Wrynose to Coniston

An early start for me today - my friend Mike 2E0YYY had arranged a sked with two Australian stations - Ernie VK3DET and Ian VK3YFD. As Mike was to be on a HEMA summit, Old Man of Mow, G/HSP-020 I thought I would attempt a contact from a local HEMA Summit Swirl How - this is also a WOTA. With a considerably greater ascent than Mike I had to opt for the IC-705 with the Super Antenna, lightweight tripod and external battery for 10w.

Arriving at the top of Wrynose, parking next to the new Three Shires Stone, at 6:47am I was treated to some wonderful sunrise colours.

The path to Swirl How is a steady ascent, knowing that once you have gained the altitude you keep it for the rest of the ridge line - for the most part - to the Old Man of Coniston.

Great Carrs

WOTA ID: LDW-045 Height: 780 m (2559 ft)
SOTA ID: n/a Grid ref: NY270008
HuMP ID: n/a QTH Locator: IO84KJ
Book: The Southern Fells Lat: 54.397286 Long: -3.124527

Stopping at Great Carrs I had to download the panorama extension of the camera app on my phone since an update I thought I’d give out a call and Douggie @G7CDA was straight there. Had I been able to hang around for 10 mins Geoff @GM4WHA would also have been in the log. Sorry Geoff, but Mike was already in QSO with Ernie and Ian so I needed to press on to setup HF on Swirl How.

Great that Douggie was on the radio however, as that meant the WOTA was activated!

06:52 G7CDA 2m FM 57 57 Douggie

The walk to Swirl How is all of 10 mins.

Swirl How

WOTA ID: LDW-033 Height: 802 m (2631 ft)
SOTA ID: n/a Grid ref: NY272005
HuMP ID: G/HLD-049 QTH Locator: IO84KJ
Book: The Southern Fells Lat: 54.394619 Long: -3.121373

There was a little snowman propped on the cairn stone pile to keep me company on Swirl How. Geoff called on the same frequency of the previous activation so the 2m activity was done early doors, although Sue @g1ohh1 came in a little later once Douggie had roused her!

07:02 GM4WHA 2m FM 57 53 GEOFF
07:05 G7CDA 2m FM 59 59 Douggie
07:12 G1OHH 2m FM 59 59 Susan
07:13 2E0YYY/P 2m FM 55 55 Mike HEMA G/HSP-020
07:14 2E0KIO/P 2m FM 55 55 Dom HEMA G/HSP-020
07:50 CR3DX 20m SSB 59 59 Slovak
07:53 OH3GZ 20m SSB 55 55 JUKKA
08:16 2E0KIO/P 10m SSB 59 59 Dom HEMA G/HSP-020
08:17 2E0YYY/P 10m SSB 59 59 Mike HEMA G/HSP-020

Although I could hear both VK3 stations 59 at times my 10 watts couldn’t quite make it. Shame, but it was good to get a HEMA S2S with both Mike and Dom on 2m, 20m and 10m. It was bitter cold and I needed to wrap up well and keep the gloves on. I set the Super Antenna up close to the cairn stone pile so I could get some protection from the Westerly wind.

Brim Fell

WOTA ID: LDW-037 Height: 796 m (2612 ft)
SOTA ID: n/a Grid ref: SD270985
HuMP ID: n/a QTH Locator: IO84KJ
Book: The Southern Fells Lat: 54.376617 Long: -3.123962

About 20 minutes later I arrived at Brim Fell, after the only significant descent and ascent on the ridge line.

By this time there were more folk on the radio and it was great to get most of the regular chasers in the log. First time on any of these summits for me up to The Old Man of Coniston.

09:06 G7CDA 2m FM 59 55 Douggie
09:07 G6LKB 2m FM 59 59 David
09:08 GM4WHA 2m FM 42 57 GEOFF
09:09 GW4ZPL 2m FM 59 55 John
09:09 G1OHH 2m FM 59 59 Susan
09:09 G0TDM 2m FM 55 21 John
09:10 GM1VLA 2m FM 55 57 Tony

Coniston Old Man

WOTA ID: LDW-030 Height: 803 m (2634 ft)
SOTA ID: G/LD-013 Grid ref: SD272978
HuMP ID: n/a QTH Locator: IO84KI
Book: The Southern Fells Lat: 54.370355 Long: -3.120712

The draw of SOTA, and use of HF again meant plenty of contacts on the Old Man. I thought HF was quite poor and that was verified with a K index of 7 - the highest I’ve ever seen it on a summit. So for the most part it was the bigger chaser stations that I got in the log, although I did manage to bag a few S2S including Robert on his second ever SOTA activation on St Sunday Crag (he was clearly in awe of the Lake District) and Shane right at the end on Grayrigg Forest.

09:26 M0RWX/P 2m FM 59 59 Robert SOTA G/LD-010
09:32 GM4WHA 2m FM 59 52 GEOFF
09:33 G6LKB 2m FM 59 59 David
09:34 2E0LDF 2m FM 57 53
09:36 G7CDA 2m FM 59 59 Douggie
09:37 GW4ZPL 2m FM 59 55 Colin
09:37 G1PIE 2m FM 59 59 MARK
09:38 G6AEK 2m FM 59 59 Dave
09:40 M0TRI 2m FM 59 53 Andrew
09:43 GW3YWP 2m FM 57 59 Chris
09:44 G4UME 2m FM 59 59 HUGH
09:57 OE6GND 20m SSB 59 55 GERHARD
09:58 S52CU 20m SSB 55 55 Mirko
09:58 EA5K 20m SSB 59 55 Miguel
09:59 F5JKK 20m SSB 59 55 Éric
10:00 CT1DIZ 20m SSB 59 59 JOSE
10:01 OH3GZ 20m SSB 59 59 JUKKA
10:08 CT2GSN/P 20m SSB 55 55 JOAO SOTA CT/MN-035
10:11 F4IVP/P 20m SSB 59 54 SOTA F/AM-369
10:15 SA4BLM 40m SSB 59 52 Lars
10:16 LA9DSA 40m SSB 55 31 Knut
10:17 EA2CKX 40m SSB 59 53 PEDRO
10:18 EA2DT 40m SSB 53 44 Manuel
10:23 CT2HOV 17m SSB 59 51 Nuno
10:25 SV2HJW 17m SSB 53 57 KOSTAS
10:37 G6WBS/P 2m FM 59 59 Shane SOTA G/LD-038

A great morning in the Lakes, a proper walk long over due. I took the tourist trail back down into Coniston where I met Alex and Brooke - Alex kindly offering to collect me here and return to pick up the car at Wrynose. I don’t often manage linear walks but this was one very special ridgeline, best done in one direction only! Highly recommended!


Hi Mark,

What a great set of photos. The fells around Coniston Old Man i have wanted to do since the start of WOTA. Like you i wanted to start from the 3 shires stone to do them.

If i had been 10 minutes earlier i would have got you on Great Carrs but the main thing was you qualified it. Your aerial on your handheld does extremely well as the path from my QTH to the Coniston Fells is a poor one so the signal reports were quite good considering.

Thank you for the summits i worked you on.

73’s Geoff


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A great report indeed, including clever graphics too. Regarding VK, I suspect a wire dipole antenna might help: I could hear a VK station on 20m yesterday afternoon, but with a whip and magmount on the car, couldn’t get through. Understandable, I guess, but I’ve resolved to try a dipole for my next parked / ‘mobile’ operation. The next solar maximum should help with global DX of course, but isn’t expected until 2025. Wire antennas on the fells are cumbersome, though, to say the least! 73, Phil

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Thanks for the comments @PhilM0AYB. As it happens I’ve used both the Super Antenna MP1 and a SOTABeams Band Hopper IV wire dipole to make contacts with Australian stations.

The first being from Lanzarote - on two separate activation’s I got Australia in the log using the Super Antenna MP1 and my FT-817! There is a report here: Activation of Montaña Colorada on Lanzarote.

Admittedly the radio path is probably better from Lanzarote than the Lake District.

My Australia contacts in the Lake District were early one morning on Red Screes - using the Band Hopper IV and an FT-857 100w. I suspect if I’d had 100w available on this trip I might have made contact.

Thanks, Mark.