Skiddaw G/LD-004 29/05/21

G/LD-004 Skiddaw 29/05 Brief Report
As No 1 daughter was off doing her D of E Bronze Expedition the only company today was Woody. It is probably 30 years since I last climbed Skiddaw – and I now remember why I have only done it once before. Granted my route choice – up and down the tourist track starting at the car park (280254) wasn’t really inspired but it was not an early start having started by driving the wrong way as Dad’s taxi. It would be fair to say that route finding up Skiddaw isn’t taxing, indeed I did wonder if it was due to be fitted with cats eyes and street lights as it is such a solid path – I’ve probably driven on worse roads!

The WX was warmer than recently 18C and partly cloudy but it was still a slog going up. Prior to being a dog owner rivers and streams were usually just an obstacle in spate but they are very useful for rehydrating hounds and it turn out that Skiddaw is probably about the only climb that does not have a tarn, stream, river etc., so today I carried 2.5l of water which I probably split 50/50 with Woody.

Had an interesting chat with a paraglider – apparently the record for a Skiddaw launch is 120 miles – just south of Glasgow – about the same as my best DX on 2m!

I arrived earlier than expected at the summit – and to avoid the crowds set up some 150m beyond the summit, but only about 10m below it so comfortably in the AZ

Today I tried a different approach – so I had Woody attached on a waist belt (He is about 99% reliable at returning but thinks everyone is his best friend and he can run a lot faster than I can so he stays attached…) and amazingly managed to put up the mast – the linked dipole and attach the 2m jpole to the whole show without getting any of it wrapped up either round me or the dog!

60m didn’t really work apart from a groundwave contact with Geoff in Annan so I then moved to 40 to start with a S2S with GW4OBK. There then followed a long list of stations before I moved to 2m to start the next pile up!

Apologies but Woody does like to try and say hello so it can cause QRM. Today – if anything was slightly better. He is perfect in Zoom and Teams meetings but very loud on the hill.

Kit – Elecraft KX2 with 4AH LiFePO4 external battery, linked dipole 80/60/40 (NS Orientation due to the hill which probably does not help) (I didn’t try 80 as it was afternoon by the time I was ready), Yaesu FT 270 attached to a homemade ribbon JPole about 4m up the mast a Ruffware runners dog lead which clips round the waist and keeps Woody out of everyone else’s way and probably very strangely a sachet of cat food – which as it is normally forbidden territory for Woody is of course the No 1 food…

Missing Item – a sensible space in the car park – I ended up reversing about 500m back down the hill…

Bonus mystery item probably about 3 AH of charge in the battery – The KX2 is a lot more frugal than my other combination of FT-817 and MX-50P

Picture just before packing up the mast

Moody view from the summit showing Little Man and if you look very carefully Keswick

Woody’s view of the descent

Thanks to all the chasers – particularly for the ones that had to wait as my summit brain was engaged so some things were taking longer.

73 Paul


Hi Paul

Thanks for the contact, report and photos. Nice to hear Woody in the background during your activation😁. Skiddaw was my MG summit many years ago and I’d promised Val some fantastic views towards Scotland seen on a previous activation…never saw a thing on a damp and misty summit. Glad you had a good day😁.

73 Allan GW4VPX

Hi Paul,
Thanks for the great report.
I live quite near the Snowy Mountains here in NSW, (my altitude is about 700m ASL, min winter temps around -12 deg. C) and I’m always intrigued by the UK summits - I’ve never activated any of our seriously mountainous peaks, but have been up Mt Kosciuszko, the highest mainland VK summit (I hope I’ve spelt it right… :grinning: ) before I became an amateur, and the landscape up there is quite similar to some of the summits in the UK. Yet the altitude is over twice that of many of your summits - I suppose it’s simply that the UK is nearer the Pole… From memory the latitude of my QTH is comparable to the Mediterranean!
73 from VK,
Steven VK2STG

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Exactly, Steven, our highest summits in the UK enjoy (if that’s the word) a sub-arctic climate and occasionally even get snow falling in summer. They are also exposed to Atlantic storms, I will never forget one occasion on GW/NW-007 when I was blown off my feet and then rolled across the ground by a blast of wind. In Scotland I have seen a mild sunny spring day on a summit turn into a battle against a blizzard in less than ten minutes, with fifteen centimetres of snow at road level by the time we had extricated ourselves. That’s part of the fun, you never know what to expect!


Gosh! That must have been some storm… I’d say the closest we get is what we call a South East Low. Sort of like a cyclone but much lower intensity - but they can still cause severe flooding near the coast. At my QTH (further inland) they’re just rain. Lots of it - by our standards anyway. Which also causes road closures, often by landslides, in some spots.

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