A few SOTA’s

Over the last few weeks our domestic life has been a bit different to what it used to be. A change in how we work as a family has happened and it meant a hold on radio, or rather a less than active summer is the result.

I have one the other hand spent more time away from work than normal which meant that I didn’t have to chance the normally predictable weather in Cumbria at just the weekend if I was going /p. I am fortunate to live within 30 minutes of both the Ennerdale and Wasdale valley’s. If you know where they are you might also know that the meet between Pillar and Great Gable with Ennerdale being further inland to Wasdales long views out to sea. I’ve been to Ennerdale quite a bit so Wasdale it was for this couple of trips.

Operating in the he lakes gives up a few challenges. The harshest being the number of people that visit the 8+ point summits. One solution is to stay off the beaten track, the other is to go early. Combine the 2 on a sunny day and you’ve got English summer nirvana.

First up, Pillar and Kirk Fell – Wasdale head pub to Pillar via Mosedale and a short trot along to Kirk fell then down the front face of Kirk Fell. To get this view climb straight up the Mosedale scree slope (beware it is hard work). The view is worth it. Looking towards Scafell you can almost see the small tent I passed on the way up. Needless to say some geology buff will tell you different but it looks to me like a glacier made this shape.

The next shot is from Kirk Fell. Showing the sea off in the distance and Burnmoor tarn on the left, Wastwater (the chilly-est lake ever) with Illgill head in between the two. Kirk fell is a good summit to SOTA, its very accessible but if you go up the front be prepared for some heavy going.

Great Gable was attacked another day and the weather came in so it was a short activation. Another popular summit and at 8 points it is worth it. I like the route up to Styhead tarn the turn left. You get a good view of the unspoiled wilderness that is the route to Scafell Pike from Borrowdale. I’m sure the path would accept either 10 people abreast or a land rover. Its like a motorway.

The last trip was another early morning ascent, this time Scafell Pike. The quick route from Wasdale head car park during the summer is punctuated by knackered looking ‘3 peakers’. Some who look like they haven’t spent a lot of time preparing for what they were doing. Or, over-preparing in the pub. This was the first time I’ve been up and down without being in the cloud. This is not a quiet summit, even at 7:30am.


Whilst the blog may have been quiet over the summer I did manage to get 8 points for Pillar, 8 for Kirk Fell, 8 for Great Gable and 10 for Scafell Pike. If I carry this on for the next 25 years I could be part way to being a mountain goat.

Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

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