|The Patterdale Hotel|
400 feet of ascent
This blog starts with Little Mell Fell, which also qualifies for Summits On The Air (SOTA). We were staying at our favourite haunt The Patterdale Hotel which lies on the border line of Wainwright's Eastern and Far Eastern Fells. The purpose of our stay was to recce a series of walks we had planned for members of Ryedale Walking Group for September 2009.
|Little Mell Fell|
Late afternoon on the 23rd March Judy and I returned early from a recce of another walk. This gave me time to drive solo to the foot of Little Mell Fell, known locally as "little pudding basin hill". I parked at "The Hause" GR NY423235
A strong wind was blowing as I climbed the grassy slope in less than 15 minutes to bag my first Wainwright for WOTA. This hill is notoriously difficult to propagate signals from on VHF FM with basic equipment due to the surrounding mountains, however I did complete six quick contacts in less than ten minutes with:
G0TDM G7GQL GX0ANT G4WHA (Penrith)
G6SMW (Penrith) G6LSO/M (M6) GM6LJE/P (Dumfries & Galloway)
The equipment used was a Yaesu VX-170 handheld radio running 5 watts coupled to an external half wave vertical "rucksack special" antenna. This basic, lightweight, low environmental impact setup has so far proved effective for WOTA operation where only one contact is needed to qualify the activation for the WOTA Award scheme.
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