Wainwrights On The Air (WOTA for short) is an adventure radio programme for amateur radio enthusiasts who enjoy being out on the fells of the English Lake District, as well as those who just like collecting contacts with unusual locations, and has been designed to make participation possible for everyone.
Julian Moss, G4ILO, activating Lord's Seat with Skiddaw in the background
Similar to Summits On The Air (SOTA), the goal is to make contacts from, or with, as many different summits as possible. All of the 214 fells described by Alfred Wainwright in his famous Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells, and all of the 116 fells described in his famous Outlying Fells Of Lakeland, count for contacts, and an award will be made to anyone who contacts or activates all of them! But if you just want to add some radio interest to your walks in the hills, that's fine too. Taking part in WOTA will add to your fun by increasing the number of people wanting to contact you.
For more information see About WOTA.
Stay Safe In The Lakes
Now that the clocks have changed, please ensure that you allow sufficient time for activations to take place during daylight hours, (even if you have experience of being in the fells at dusk/night). Being out and about at this time of year means that the weather can close in very, very quickly and loose daylight very fast.
Even if you intend to be back in good time, always be prepared and carry torches / head lights etc along with spare batteries for torches, phones, gps etc and ALWAYS carry a map and compass and know how to use them. The latter are crucial as not everywhere has a phone signal and batteries etc can all too easily fail.
Get Ready To WOTA !
With August Bank Holiday almost upon is, it is time to get ready for the WOTA Activity Week.
Yes - you have read that correctly ............. one whole week.
Following on from the very successful launch of WOTA Activity Weekend in 2011, last year, the event was extended to a full week with great success.
Despite the adverse weather conditions that greeted our Activators across the Lake District over the duration of the week a grand total of 57 summit activations and 443 QSO's were logged.
This is almost double the number of summits activated of 29 summits on our first ever WOTA Activity Weekend in 2011.
With this in mind, once again the WOTA Activity Event will take place over a whole week and will run from Saturday 24th August through until Sunday 1st September inclusive.
WOTA goes from strength to strength
From it's very humble beginnings of being an idea to combine Fell Walking in the Lake District with the hobby of Amateur Radio by founder Julian Moss (G4ILO), five years on, Wainwrights On the Air (WOTA) has continued to grow from strength to strength.
2012 saw the introduction of the 116 Outlying Fells to the programme in addition to the existing 214 Wainwrights
2013 is already turning into a rather special year and has seen four further members achieve the 214 Wainwright as either a Chaser or Activator, with one being that little bit extra special.
Derek Edge (2E0MIX) has become the first member to reach the magic 214 figure as both Activator and Chaser. An incredible achievement, and one that WOTA are very proud off. Congratulations Derek.
Congratulations also go to the three other members reaching that 214......
Patterdale Mountain Rescue need your help
Mountain rescuers seek help in testing drone search of Lake District fell.
A Lake District mountain rescue team is looking for members of the public to join the search for a missing walker.
But they won’t need to pull on their boots and waterproofs; the search will be conducted with a computer and mouse.
Outdoor fans are invited to take part in the trial search for the missing walker, who will be ‘planted’ somewhere in the Patterdale area and a high-tech unmanned drone will relay pictures of the search area as it flies over the Lakeland countryside.
Cumbria Raynet needs your help
Many members of WOTA are both keen amateur radio operators, chasers and fell walkers/activators. As a direct result of this, members hold a lot of valuable information about how well radio works within the fells, problems encountered with opreating in the fells and "dead spots" for both radio and mobile phone communications.
This is something that Cumbria Raynet, local Mountain Rescue and Emergecny Services would like your help with.
On the 11th/12th of May there are two charity events taking place. The Keswick to Barrow Charity Walk on 11th and Fred Whitton cycling challenge taking place on the 12th where 1700 riders take part in a gruelling 112 mile race over all the Lakeland passes – in one day!!
Cumbria Raynet need help and feedback on how to ensure that effective communications can be put into place to cover the often remote areas of Cumbria that this event entails. They need to be able to furnish contact with HQ at Coniston, from all the pass summits where checkpoints are placed. But they need to cover a very wide area and that takes knowledge and manpower. Cumbria is a big county!
Many members may travel these routes on a normal basis, and organised interaction beforehand could facilitate in the knowledge required being passed on before the event or suggestions which would ease the tasks being passed on. Some members may even be able to “work” as a relay from their home / portable on the day or suggest some other possibilities.
All knowledge gained will also be logged to a database for future reference by Raynet, Mountain Rescue Groups and local Emergency Services for when disasters happen. The Lakes topography is not suited to straight forward solutions.
You do not need to be a member or WOTA or radio club in order to help. All help is welcomed so please let friends, family and fellow radio operators know.
This is a great opportunity to help promote amateur radio and to help ensure the future safety and well being of everyone that enjoys the Lakes, something that we should all never take foregranted.
Now, over to Paul from Cumbria Raynet:-