d put on before leaving the hotel but sadly there was no sign of John G0TDM. These two used to come as a pair but looking at a map beforehand told me that Annan would be easy but not so for John, who was screened by part of Skiddaw. Geoff went on to offer me his ‘B’ call - GM6SMW, ‘just in case.’ Geoff spotted me too – a great help.

Next in was 2E0LDF Reg giving my 5 Watt signal a 59 plus 60dB report from Cockermouth. Reg told me that I could expect 2E0MIX at some point and Derek did show up later. I think I must have nipped back to S20 for the next caller who was Ethan M7ECT/P located in Broughton and just returned from a walk. He needed three goes at getting my club callsign but that’s nothing new.

Requiring just one further QSO to properly qualify, another return to S20 brought in Sue from Lancaster – G1OHH. All reports so far had been 59 but this was a trickier path at 55/ 51. I thanked Sue for the qualifying QSO and squatting under a black umbrella in a small rock cleft, fighting off rain, sleet and later some snow, I was truly thankful that I would not be needing to deploy the HF station. This was just a token activation with an ongoing sore throat but apologies to the further away stations looking to collect LD33. I haven’t given up on you.

Just when I thought I’d been already very fortunate, in came four more stations. First GM3VMB Peter in Eaglesfield near Lockerbie, then as predicted by Reg, 2E0MIX Derek in Whitehaven, followed by G7WKX/P Simon, a visitor in Keswick. Reports for these were all 59 both ways and just as I was announcing the QRT, in came GM6BIG from near Lanark (IO85CP) at 960 feet ASL. David was using 50W to a co-linear and the exchange was 57/ 51.

Peter reiterated his judgement on the sanity of people who sit on mountains in rotten weather. I enjoy this; we always have a good laugh about it and I must say it does make me think of how I’ve managed to become one of these people. When I ‘boasted’ about my age and a recent ‘zero’ on it, Peter mentioned he’d got six years on me.

On a similar note, Derek told me that he was starting to have difficulty with big ascents these days and I think it comes to everyone. To me the psychology of it is very challenging too. The older you get the more you wonder where the next inspiration and motivation is coming from.

A case in point; well not really age related but certainly life related. I’m so ‘gutted’ by the loss of Sasha, the dog that accompanied me up numerous summits and camped on five of them including three this year, it puts me off doing things. We walked almost 7,000 miles together in 5 years. What a friend. Irreplaceable!

Simon told me he’d been out the day before and done half a dozen mixed summits. I was jealous. I had to eat turkey instead. He reeled off a few but Grasmoor, Whiteside and Hopegill Head were the three I remember. Surprisingly considering its height, he didn’t manage to qualify the SOTA Grasmoor; or at least that’s what I thought I heard. Probably a lot to do with it being Christmas day.

There were no more takers, though I didn’t return to S20. It was time to go. Packing up a VHFM station takes very little time but just as I was about to leave half a dozen people arrived on the summit. See photo.

The Descent:
The descent took 33 minutes to 14:12 but I went slightly wrong in missing the right turn at the ‘T’ junction NY 2075 2635, instead walking a further 80m to another right turn at NY 2079 2628. Here a gravelled path took me down in a loop via NY 2067 2598 and NY 2093 2567 to the junction at NY 2065 2544. From there it was a retrace. Though this return (east) route is very slightly longer, it turns out there’s much less re-ascent Just when I thought I was being led up the garden path, four people showed up, coming the other way. I was reassured that this path, which later became a track, did in fact lead back to Whinlatter. It was a good find it but I can almost hear you telling me, ‘That’s the way you’re supposed to go!’

QSO’s on 2m-FM: 9
SOTA Points: 5

Walk Data
Ascent & Distance:
Today: 265m (870ft) of ascent / 6.3km (3.9 miles) walked up one route and down the other.
(292m (958ft) of ascent / 6.2km (3.9 miles) walked if using today’s ascent (west) route both ways)
(240m (787ft) of ascent / 6.4km (4 miles) walked if using today’s descent (east) route both ways)
Preferred in future: Use east route both ways.

Observations:
A quick and simple activation added to some force-fed fresh air. Exercise too but most of all the sense of achievement that SOTA brings. Five points gained on a 2-pointer that I haven’t activated since January 2006. Qualified on 2m, there’s something about that simplicity that’s refreshing and it doesn’t take as much psyching up to as HF either. A few relaxed chats, despite slightly inclement weather. Photos aren’t up to much mainly down to a dull day. Home to Scarborough tomorrow.

According to my High Ground wrecks listing, there is a WW2 Avro Anson crash site 60m NW of LD33’s summit at NY 204 266. I didn’t look for that today but I may have in the past. If so I would expect to have failed. This is just an inaccurate six figure ref, not far enough off the beaten track and there is rarely much left of Ansons apart from the one on Ben More Assynt.

THANKS:
To all stations worked and today’s spotter: GM4WHA Geoff. (Please report errors)

73, John
(G4YSS using Scarborough Special Events Group Club Call GX0OOO/P.)

Photos - please excuse poor quality:
SOTA-1-2-3-4-5-6-9-10-16-19-20-21-22
Keswick: 2-3


Above: B5292 Whinlatter Pass looking east from Start Point


Above: B5292 Whinlatter Pass looking west from Start Point


Above: B5292 Whinlatter Pass Start Point/ Path


Above: Route to LD33 after leaving the forest


Above: Final approach to LD33. Stile ahead but out of sight


Above: Activation of G/LD-033 on 2m-FM only


Above: A blurred and shaky horizon


Above: LD33 Summit iron post


Above: LD33 Summit walkers


Above: LD33 Summit walkers


Above: Descent on forest track


Above: Skiddaw from the B5292 on the way back to Keswick


Above: Keswick on Christmas Eve 2019 (1)


Above: Keswick on Christmas Eve 2019 (2)

11 Likes

Happy Xmas John and hope to see u at the next club meeting.

Dave
PS i’m going off to be doing a bit of sota before NYE.

2 Likes

Sorry to learn about the loss of Sasha, John.
Having read your reports on this reflector I got a sense of how important Sasha was to you as an expedition partner.

When I was a teenager my family had a blonde Labrador called Sam, he was a few years old when we got him, he’d had a poor start in life and was very nervous. Sam came out of his shell with a bit of TLC and he really was a dog-in-a-million. Sam was such a character, very cheeky and a bit crazy at times, he absolutely loved water, jumping in at any presented opportunity. I suppose we enriched Sam’s life and he more than repaid that by enriching ours. I have a picture of Sam on my shack wall.

All the best for 2020.

73, Colin

3 Likes

Hi John,

Thanks very much for the chaser points - we were just getting ready to leave Keswick and head home to Liverpool when we saw the spot on the SOTA Spotter app. Glad we made the contact - it makes up a bit for not qualifying Grasmoor the day before!

I was only using the Yaesu VX-5R with its standard antenna, so probably a compromise, especially on a quiet Christmas Day. Fortunately Clive 2E0EVD was about at the time we reached the summit - I probably should have used the 6m pole & slim-jim, but I was on strict orders from my wife Nic to be quick… :slight_smile:

We’ll be out on New Year’s Day (hopefully G/NP-013), so fingers crossed I’ll have more success. I must remember to alert beforehand, as that usually helps too.

Best 73,
Simon

1 Like

Activation Report - Lords Seat 27/12/19

It seems this is a popular fell! Today was a shopping trip to Keswick (New Boots amongst other things) followed by a wander around Whinlatter. I happened to accidentally leave my FT270 in the bag but being a family day out I was not optimistic. It was my son Matthew when in the car park said “I’m going to the top”, possibly frustrated in that we did not bring his bike. What rapidly formed was an expedition party, Matthew, Katie, Woody and myself off up Lords Seat – which they soon discovered was also G/LD-033. In the very small bag was my FT 270 and my clone RH-770 antenna. Being short of time the meticulous navigation became following the forestry commission signs as we climbed the hill. Our young Springer, Woody wants to be everywhere first and pulled me up with great speed. I was told “You can only have four contacts dad!” very firmly by both children. Anyway we got to the top, had 5 contacts but failed to log the first call sign ( no paper just using the phone as a log), a less short sprint down the hill (It turns out that the green Summit Walk signs are a circular walk….) and a nice cup of coffee and cake in the café at the cafe. The new boots (Altberg Kisdon) were also brilliant – warm, dry and comfortable on the first walk!
Sorry to hear about Sasha John, we have only had woody for six months and we are all becoming rather attached – he is sitting in the chair behind me in the shack as I type!
73 – …and 2m was not dead, which was quite a good job as that was all I had! Now 20% Goat!
…. Tomorrow… Cold fell – probably on 80m SSB for its first activation of the year – unless anyone knows better?
Paul

Matthew being pulled up the Summit of Lords Seat by Woody…

Katie and Woody at the top after the 5th QSO

3 Likes

Hi John,

Great report as always and hope you and your XYL had a great Christmas.

Sorry to hear about the loss of Sasha as I know you enjoyed your walks with her and the camping trips with her also.

I hope you and your XYL have a great New Year.

Jimmy M0HGY

2 Likes

TO ALL:

M6GYU
Hiya Dave,
Thanks for the reply. Yes, see you on the 6th Jan and we’ll have a discussion about your forthcoming SOTA sorties. Now you’ve got me wondering what you’ll choose. Good luck and hope you get some good weather for it.
Happy New Year – John
……………………………………………

M1BUU
Hi Colin,
Thanks for that sentiment. I feel I can do with some sympathy as I am even more bereaved than I thought. When it comes to animals I’m a big softie. I have never owned a dog and only one cat; one that we were ‘left with’ but there have been several dogs in my life. I always get in too deep but never before to this extent. They say that we’re a nation of dog lovers so I know there are many like me. It makes it worse that we had just half an hour to prepare for it.

Way back in 1969 a friend had a Golden Lab and just like your Sam he couldn’t resist water no matter how cold the weather was. He would jump in the Leeds-Liverpool canal, once through 10mm of ice. The worst thing was when he leapt into a watery sludge bed at Esholt sewage works – the canal came in handy after that too. As coincidence would have it that dog was called Sampson. He was scared of sheep; once surrounded by a flock of 30 and backed into to River Aire.

HNY when it comes,
73, John
………………………………………

G7WKX
Hello again Simon and thank you for the QSO.
I went there with the expectation of difficulty in qualifying; hence the HF ‘insurance’ but in the end I was quite pleased with the ‘haul.’ As you said on the air, Christmas day would be harder than most other’s though I think Tom M1EYP was out and about. You were under pressure to get the job done. When I worked Andy G6PJZ/P as I drove past ‘his’ Little Mell Fell on the 23rd, he said his XYL was waiting in the car below. The aerial I was using is similar to a Slim-Jim and it’s a home made one from the 1990’s or before.

Enjoy The Calf but remember there’s no cover except a shallow ditch should the weather be bad. Hope you manage OK. If you do it from Cross Keys you can include Yarlside (NP19) on the way back, though it has quite a steep flank.
Thanks for your reply,
73 & HNY, John
………………………………

G4IPB
Good evening Paul and thanks for the post.
Yes, we certainly helped to ‘heat LD33 up a bit’ between us and I was told during the activation, I think by Derek 2E0MIX, that Carolyn & Helen had been there a few days before me. When I looked it up afterwards I was surprised to learn that I’d only done it twice previously and that was way back in 2004 and 2006.

Sounds like you too were under a bit of pressure once you did decide to go up there but you made it look suitably incidental to your family while all the time hoping fervently that someone would suggest it! Crafty. I didn’t really look at the signs but some of the waypoints from 2006 refer to them. Sounds like they were worthy of trust but I’m good at misinterpreting what’s obvious to others these days.

Thanks for the Sasha comment. You have a nice looking dog in Woody for sure. I hope he’s in Phil’s ‘doggy thread’ but I can’t bring myself to look at that for the time being.

Hope you enjoyed Cold Fell. I have been planning to do that one again for 10 years now as it’s an NP that needs ‘Top Banding.’ I will read your NP20 report – seen it in the list.

Happy New Year,
73 John
……………………………….

M0HGY
Hi Jimmy,
Thanks for your good wishes and the same comes back from me to you Tom, Marianne and Liam. While we’re at it thanks for looking after the NP’s for us too. We enjoyed our stay at the Derwentwater. Sasha was a really good pal and the camping trips will not be the same. The isolation that you feel, especially in bad weather, in these remote places will not be improved by her absence. Sasha’s owner is already talking about getting another rescue dog. Just like people, they’re individuals and you can’t replace them of course.

Hope your Dad got the 160m coil details OK and has made a start if he thinks it’s worth a try that is. They can be tricky to get right. As stated I can send some ferrite if required.
HNY 73,
John
…………………………………………………………………………………………

Thanks for all the replies and sorry about the last two reports. I still have a file with most of the responses to the NP6 one but never completed it to put it on. It all takes hours and hours with one finger typing.

If I don’t get another chance I would like to take the opportunity to thank the SOTA MT for their efforts over the past year and indeed the outgoing decade. What a lot of enjoyment you are enabling!

Don’t know if I’ll be ‘out’ or not so all the best for 2020 when it arrives,
73, John

2 Likes

Hi John

Thanks for the report. I have made a note of your route to the summit, seems a bit easier than going up via Barff which is the way I did it with Geoff M0PYG.

73
Nick

1 Like

Hi John,

Me and my family dad have a good Christmas and I am pleased that you had a good Christmas also in the Lake District. I understand how you feel about the loss of Sasha especially when it comes to your camping trips, but maybe you might get the chance to take this new rescue dog up some mountains and take it on camping trips also. It’s not just the NP’s I look after John, it is the entire G Association, the region manager for the NP’s is actually John @G3WGV.

My dad Tom M1EYP will be trying to sort out the 160m coils after the New Year, but he is no good with building stuff so he will be getting his friend Sean @M0GIA to help him build this and test this. Hopefully you’ll be out activation on 160m before 7th January so both of you can work summit to summit for this flavours challenge.

Jimmy M0HGY

1 Like

John, I’m sorry to hear about sasha. Thanks for the contacts this year and all the best for 2020.

1 Like

I managed

Days:=
D1 =G/NP 019, Yarlside & G/NP 013 the Calf
D2 =G/NP 012, Bough Fell tarns
D3 = G/NP 007, Wild Boar Fell.

Hope to see you Monday John.