I was down in England for the Blackpool Rally (hamfest) this Sunday past and managed to bag a couple of summits on the way and on the return.
Gummers’ How LD-050
This is a simple summit with a good sized car park nearby. It’s only a short walk, about 25mins from the car park to the summit. There’s an excellent path all the way. Once near the summit there’s an easy path around the back which I missed and the easiest of scrambles around the front. I think my hands came out of my pockets twice. The WX was 50% blue sky but there was a very strong wind blowing, I decided that as 2m FM would work here, I would not bother with HF.
Antenna was a 2m ribbon feeder J-pole on a handheld 5m fishing rod driven by an FT-817 at 2.5W. With the gusting wind, it was a struggle at times to hold the antenna vertical. A total of 17 contacts were made on 2m FM. I had my 23cms handheld and both the 3 element PCB Yagi and a Double Quad. Having set up a sked with Brian G4ZRP previously, contact was made easily from my sheltered location using the PCB Yagi and 1W, we were 52 to 53 both ways. The signals were better when I moved up to the trig but it was too cold to stay in the wind. A test with the Double Quad showed it to be about 1S point better. Bob G6ODU tried but sadly nothing was heard by me or him.
This is a simply wonderful summit with fantastic views, I want it moving to near my QTH so I can do it everyday.
Looking North up Windermere
A wider angle North view
Local stone trig point.
This fine looking mountain can be seen as you drive down the A65. It looks quite impenetrable from some directions. For this I parked near the Hill Inn Pub. You can probably park here on a Monday because the pub is closed but there are lots of signs suggesting why you don’t want to park if you are not a customer any other day. The walk starts near a small building a hundred metres up the road. There’s an excellent path at first, the as you cross farm land and go through gates there’s nothing obvious but you would need to try to get lost. Finally you are on a well made path that climbs past Limestone Pavement. Through another gate and the path is now flagged or wooden boards. This is to protect the delicate peat from thousands of boots.
You walk up to what looks like a vertical wall a hundred or more metres high and only when up close can you see the very steep stone staircase. It’s a very easy climb but was more exciting coming down when the stones were wet and a bit slippy. From the top of the stone staircase it’s a few minutes on an obvious path across the plateau to the summit wind shelter, cairn and trig. A fantastic stone shelter has been built here and on a grey and overcast day with a bitterly cold wind it was very welcome.
Again I only operated 2m FM, it was obvious the weather would close in so I couldn’t be bothered setting up HF to get everything wet. 2m FM was easy with plenty of contacts. The rain, well drizzle came but again you could tell it would blow through. I noticed my J-pole goes badly off tune when wet, I had to wipe the water drops off to keep the 817 happy. Another 2.5W activation with 12 contacts made, not bad for a Monday afternoon.
More 23cms skeds had been made and this time Brian was 55 at times using the PCB Yagi. You could tell when the rain/drizzle moved out of the path as his signal came up. Geoff G6MZX had gone from his QTH in Thornton-in-Craven to a local high spot and called in. He was 59+++ and no matter where I pointed the antenna he was a constant 59+ signal. I was pleased to get 2 in the log this time on 23cms.
These 2 activations are my 1st 23cms contacts since I wrote the Microwave Award scoring code so it was good to get something in my own log. Both contacts with Brian would entitle me to claim the 100kms certificate as the Gummer’s How path was 107km and Ingleborough 106km.
The wonderful Ribblehead Viaduct.
Trig pont and summit cairn on a now miserable day.
Looking up to Ingleborough from the boardwalk. There’s a slight nick in the skyline just left of centre, this is where the path climbs onto the plateau. It’s easy really, just looks hard.
It’s a long time since I’ve bagged an NP summit. The last few years I’ve been down this way the weather has stopped me with either wind, rain, snow or all three. Not this time! There are plenty of great looking summits in this part of England and I’m looking forward to getting down here to bag some more.
Ingleborough was my 400th SOTA activation since October 2006.