Beinn Chaorach…..April this year !

Having another chance to head and activate another ‘Marilyn’ this weekend, I finally plumped for Beinn Chaorach, Chaorach was the first four point SOTA summit I attempted and  I choose Saturday to go, the weather once again was excellent.

I had packed the rucksack then the usual, did I pack this ? pack that ?  a quick double check that I had everything and then set off from home at approx 9.30, once again as last week, the roads on Lomondside were quiet so good time was made.

Chaorach and last week’s activation Beinn a’Mhanaich are ‘sister’ summits, they are only 3km apart and many a walker will do both summits in one day.

Eich with Ben Lomond

Eich and Ben Lomond

I got dropped off at 10.15 and headed N towards Auchengaich Dam, this was a different route than taken previously, one km on a rough track then headed NE up a steep slope to the bealach between Chaorach and Tharsuinn then a last final climb N to Chaorach’s summit.

I took some photos and a ‘video’ panoramic view (see below)then set up the 7m fibreglass mast and firstly, put up the 4m JPole antenna, I called out and SOTA regular Steve , GM7 from Greenock answered my call, the first contact was in the log, another call and I worked Duncan, a MM1 station from Dumbarton, after a few more CQ calls, nothing.

It was time to put up the  2m JPole antenna and got a call back from a regular friend of the blog, Roddy, 2M0 who was situated above Greenock near the ‘Cut’ ( a recommended ‘easy’ walk ) next I worked a STS with Bob, MM1 who was activating Conic Hill which I could see nestling at the south-east end of Loch Lomond.

I continued to go back to S20 145.500 to try to get more contacts, Graham, MM0 from Helensburgh was next to answer my call, we also later worked on 144.310 ssb. Another call and Ian,  a GM4/M station called me from 5 mls N of Pitlochry, Ian from Irvine, a MM6 station called in next.

I then had my lunch  and tried S20 again and then made another STS with Ian, a MM0 station who was activating  Cademuir Hill in the Borders, had a quick QSO then I set up the 4m Jpole antenna again, called and worked Steve, GM7 again and just as I was about to call it a day, I called once again on 70.450FM and hooked up with another STS, this time it was with a Special Event station GC0 who was activating Tal Y Fan in North Wales, reports were exchanged and I was ready to break down the station but listened to see if I could hear any other stations going back to John, GC0. I checked the distance between Beinn Chaorach (SOTA Ref GM/SS 062) and Tal Y Fan (SOTA Ref GW/NW 040) was 322kms or 200ml in ‘old’ distance term. Distance calculated on Google Earth. No bad at all.

Looking towards the Clyde Estuary

Looking towards the Clyde Estuary

Time to head back down, during the day a constant stream of walkers appeared at the summit, it was certainly more busy than last year. Once again, another lovely sunny day, not many contacts, three on 4m and just the six on 2m, other GM/MM activators were active but our paths never crossed. Three STS were made

I headed back down the same route I had taken up and arrived back at the pick up point 90 mins later.

Another ‘fun’ activation…..

The previous blogpost of my previous activation of this hill  <HERE>

Flickr: Beinn Chaorach April 2010 set

Facts :

Beinn Chaorach  ‘the hill of the sheep’ is 713m ASL (2338 ft)

Round Trip of  6km

Total Ascent : approx 533 m (1749 ft)

Total Descent : approx 533m (1749 ft)