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.
- LifeSystems Light and Dry Survival Bivi Bag
- Emergency Plastic Whistle
- Silva Expedition S Compass
- LifePo4 2100mAH battery powers the FT-817 and phone charger
- 12v to USB adapter plus phone charging lead
- Victorinox Swiss Champ Swiss Army Pocket Knife
- Memory Map Android App
- Supertrip Sports Glasses UV400 Protective
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 |
|10:44||MW7LCX||144MHz||FM||OP: Liam QTH: N.E. Wales|
|10:45||G1NFT/M||144MHz||FM||QTH: A66 to Penrith|
|10:47||G7WKX||144MHz||FM||QTH: Liverpool Nr. Airport|
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 |
|13:06||2E0UMC||144MHz||FM||OP: Mal QTH: W. Carlisle|
|13:40||AC1Z||14MHz||SSB||QTH: New Hampshire|
|14:19||DJ1HAM/P||14MHz||SSB||OP: Andy PWR: 100w ANT: Hi-EndFed 38m|
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.
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).