Sunday, 11 November 2012

Wainwright Society 10th Anniversary Weekend

Friday 9th November 2012 - A significant date exactly 60 years to the day when A Wainwright completed writing the first page of volume one of the Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells on Dove Crag in the Eastern Fells book.

My friends Nick (Callsign G4OOE) Geoff  (M6PYG) and this writer Phil (G4OBK) enjoyed a long weekend of celebration events by first meeting up in two cars at Hartsop.  We starting our celebration of the great mans work by crossing over four Wainwright summits on the 60th anniversary day. One car was parked at Hartsop and the other transported us to the top of the Kirkstone Pass to start our walk. 

Our GPS tracklog
We endured a linear walk in inclement weather from the KIrkstone Pass Inn, leaving just after 9.00am to climb over Stony Cove Pike (Wainwright preferred to call this Caudale Moor), then down the rugged valley into Threshthwaite Mouth to climb up to Thornthwaite Crag.

With some difficulty keeping on track in the mist, we made it to High Street at 1.00pm.  The walk back to Hartsop went via The Knott, our final summit of the day.  We were all carrying VHF Ham Radio equipment as we always do in the Lake District, however today was different. My fellwalking friend Geoff, who I had walked these fells with for over three years, had taken the plunge. He had completed and OFCOM approved course and examination in Newbury (such was his determination!) and had qualified for his amateur radio licence which meant he was now M6PYG - a callsign he chose for a specific reason.

Geoff M6PYG contacting Colin G4UXH for his first ever contact on ham radio

It took around an hour to reach our position behind the dry stone wall on Caudale Moor, where Geoff made his first contact on amateur radio with our good friend Colin G4UXH, in Milnthorpe. 

With Geoff having familiarised himself with radio procedure making teens of contacts in the process, we left to undertake the rough descent to Threshthwaite Mouth before climbing up to Thornthwaite Beacon, where a fantastic view south across the Kentmere Horseshoe usually awaits - but not today.

Geoff & Phil operating behind Thornthwaite Beacon
Cowering behind the beacon at midday was the only position where we could eat and drink, so we had our feast and more contacts.  The track across to High Street was like walking down a riverbed and we took one of the tributaries and lost our bearings briefly with visibility down to around 25m, before realising and so backtracked to get on to the right heading for High Street. 
Nick logs the Chasers on High Street
We spent as little time on High Street as we could get away with, and repeated this on The Knott before descending from there towards Hayeswater dam, which we eventually saw once the mist thinned out at around 1500ft, allowing Nick to take some pictures. 

We arrived in Hartsop at  3.00pm, sodden, before heading back up Kirkstone Pass to collect Geoff's car. We then proceeded to The Glenburn Hotel in Windermere, our B&B for the weekend. 

After checking in we showered and then headed off to Penrith for KFC before attending the 10th Annual Wainwright Memorial Lecture at Rheged where we heard the Yorkshire Mountain Climber Alan Hinkes speak about his experiences climbing the eight highest peaks in the world. 

A view at last - descending to Hayeswater Dam and the track back to Hartsop

Distance walked: 7.6 miles with 2400ft ascent
 To be continued with Dove Crag (Saturday) and Pike O'Blisco (Sunday)........

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