SOTA from Great Gable, G/LD-005

Well, I finally made it up Great Gable, having wanted to do this summit pretty much since I first started SOTA two years ago!

There was only one day that looked suitable during my Christmas break (with the forecast I had), and as you can see from the photos it was a stunning day from start to finish. I minimised pack weight by taking the MCHF although I did decide to include the MiniPA50 amp.

Honister Pass was a bit dodgy given the -3 degC temperature - fortunately there were only a couple of slippy places - I had assumed it would be gritted given it is a bus route but I suspect that doesn’t run in the winter as the slate mine was closed.

The plan was to head straight for Great Gable on the outward leg and then hopefully take in the three Wainwrights of Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts on the way back for WOTA. Having been inspired by Rob’s @DM1CM excellent mapping for SOTA I am now trying (with small steps) to improve the WOTA mapping.

Start was at 8:20am having set off from home at 7am. The moon was peeking over the hill at Honister.

Following the mining track initially, I then cut across on the well defined path that takes you to Great Gable via Moses Trodd. It was a very pleasant walk with the sun rising and crisp underfoot (which helped immensely with footing given the rain we’ve had). You can’t seen Great Gable for quite a while - I tried not to get disoriented.

Then it comes into view, and what a sight! The Northern side rises quickly from the surrounding area and is covered in scree and boulders. I decided I would take the North-Westerly route instead of tackling Windy Gap - with the plan to descend that way on route to Green Gable.

As can be seen from the GPS track I didn’t follow the main path up to the summit very well and this resulted in several quite scary traverses across the ice covered boulder fields.

Then finally as the ascent shallows you crest onto the rock covered summit with magnificent 360 degree views including the imposing Scafell Pike. Wind was thankfully light and it was really quite pleasant in the sun and a pleasure to activate.

Radio was brisk - with 2m initially followed by 80m, 40m then 20m. The MCHF was working nicely which was a relief as it hadn’t been on an outing for a while. One S2S was worked with Roberto @IW2OBX on Mt Poieto. The other surprise was being chased by @KD1CT Bob and Bob @AC1Z in New Hampshire - AC1Z is one of the few transatlantic activators that I have chased whilst out portable!

With no time to lose I packed up and ate my sarnies on the move (first time I’ve packed a proper lunch for SOTA!) and headed off the somewhat easier Easterly descent (given that it was now in the sun) for Windy Gap which true to its’ name was quite a bit windier than the summit. Two guys hunkering out of the wind on Green Gable in the horseshoe weren’t really getting much protection given that the wind was Easterly as opposed to the more normal Westerly’s.

I then activated Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts for Wainwrights on the Air using the FT1XD and noted that my Spectrum Communications 2m 1/4 wave unloaded whip did work maybe 1 S-Point better than the stock antenna.

When I got back to the car at around 3pm the road at the top of Honister Pass was getting very slippery, and looked like it was getting worse, so I got going quickly and had to take it real careful back down.

A real Christmas treat this activation! Thanks to all the chasers, 73!
More photos here.

Date: 24/Dec/2018 Summit: G/LD-005 (Great Gable) Call Used: M0NOM/P Points: 8 Bonus: 3

Time Call Band Mode Notes
11:01z 2E0MIX 144MHz FM
11:03z G6LKB 144MHz FM
11:04z M0LKB 144MHz FM
11:05z G1OHH 144MHz FM
11:05z M6LKB 144MHz FM
11:06z G7CDA 144MHz FM
11:08z G6NHW/A 144MHz FM
11:11z 2E0CBB 144MHz FM Brian Egremont
11:35z G4OBK 3.5MHz SSB
11:37z G0RQL 3.5MHz SSB
11:37z GI0AZB 3.5MHz SSB
11:38z GI0AZA 3.5MHz SSB
11:39z G0SLR 3.5MHz SSB Roy
11:40z G0FEX 3.5MHz SSB
11:41z G4WSB 3.5MHz SSB
11:42z DG1NPM 3.5MHz SSB
11:42z GI4TAJ 3.5MHz SSB Joe
11:43z GM6ZAK 3.5MHz SSB Andy NE Fife
11:45z G4OOE 3.5MHz SSB Nick
11:45z G4RQJ 3.5MHz SSB Rob
11:46z M0MDA 3.5MHz SSB
11:47z MM0XPZ 3.5MHz SSB
11:47z PA1BR 3.5MHz SSB
11:48z M3FEH 3.5MHz SSB
11:52z PA1BR 7MHz SSB
11:53z EA2DT 7MHz SSB
11:53z IK2LEY 7MHz SSB
11:54z F5JKK 7MHz SSB
11:55z HB9AGH 7MHz SSB
11:55z ON7LO 7MHz SSB
11:56z DJ5AV 7MHz SSB
11:56z EA2IF 7MHz SSB
11:56z SA4BLM 7MHz SSB
11:57z M0WPJ 7MHz SSB
11:58z DF1WH 7MHz SSB
11:59z DL3DXL 7MHz SSB
11:59z DL3HXX 7MHz SSB
12:00z F1ADG 7MHz SSB
12:00z HB9DHA 7MHz SSB
12:01z HB9DQM 7MHz SSB
12:02z M3FEH 7MHz SSB
12:02z S5RPJ 7MHz SSB
12:06z OK1SDE 14MHz SSB
12:07z KD1CT 14MHz SSB New Hampshire
12:07z SP9AMH 14MHz SSB
12:08z AC1Z 14MHz SSB New Hampshire
12:09z SV2HSY 14MHz SSB
12:16z IW2OBX/P 7MHz SSB

Hmm, well I managed to forget this trio en route to Great Gable and only remembered them once I had reached the summit. Kirk Fell was to follow, so the opportunity to bag them on the way back was not available.

Many thanks for the photos… always appreciated. Visibility was poor when I activated the hill and I recall nothing of the ascent of Great Gable from when I was a lad of around 9 or 10 years of age.

73, Gerald

QSO’s, Across the pond and S2S
Feel good factor
SOTA and Wainwright points

Just need to add CW to make it
Totally Magnificent


Working on it David, working on it…

Enjoyed reading your report Mark. I was in Ambleside on that day, I longed to be up on the fells! A Rudolph doughnut from The Apple Pie Cafe helped to take my mind off the missed SOTA opportunity a little. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I did look longingly at Kirk Fell but decided it was definitely further than it looked! I was on a timescale - I could have happily spent another hour on the summit of Great Gable. Glad I had the views - I did think about going up there for remembrance day but there would have been no views that day.

Hi Mark!
nice report and beautiful landscape!
In Italy, it was a sunny and windy day but it was about 15 celsius!

Many thanks for the s2s
happy new year

Thanks for the photo Roby - always really nice to see where the S2S came from.
Peace. Mark.