Castle Crag Sat 4th Nov 2023.
I needed Castle Crag to complete my activations of the Northwestern fells, so I arranged with Reg 2E0LDF to do it on Sat 4th Nov. We arranged this quite a while ago and we were going to do it regardless of weather conditions.
I left home at 0715hrs and having to divert through Eastriggs and Gretna to pick the motorway up as the A75 was closed due to roadworks at Gretna I made good time to Borrowdale. I went via Penrith as it is a better road than going to Bothel and then taking the Keswick Road. At least I think it is.
As I was leaving Keswick to go onto the Borrowdale road I made contact with Reg on 2m who was already parked up. The layby he was in was about ½ mile past the Borrowdale hotel. I arrived at about 0845hrs. There is parking for 4 to 5 cars, and we were the only ones there although another came as we were kitting up.
We crossed the bridge into Grange and then followed the bridleway past Hollow farm camp site. The walk in was excellent although the last ascent to the summit is fairly steep but not that bad. It took us just over 1 hour to reach the summit from the car.
Bridge into Grange.
Castle Crag LDW-214 from Grange Bridge.
Old slate workings i think on way to summit.
Looking back to the path.
Plenty of slate.
Mini stone circle.
Reg 2E0LDF/P making contact with Richard 2E0XGO/P on Latrigg.
G4WHA with the blow up aerial!
Reg setting up ICOM PMR with my J-POLE
Looking towards Skiddaw.
Blow up aerial on my FT-60
Looking towards Rostwaite.
Path on our way back.
Looking back to Castle Crag from Grange bridge.
For a change the weather was great. It was fairly cool but there was no wind and reasonably clear.
As soon as we were on the summit, we heard Richard 2E0XGO/P calling from Latrigg and we both made contact with Richard. That qualified the summit for me. Many thanks Richard for coming out.
As we had plenty of time we set up with my roach pole and a Spectrum Communications J-POLE at about 15 feet. This fed Reg’s Icom PMR radio which gave us 30 watts. I also wanted to try a different aerial which was given to me to try earlier on in the week. It is a blow up aerial. The whole package comes in a plastic box and a pump is included. I blew it up and fitted it to my FT-60 and worked Phil M0AYB/P who was on Sale Fell. I gave him 52 and got 55 in return.
A bit later on I exchanged 59 each way with Peter GM3VMB who lives near Eaglesfield and when I described the aerial he was most intrigued. Castle Crag was not the best summit to try it out on but it seemed to work very well. I will try it again. It does look strange as can be seen in the photos.
We made 7 contacts from Castle Crag which was a lot more than we anticipated!
They were as follows:-
2E0XGO/P on Latrigg
M0AYB/P on Sale Fell.
The views from the summit were fantastic made all the better with the changing colours of the leaves and trees. We spent about an hour on the summit. Our return journey was a different way, going through High Hows Woods and Low Hows Woods before rejoing the path back to Grange.
It was an excellent walk with excellent company. Many thanks to Reg for coming with me on the walk and also to Richard 2E0XGO for going up Latrigg.