Seat Sandal G/LD-022

Early this morning I set off for Seat Sandal, G/LD-022, which is around 25 minutes from my home QTH. The plan was to get some exercise on a summit less travelled. Seat Sandal sits south of Helvellyn and west of Fairfield - in the Central Lake District, North West England, and the ascent from Dunmail Raise takes around an hour.

Zoomed in on the iconic Battery or Lion & The Lamb at the summit of Helm Crag

During my activation I didn’t come across anyone until the end, when two couples were on the summit near the cairnstones, and two runners passed on a lower path. I made sure I was well clear from all paths and the cairnstones.

Ascent via Raise Beck - this is the very dry overflow

Grizedale Tarn looking towards St Sunday Crag and Fairfield

I set up the SOTABeams Quad Bander (mine is restrung for 20m, 40m, 60m and 80m) and also put the Spectrum Communications Slim-J 2m/70cm at the same point on the SOTABeams 10m compact travel pole.

SOTABeams QuadBander

I was planning on using the FT-817 with a home-brew external battery comprising 3 x 18650 cells in a battery holder, with integrated balance lead and fuse terminated in powerpoles. Unfortunately my powerpole to FT-817 power adapter wasn’t in the case. I have recently bought a new Swiss Army knife and was pondering whether I could hack something together, but the FT-817 power connector is very narrow and I though better of it! Fortunately I keep an internal Nicad battery in the FT-817 which has saved my bacon on more than one occasion! I’ve now attached that powerpole bolt on adapter that I’ve had sat on my workbench for the past month. It won’t be the last lesson I will learn the hard way…

I started on 20m and it was great to get Manuel @EA2DT in the log straight away - he is often first to the party! Straight after I had a S2S with Ivo @IN3EFR on I/AA-145. A good stream of chasers on 20m followed. I was impressed with my signal reports, as I was using 2.5 watts throughout. 20m also was observed in very good shape with less than S1 noise and good coverage throughout Europe, including relatively near stations in the UK.

St Sunday Crag & Fairfield

Only one contact on 40m, 2E0FLW before I moved to 2m SSB vertical. Despite hearing someone back of the box I could not manage a contact. 2m FM was more lively with a HEMA contact with Derek 2E0MIX and great to hear from the Lake District chasing regulars as well as some new callsigns.

Only one contact again on 80m G0FEX.
At this point I decided to use my remaining battery attempting to chase S2S on 20m. Riccardo @IZ1GDB was my first on I/PM-263.

Zoomed in on Great Gable Summit

As I was scanning 20m I heard a ZL station calling on 14.215. It was ZL2JBR and I managed to capture the audio on video, although he couldn’t hear my 5 watts!

As I was calling after ZL2JBR I was found and managed a S2S with Joan @CT2GSN on CT/TM-043 who also worked EA6LU on EA6/MA-011 after I did. Fortunately the ZL station had dropped into the noise at this point, so I didn’t feel too bad! This then resulted in a string of contacts including a couple of QRP stations. I dropped to 0.5 watts with GM0KPK and he could hear me no issues.

Grasmere Water from Summit

After packing up I took the FT-817 with internal whip in hand and worked Alex @G7KSE on G/LD-025 and Andy @G8CPZ on G/LD-058 Arnside Knott.

Would loved to have stayed all day as it was very pleasant on summit, but family beckoned and I suspect the battery was about to quit.

A slightly drained Thirlmere

Historic AA Box on Dunmail Raise

Transport, my trusty 2000 R1

The photo album.

A great day’s QRP.
Regards, Mark. M0NOM


Fabulous Mark and you also managed sunshine and blue skies.

I remember that phone box.


Does that phone box also have time travelling functions? it seems to meet the criteria on the outside (in the first 3 dimensions). :wink:

nice pics! I finally attached my Powerpoles adaptor recently too.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

Andrew, I meant to check but it was just that kind of morning, first I forget my powerpole adapter lead and second my sonic screwdriver. I need to make a checklist for future activations :wink:

Regards, Mark. M0NOM

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Hi Paul

Not too much had changed since we were there last Paul, just the beck running noticeably more quiet.

We are set for good weather again this week, I suspect after that it will need to be 40 days and 40 nights of rain. All joking apart, I once counted almost 40 days of continuous rain here!

Mark. M0NOM

It’s been like that for most of April and May Paul. Of course, we’ve been locked down during the longest spell of ideal activating weather I can remember. Just starting to get hot (for England and more so Scotland now.) 24C again today. 24C isn’t that hot till you consider my QTH is the same latitude as Labrador, Canada.

Hi Mark,
I have now near enough sorted the “Forgot something” thing out…

This is what I now do… .I keep ALL my SOTA things in one rucksack…Next,. I also carry a smaller
empty rucksack and take all the activation things I need from the big bag and put them in the smaller one and put the big bag in the boot.
I understand this would be a bit hard on a motorbike! but I now almost never forget things I need.
The next problem I face is finding my way around and trying to find the way back to my car…
Oldman thing…shortly 77 years. Keep on yomping!!!

Tony G7OEM/p

Thank you Marck for your kindness in letting me use your frequency to do two more S / S. I left home at 5:30 UTC to do two sumits, Ct / TM-043 and CT / TM022, very hot in the order of 38 degrees Centigrade but it was a Sunday well spent.73

All in all a nice day out for me as well on Seatallan @M0NOM. I’ve been that way a few times and seeing as it has been dry I thought I’d chance it. It was soggy in places but very dry generally.

I’ve only ever seen 1 other person there but there was a convoy (well about 15) people there in the couple of hours I was there. 2m FM, 2m SSB, 40m SSB and some very shoddy 20m CW. By the time I got back to Wasdale it was heaving with cars dumped in ‘upset the farmers’ mode :slight_smile:

The weather god’s idea of a joke.

I’m sure that by the time we make it back to the UK, there’ll be snow drifts everywhere but i’ll take it!

Thank you Marck for your kindness in letting me use your frequency to do two more S / S. I left home at 5:30 UTC to do two sumits, Ct / TM-043 and CT / TM022, very hot in the order of 38 degrees Centigrade but it was a Sunday well spent.73

Hi João, you were very welcome and did a great job of keeping the other activator on the frequency so we could successfully complete our S2S first. It was very pleasant on my summit, possibly about as good as it gets. I would think long and hard about activating in the heat you did! Clearly well prepared with water and sun-tan lotion!

Great to get you in the log. Mark.

Hi Alex. Thanks for the S2S. I think the generally cool temperature has kept the hills greener than the last time we had a long, dry spell. It has helped me work comfortably from my attic as well.

I have generally been very disappointed with the ‘Great British Public’ and the careless way in which they have been using the Lake District and leaving rubbish. I had a conversation on air with a local lad today, and my attitude is I have no problem with folk visiting the Lake District as long as they treat it with respect. That certainly hasn’t been happening since lockdown was eased. We are seeing folk here who have never been to the Lakes before and my fear now is that we will continue to see this level of disrespect into the summer if holidays abroad are not an option.

I can cope with the place heaving with tourists, but I don’t want to see a repeat of the complete disrespect shown. Of course all the warnings that have been issued by the police and park authorities are meaningless for the most part because the offenders won’t be paying any attention. I hope the government takes heed and adds just enough powers of enforcement to deter folk.

Rant over! Mark. M0NOM

Hi Tony. That’s a very sensible approach! I might need something bigger than a rucksack however! My approach of covering the spare bed in the attic with everything SOTA and pick’n’choosing from that pile works fairly well except with the wife!

Cheers, Mark. M0NOM

I got away with this when we only had one spare bedroom but since our youngest fled the nest my attempts to expand my estate have met with a degree of disapproval too :-s

I went out again last weekend (I know, this madness needs to end!) to Dale Head and Robinson. Way busier than this time last year. I parked in the Honister Mine car park this time as I was being lazy / didn’t want soggy feet 2 weeks on the trot. 20 cars parked and two had paid. The guy behind the desk and I had a good old moan about it just as a £30K+ camper turned up and the occupants trotted off without paying. Miserable sods!

I like a good moan at Whinlatter as well with the weekend warriors on £3.5k bikes parking down the road and avoiding the £5 for the parking.

Its what keep me happy :grin:

I’m planning on Fairfield this weekend so can have a chunter to myself as I’m walking :mountain_snow:

Good Luck with St Sunday, Fairfield and Seat Sandal,… I did it last year, it seemed a long walk back down Grisedale at the end of a brilliant day. Not sure if I will be able to get you on 40m but I will try. as 2m hrom the home QTH is hopeless…

But it is such a lovely walk, with the added blessing that it is all downhill!