Great Mell Fell activation and a realisation

I was camping this weekend in the Lakes. unfortunately it rained heavily on and off all day on Saturday and any walking was put off. Thankfully the sun came out on Sunday and on the drive home I thought i’d activate Great Mell fell, I had activated its smaller twin little mell fell before, and thought it would be a nice easy activation. I read the summit page on Sota website and the reports etc but forgot most of it when i got there. I parked in the usual spot and remembered go through the gate and i automatically followed a path. after 5-10 minutes walking i looked at my map and this path which was marked followed the fence and didn’t go to the summit so i turned around and went left from the gate, where there was no path. I continued to bushwhack and head almost vertically up the steep hill and shoulder height bracken for some time. I thought, “there must be a path somewhere even though the map doesn’t say so” until shoulder height in bracken i heard kids voices. Well i knew there must be a path close by as no one in their right mind would go the way i did :rofl: so i headed to the voices and hey presto i found a quad bike sized path of grass all the way to the summit.

The summit and weather was really nice, warm and clear views.

I setup my FT817 with my RH-770 antenna. called cq and within 20 minutes had got my 4 contacts. 1xGM mobile, Carlisle, Whitehaven and a wainwright summit ‘Yoke’.

upon descending, following the path all the way this time, i found my mistake! upon ascending i went through the first gate and not the second. Had i got to the second gate i would have had the easy path all the way to the top lol.

on the top i could very clearly hear don 145.400 a long ragchew QSO. When i turned my Mitsuto hero(beofeng handy thing) and tuned to 145.400, couldn’t hear a sausage. Now the antenna is different it is a NA-771 but i was surprised i didn’t hear anything at all.
on 145.525 i could also hear the gb2rs news, quietly on the 817, but again nothing on the handheld.

So I’m going to go back to using my Alinco DJ195 as my handheld as the cheap thing i bought as it was cheap, appears to be quite deaf!
I just need to find some new batteries for the DJ195 as they are quite old and not lithium and i think the batteries won’t last for long when transmitting.



I wonder if that’s the same mistake as I made [descending in my case] …

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As someone said, the clue is in the name… Lake District. Sorry to hear you did not get out onto the hills on account of the weather… rather annoying after all the sun and heat we’ve had.

An activation on the off chance is great and well done on that. I can see how you got “off piste” without the benefit of having a printed map and most likely you didn’t have a GPS with you. Under such circumstances I can recommend getting an app such as OSMAnd on your phone to help keep you on track. I pay around £6 a year for this app with open source mapping. It actually shows many paths not on the OS, especially up in Scotland where the OS can be a bit lacking on the less popular hills.

As for using inexpensive handhelds, mine haven’t been used for years. Like you I did a comparison and ended up wondering why I’d bothered spending £25 on two. :joy:

So you can sell them as “collectors items” on eBay for a profit ! :wink:

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i did have an OS map with me but it doesn’t have any paths on it going to the summit on great Mell fell. I remembered in one of the summit reports you go up the rocky road from the parking spot and through the gate and I automatically chose the first gate i came across lol.

I had also forgotton my paper and pencil so downloaded the first logging app i could find to log on and ended up using VLS logger, which while not Sota designed, did the job for me. I might have to research some android logging apps as a backup to when i forget my paper and pencil again lol.

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I made the same mistake but on ascent. Much easier coming down :wink:

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Hi Anthony

Not to be relied upon as your main GPS system or paper maps, SOTLAS on a mobile phone can be used to check your location and can be used to follow a track from the SOTA Mapping site (all subject to phone signal). The one for Great Mell Fell is one uploaded by Phil G4OBK…SOTA Mapping is a great resource for finding routes to summits thanks to all the contributors.

73 Allan


ah the ability to follow tracks from sota mapping website is a great idea. I do use the Sota mapping website for research of summits and parking and routes etc, so this could be a great additional add on I could use. especially for those summits without well worn tracks/paths on them or on the map at least :slight_smile:

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I download the .GPX tracks from SOTLAS to a spare mobile phone (with no sim card) and using a GPX viewer app I can load the track and use this for reference. This shows just a blue line on the screen and arrow to follow the track.


+1 … about two years ago. Turned right after the second gate (no paths marked on OS map) and walked along an obvious path until it seemed to me that it was sensible to follow a small path up the hill. The small path disappeared after about 500m into lots of bracken - at which stage it seemed that the summit was not far away and a few yards of bashing would revel the path. Well a few yards of bashing led to a few more yards of bashing and of course the further you go the nearer the summit… (For readers anywhere else in the world it is not normal to have to bash to most UK summits - there is usually a bloody great 9 ft wide path probably visible from outer space) … anyway eventually emerged looking a bit like a very red Worzel Gummidge onto the now very obvious path… For me this was not a navigation error - I knew exactly where I was but a mapping error - the path was not shown on the map.
What would I do differently? Well very strangely on the OS website different paths are shown between the “Premium” and “Standard” versions - with more paths being shown on Standard rather than Premium ( he premium map is the 1:25000 OS map). Since that summit I now have a quick look at the arial photo on either Google or OS just to see if there is a path visible from outer space or at least an obvious way up!
(PS Spoiler … If you are doing Slighty Crag (G/SB-005) there isn’t)

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i’m so pleased I’m not the only one to explore new ground that appears that no man has stepped on before on Great Mell fell :slight_smile: lol.

lesson for Great Mell fell:
go through second gate and use path on the left all the way to top!

Due to the nice weather and having had a bit of a break from radios in general, this activation certainly has got me interested to get back out there and activate some more hills this year. I’m not a mad activator. I think it took me 10 years to get my first 100 activator points and got 29 points in last 5 years(have 129 now :slight_smile: but one day I may end up a MG.