Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wainwrights On The Air Blog

Just over a year ago I started Wainwrights On The Air (WOTA) as an adventure radio scheme to encourage people like myself to get out of the shack and up in the hills (or fells as they are known locally) of the English Lake District for a bit of fun with radio. You collect points by making contacts from the tops of the fells (which is called activating.) Armchair fellwalkers can also collect points by working stations on the tops of the fells (which is called chasing.) Certificates are awarded when you have made contacts from (or with) all of the fells in each of Alfred Wainwright's seven Pictorial Guides, and for completing all 214 Wainwright fells.

WOTA has been more successful at getting other people out on the fells than me. To date, Phil G4OBK has been the most active WOTA activator and has already claimed a certificate for activating all of the fells in the Pictorial Guide to the Eastern Fells. He has stated that he intends to do all the Wainwrights within two years. Now he has started a blog to describe his progress towards completing this challenge.

Called "Wainwrights On The Air", Phil's blog has details of the routes taken as well as the people contacted from the fells. It has some great pictures, too, that really capture the flavour of this beautiful part of England.

If you like operating radio from the great outdoors, if you are interested in the English Lake District or if you are thinking about becoming a WOTA activator yourself, I think you'll enjoy Phil's Wainwrights On The Air blog.


M0XDF said...

Although I don't partake, aren’t you just duplicating what SOTA is?

Dick said...

I know little of SOTA and nothing of Wainwrights but isn't SOTA nearly "everywhere" and this other group more regional?

Unknown said...

Dick is correct. Although some Wainwrights also count for SOTA, only Wainwrights count for WOTA, so it is a regional scheme that people in the north west have a chance to complete without having to travel the huge distances that Richard G3CWI did in order to activate all the SOTA summits in England.

It's also quite different in practice in that the interest from chasers is local so activations are almost all done on VHF whereas SOTA interest is international and many SOTA activations use HF.

Phil G4OBK said...


Many SOTA activists (myself included) mainly tend to operate from one or more summits in a day and move between them using a car.

The beauty of doing the Wainwrights under WOTA is that you usually park your vehicle up for the day (or indeed travel by public transport) and having planned your route around a series of Wainwrights you walk them point to point and operate from each. That planning is part of the fun for me. Therefore a reasonably fit fell walker could cover over 10 summits in a day in certain areas of the Lakes and operate from them all without using his vehicle to get between them. The two schemes are not meant to be compared as they are totally different. Some SOTA and WOTA summits overlap but Alfred Wainwrights listed his 214 summits because of their viewpoints and position, whereas SOTA summits are taken from the Marilyn list, which is based on a 150m prominence above the surrounding ground.