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.