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.
|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!
The walk to Swirl How is all of 10 mins.
|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!
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.
|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.
|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.
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!