Illgill Head Hike - G/LD-029 SOTA (2020)

Summits on the Air Activation Report

Activation Date: Sunday 11th October, 2020.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX.
Summit: Illgill Head, Lake District, England.
Summit ID: SOTA reference G/LD-029 (4 points).
Summit Height: 609m elevation, 314m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 54.43293, -3.28263. Maidenhead Grid IO84ik.
Distance: 7.1km travelled with 553m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T1.(?)
Elapsed Time: 2hr 45m (including operating).
Weather: Feels like 11.1°C, 6 kph NW wind, 79% humidity.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FTM100D, MFJ-1714, Zippy 4200mAh 4S LiFePo4.
Callsign Used: M1HAX/P.
Contacts: 18 (2m FM).

Trip Notes

  • Illgill Head is a 609-meter fell in the English Lake District, forming the northern section of the Wastwater Screes. These screes offer a famous and awe-inspiring view across Wastwater. The scree-covered northwestern slope plunges into the lake and was formed by ice and weathering erosion. Geologically, it belongs to the Borrowdale Volcanic Group. The opposite slope, leading to Burnmoor Tarn and Miterdale, is gentler and covered in vegetation.
  • After a sunny walk up to the summit of Scafell Pike earlier in the day, I wanted to take advantage of the favourable weather and tick off Illgill Head, a nearby 4-point SOTA summit.
  • From near the Wasdale Head car park path to Scafell Pike there is a gate in the wall from which another path heads south towards Groove Gill.
  • Following an easy gravel path which later becomes well-trodden grass, the route starts to ascend the north eastern slope of the fell.
  • After about 300 metres of ascent along the grassy path the summit plateau is reached. The summit area is broad and relatively featureless. I set up my radio station near a rocky outcrop and small cairn. There were good views from the top.
  • VHF take-off from the summit was good and I readily made a good selection of contacts on 2-metres FM. I then returned towards Wasdale Head back along the path I had climbed up.
  • The walk took a little under three hours and makes a convenient addition to a day at Wasdale Head summiting the larger Scafell Pike nearby.


Below are some photographs taken during my activation of Illgill Head on Sunday 11th October, 2020.

G/LD-029 SOTA Activation, 11/10/2020 (Photo no. 1).
G/LD-029 SOTA Activation, 11/10/2020 (Photo no. 2).
G/LD-029 SOTA Activation, 11/10/2020 (Photo no. 3).
G/LD-029 SOTA Activation, 11/10/2020 (Photo no. 4).
G/LD-029 SOTA Activation, 11/10/2020 (Photo no. 5).
G/LD-029 SOTA Activation, 11/10/2020 (Photo no. 6).

Walking Route for Illgill Head

The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for Illgill Head. The G/LD-029 summit area is marked on the map with a blue pin icon.

You can download the route shown above as a GPX file suitable for use with most GPS devices. This file is provided for information only, to support your own walk planning and research (it may contain navigation errors, detours and/or safety hazards). The route downloads provided here are governed by the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.

Station Log

I logged the following 18 amateur radio contacts operating as M1HAX/P from G/LD-029 Illgill Head on Sunday 11th October, 2020 (all times shown are UTC):

12:42G4YBU/P2mFMTim, 5/9, S2S G/NP-005
12:45G7CDA2mFMDouggie, 5/9
12:462E0LDF2mFMReg, 5/9
12:47GW4ZPL2mFMJohn, 5/9
12:47G6LKB2mFMDavid, 5/9
12:47G1OHH2mFMSue, 5/9
12:48MW7KEE2mFMSimon, 5/9
12:48G0MHF2mFMJohn, 5/7
12:492E0XYL2mFMKaren, 5/1
12:50M0NOM/P2mFMMark, 5/3
12:51G1PIE2mFMMark, 5/9
12:54GW6MLI2mFMDavid, 5/9, S2S GW/NW-070
12:56G6FIT2mFMTony, 5/5
13:00M0JZH/M2mFMJohn, 5/9
13:02G1OAE2mFMTony, 5/9
13:03M6PMA2mFMPaul, 5/7
13:05G0WFH2mFMChris, 5/8
13:06M7OUT2mFMKarl, 5/7

In the notes field I will usually log the other operator’s name and the signal report they provided. In accordance with the Summits on the Air rules, I do not make a log entry where a complete exchange of callsigns and signal reports was unsuccessful.

Additional Information

The following resources may be helpful to walkers, mountaineers and SOTA activators interested in Illgill Head:

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