The weather finally broke, I had a couple of hills planned but due to road blockage, the decision was made to head to Loch Lomondside once again, a 2pt hill, Beinn Dubh.
Wondering how recent wet weather would have affected this hill as the ‘Dubh’ part means ‘Black’ and the mention of peat hags on the summit did not augur well.
We set off from the home QTH later than normal, family logistics came first. Euan and I got dropped off at the base of Beinn Dubh and started heading towards the summit, it was a steady steep climb to the first cairn then it levelled towards the summit. It took just under two hours (1hr 45 mins) to reach the top, personally I found it a steep slog although the underfoot conditions were better than I thought, the hill was busy with walkers as the weather was warm but then the westerly breeze was most welcome. I had placed an alert on the SOTA website when I was half way up the hill, the alert was for 12.00 UTC ( 13.00 BST).
The summit was reached and the 5 element beam was set up, a call on S20 raised nothing so off to 144.300, on the way down I checked frequencies and heard John,a GA8/P on Cairnsmore of Fleet, I ‘broke’ in and made the contact and whilst there, spoke to Mark, a G0/P station on Hailstorm Hill in the Pennines, a great start to the day, I moved down to 144.325 and called out and worked a few G and GW stations obviously a ‘lift’ (propagation) was on. I kept popping up to S20 but only Steve, a GM7/M station came back to me, the FM part of 2 metres was dead.
I worked some GM stations and then went back looking for STS’s (Summit to Summit), I eventually hooked up with Jack, a GM 4 station who was on Blackcraig Hill and more surprisingly, a GW8 station who was on Carnedd Llewelyn in North Wales, lastly I waited to contact Fred, a GI4 station who was on Slieve Muck in the Mourne mountains in Northern Ireland.
I must add all these contacts were made on a FT 817 with 0.5 watt power, L1, a one bar setting, I thought I was on the 2.5 watt setting (used only the internal battery)
An excellent day, 5 STS and working into the 4 home countries, GM, G, GW and GI. We both headed back down the hill by the way we had ascended, this hill is usually walked as a part of the Glen Striddle Horseshoe. We arrived at our transport home after just over an hour.
GA8/P John on Cairnsmore of Fleet, G0/P Mark on HailStorm Hill (Pennines), GW4 Ron nr Mold, GW7 Steve in Connahs Quay, MM0 Alan in Larkhall, G4 Bryn in Lincolnshire, MM0 Morgan in Inverkip, MMo Iain 12 mls sth of Ayr, G0 Don in North Worcester, GW3 John in Anglesey, a G3 Frank in Cheltenham, GM7/M Steve in Bridge Of Weir, GM4/P Jack on Blackcraig Hill, GW8/P Dave on Carnedd Llewelyn N.W., GM0 Doug in Hamilton and finally Fred a GI4/P station on Slieve Muck, Northern Ireland..
Basic radio propagation explained HERE
Beinn Dubh is 657 m ASL (2154 ft) ‘the black hill’
Round Trip of approx. 10.5 kms
Total Ascent (approx) 657 m ( 2154 ft)
Total Descent (approx) 657 m (2154 ft)