An alternative use for a mobile radio


What a great day it was today! Having spoken to Geoff, @GM4WHA, the night before and taken him up on his recommendation, I set off this morning well wrapped up for Castle Cragg. As some of you know, I run a rather high mileage car, and it really needs to go now…

My alternator has not been working for a few days, so when I’m home the battery goes on charge, and so far it’s worked out OK, although diving with the lights on would certainly spell disaster. And I came rather close today.

The other thing I forgot to mention is - I’ve a slow puncture too. So, having left home with 12.3v in the battery, I arrive at the car park in Rosthwaite with 11.8v (thanks to the FTM-7250D), and the following warning lights.

Not Bad, just 0.5v drop.

It will all be fine and off I went from the Car Park. The route seemed a doddle to follow and off I strolled through the village, past the coffee shop and along side the river, over a lovely little bridge and off into the yonder. Not once looking at the map.

Path with low-ish branches to snag the flower pot antenna on.

How lovely is that bridge?

Alongside the river.

Through the gate…

Up the hill…

Those trees look rather menacing to my flower pot…

It was only when I reached these trees that I looked at the map and the course I had plotted. I was off course

I headed back, through the gate and back to another gate on the side of the path I had strolled pass lost in the views. I was back on track, and headed up a steep hill. I kept going, over the wall and pressed on, stopping at some point to take in the views.

Over the wall…

Panoramic view on the way up.

After a little while I was greeted with a pile of stones, and someone leading the way up. I gulped and followed, thinking all the while, coming down is gonna be fun!

Interesting path

The stones lead to some even more interesting flat ground with lots of stones arranged, well lets just say arranged…

Heading a little further up hill brought me to the summit. The views were fantastic.

View across to Grange, Derwent water, and if you look carefully, Reg, @2e0ldf, and Geoff, @GM4WHA are waving…

Short but satisfying activation then followed at 11h00 local time

  • G4WHA/M - S-S - LDW-098
  • 2E0LDF - S-S - LDW-098
  • G0UQC - Ron - Keswick
  • G1OAE

I could hear Derek, 2E0MIX, and Tony GM1VLA but they could not hear me :sob:.

After some lengthy conversations with the locals, I started to head back to the car, I needed to get back as I was coaching swimming in the afternoon.

Let the pain begin.

Steady now.

In the photo above, I caught the family and started chatting away, so much so, I only twigged I could be lost when they said, “We’ve only come from Grange and it won’t take us long to get back” - reference to the fact I’d run out of water and they had brought none!

So for the second time today…

Proving I can get lost on my own.

It was not a problem, the paths were easy to follow and I was soon back where I had intended to be. As a result of the diversion I was treated to some more views that I would have otherwise have missed.

Back on track. I had gone up via the right gate and come back via the left.

When I got back to the car I crossed my fingers pumping the car tyre up would be kind to the battery, and set off. I caught Reg and Geoff on Long Side on the drive back home.

About a mile from home, more lights appeared on the dash, this time the ABS system. Voltage must be low. I was getting a few splutters to from the engine, indicating the fuel pump was perhaps also struggling.

I was relieved to pull into the drive. Was down to 9v. Well, the car is back on charge, and I’m contemplating the cost of a new alternator.

My route is here on Garmin Connect.

The splash in Bass

Thanks for reading this far! I had a great day walking, coaching and finished it off with a couple of k in Bass this evening. What a splendid day.



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Hi Steve,

Great to get you on Castle Crag. Not a good one to get out on on VHF but with Reg and Myself out you were gauranteed contacts.

Fantastic photos. It was a superb day. Reg and myself had stunning views from our walk also. These sort of conditions dont happen to often. For me even rarer!

Hope you get your car sorted out. Look forward to working you again when you are out.

73’s Geoff GM4WHA

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Nice route Steve never done this one the views look amazing :wink:…could hear others wkg you but not a chance for me from home…nice wright up made me chuckle with your adventure.
Also the car…it done well also so treat it to a new alternator and a patch on the puncture :laughing:

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Hi Mike,

Yeah, I could hear you too, and Derek and others. I was really surprise to get Tony, he was as strong, if not stronger than at home! Alternator gets done tomorrow, dear business - why it needs to work at 150A I’ve no idea.

I’m just lazy with the puncture, needs mended, but been like that now all year!

It’s a good quick walk Mike. Really enjoyable. Could be done to somewhere or on the way back.

All the best


Thanks Geoff,

Great day out for all, well perhaps not one fella, but for the rest of us. Good shout on the walk, I’m very pleased I listened.

All the best