Once again, the forecast changed overnight on the Met Office site so the equipment was quickly gathered and off to Loch Lomondside we headed, the hills I intended to activate were Beinn Eich and Doune Hill, the road from the A82 to Edentaggart is one of the narrowest single track roads I have ever seen the passing places were few and far between. We arrived at the drop off point, final check and rucksack on my back then Katie headed homewards. I set off looking for the Beinn Eich path signpost, once found the conditions underfoot were pretty soggy to start with but improved the higher I ascended, it was a long steep uphill slog, taking in over 1,800 ft of ascent in approx 3 kms, the path is very faint in places but after 2 hours, I arrived at the summit and set up my antenna next to the small cairn to mark the top, I used the ‘Jpole’ antenna today as I intended a quick activation of Eich before heading westwards along the ridge towards Beinn Lochain and then on to the summit of Doune Hill.
I first made contact with Graeme 2M0GIL/P who had activated Craig of Monievreckie , a STS (Summit to Summit) was a good start to the day, I worked another 9 stations before breaking down the set up and heading westwards towards Doune Hill, I then started to descend quite rapidly before starting to ascend towards Beinn Lochain where I headed NW to the summit of Doune Hill, the trip between the two summits had taken me approx 90 mins.
I first had something to eat then erected the SOTA pole with the ‘JPole’ again, I had the beam with me but I decided on a quick activation of Doune Hill as the weather was expected to deteriorate late afternoon, I called out on S20(145.500) and Ken, a GM0 station whom I had worked on Eich was first to return my call, I worked a further seven stations before deciding to head back to the pick up point, I headed southwards before deciding to descend a steep gully running eastwards towards Glen Mollachan, I carefully zigzagged my way down the gully, pausing every so often to rest. I then followed a faint quad track for roughly 500 metres before making my way along the Glen floor, skirting slightly above the stream, which runs eventually into Loch Lomond before meeting up with an old track, I looked back towards Doune Hill which by now was well under cloud. I walked the track until I met the road I had walked in from, I arrived at the pickup point in just over 2 hrs 5 mins, the way out through the glen had been the best option. I only had to wait 15 mins for Katie, we then headed back to the home QTH.
A round trip of approx 7 1/2 miles from start to finish, some exceptionally steep walking, ascending and descending. The plus side was the 8 points I got for activating the two Marilyns. The next trip? something a lot easier.
Stations worked on Eich were firstly, a STS with 2M0GIL/P, a GM3 station, Alan from above Largs, next was Steve, a GM7 station from Greenock who is a regular SOTA chaser, next to call in was David, a MM0 station from Falkirk, Alan, a MM0 station from Larkhall, another SOTA regular and activator. GM7 John from Ayr was next to call in, next were SOTA regulars both in activation and chasing, Ken, a GM0 and Christine, GM4 from Edinburgh. MM3 station from Carluke was next in the log and lastly, Dennis, MM0, another regular from Glasgow called in.
On Doune, Ken and Christine from Edinburgh were first in the log, next was MM0, Morgan from Inverkip then Alan, a GM3 from above Largs called in again. GM0/M station called in from Fenwick and next in the log was Julian , a MM0 station from Irvine, another regular Eddy, a 2M0 station from the Glasgow Airport area appeared and finally a friend of this blog, Roddy, 2M0/M called in from Hillhouse.
Beinn Eich is 703 m ASL (2305 ft) ‘the horse hill’
Doune Hill is 734 m ASL (2407 ft) ‘ the fort hill’
Beinn Lochain is 698m ASL (2289 ft) ‘ the hill of the little loch’
Round Trip of approx. 11.5 kms
Total Ascent (approx) 733 m (2404 ft)
Total Descent (approx) 739 m (2423 ft)
The Beinn Lochain meaning puzzles me (NS 287966)
Top Right : Beinn Eich from the drop off point
Middle Left : Arrochar Alps from Doune Hill (Glen Douglas in foreground)
Bottom Left : Antenna (JPole) on summit of Beinn Eich (note the small cairn)
Other photos in this trip HERE