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Lake District SOTA Weekend 20/21st June 2020

I have a lovely tent, life-time membership of the YHA and a wife who wishes to come with me. Those 3 factors are not compatible!

I’ll leave you to guess which option wins!

Thanks Mark, you are quite correct you will never please everyone. But thank you for trying :wink:

Well there is still time for you to learn! Over the decades I’ve done it all from one-man bivouac tents to family frame tents. We have had plenty of wild camping but since my wife is now incapable of moving without a couple of walking sticks we now camp for maximum comfort. That means a sleeping compartment you can stand up in, a king-sized double airbed high enough to use as a seat, and a quilt instead of a sleeping bag. in the living compartment a table, chairs, a full camp kitchen with a double burner and grill stove. The radio battery also runs a flourescent tube light and if the campsite runs to power points we take a blower heater - but never EVER a TV! The level of comfort that we achieve is just below that of a caravan. Its great for a bit of portable operation on a wet day!


One of the more memorable hostels, that one. Stayed one night while on a hike with friends.

Walked over from Seatoller via Windy Gap.

Had an excellent meal at the hostel. Went on down to the Ennerdale hostel the next day, and spent two or three nights there.

Saw a few summits in the distance, but didn’t get to any on that hike.

Walked out to Buttermere via Scarth Gap.


Respect Brian! :muscle:

I stumbled on last year’s event quite by accident when I was leading a walk up Scafell Pike and took my radio with me.
This year I hope to join in and plan it a bit better!


I am officially working for this event but I have found a way to get the Saturday off work so WX permitting I’m in.

For last years event I activated G/LD-017 Red Screes. This year I will probably do a different summit to hopefully log a few different S2S contacts so G/LD-017 is up for grabs :stuck_out_tongue: I’m curious to know if any of last years participants plan to do the same summit as last year or something different?

73 Chris M0RSF

something different Chris, for sure! Final choice will probably depend partly on the Wx.

I’ll probably do my local summit G/LD-058 (Arnside Knott) again for the same reason as last year, i.e. this is several half or full day events rather than yer average activation and I want to operate HF, 2m, 70cm and 23cm. So, that’s a lot of kit (tent, tripod, two Yagis, 10m pole, multiple radios, etc) to lug up a hill.

73, Andy

From reading the above post I can see that that are there are quite a few people who have XYLs who don’t like Youth Hostel’s at all which I can understand as my mum doesn’t like Youth Hostels either. Best advice there is if you have an XYL coming with you on this SOTA trip who doesn’t like Youth Hostels as per what is mentioned above is to stay which suits both your needs.

I also noticed a copy of posts regarding Black Sail YHA. Me and my dad Tom M1EYP stayed there back in 2012 and that was a great Youth Hostel. The night before we stayed there, we stayed at Ennerdale YHA which was another great Youth Hostel and then that day we walked from Ennerdale YHA to Black Sail YHA via High Stile G/LD-012 and some WOTAs and then the day after we walked from there back to Ennerdale YHA where we stayed for another night via Pillar G/LD-006. Unfortunately that day was very wet and windy and we were planning to do some WOTAs in-between Pillar G/LD-006 and Ennerdale YHA, but when we got to the top of Wind Gap, we made the wrong decision to descend down there due to the rally bad weather rather to continue our route via the WOTAs. Unfortunately this was the wrong decision as the path there was really slippy and steep and my dad Tom M1EYP unfortunately ended up slipping up and had a big fall, he went from 15 minutes behind me to 15 minutes ahead of me within seconds, luckily he was OK and wasn’t injured and we were able to complete the rest of the walk to Ennerdale YHA without any problem. Full reports for the walk can be found here. http://tomread.co.uk/high_stile_ld-012.htm

I’ve also seen some posts about camping also. Back in the early days of SOTA, as well as the Youth Hostel SOTA weekends in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, there also use be SOTA BBQ’s on campsites either in Snowdonia or on the Lleyn Peninsula. SOTA activators would all camp on the same campsite, activate different SOTA summits to each other during the day to work each other summit to summit and then they’d all meet up on the campsite that evening for a BBQ and some beer (also other alcoholic beverages and soft drinks).

Jimmy M0HGY

I am hoping to be there for one of the days but - it clashes with my daughters birthday so although she probably won’t want Dad around too much for her 14th she will no doubt want Dad’s taxi services…
Considered using the YHA last year, but a look at the map and I decided it was just too far from the pub to be comfortable walk or even a possible walk after a multi summit day. Over the years I have stayed at most of the lakes hostels, including several that are no more and although now we use private rooms I havn’t had many bad experiences…Really enjoyed last years event - thanks to Mark for organising!

I am sorry I cannot make this weekend due to family commitments. Good luck to all.


I plan to camp at Great Langdale - Dungeon Ghyll.
Pike of Blisco G/LD-024 looks certain for me on Saturday. High Raise G/LD-019 and Lingmoor Fell G/LD-040 are ones I also hope to activate over the weekend. Will post alerts nearer the weekend.

For those who receive it my article on the 2019 Lake District SOTA Weekend is in the latest edition of RADCOM!


What a brilliantly written article Mark - two full pages - congratulations. Great photos too (hihi!). This is great PR for this years event and SOTA in general filling us all with more enthusiasm to take part again.

73 Phil

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Looking forward to this activity but is there any chance that the 2 meter FM rubber duck brigade will not rule? valley bottom contacts only!
2 metre FM with horizontal polarization works very well, even laying the radio over and line up 180 degrees to a calling station works wonders! even better with a light weight beam, no fancy poles needed, just fixed to your walking sticks at a couple of thousand feet or so!
Better still 2 metre SSB even better, if not sure, contact Gerald G4OIG, he will no doubt guide you onto the right path!
Thanks to all the stations that have made an effort in the past to promote the best band and mode in ham radio circles. 2 metre SSB Horizontal Polarisation!!!
Don Bryant [G7BRT/G0NES]

1 Like

Hi Don,

I’m taking a FT817, 2m Yagi and tripod (to Arnside Knott, G/LD-058) so can do FM, SSB or CW, H- or V- polarized.

73 Andy

Hi Don, nice to hear from you. I still remember working you a little South of Birmingham quite easily from Hohe Acht DM/RP-001 on a very flat 2m ssb. Just proves what can be achieved when 2 stations point their beams at each other. May catch you from GM/SS next month.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for a superb article and for organizing last year’s event.
A great pity I cannot attend this year due to a pre booked holiday.
However, I may take some radios with me and join in the fun chasing.
Best wishes

The handheld-rubber duck approach has lots going for it, and in my opinion we should avoid “talking it down”.

Activators embarking on a strenuous multi-summit round in G/LD will want to minimise pack weight and volume, and so a handheld + RD is perfect, especially with lots of like-minded SOTA people taking part in the event and in those valleys, on those hiking routes or on other summits. HH+RD is therefore pretty-well perfect, and furthermore is the most considerate low-impact option on popular/busy summits on a summer weekend.

I am so impressed with my Yaesu FT70D, as you may have read. I would be highly confident of doing much better with it than just valley bottom contacts - even with just the rubber duck.

I’m sure plenty of participants in this event will utilise beam antennas and/or use HF / 2m SSB etc but anyone that chooses to take part HH+RD style would have my full support as it is the ideal approach in so many ways.


2m FM is a low price and low weight option, so it is by definition very inclusive. The Lake District, being a fairly compact area is very compatible with the range afforded by this band/mode.

Having said that, one of the things I was most struck by for the 2019 event was the variety of bands and modes used.

I am very happy that you are suggesting modes and bands that will be monitored during the event. I suspect there will be some more 6m and 4m activity this time round as well, given recent conversations.

Regards, Mark. M0NOM