I slept soundly right through the night at Ingleton Youth Hostel, as did the
boys, waking at 6.30am. I prompted Jimmy and Liam to wake up. Jimmy was
reluctantly cooperative. Liam was not impressed. I left the two of them to get
up and dressed while I went down to do the soup and the bladders. Eventually, we
were away before 8am, and Jimmy directed me via Dentdale to the parking spot NW
of Great Knoutberry Hill G/NP-015.
It was a lovely, clear albeit chilly morning, and the view back across to
Whernside G/NP-004 and Aye Gill Pike G/NP-023 was stunning. We followed the
bridleway track down to where it is necessary to clamber over a horrible stile -
stone steps protruding precariously from a very high dry stone wall, topped by a
loose and almost barrier-like wooden fence. Now it was uphill all the way to the
summit, via countless soggy bogs and false summits. Nonetheless, it was not far,
or all that steep. As we were about to emerge on the summit, a familiar voice
was heard from behind, and it was none other than Myke G6DDQ making a surprise
I set up the SOTA Beam mounted horizontally above a wall on the summit,
although the initial QSOs were actually made on 2m FM. Today, there were some
S2S contacts, with Ian 2E0EDX/P on Pen-y-ghent G/NP-010,
Richard GW4ERP/P on Tryfan GW/NW-006, Richard GM3CWI/P on Roan Fell GM/SS-132
and Keith G0OXV/P on Stony Cove Pike G/LD-018. Jimmy and
I both had our first ever taste of 4m, courtesy of a quick blast on G6DDQ's
hand-portable transceiver, following which we went to the alerted 2m SSB.
Contacts were not exactly forthcoming on here, although we did make a few.
I went over to 2m CW, an increasing favourite of mine, and I was very pleased to make five contacts, including George GI4SRQ. My 2m CW sortes during activations seem to be attracting a loyal group that is steadily increasing in number, so I intend making more of this. It is a bit different, and has an element of challenge not (anymore) experienced on 2m FM/SSB or 40m CW. Soup today was Asda's Roast Chicken and Asparagus. Many thanks to the following stations, all worked using 5 watts:
Following descent, we drove back towards Ingleton, but pulled in at the Hill
Inn, Chapel-le-Dale for a pint with Myke. It was only just gone midday, and the
afternoon beckoned. What would it be? A back-route raid on Whernside G/NP-004 to
give Jimmy his last NP unique to catch up with his father? A joint activation of
Easington Fell G/SP-012 with G6DDQ? No, I had a
better idea. I kept this secret from Jimmy and Liam, but Myke immediately worked
out what it was (but didn't give it away). It was Ingleborough G/NP-005 - but
from the inside!
A short distance down the road, we pulled in at
White Scar Caves, and booked on
the 2pm guided tour. In the meantime, we visited the cafe for bacon, sausage,
egg and tomato bap (me), bacon butty (Jimmy) and vegeburger (Liam) together with
three deluxe hot chocolates. The caves were fantastic, an 80 minute tour walking
along 2km of caves and tunnels, mostly above underground rushing water. The
"gorilla walks", requiring sustained stooping were a little challenging, as was
the point that had a headroom of barely one metre, but the caves were beautiful
and fascinating. The climax of the journey was the huge Battlefield Cavern, with
its thousands of straw stalactites hanging from the rock above.