NP in our sights

So, 27 down, 5 to go:

NP-007 Wild Boar Fell
NP-012 Baugh Fell - Tarn Rigg Hill
NP-023 Aye Gill Pike
NP-024 Hoove
NP-032 Cracoe Fell

Any tips/advice please?


Hi Tom,

NP-007 - Park at NY744015 marked on OS 1:25000 as Stennerskeugh. Proceed up bridal way to High Dolphinsty and thence to top. Allow time to circumnavigate the summit plateau and look at the views. This is one of my NP favourites. Save for good weather.

NP-012 and NP-023 - You can do both of these by parking at SD694913.

For NP-012 -ascend via Garsdale and follow the line of Ringing Keld Gutter (marked on OS 1:25000).

For NP-023 - from car park head due south (Ignoring paths and ponies) until you reach the ridge then follow to top.

Not sure either of these routes is optimum and have never personally seen the view from the top of either.

NP-032 - Park at SD974598 and head ESE along Fell Lane (track) until you get to the open moor then find your own line to the top and head towards obelisk. Proceed SW along the edge until shortly after the cross and then make your way down the track from Sun Moor Hill and walk back up along the valley using obvious tracks turning east temporarily at around SD972580 to avoid having to use the road. Or you could try it in the opposite direction according to the weather.

NP-024 - still on my to do list.

73 Rick M0RCP

Many thanks Rick, all really useful information.

No doubt Jimmy will soon be committing it all to memory - or informing me that he already knew it all!

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

You might also want to consider the Cross Keys Inn in Old Tebay and/or the Fat Lamb Inn near Ravenstonedale for refreshments. Both are handy for Wild Boar Fell/M6 access.

73 Rick M0RCP

In reply to M0RCP:

The Fat Lamb Inn, hey now chaps, no comedians please;o)


no comedians please;o)

Wouldn’t dream of it. But surely an unmissable photo opportunity when you’re next activating in the NPs? There’s a village on one of the North Lancashire roads we often use on SOTA journeys, called “Read”. We keep meaning to stop by and snap that one. Mercifully, there isn’t an insulting adjective also lurking on the sign. (No suggestions please).

The Cross Keys Inn is unlicensed, as we discovered after NP-013/NP-019 a couple of weeks ago. It was also closed at about 5pm!


In reply to M1EYP:


For something a little bit longer and circular I ascended Baugh Fell from the north, from SD728972, a small laybay on the lane to Uldale house.

Essentially followed the River Rawthey and then Rawthey Gill, finally striking out for the summit, descending over West Baugh Fell. You won’t see many folks around here and there are lots of fantastic waterfalls & cascades along the river.

Plenty of potential for it to be boggy and not many paths. Being able to navigate via compass bearing (for the descent) is pretty essential if the vis is poor as it’s pretty featureless.

I don’t have any nice mapping software yet but I’d say about 15km & 450m ascent.

Iain, M3WJZ

In reply to M1EYP:

I meant the other Cross Keys Inn, the one in Tebay not the Crosskeys Temperance Inn near Cautley Spout.

Rick M0RCP

In reply to M1EYP:
Hi Tom

NP-032 Cracoe Fell - If you go up from the layby near Rylstone once you get to the Cross keep the dry stone wall on your left shoulder on your way across to the memorial. We started with it on our right shoulder and had to retreat as climbing the rocks on that side of the wall got too hairy. So if you go over the ladder stile to inspect the cross then go back over it before you make for the summit.

A nice summit with plenty of shelter and got out well on 2m FM.

(NPs - 10 down 20 to go - no point asking for info!)

Thanks for the tips Phil.

NPs - 10 down 20 to go

Only adds up to 30. Did you manage either of NP-021 or NP-025 before they disappeared?


In reply to M1EYP:
Nah…I was hoping to get Thorpe Fell Top but the WX was so wet in the last week it counted I didn’t bother turning out.

Don’t think you are up The Cloud today…0740 - your usual time and can’t hear you on 80m CW.

73 Phil

In reply to G4OBK:

Nah…I was hoping to get Thorpe Fell Top but the WX was so wet in the
last week it counted I didn’t bother turning out.

The words of a very wise man Phil. I am still having nightmares 6 weeks later!

73, Gerald

The photos are now all up on my website for the Calf Top G/NP-022 expedition. There are some nice ones, and they include a selection from various points on the return walk. Proof positive that Liam did truly complete the long walk in and out himself (I often need to look at such photos myself to believe it really happened!).

Have a look at:

At 11pm the night before, in the middle of a dinner party, Jimmy and I were granted a surprise full day pass-out for Tuesday 30th December 2008. There was little time to sort out all the gear, especially while still entertaining guests, but we did - only thing was it was after 1am by then, ahead of a 6am get-up…

I did get up at 6am though, as did Jimmy. My grogginess was entirely tiredness related, for I had only one beer and one glass of wine during the previous evening’s dinner party, which was as well considering the early start on the roads.

Jimmy wasn’t ready for breakfast as we passed through Lymm, so we went onto the M6 and drove up to J37, the same one as for Lambrigg Fell G/LD-046. We turned right, and followed into the town of Sedburgh, where we found a pub/inn doing bed & breakfast - but with breakfast available for non-residents. This was a full English affair of tea, toast, cereal, fruit juice and then a whopping great cooked breakfast. It was a wonderful start to the day!

Jimmy then directed me to the large parking area, at roadside in-between Baugh Fell-Tarn Rigg Hill G/NP-012 and Aye Gill Pike G/NP-023. This would have been OK, but I couldn’t resist seeing if more ground could yet be made. Hence I drove down the road forking left off the main road here, and then sharply uphill to the left. This was marked as a byway on the OS map, but had a good tarmac surface, all the way to a large parking/turning area at the top, outside the farm.

From here, we walked following the wall/fence and Ringing Keld Gutter, as recommended by Rick M0RCP. This was mainly good walking, although probably easier than at most times with the bog being frozen solid. The final pull onto the ridge was a bit of a slog, but then the amble around the broad ridge was pleasant.

We passed the trigpoint, and continued over a shallow saddle to the summit true, marked by a small pathetic cairn. This was a straightforward activation, with me making a batch of QSOs on 3.557MHz CW, then Jimmy making even more on 3.660MHz SSB. This hill was also my 200th unique for SOTA.

We got cracking with the descent, but it still seemed to drag on for ages. We arrived at the car, realising that we would need torched for the descent of the next hill - Aye Gill Pike G/NP-023.


After Baugh Fell-Tarn Rigg Hill G/NP-012, we drove back to the large parking area on the main road. “We’ll just check if there’s anything closer” I advised Jimmy as we headed along the road. Pulled in was a Land Rover with an antenna on it. We wondered if other SOTA activators were already on that hill.

We found the start of the byway, and there was room for me to back the car onto the roadside just by it. This certainly wasn’t a driveable byway, like the one enjoyed earlier though! We pulled ouselves up the uneven grassy track and out onto the open fell. No the hard work was done for the day, but there remained another hour’s march along the crest of the ridge as it gently rose to the summit. Two-thirds of the way up we met Geoff G6MZX and his wife, expressing surprise at how long a walk it was. I was thinking the same thing! But that obviously accounted for the Land Rover with aerial spotted down on the road.

We reached the summit an hour behind schedule at 4pm, in temperatures of -5 degrees. After setting up for 80m, we shared the Thai Green Chicken Curry soup, and Jimmy kicked off on 3.660MHz SSB. He only made four QSOs, but that was all he needed, so I took over and went on 3.557MHz CW. Here things were much brighter, and I got nine contacts. I missed Roy G4SSH, who was clearly heard calling, but didn’t respond when I called him in.

After completing the packing away, it was nearly five o’clock, and about to go dark. We donned our headtorches, switched on the beams, and commenced the descent. Very soon, it was completely dark, but with a superb view of the stars above.

Jimmy led the after-dark descent confidently and ably, delivering us at the car in one hour. Good show.

We now need just Wild Boar Fell G/NP-007, Hoove G/NP-024 and Cracoe Fell G/NP-032 to complete the NPs. Many thanks to all who worked us.


When I was activating Aye Gill Pike G/NP-023 I tried to exchange reports in French to G6SFP, F4CTJ and G3VQO. It turns out that none of them understood what I was saying to them, so I then exchanged my reports to them in English and they all got their reports after I exchangec them in English.

Jimmy M3EYP

In reply to M3EYP:
Hi Tom it was my Landrover you saw and we chatted to you when we were coming down and you were on your way up Aye Gill Pike Geoff G6MZX

Yes, I know Geoff. I forgot to put that bit in! Jimmy did mention, as I was going to bed last night “Why haven’t you mentioned meeting Geoff in your report?”. I’ve edited in the details now, so as to tie up the loose ends.

73, Tom M1EYP

Remaining for mine and Jimmy’s NP completion are:

NP-007 Wild Boar Fell
NP-024 Hoove
NP-032 Cracoe Fell

It’s getting closer!

Which ones would I revisit after completing all the NP uniques? The Horton-in-Ribblesdale peaks - Whernside G/NP-004, Ingleborough G/NP-005, Pen-y-ghent G/NP-010 and Fountains Fell G/NP-017 all merit further visits. Rombalds Moor G/NP-028 is one that you would do if you were in the area, for it is so quick and easy. The Calf G/NP-013 and Yarlside G/NP-019 is a great day out that I would like to repeat.

But for now, with 29 down, 3 to go, it is only the 3 above that are on any agenda.

Unlucky Jimmy, with failing to exchange in French with those three stations. It was probably the last thing those guys expected, and they were struggling with QRM when trying to hear you. Keep trying whenever you get a French speaking station, and I’m sure you’ll make it. I have exchanged in German occasionally when calling a DM SOTA activation.


Now only NP-024 and NP-032 remain for the region completion, but Wild Boar Fell G/NP-007 is another that I would definitely revisit. What a lovely hill.

After activating The Cloud G/SP-015 early doors, and refuelling (breakfast and diesel) at Sandbach, we headed north on the M6 for the NP Fun Day. We were aware that some activators would be doing a first early summit, so we were monitoring S20 as we drove.

As we travelled near to Garstang, we heard, and then succesively worked Mike G4BLH/P on Pendle Hill G/SP-005. Shortly after was Scott 2E0RCS/P on Whernside G/NP-004, and after exiting the M6 at J37, Gerald G4OIG/P on Great Coum G/NP-011.

This little lot took Jimmy M3EYP/P to 996 chaser points in the SOTA programme, and the certainty that he would achieve Shack Sloth by way of a S2S QSO, coincidentally, just as his father did in a NP group event back in 2004.

We parked by the entrance to Hazelgill Farm, SD782997, on the B6259. After a brief photo call, Jimmy and I walked down through the farmyard along the bridleway, and then up towards the Settle-Carlisle railway track. The underpass took us to the open fell, of Mallerstang Common, and a steep quad bike track to get onto the higher level. There were frozen streams featuring frozen waterfalls to cross with care, and one or two areas of sheer ice to negotiate.

Mainly though, it was good pleasant easy walking along the frozen moor with a light covering of powdery snow down. At NY765000, we were at the end of the ridge turning south to the summit. This was another fine feature of an increasingly exhilarating walk. The path followed close to the edge of the steep drop to the left (East) as it climbed up to The Nab on the East end of the summit plateau.

This is a large activation zone, but purists that we are, we then walked the half mile or so across to the trig point and shelter at the true summit. I set up the SOTA Beam with horizonatal polarisation and made a start on 2m CW, while Jimmy went to explore the fell with the camera. He visited the other 708m top, while I qualified the summit on 2m CW with 5 contacts.

While waiting for Jimmy to return, I worked Rick M0RCP/P and Thomas M3OOL/P on Great Shunner Fell G/NP-006 on 2m SSB. Jimmy would catch Thomas later on 2m FM. We then worked a few chasers on 2m FM before the S2S started to come in thick and fast.

We both worked Simon M1AVV/P on Lord’s Seat G/LD-033 and then Jimmy worked Phil G1OPV/P on Boulsworth Hill G/SP-008 for the two points that made him a Shack Sloth. I worked Roy G0HDX/P on the same summit, following which we each worked both Gerald G4OIG/P on Great Knoutberry Hill G/NP-015 and Steve 2E0KPO/P on Fountains Fell G/NP-017.

Jimmy then worked a few chasers on 2m FM before Steve G1INK/P appeared from Great Whernside G/NP-008. The S2S were now coming thick and fast with Geoff G6MZX/P on Cracoe Fell G/NP-032, Chris 2E0FSR/P on Whernside G/NP-004, Billy 2E0WJC/P on the same hill, Ron GW4EVX/P on Foel Fenlli GW/NW-051, Amanda 2E0MND/P and Jordan M3TMX/P on Great Coum G/NP-011, Lee M0LMP/P on Pen-y-ghent G/NP-010 and Phil G4OBK/P on Hoove G/NP-024.

Jimmy worked a couple more chasers on 2m FM, and then it was yet another big block of S2S contacts. Steve G3WGU/P was on Harter Fell G/LD-028, Scott 2E0RCS/P on Ingleborough G/NP-005, Rob G4RQJ/P on Great Mell Fell G/LD-035, Mike G0DSP/P and Geoff G4CPA/P on Rombalds Moor G/NP-028 and Dave G7SKR/P on Winter Hill G/SP-010. Phew!

I worked a few more on 2m FM, and then we both worked Richard G1JTD/P, one of the last ones we hadn’t worked, on Great Whernside G/NP-008. Only one not-worked station remained, and that was Timothy 2E0KEA/P on Sharp Haw G/NP-029. But he had gone QRT by then, so I had to be content with the SWL point from when I heard him in QSO with another station.

In the end, after 54 QSOs between us, we went QRT. The lentil & pancetta soup, shared during the last half hour on summit, was hot, tasty and welcome. We had probably stayed on the very cold summit too long really, for we were very cold while packing away and for the first 15 minutes of the descent. However, once we were descending the ridge down from The Nab, we were warming up and able to feel our fingers inside our gloves. From this point, it was a very enjoyable hour’s descent on this beautiful fell with crisp winter conditions and amazing views illuminated by the low sun.

At the car at 3.30pm, my aim was to be in Settle for 4.30pm, and that’s what happened give or take a couple of minutes. Jimmy directed the route down through Hawes, Ribblehead and Horton, and we met the rest of the gang on the car park opposite the Fisherman Inn chippy.

The haddock and chips, eaten from the paper in the car park, was a joy, and every bit as good as Lee promised. We then adjourned to the Harts Head Hotel in Giggleswick for an excellent pint of Copper Dragon Golden Pippin ale and a social meet with many of the participants. Over fish & chips outside, or over a pint in the pub, we met Lee M0LMP, Mick M0PVA, Steve 2E0KPO, Amanda 2E0MND, Jordan M3TMX, Rick M0RCP, Thomas M3OOL, Timothy 2E0KEA, Steve G1INK, Geoff G4CPA, Mike GW0DSP and Gerald G4OIG.

It was a splendid day out, enhanced by the wonderful surprise that was Wild Boar Fell. That is one I would definitely revisit. The drive home took exactly two hours, accompanied by the latest John Shuttleworth CD “The Dolby Decades”, a detail I include especially for Gerald!

Thanks to Chris 2E0FSR for conceiving and organising the event, and to all participants for making it happen. Thanks to all also, for the warm and friendly welcome extended to Jimmy, and myself.

Happy New Year,