Continuing our trek on Wednesday 23rd July 2008, we took a compass bearing from
the summit plateau of Fairfield G/LD-007.
Visibility was poor, but our compass reassuringly pointed us in the direction of
a cairn. We were soon finding it very tough going descending, almost scrambling
extremely steeply down loose scree. A brief respite along slightly kinder
terrain, and we were at Cofa Pike, which I had been warned could offer a degree
of exposure. Apart from a steep drop lurking rather close to my left, it wasn't
too bad, and I later realised we had come down the side of it rather than over
the top of it!
As we hit the saddle between Fairfield and St Sunday Crag G/LD-010, suddenly we
were on a good wide path with easy walking terrain underfoot. The gradient up to
St Sunday Crag's summit was much more reasonable, and we were at the summit
cairn in good time, just after 4pm. Nine contacts were made using the VX-7R and
RSS, with lots of 59 reports passing back and forth.
So we had completed the three SOTA activations on this fine mountain traverse
route, and now just remained the descent into Patterdale. This seemed to be a
long descent which went on forever, one of those where you can see the valley
far below, but never seem to get any nearer down to it! Ultimately of course, we
did, and the final walk along the track into the village was accompanied with a
sense of achievement.
We checked in at the Old Water View B&B, run by Ian, a mountain guide by day and
a veteran of the Coast 2 Coast, Pennine Way and LEJOG routes. He was excellent,
in ensuring our boots were dry and offering to tumble dry our damp clothes. It
hadn't rained at all, but walking in hot weather can make your socks and shirts
nearly as damp! I was carrying a spare shirt in my pack, but I had changed
halfway through the day, meaning they were both damp. I suggested keeping my
England away shirt for the evening, figuring that would dry faster over the next
hour or so, but Ian insisted on taking both shirts to tumble dry, and kindly
lending me a shirt of his own for me to wear in the pub. An excellent landlord!
Ian also passed me a piece of paper that informed that John G3WGV would be arriving at 8pm to join us in the pub. A shower and a change later, and with me sporting a shiny and comfy LDWA polo shirt, I was browsing the reflector on the computer in the guest lounge. John arrived shortly after, and we went across to the White Lion for a very satisfying meal - Cumberland Sausage in my case - washed down with Jennings Cumberland Ale. A very pleasant evening, and a successful day. Thanks to the following stations, all worked on 2m FM with 5 watts: