Blaeloch Hill in the North Ayrshire hills was the activation for today, we left home and set off and reached the foot of the route to Blaeloch, we ascended from a layby on the Largs – Kilbirnie road. A long damp heavy slog uphill took us to the summit of Blaeloch Hill, the summit was found only after finding the Blae Loch which nestles at the W side of the summit. The weather had been mixed on the ascent, high winds plus hailstones made it slightly uncomfortable at times.
The ‘camp’ was set up and the antenna and mast were erected, the mast then had to be reduced in length as the high wind was putting stress on it.
First contact was Barry, a 2MO station in Bathgate, Barry had activated Tinto Hill the previous day, next contact was Bob, a MM1/P station at Ardentinny nr Dunoon, I next contacted Eunice, a MM3/P station at the same location, we exchanged signal reports and I left to go back to S20 (145.500) to try and get the fourth contact I needed to fully activate the hill, a mobile station, Derek, 2M0 in Patna, Ayrshire came back to my call, the activation had been made.
I took a break and headed to the wreckage of a Fairey Firefly aircraft which had crashed to the SW of the hill, I had a quick look and headed back, if interested, further information on this specific air crash is HERE.
I then called on S20 and made the contact with MM1, John in Glasgow, I’ve made the contact with John on each of my activations. Next to answer my call was Andy, a GM7 station from East Kilbride. Grant, a MM5 station from Bearsden, with whom I had spoken to the previous day was next in the log.
I had another quick break for some lunch then called on S20 and MM0, Gordon from Irvine came back to my call, we chatted for some time then Brian, a MM1 station from Howwood called in for a chaser point. The next station contacted was a STS (Summit to Summit) contact, Alan, a 2M0 had been activating Nutberry Hill and was ready to depart.
Next station I contacted was Gordon, a MM6 station from Troon with whom I had previously spoken to the previous day, last station contacted was Julian, a MM0 station from Irvine, contacts were getting thin on the ground and the weather was deteriorating so we decided to ‘break’ down the station and head back to our prearranged pick up spot.
The walk-in and out was very wet and muddy, the ascent was steepish at times but another SOTA point had been earned.
Top Right – Blae Loch
Next Left -Me
Middle Left- Firefly Engine Block
Middle Right – Firefly Crash Landing Site
Bottom – Firefly Wreckage