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Cross Fell 2004


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This summit was activated by myself, accompanied by Jimmy and Liam on Saturday 21st August 2004.  This was as part of a larger group activation including Myke G6DDQ, Keith G0OXV and Stuart G0MJG.  We were unannounced gatecrashers!

It must be said that these 8-pointers are like buses; you wait a couple of years for one, then two come along at once!  For some unknown reason, it had worked out that we had activated summits in the 1, 2, 4, 6 and 10 point scoring bands, but never any 8 point Marilyns.  After bagging our first 8-pointer - Old Man of Coniston G/LD-013 - just two days later we sensed a good opportunity to return north and grab another.  In the pub in Grasmere the previous Wednesday night, Rob G4RQJ had described his 2004 route to Cross Fell, and Myke & Stuart began plans to follow it on the coming Saturday.  Having already read Rob's activation report with interest, and chatted to Steve G1INK about it, this walk was one which I had also been looking at with intention.  Saturday's weather forecast was good, but the following days grim with more thunder and heavy rain on the way, so I made a last minute decision to cancel our camping trip to the Brecon Beacons, and just have a day out SOTAing on the Saturday.

It was pretty late in the day to bother announcing my intentions on the reflector, so Keith G0OXV and Stuart G0MJG must have wondered what was going on when they overtook Penelope on the M6, around 8.30am Saturday morning.  Contact was soon established on 2m between our vehicles, and with Myke G6DDQ/M, and so I had to admit that they were about to be joined by three uninvited guests!

We left the M6 at J38 and headed to Appleby-in-Westmorland, and on to the villages of Dufton (from where I worked Clive M1YAM/P on Red Screes G/LD-017 for 6 chaser points) and Knock.  Just beyond the village, we turned right into the road signed for a Christian centre, and we shortly met Myke, Stuart and Keith in the parking / turning area.  We then continued up the long tarmac access road for CAA "golf-ball" installation on the summit of Great Dun Fell.  This road is blocked to vehicles at NY 716 316 where the formerly coincidental tarmac access road, new Pennine Way and old Pennine Way split into three directions, 760m ASL.  We parked in limited space here and walked up to Great Dun Fell on the tarmac, saving our boots for the small patches of bog to be encountered later.

Jimmy at the summit of Cross Fell    Liam at the summit of Cross Fell

From Great Dun Fell, 848m ASL, it was the Pennine Way all the way to the summit of Cross Fell.  This meant descending to the 780m ASL coll before climbing to the summit of Little Dun Fell, 842m ASL, where I chatted briefly to John G3WGV.  It was then down again to another coll, Crowdundle Head 772m ASL.  By this stage, Myke, Stuart, Keith and Jimmy were in the summit activation area of Cross Fell, and I worked Keith for some opportunistic chaser points.  Any frustration I experienced by matching Liam's slow rate of progress was wiped out by 8 big juicy chaser points that would not have been possible had we kept up!  Most of the way was good going on the slabs, but even some of these had sunk into the bog.  The final ascent on the shoulder of Cross Fell was the most difficult going, the path becoming hardly defined amongst the dribbles coming off this main watershed, and this being followed by a spot of boulder-hopping to the summit plateau.  By the time Liam and I reaching the trig point, Myke had already qualified the summit on 2m using the SOTA Beam, and Stuart and Keith were well-established with their own 5MHz set-ups.  We were in no rush, and got a bit of shelter out of the wind before tucking into the pepper steak slices, butties and potato & leek soup.

Tom GX4BJC/P at the summit of Cross Fell G/NP-001

The activation was very pleasant, with a couple of the special lighthouse stations worked, and a bit of ragchewing with friends not heard for a while.  After packng up, we retraced our route back to the car, and again Jimmy stretched out in front following the earlier-departed Myke, while I allowed Liam to set my walking pace.  This tactic again netted me an extra chaser point however, when on Great Dun Fell I worked Kev G7OZE/P and his son James M3OZE/P on Easington Fell G/SP-012.  The rest of the gang down at the cars were not able to make the contact from that point.   Earlier, after Keith and Stuart had inevitably overtaken me and Liam, further chaser points came in courtesy of Clive M1YAM/P on Burnhope Seat G/NP-003, Rob G4FBC/P on Grisedale Pike G/LD-015 and Jim G0CQK/P on Long Crag G/SB-008, a very pleasing contact for me running 230mW!

Thanks to the following stations, all worked on 2m FM using 2.5 watts:

G0MXR Lymm Geoff
G3WGV Sleagill John
MW1FGQ Flintshire John
G6DDQ/P Crowdundle Head Myke
2E0NHM Warton Nigel
GB2GOL Great Orme Lighthouse Roger
GB2JBM Ulverston Sam