Sunday 8 January 2012

Bannisdale Horseshoe 8th January 2012

Here we go again....with the 214 fells completed the WOTA management team had decided to add another 116 of Wainwright's Outlying Fells to Wainwrights On The Air, and I was part of that decision....
I don't intend blogging the walks I undertake in pursuit of these 116 Outlying Fells - most are unspectacular, but just a few, such as Black Combe and the Dunnerdale Horseshoe circuit are. So I'll see how enthusiastic I am about writing about them as I go on. As this walk was the first in a series of Outlying Fells walks, I feel I ought to blog it as a marker. 

I met up with my friend Geoff at Dryhowe Bridge - shortening Wainwright's original Route OF56 from Book 8 by over two miles. That made our walk in the mist for the most part, just short of 9 miles with around 2000' of ascent, here is my GPS track of what was actually walked:
We left Dryhowe Bridge and could see we would soon be in mist. Whiteside Pike was clear but from Todd Fell on we were in mist with visability down to around 50m at best for the rest of the horseshoe until we came down off Lamb Pasture. Near the top of Whiteside Pike by the wall at 1200 feet, the resourceful farmer from Dryhowe Farm 500 feet down in the valley, had erected this TV and radio aerial to improve his reception. He must have had a good preamp - the antenna is 1 Km away from the farm!
The farmers remote TV aerial near Whiteside Pike - the hill in the background is LDO-016 The Forest
Whiteside Pike LDO-050 was the only well defined summit from the nine visited today, stations worked: M6UXH M5TNT G1OHH M3RNO/M and G0TDM. 
Whiteside Pike LDO-050 activation - Todd Fell LDO-048 behind
We headed north covering the ill defined summits of Todd Fell, Capplebarrow, Swinkelebank Crag, Ancrow Brow, Long Crag (lunchtime stop),  White Howe, The Forest and Lamb Pasture. We were thankful of GPS not only for route finding in the mist but for sure placement of the summits, which in many cases were defined by just a few stones! These had been pre-programmed into the Garmin Vista.  We left Lamb Pasture at 1415z and were back at our cars at Dryhowe Bridge at 1430z. Yes, these Outlying Fell walks are much easier than the bigger fells from Books One to Seven. Nine summits activated in a 5.5 hour walk. 
Walk profile from G4OBK GPS - The Bannisdale Horseshoe
There was a plethora of contacts to be had on this round with 59 QSOs being completed, including a summit to summit contact with Rob G4RQJ/P on Little Mell Fell. G1OHH Sue in Lancaster was the only station to make contact on all nine summits, and the best DX was a contact with MW0TTK Mark near Mold in North Wales when activating The Forest LDO-016.  This was not the most enjoyable walks on account of the mist, but we had bagged nine summits so shouldn't complain. Tomorrow we planned to tackle the Naddle Horseshoe walk which is further north and favoured the stations in Penrith and points north of Shap. 

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