|SOTA ID: G/LD-027||Height: 657 m (2155 ft)|
|Grid ref: NY405169||QTH Locator: IO84MN|
|Lat: 54.543732 Long: -2.919839|
Low cloud initially this morning meant picking a higher summit could have proved a cold and damp experience. This is where Place Fell G/LD-027 often comes into its’ own. Being to the East of Fairfield, St Sunday Crag and the Helvellyn range it often escapes the worst of the cloud, and that’s the reason I picked it today.
Walking from parking at the Patterdale Hotel (currently £5 all day) through Rooking to the fell-side path, the consistent gradient setting you in a rhythm. After the path turns northerly you know there is going to be a punishing section before it narrows and a little rocky traverse brings the trig benchmark into view.
Benchmark rises into sight
View to the North End of Ullswater
A benchmark selfie was in order - always with careful footing required with the rocky aspect and steep drop off on three sides.
There were a fair few folk about today, all knew about the existence of amateur radio and were genuinely fascinated that there are lots of us all over the world doing this!
View to the West - Fairfield, St Sunday Crag & Helvellyn with Skiddaw and Blencathra to the North West
I was originally going to bring a trapped end fed sloper but as I couldn’t find my 6m pole I settled on the Super Antenna with lightweight tripod. I had the IC-705 with me with 4 cell LifePo4 for 10w. Antenna setup so I could dip out of the biting westerly wind. As the activation progressed the sun started making an appearance. Factor 30 was applied and it became very pleasant. Lots of room on the summit for activation without annoyance.
Super Antenna MP1 on lightweight tripod
There was deep QSB on a lot of bands. Not sure what happened but I mostly ended up working S2S - my spots brought in a few chasers but not the usual crowd. The poor response to my 2m call wasn’t entirely a surprise using the FT1XD with stock whip but then I got Steve @G4TCU as GW4TCU/P on GW/MW-013 Corndon Hill at 220 km, so who knows what was going on! Certainly the High Street/Stony Cove Pike range seems to significantly attenuate signals to the Morecambe Bay area and beyond where a number of chasers reside.
HF ended up then mostly hunt and pounce for S2S contacts. It was nice to get @M6GYU David on Skiddaw G/LD-004 which was a ground wave, line of sight 40m CW QSO. Nice to hook up with Joe too @OE5JFE on OE/NO-218, it’s been a while since our last S2S. Also great to get LB7KI/P on brand new SOTA summit LA/SA-229 which looks to be a spectacular island location.
I didn’t explore any bands above 17m - I’ve been having some nice DX on 10m recently whilst operating non-SOTA portable, using the excellent Chameleon MPAS 2.0. It’s a bit heavy to carry up the higher summits however.
View towards Kirstone Pass & Brother’s Water
The walk back was very pleasant and warm. Once again a lovely activation on this wonderful summit.
Green Valley Fields
All European Contacts today
New SOTA Summit Contact into Norway
S2S 40m CW M6GYU/P on G/LD-004 Line of Sight
All of the photos & panoramas here.