28-DEC-2020 St Sunday Crag & Fairfield - a Winter's tale

Today I achieved my half-mountain goat for SOTA on St Sunday Crag. It was an amazing 8 hour adventure with plenty of time for radio and soaking in the magnificent winter views.



RIG: Yaesu FT-817ND
ANT: SOTABeams Quadband Dipole
MAST: Decathlon 6m travel pole
PWR: 5w via internal 1500maH NI-MI battery and external LifePo4 3 cell 2100mAH battery
Case: PowerPort WorldPouch for FT-817
All power connections standardized using PowerPole connectors.


Logging: Rite in the Rain 4x6 Notebook and STAEDTLER Noris HB Pencil
Rucksack: Lowe Alpine Airzone Trek 45:55
Phone/Camera: Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
Camera: Panasonic DMC-TZ70
Water Sawyer Products Micro Squeeze Water Filtration System
Clothing: Marmot moisture wicking top, thermal base layer, Hagloffs Snowboarding jacket & pants, gloves, hat, extra layers.



I check the MWIS service and the Lake District Weatherline for accurate weather reports. I keep in regular contact with Alex on Whatsapp at the start of ascents and descents (where possible). Also subscribed to the EmergencySMS service.


I set off from Dunmail Raise around 8am on this amazing winterland adventure. Temperature was -5 degC at Dunmail Raise dropping to -7 degC on both summits. I had dug out my Snowboarding pants, gloves and thermals and they were very much needed. Thankfully the wind was very light throughout the day which turned this into a pleasant rather than grimacing adventure!

The ascent from Dunmail Raise to Grisedale Tarn was uneventful but required some careful footing to avoid icy patches, especially where the water runoffs crossed. The traverse to the saddle between Cofa Pike and St Sunday Crag (Deepdale Hause) is well worth heading for as there is no unnecessary ascent but it was altogether draining on the legs, and snow was at times close to 2 feet in depth. Thankfully the ridgeline path, once joined, was easy underfoot and there were only a couple of places where the snow had turned hard into crunchy ice.

St. Sunday Crag

WOTA ID: LDW-022 Height: 841 m (2759 ft)
SOTA ID: G/LD-010 Grid ref: NY369134
HuMP ID: n/a QTH Locator: IO84MM
Book: The Eastern Fells Lat: 54.511843 Long: -2.974735

I was very thankful that my modified Yaesu MH-31 microphone (with electret rather than condenser element) worked well with no issues. I had forgotten the FT-1XD so only had a redundant antenna on 2m.

The weather was wonderful and only towards the end of my activation did I start to get cold. The JetBoil took some time to heat the cold water to boiling, but it was very welcome!

Date: 28/12/2020 | Summit: LDW-022 (St Sunday Crag) | Call Used: M0NOM/P |

Time Callsign Band Mode Notes
10:37 G8CPZ/P 144MHz FM
10:39 G0TDM 144MHz FM
10:40 GM4WHA 144MHz FM
10:40 G7CDA 144MHz FM
10:41 G6LKB 144MHz FM
10:42 M5TUE 144MHz FM
10:43 M0DXT 144MHz FM QTH: Aspatria
10:44 2E0XUP 144MHz FM
10:44 MW7LCX 144MHz FM OP: Liam QTH: N.E. Wales
10:45 G1NFT/M 144MHz FM QTH: A66 to Penrith
10:46 G0LWU 144MHz FM
10:47 G7WKX 144MHz FM QTH: Liverpool Nr. Airport
10:49 G0MHF 144MHz FM
10:55 OK2PDT 14MHz SSB
10:55 F4WBN 14MHz SSB
10:56 SM5LNE 14MHz SSB
10:57 SP9MA 14MHz SSB
10:57 EA5K 14MHz SSB
10:57 SP9AMH 14MHz SSB
10:58 OM1AX 14MHz SSB
10:58 EA1DHB 14MHz SSB
10:58 F5JKK 14MHz SSB
10:59 G4IPB 14MHz SSB
11:00 S57ILF 14MHz SSB
11:05 EA2DT 7MHz SSB
11:05 PA1BR 7MHz SSB
11:06 ON3EA 7MHz SSB
11:06 DJ5AV 7MHz SSB
11:09 PA0B 7MHz SSB
11:09 GM7NZI 7MHz SSB
11:10 ON4CB 7MHz SSB
11:11 EA2CKX 7MHz SSB
11:11 M0MDA 7MHz SSB
11:12 EA2CE 7MHz SSB
11:12 ON7ZM 7MHz SSB
11:13 OE5HDN 7MHz SSB
11:13 G4WSB 7MHz SSB
11:18 G0FEX 3.5MHz SSB
11:19 G4WSB 3.5MHz SSB
11:19 G0RQL 3.5MHz SSB
11:21 2E0AGB 3.5MHz SSB
11:21 G0VWP 3.5MHz SSB
11:22 G4OBK 3.5MHz SSB
11:24 GW4VPX 3.5MHz SSB
11:25 G4OOE 3.5MHz SSB
11:25 MM0XPZ 3.5MHz SSB
11:26 GI0AZA 3.5MHz SSB
11:27 G4IPB 3.5MHz SSB
11:27 GM4WHA 3.5MHz SSB

NATS Radar Dome on Cold Fell G/NP-001

NATS Radar Dome on Cold Fell G/NP-001

Traverse to Fairfield

The traverse from St Sunday Crag to Fairfield requires the ascent of Cofa Pike which is a nasty pile of rocks best climbed with some respect.

When Cofa Pike is conquered you get commanding views to the West over the top of the moonscape Fairfield Summit. There were many folk who had taken the opportunity to do the horseshoe.


WOTA ID: LDW-013 Height: 873 m (2864 ft)
SOTA ID: G/LD-007 Grid ref: NY358117
HuMP ID: n/a QTH Locator: IO84ML
Book: The Eastern Fells Lat: 54.496427 Long: -2.991355

I had a great set of contacts on all my supported bands from Fairfield, and several stations reported either not hearing me at all on St Sunday Crag or with much improved reception from Fairfield, both on VHF and HF. It was great to get some transatlantic chases in the logs, especially with this /QRP setup.

Date: 28/12/2020 | Summit: LDW-013 (Fairfield) | Call Used: M0NOM/P |

Time Callsign Band Mode Notes
13:00 G7CDA 144MHz FM
13:00 G6LKB 144MHz FM
13:01 G0TDM 144MHz FM
13:01 G1OHH 144MHz FM
13:02 GW4ZPL 144MHz FM
13:03 2E0XLG/M 144MHz FM GRID: IO83WW
13:04 M0AYB 144MHz FM
13:04 2E0MIX 144MHz FM
13:06 2E0UMC 144MHz FM OP: Mal QTH: W. Carlisle
13:07 GM4WHA 144MHz FM
13:08 M7BHT/P 144MHz FM
13:09 G4WPS 144MHz FM OP: Dave
13:12 G4WSB 3.5MHz SSB
13:13 G0FEX 3.5MHz SSB
13:14 GI0AZA 3.5MHz SSB
13:15 GM7NZI 3.5MHz SSB
13:16 G4PIB 3.5MHz SSB
13:17 MM0XPZ 3.5MHz SSB
13:18 GI0AZB 3.5MHz SSB
13:18 GW4VPX 3.5MHz SSB
13:21 G4YBU 7MHz SSB
13:23 ON7ZM 7MHz SSB
13:23 EA2DT 7MHz SSB
13:24 ON3YB 7MHz SSB OP: Lucas
13:24 DL2NO 7MHz SSB
13:24 EA2CKX 7MHz SSB
13:25 DL0IL 7MHz SSB
13:25 F4WBN 7MHz SSB
13:26 M0MDA 7MHz SSB
13:26 G0RQL 7MHz SSB
13:27 ON5SWA 7MHz SSB
13:28 M0BKV 7MHz SSB
13:28 OM1AX 7MHz SSB
13:29 F6FTB 7MHz SSB
13:34 SP9AMH 14MHz SSB
13:34 SA4BLM 14MHz SSB
13:35 IU3GKJ 14MHz SSB
13:35 OH3GZ 14MHz SSB
13:36 SP9TKW 14MHz SSB
13:36 EA3BZ 14MHz SSB
13:37 SQ3F 14MHz SSB OP: Les
13:38 SM5LNE 14MHz SSB
13:39 W1OW 14MHz SSB
13:39 EA1DHB 14MHz SSB
13:40 AC1Z 14MHz SSB QTH: New Hampshire
13:41 SP2DDX 14MHz SSB
13:42 WD8KDB 14MHz SSB
13:42 KI4SVM 14MHz SSB
13:43 OE5HDN 14MHz SSB
13:44 EU2MM 14MHz SSB
13:45 OE6WIG 14MHz SSB
13:46 G4OBK 14MHz SSB
13:49 DL8DXL 14MHz SSB
13:49 OK2PDT 14MHz SSB
13:50 CT2HKN 14MHz SSB
13:50 EA1S 14MHz SSB
14:02 DJ5AV 14MHz SSB
14:18 EA7GV 14MHz SSB
14:19 DJ1HAM/P 14MHz SSB OP: Andy PWR: 100w ANT: Hi-EndFed 38m
14:23 EA2BD 14MHz SSB

Whilst packing up I noticed the 1:1 balun toroid had cracked, possibly due to the cold. A repair job now require!

The descent was fun off Fairfield. The gravel path is quite steep in places but I managed to slide down the 30 inches of snow in a number of places, controlling my speed where required!

I arrived back at the car at 4pm but then spent an hour getting back to Windermere due to traffic light problems at Ambleside.

Many thanks to all the chasers, I am made up to have reached SOTA half mountain goat.

Regards, Mark.

I wasn’t operating my camera very well initially so the photos on the ascent didn’t turn out as good as I expected. The full set of photos (including lots of other summits zoomed in are in a Google Photos Album).


Hi Mark,

Congratulations on achieving half mountain goat. Also thanks for both summits. The snow scenes are very impressive and you certainly had a good day as regards visibility. Grisedale tarn looks fantastic surrounded by snow.

73’s Geoff GM4WHA

1 Like

That was a fantastic day of mountaineering and activating Mark. I’m impressed with all the HF contacts in particular. That takes time and effort indeed. I’m hoping for a bit of 2m activating probably 1 Jan, and I hope the weather’s as good as it looks on Fairfield etc. 73, Phil

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hi mark some amazing photos the quality of pictures these smart phones take is incredible, but at the end of the day it’s the eye of the guy taken them that counts
i did follow you around on HF but once again could only copy the other stations those 2 summits are no go for me on VHF
73 reg 2e0ldf

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Thanks Reg. Most if not all of these photos were taken with the compact Panasonic TZ-70 camera. It has an optical 30x zoom which is something smart phones haven’t really mastered yet. The photos need post-processing to make them ‘pop’ a bit more like those taken on a phone camera, and it isn’t idiot proof like the phone camera, the first set of images up to Grizedale Tarn I clearly didn’t have the right mode selected.

Regards, Mark. M0NOM