Skiddaw Hike - G/LD-004 SOTA (2020)

Summits on the Air Activation Report

Activation Date: Wednesday 9th December, 2020.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX.
Summit: Skiddaw, Lake District, England.
Summit ID: SOTA reference G/LD-004 (10 points).
Summit Height: 930m elevation, 706m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 54.65139, -3.14776. Maidenhead Grid IO84kp.
Distance: 10.1km travelled with 688m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T4 (Winter).(?)
Elapsed Time: 3hr 30m (including operating).
Weather: Feels like 2.6°C, 9 kph NNW wind, 98% humidity, snow/ice.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FTM100D, Diamond SRH770S, Zippy 4200mAh 4S LiFePo4.
Callsign Used: M1HAX/P.
Contacts: 15 (2m FM).

Trip Notes

  • Skiddaw, located in the Lake District National Park, England, boasts a 931-meter summit, making it the sixth-highest peak in the country. Positioned just north of Keswick, Cumbria, Skiddaw dominates the northern lakes' skyline. Renowned for its accessibility, the mountain features a well-trodden tourist track from a car park northeast of Keswick, near the Latrigg summit. This makes it a popular choice for occasional walkers seeking to climb a mountain.
  • Arriving at a wet and cold free car park near Latrigg hill, I followed the obvious gravel footpath north. Given it was a weekday in winter there was plenty of parking spaces free.
  • The steep but good quality path ascends quickly towards Jenkin Hill and Skiddaw Little Man (865m).
  • As I moved beyond the low-lying clouds signs of snow began to appear on the ground. Eventually the path was invisible, buried in up to 50cm of snow.
  • With the snow thawing crampons were not required and I continued to track the path towards the summit.
  • I reached the frigid top of Skiddaw in just under two hours and proceeded to set up my VHF radio around a stone shelter buried in snow.
  • I operated on the 2 metres band (FM) for about twenty minutes, speaking to a number of regular Lakeland chasers such as G6LKB, G8CPZ G4VFL and M0NOM.
  • When the radio contacts began to dry up, I packed away my radio. As this is a linear out-and-back walk to the summit of Skiddaw, I retraced my steps back to the car park.
  • Skiddaw is a popular and accessible hill in the lake district with convenient parking and facilities of the nearby town of Keswick. I would wholeheartedly recommend this route for all types of hillwalkers.
  • After returning to the car I drove a short distance east where I would then summit the neighbouring mountain of Blencathra G/LD-008.


Below are some photographs taken during my activation of Skiddaw on Wednesday 9th December, 2020.

G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 1).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 2).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 3).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 4).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 5).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 6).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 7).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 8).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 9).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 10).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 11).
G/LD-004 SOTA Activation, 09/12/2020 (Photo no. 12).

Walking Route for Skiddaw

The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for Skiddaw. The G/LD-004 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 15 amateur radio contacts operating as M1HAX/P from G/LD-004 Skiddaw on Wednesday 9th December, 2020 (all times shown are UTC):

10:08G0TDM2mFMJohn, 5/9
10:09G4WHA/M2mFMGeoff, 5/1
10:102E0LDF2mFMReg, 5/9
10:11M0NOM2mFMMark, 5/9
10:11G1PIE2mFMMark, 5/8
10:12G0LWU2mFMAndrew, 5/9
10:14G8CPZ/P2mFMAndy, 5/9
10:16GW1CJJ/P2mFMPhil, 5/7
10:17G7CDA2mFMDouggie, 5/7
10:18G6LKB2mFMDavid, 5/5
10:19G1OHH2mFMSue, 5/9
10:20M7DUM2mFMRichard, 4/1
10:21M0AYB2mFMPhil, 5/9
10:22G0CZA2mFMMark, 5/9
10:26G4VFL/P2mFMAndrew, 5/5

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 Skiddaw:

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