Whernside G/NP-004 and Ingleborough G/NP-005

By some miracle two consecutive Fridays have seen fabulous weather here in Yorkshire. I was going to get the train and do Whernside as my wife usually takes the car to work on a Friday. I then found she didn’t need to go in the office this week and I could use the car so I decided to combine Whernside with Ingleborough. I did Pen-y-Ghent G/NP-010 the Friday before so that would be Yorkshire’s Three Peaks done in just over a week. (The challenge is to do all three peaks in one outing - a very popular 24 mile walk with 1585m of ascent. [Sorry for the mixed units. That’s the joy of the British approach to metrication. Our maps are metric but road signs and most footpath signs are in miles.])

I parked at Ribblehead just before 9am (0800 UTC) and set off for Whernside. The forecast was right - a cloudless sky and not much wind, but quite chilly. The footpath has been massively improved since I last walked this route. There are lots of stone flags over the boggy bits and steps up the steep bits. It’s so popular that the Yorkshire Dales National Park has had to spend a lot of time and money maintaining these paths. So I was soon on the top and setting up for SOTA. On the other side of the wall from the footpath I easily found a nice spot that was reasonably sheltered by the wall (not that it was very windy despite being at Yorkshire’s highest point), in sunshine but not too near the summit shelter that I attracted too much attention. I was asked by one woman from the other side of the wall what my mast was and she seemed genuinely impressed that I was contacting people by radio.

I used my usual homebrew CW QRP rig and EFHW. 40m got me 8 QSOs including S2S with HB9BCB/P on HB/BE-151. 20m had 11. 2m FM had 8 including S2S with GW4TQE/P on GW/NW-049.

Ingleborough from the top of Whernside:

I packed up and descended. Thanks to my two walking poles my knees survived the descent and I was soon heading up Ingleborough. It’s hard to get lost here as I was following the standard Three Peaks route. The sun was still shining but then a cloud appeared over the mountain top and I was suddenly in shade just before sitting down for lunch. I could see that Whernside was still bathed with sunshine. I think Ingleborough is very good at attracting cloud but fortunately it stayed above the summit all day. Again the footpath is well maintained and it wasn’t too long before I was on the summit ridge. I have to admit that at this point my legs were feeling pretty tired but I made it to the trig point. A retired couple arrived at the same time and we ended up chatting for 10 minutes. We couldn’t believe how quiet the summit was or how amazing the weather was. So by the time I set up for the activation I was running a little late.

As I was a bit behind schedule I decided to only do 20m on HF. On my previous activations I’d noticed that on 20m (but not 40m) my rig’s sidetone was a bit clicky. I tried it at home and found that it was just fine so thought perhaps there was some RF feedback. I made a common-mode choke by winding 13 turns of RG174 around an FT140-43 toroid. I’d tried it on Whernside but it didn’t make any difference. In fact it sounded fine even without the choke. I didn’t bother with the choke initially on Ingleborough but I was getting a very harsh sidetone - far worse than I’d heard before. So I tried with the choke and that fixed the problem completely. I’m not sure why I was getting worse feedback this time but at least I have the solution.

On 20m CW I got 15 QSOs and on 2m FM I had 7 QSOs including S2S with G0HIK/P on G/LD-032.

Looking back to Whernside from Ingleborough’s summit:

So thanks again to all the chasers. I had to ask for many repeats on CW (or got the callsigns wrong) not because the signals were weak but because everyone was sending at once. It seemed like signals were louder than on previous activations and my received reports were better too. Perhaps conditions are improving (or is it the aftermath of a CME?).


Nice photos! I was up at Whernside and PenYGhent this weekend too! Friday the weather was great, yesterday not so much. 73

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I was very lucky that the weather was so good on a day I wasn’t working and was able to get out.

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Looks great and thanks for the report. I am saving Whernside for the last of my NP summits, and this has slipped a bit so might be next year… just got Rombalds Moor, Sharp How, Cracoe Fell and Whenside to go, and have to persuade one of the family to have Woody for Cracoe Fell (I understand it is dog free…), so at least there will be less QRM on the summit! Paul

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