Keeping cool during activation of Whitbarrow Scar

Keeping cool during activation of Whitbarrow Scar (Lords Seat), G/LD-056

I was having doubts whether or not an old duffer like me should be lugging a large rucksack up a hill and sitting around for an hour or two in this heatwave. Whitbarrow Scar – an old favourite summit of mine - is 7km away (as the crow flies) and I see it prominently many times a day from my upstairs window and walking round the village. It’s constantly beckoning me. With 30-minutes’ drive and 25-minutes’ ascent I reckoned I could walk up and set up before it got too warm.

Starting at Witherslack Hall [School for Young Wizards?] at 7:15am it was a pleasant 14C.

Round the back of the football field the route makes a steep rocky ascent with trees providing plenty of shade. Then it levels out onto an open area with the path winding to the summit cairn.

A long thigh-high scar provided a convenient ‘shelf’ on which to position the back of the tarp [weighed down by some of the many rocks strewn everywhere]. There’s precious little soil up there and it’s tough to find anywhere a tent peg will penetrate. I had to use boulders in some cases for the tarp & antenna pole guy ropes and the tethering strings for my 60/40/30/20m linked dipole.

It was a good idea to tie the tarp’s centre guy string to the 6m pole to give me more head room [Why didn’t I think of that before?]

With antenna and radio set up, it was snug and comfortable under the tarp with a gentle breeze entering from the side.

First I worked my old school mate (G8EJN) on 60m SSB. Then I self-spotted for SOTA and worked a pileup of 12 stations over the next 18 minutes. So nice to operate away from home (where noise on the lower HF bands is often S8-S9). Here it was S2 on SSB and S0-S1 on CW. Most of the chasers were 5/9+ so an easy listen.

(C) Google Earth 2022, ADIF courtesy M0NOM

Nice to work all four home nations on 60m with 10Ws of SSB.

A link croc clip broke off in my hand whilst changing bands. I needed to improvise and stripped the wire with my teeth so I could make a temporary link. The linked dipole is about 5 years old and even with careful handling, this is inevitable after so many deployments.

30m was its usual dependable self – good propagation and plenty of chasers. I worked 10 chasers in 11 minutes. Nice spread of EU countries as usual.

(C) Google Earth 2022, ADIF courtesy M0NOM

Not that I was in a rush. I would have loved to sit there longer and work other bands. There was almost no one else there to enjoy the lovely views. My little dog Bella was having a lovely time too in the shade.

But I knew if I stayed much longer it would be unpleasantly warm during the pack up and descent. It was 25C back at the car mid morning and by early afternoon it was 30C in the shade.

73 Andy G8CPZ / M0ALC


It looks so nice and comfortable.

what are the brand and the weight of the tarp (without pole and tent pegs).

73, Ludwig

1 Like

DD Hammocks, 450g, 2.8m x 1.5m


How I envy you! Here in Japan from that hour it becomes unbearable. In my last activation I started at 21:50utc (LT 0650) and the temperature was above 30 and with more than 80% humidity. I honestly don’t know how do the other JA activators that start their activations after 00:00utc (LT 0900)
Undoubtedly the summer and I do not get along at all well.