Tuesday, 11 June 2013

SOTA Cycling Weekend June 2013 - G/SB-004 Peel Fell

Sunday 9th June 2013 (PM)
After puncturing returning from Sighty Crag back to my car I decided to walk to the summit Peel Fell from the parking spot near Deadwater (NY 6086 9643). My intention was to replace my bike inner tube that evening when I reached my accommodation in Bellingham. 
Walking route to Peel Fell G/SB-004
The rarely activated summit of Peel Fell lies on the Scottish Border.  More details provided by Jim G0CQK can be found here (Thanks Jim). The walk to the summit took 1 hour 36 minutes and was straightforward - despite this I took a wrong turning on a forest track which wasted around 12 minutes. I had to fight my way through fallen trees to get back onto the right track. My GPS track is in fact inaccurate. I think the device was receiving skewed signals owing to the tree cover adjacent to the track. This is why the map appears to show that I used a different route through the wood on my return. 
Peel Fell G/SB-004 looks a long way off on the track at Deadwater
Once Rushy Knowe is reached at 6144 9900 you are in Scotland. A broken wall and the remains of a fence can then be followed up to the summit. The walk becomes steeper and much more strenuous before the summit of Peel Fell (602m) is reached. This height means Peel Fell meets the 600m UK limit and can be classed as a mountain.  My path was blocked in one place by a fallen tree and the forestry fence had to be climbed to get around the obstruction:
Route blocked
I reached the summit at 4.00pm, weather was cloudy but mild as I set up my station. 
G4OBK/P on Peel Fell G/SB-004
HF band conditions were very poor. I completed only nine contacts with the following stations in 25 minutes before packing up:

2m FM M6EPW/P Flat Fell (Western Lake District)
40m CW G0NUP (England)
40m CW G4SSH (England)
40m CW G4OOE (England)
40m CW PA9CW (Netherlands)
40m CW PA0SKP (Netherlands)
40m CW MW0IDX (Wales)
30m CW CT1BQH (Portugal) (1st time 30m activation of Peel Fell)
2m FM M0RCP/P Summit to Summit - Calf Top, North Pennines

There were no contacts on the 20m band despite me making repeated CQ calls, so I gave up. 

The nearby Deadwater Fell Communications Station (571m ASL) as seen from Peel Fell 
View leaving Peel Fell on the English / Scottish Border
The walk back down to my car took me 64 minutes and at 6.30pm I was on my way to the YHA Bunkhouse at Demesne Farm, Bellingham. This took me through Kielder Forest and past the reservoir. When I arrived I changed the inner tube in my rear tyre so the bike was ready for the two remaining summits on Monday - Tosson Hill G/SB-007 and Long Crag G/SB-008. 
Success - puncture repaired and bike ready for Tosson Hill and Long Crag tomorrow
Job done I settled in at the bunkhouse, took a shower and then made my way to the nearby Cheviot Hotel in the village for a good meal and several drinks. 


Bike: Out of action due to puncture
Distance walked: 7.16 miles
Total ascent: 1550 feet
Time taken out and back: 4 hours 5 minutes
Radio's used: YouKits HB1B 5 watt CW Transceiver and Yaesu VX-170 5 watt FM Transceiver both internal batteries
Antennae: Homemade 3 band link dipole, homemade 2m vertical dipole 
Amateur Bands used: 40m CW, 30m CW, 2m FM
Contacts made: 9

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