Jimmy M0HGY and I did a quick weekend trip to G/LD - to complete England for the 2nd time!
The repositioning and new reference for Muncaster Fell necessitated the visit, and of course we'd have to complete G once again after 1st September (due to the new Hensbarrow Downs G/DC-008)! The new position for Muncaster Fell G/LD-059 is rubbish and requires a bit of bogtrotting. From it, the old summit (G/LD-055) looks higher. From the old summit, the new summit looks lower. Had the surveyors finally got one wrong? Well, highly unlikely of course, but it's a very close call!
We set out on the morning of Saturday 12th August 2017 after an early breakfast of porridge at home. This was barely sufficient though, so we were disappointed to find that the cafe at Newby Bridge filling station was now a franchise of Costa Coffee. No worries though, as we were able to get a cooked breakfast at the hotel at Rusland Pool. Still hungry, even after that, as we passed through Bootle, we found a shop serving some fantastic steak & kidney pies. The holes were filled! It was at about this part of the journey we discovered that the 1368MHz medium-wave frequency from Manx Radio was putting out the Radio Caroline North programmes from the Ross Revenge on this special weekend marking 50 years since the Marine (etc) Offences Act of 1967.
We parked at the start of the track; the same track used to walk up the original Muncaster Fell-Hooker Crag G/LD-055 - now declassified as a SOTA summit. It was raining lightly when we started, but this soon worsened to a heavy, but thankfully short-lived shower. As we approached the old summit, we followed the boggy tracks to skirt around to the south of it. On reflection, it would have been much better to go to the trig point on the old summit, then take a better path across to the new position.
Even so, there is still plenty of deep vegetation and boggy ground to negotiate in order to reach the new summit position, and it is definitely "one for the purist"! The summit itself is on narrow small mound, and there isn't a great deal of room for HF antennas. I was using the 5MHz halfwave dipole, but a 20m groundplane antenna would have been much more practical here. Jimmy M0HGY, as ever, was using his SOTAbeams 2m MFD, mounted atop a 6m fishing pole.
The views were fairly pleasant from the summit, with the coast on one side, and the more serious mountains of the Lake District on the other. We both qualified our activation easily enough, though neither of us with a huge amount of contacts to spare, so to speak. Our descent route took us over the Hooker Crag, which I wanted to claim a QSO from for the WOTA - Wainwrights On The Air award, and soon we were back on the main track back to the road and the car.
We now made our way to Langdale (High Close) Youth Hostel where we had booked in for the night, and from where we would go for a late afternoon walk up the beautiful Loughrigg Fell G/LD-047.