Activation of Stony Cove Pike in the Lake District, UK, 20 January 2017
G/LD-018, Stony Cove Pike, 763m, 6 points also Wainwright LDW-055
The Weather Report
HOW WINDY? (ON THE SUMMITS): North Westerly: 20-30mph decreasing to 10mph around dusk.
EFFECT OF WIND ON YOU?: Some windchill.
HOW WET?: Isolated showers falling as snow on higher ground.
CLOUD ON THE HILLS?: Breaking above tops. Many western fells shrouded in cloud at first, but tending to lift and break by afternoon. Further east any early cloud dispersing quickly to become mainly cloud free.
CHANCE OF CLOUD FREE SUMMITS?: 70%
SUNSHINE AND AIR CLARITY? Sunny periods developing on most if not all hills, with good visibility.
HOW COLD? (AT 750M): -1C
FREEZING LEVEL: 500M
Yeasu FT-1XD 2m 5W FM/C4FM waterproof handheld, APRS back to Home QTH
Yaesu FT-817 5W all mode, all band transceiver (in drybag)
MiniPA50 45W amplifier
Slim-G 2m antenna
Sotabeams Quad Bander 20/30/40/80 dipole
8 metre squid pole
5AH 4 cell LiPo & 13.8V DC->DC Buck Converter
Waterproof log book
Jetboil Zip Carbon cooker
Protein bars & Protein loaded Porridge
Haglofs Jacket & Trousers
Lowe Alpine rucksack
Approx pack weight with water: 6.5KG
Ascent and Descent
Well, the first challenge was to get to the top of Kirkstone Pass. Gritters were out, working the summit for the most part, hard-packed snow on the road up made going slow but with reasonable grip - we use mud & snow tyres all year round!
Part of the reason for picking this summit today, given the forecast of snow, was to make navigation easy - without the need to rely on the GPS. The route ascends Raven Crag from the back of the Kirkstone Inn and then follows a dry stone wall all the way to the summit.
What was clear early on was how deep the snow was in places - certainly up to the knees and sometimes deeper!
As a result going was tough in places and I learned very quickly to follow the tufts of grass even though a lot of zig-zagging was required. Visibility gradually reduced so the satnav was consulted although generally the wall was within sight all the way. I did put my foot though the snow into a bog at one point requiring me to dig out my own foot captured by suction.
My friend Nigel 2E0TUE was tracking me on APRS on the way up and called me on 145.500 a couple of minutes after reaching the cairn stones, so we had a brief chat.
Next was jetboil and a coffee!
The the first of two 2m FM activations, initially using the handheld whip.
I then moved to C4FM and got four contacts which technically means I activated the summit using Digital and I’d be interested whether this is a first?
A second 2M FM activation using the Slim G drew in stations further afield into Scotland and Wales. The visibility improved during this activation to the point where I had 360 degree views, the sun even started making an appearance, turning this into a beautiful winter landscape in minutes!
Onto HF - starting with 20m a good set of contacts, then 80m followed by 40m. Longest contact probably R2DX/3 at around 1,600 miles. 80m activations seem to be appreciated so I’ve added 80m to my standard frequency list.
Highlight of the activation (apart from the stunning weather) would always be summit to summit - and today I was fortunate to work Pierpaolo IZ2FNJ/P & Fabio IK2LEY/P on I/LO-278 Monte Megna @ 1069 metres.
I’ll leave you with some more photos. Definitely very rare weather for the Lakes and I felt very lucky to have the time to get out today.
Many, many thanks to all the chasers. 73. M0NOM