GM4OBK GM/SS-161 Larriston Fells Report - Conclusion - walk or cycle?


Why is there a concrete area near the summit? The concrete area is used for temporary deployments of ground based ECCM and ECM devices and aircraft monitoring equipment by the nearby RAF Spadeadam site. There’s a high power military ATC RADAR at Deadwater Fell across the valley. You probably couldn’t see it in the mist.

It’s a dire summit. I had permission to drive to the concrete area which was good. But that 1km across the top was awful. I’ve done it now and I will not be returning. If you are a masochist you can go back and activate the Scottish summit from England i.e. GM/SS-161 and G4OBK/P should you wish to cause logging turmoil :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info Andy, it will be trailer mounted gear then that the military will be using.

I saw the Deadwater Fell radar installation about five years since, when I went to Peel Fell. Larriston seemed harder work to me than the dreaded G/SB-005 Sighty Crag, but then I am getting older. Indeed, looking back when I cycled / walked to SB-005 it took less time to get there than it did to SS-161 on Tuesday. Nuff said, not going back.

73 Phil

Nice report Phil. I activated this one 5 years ago, and like you I decided never to return. However I did return last February. I remember the 2013 activation vividly, but this year’s activation is more forgetable. I did regret not using my mountain bike which was locked up in the hotel. I made a video to show the views from there on a nice day. Also some cool contacts on 12m when the F layer was playing ball (those were the days)


Many thanks for the report Phil. Your conclusion will upset the cycling maestro, Mr CWI. However, I must say that I tend to agree - at least a portion of the one hour saved must have been expended cleaning the bike, a task which I hate. No wonder I am a fair weather cyclist. Give me boot cleaning any day!

I didn’t find the summit that bad. Yes, it was a heather yomp as Paul and I went in July, but I have been up far worse in the Galloway area… and still have a number of summits over there to activate.

I did listen for you on Tuesday, but the skip was too long for both summits. Oh well, maybe one day the Completes will come.

73, Gerald

Not a very nice hill at all Phil!

Interesting conclusion re cycling, love hate. I was out on GM/WS-023 with bike on Tuesday, I cycled no problem with knee length gaiters on. They are fairly snug fitting gaiters to be fair.
I also have a Skoda Octavia estate currently, if I am cycling on my own I drop the back seats and put a sheet down. My Giant 29" wheel thing goes straight in with the handlebars turned through 90 degrees.
Much quicker than fitting rack and no drag. I get on ok cycling in boots and rucksack, without the rucksack waist strap fastened.

So perhaps not that bad. Other than the mud, you do need to put on rucksack rain cover!

73 Gavin

HI All

Yes Steve, some good DX coming out of your speaker on the film for sure, the 12m challenge was great fun, although I did more chasing than activating during it. Lets hope we are around for a few more sunspot cycles, which will take me into my 80s hihi!

Gerald and Gavin - I can’t rule out using the bike again for SOTA but with the data gathered on this Larriston Fell ride I’ll make a carefull assessment before I try the bike again. Yes, there was little short skip for us last Tuesday. The best prop and loudest sigs were from ON and PA.

Forget to fit built in rucksack rain cover - would have helped. Don’t feel could cycle with the gaiters on but could try it. Tuck the trousers in, walk, leave them like that and fill your boots up with wet heather seeds…loveerly! Tipped them out and removed the boot padding later to dry them out on the house radiator. Took my leather boots 2 days to dry out naturally

Thanks Gav for the 40m CW QSO just now, skip shortening a bit on 40m with the onset of winter at some times of the day.

73 Phil

Hi Phil,

Thanks for taking the trouble to analyse. I was very interested in that. I have used a bike for SOTA on only three occasions. Ben Armine aborted due to stalking, Tarn Crag and Peel Fell. I found the same as you. I loved the free ride down but wasn’t convinced it was worth all the extra effort.

I think I would tend to put the electronics in the rucksack and water etc in the saddlebags to avoid possible vibration damage.

Great pair of reports Phil and enjoyed Steve’s film also. 24MHz seems like a distant memory :disappointed:

73 John.