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Lakeland Activations - 2E0DAI/P

11 November 2009 G/LD-013 Old Man of Coniston
Yesterday I had my final physiotherapy session at the hospital. Today I climbed my first Lakeland mountain for SOTA. Dad chose Old Man of Coniston and we set off for the village and the steep climb for our old Renault up the Walna Scar Pass to SD288971 - free car park.

We began walking from there at 10am and climbed on the quarry route to Low Water for elevenses. It’s a tarn [lake] in a fine corrie [cwm] with the Old Man towering overhead. We joined the path at SD275982 and began the majority of the climbing up the shoulder in a SW direction to the summit. We arrived at the summit Platform [pudding basin cairn] at 1145. I strapped the pole and SOTBeam to the trig point, sat 6 feet from the drop back to Low Water and began calling CQ on 144 SSB at 12 noon [unusually spot on time for my Alert]. No-one responded so I tried CQ on FM and Sue G1OHH came straight back to the call. She put a spot on [thank you] and told me about Phil G4OBK and his imminent arrival atop Helvellyn. 5 further stations called in one after another on FM. I reverted to SSB and spoke with three stations, the furthest of which was Steve Studdart GW7AAV in Connah’s Quay. My VX-7 then burst into life as Phil announced his summit arrival. I confused 145.450 for 145.550 and replied to an empty channel! I eventually joined Phil’s Fan club and got the S2S call at 1245. Dad performed the essential service of any activator’s companion - answering the rest of the public’s inquiries. Today’s oddest was “are you preparing the weather report?”. Perhaps Phil saw the weather recorder who ascends Helvellyn daily instead?

Dad said there was time to proceed to Brim Fell LDW-037, which is a pleasant stroll along the broad ridge, so I called Phil and asked if he was interested. Yes he and the others like WOTA and he said he’d put his rucsac antenna on and listen on S20 while descending. In a few moments we were at the Summit cairn on Brim Fell. The VX-7 went to flat battery mode after the first CQ. I put the rubber duck antenna on the 817 and spoke with Phil, now on Striding Edge, followed by Sue G1OHH, Dave G1CCL and Geoff G4WHA/M. We returned to the Old Man and descended in a SE direction towards the Bursting Stone on grassy slopes and some broken ground. “Real Fellwalking” according to Dad ie no path. I used walking poles in the style of the front legs of a preying mantis. We made slow progress towards the car park and were soon in the Black Bull Hotel bar in Coniston drinking a celebratory pint of Coniston Old Man ale.

Thank you to all callers. Tomorrow we’re visiting G/LD-022 Seat Sandal and I hope the local chasers can give us as much support again. Weather forecast is far from pleasant but I hope to be on top at noon. 2m SSB first. We may not want to hang around long.
73 David 2E0DAI

In reply to M6WOW:

Hi, David, I was monitoring 144.300 and you didn’t make it to Brum! I’ll listen again tomorrow, good luck!


Brian G8ADD

Hi David

Just off to bed here…a pretty hard day (like you) and thank’s for the two very nice unexpected QSOs!

I will point my beams to Seat Sandal tomorrow and see if I can copy you. I can work some of the LD summits on FM from here in Pickering North Yorkshire but LD-022 is doubtful because it is screened by Fairfield and the Dove Crag ridge.

I had no comments at all from the many passers-by on LD-003 about weather reports, cricket scores, talking to martians etc etc!

73 and I hope you have a dry enough day to do your activation.

Phil (QTH Pickering)

In reply to M6WOW:
Thursday 12 November 2009. G/LD-022 Seat Sandal
Dad chose this mountain on the basis of my present walking ability. I can climb but descending remains painfully slow. It’s the screw heads in my knee touching all that nice, regained soft tissue.

Mr McElwee promised rain in the late afternoon on the late forecast on BBC1 so a window of dryness was apparently available…

We set off for Grasmere and parked in the layby beyond the village a short walk from the ‘Traveller’s Rest’. Parking in Grasmere village car park is free out of peak season. The layby is normally full by 8am but had room today.
We crossed the main road, walked past the Traveller’s Rest and turned onto the Bridleway by No.1 Tongue Ghyll Cottage signposted to Patterdale. We followed the path to Grisedale Tarn which took a deal of time. Seat Sandal was covered in cloud like most peaks so a game of optimistic sightings was played. “Look a patch of blue sky” or “The cloud base is lifting”. We met a local man descending from the tarn, his photography cancelled for the day. “What are you fishing for?”. Signals. Oh in that case I’m G0PLZ [I think] and we chatted for 5 minutes on how the hobby had changed since he hung up his headphones .

From Grisedale Tarn we turned to climb Seat Sandal proper with 500 feet to go. Dad offered to carry my rucsac as I was flagging by now. I gladly swapped to pick up his lighter pack. I call him a mountain goat but was he being Peanut or Rooster from the WG0AT team at this point? The first pitch was really steep. I put on a burst of bloody-minded effort to get onto the shoulder of the mountain proper. The wind then revealed its intentions and we found a useful mountain wall for shelter in the activation zone. The SOTABeam went up [and stayed up] but was a bit wedged in the wall and pointing North. At 1215 I called CQ on 2m SSB and John G0TDM in Penrith came back to the call. We QSY’ed to 144.310 where contacts with David G6LKB in Ulverston and Geoff G4WHA in Penrith followed. I eased the beam round to the south and six QSO’s followed including Don Roomes G0RQL far away in Devon and ending with Chris Sewruk M1DTJ in the “People’s Republic of Runcorn”, as he put it. Rob G4RQJ did us the service of reporting a sheet of rain approaching Barrow in Furness so I knew our time was limited. I pressed on with 145 FM and had six QSO’s [2 from N Wales]. By 1250 there were no more callers and I closed down. Dad and I set to and packed up smartly. By the time I reached the nearby summit cairn for the obligatory photo, it was high winds and stinging, horizontal rain. Dad’s choice of mountain then came into it’s own as the path back down the shoulder towards Grasmere village had very little broken ground and minimal random rocks. As the wind picked up to 40 mph or higher, progress slowed and my walking poles came into there own. A few harmless falls and slides later we made it to the path back to the road.

Today’s post activation beer was Grasmere Dark Ale in the Watermill Inn in Ings. Hardship managed - satisfaction earned.

Thank you to all today’s super callers. The summit was qualified in 12 minutes after which I began to enjoy chatting to the callers who followed, albeit briskly today.
I’m in some discomfort with my legs so am unsure what tomorrow will bring. A lower summit will be necessary and will alter the alert when Dad has decided where we’re going.

Best wishes
David 2E0DAI

In reply to M6WOW:
Friday 13 November. G/LD-050 Gummer’s How
We’ve chosen this hill beside Windermere. We parked at the Forestry Commission car park and ascended in 20 minutes. With few people about, I elected to use the trig point column as an antenna support. I was QRV at 1045 on 2m SSB. Rob Hannan G4RQJ answered the call and put a spot on. Thanks Rob. Happily he could see no advancing wall of rain out of his shack window today! Dave G1CCL and Martin M0ZIF called in too. I ran out of callers in any direction of beam heading. It’s a relection that Gummars How has a VHF path only to the south.
On 2m FM I spoke with Sue G1OHH in Lancaster and Brian G4ZRP in the wirral. Callers then dried up. I sat through a rain shower and can commend a surveyor’s notebook with its waterproof paper to you all. Dad and stepmum were still away on their walk so I set up the 20m band dipole and tuned around. I heard the ARRL news on 14.275 MHz for the first time and a couple of US gents chatting away and listening for other stations on 14.283. They didn’t hear me calling in reply to their QRZ?. Easy descent by the grassy track [take the right fork in the path when cimbing else enjoy scrambling].

Thanks to all callers. Shining Tor tomorrow with Sean M0GIA [Sean no phone signal here to receive your message - please email it]
David. 2E0DAI/P