2010…that was the year that was…part one


Since I wrote the blog post ‘12 months have past’, a few personal ambitions for 2010 have been achieved.

SOTAwise higher summits have been activated, a few have been revisited.

Visits to Hill of Stake, Beinn a’Mhanaich, Beinn Chaorach, Meikle Bin, Meall Nan Tramachan, Ben Lomond, Ben Donich, Goat Fell, Ben Bowie and finally a return journey to the top of Beinn Eich.

Not as many hills as last year but logisitics came into play.

Achieving a * ‘one point’ hill is still the same as the achievement of any hill, we have been blessed with magnificent scenery in our country. The views vary from sea level to the highest summit but each has its own unique highs.

The views from Meall Nan Tarmachan at 1044 m (3,425 ft) ASL on the perfect ‘blue sky’ day I activated it were tremendous, to the East you can see its sister hill Ben Lawers then to the north-east, the Cairngorm range whilst over to the north-west stood our highest mountain Ben Nevis and finally to the south-west Ben More , Stob BinneanBen Lomond and Beinn Ime stood out, superb scenery indeed. In contrast, the 360 view from Ben Bowie at 313m (1027 ft) ASL to Loch Lomond, the Firth of Clyde and westward to the Cowal hills was as enjoyable.

For 2010, I had started each activation not on my regular 2m FM but on 4m FM (70 mhz ), slow progress was being made during these  activations until I finally had my first hill fully activated on the 4m band, Goat Fell on the Isle of Arran took the honours, I had worked eight stations in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. What will next years band of choice be ? I think 70 cms possibly with 2 and 4m of course.

The activating year started with the Hill of Stake, I chose a ‘wintry’ frosty day as this is a very wet route in normal conditions, the first 4m contacts were made, 2m FM as usual made the most contacts. Next were return visits to a’Mhanaich and Chaorach, these hills  are presently covered with snow whilst I write this.

The highlights hillwise were Meall Nan Tarmachan which had been the first Munro I had climbed since the mid ’70s, Ben Lomond, another hill I can see from here and Goat Fell was with thanks to Roddy IOB, a most enjoyable day ! The downside of the Goat Fell activation was the ‘carry out’ (take away) suppers we had whilst waiting on the ferry plus one of our fellow bloggers advice that the start of the climb wasn’t that far away, you know who you are.

Activating the Corbett Ben Donich was my 2010 personal highlight, a hill of just over 847m (2,778 ft) often overlooked because of its more famous neighbours at Arrochar. Neil NCM had activated this hill in 2010 and as I normally do I checked out the route etc (Neil had kindly sent me photos of the route), I decided I wanted to climb this hill and I was not disappointed. An excellent hill which proves you do not have to climb the highest hills to meet satisfaction, one I recommend, the view down Loch Goil towards the Firth of Clyde was in my opinion, simply stunning.

Best contact ?

they all are but one ‘summit to summit’ contact stands out, I ‘worked’ GC0000, a club call used by John who was on the summit of Tal Y Fan (GW/NW-040), a hill situated in the Carneddau mountains of North Wales, I was on the summit of Beinn Chaorach (GM/SS 062) in the Luss Hills area, a 322 km contact, a cracker. No reports of any ‘lift’.

I also made a contact from Beinn Eich into the Lake District to Great Calva, Phil a M0 station was using a handie with a 40cm helically wound ‘duck’ type antenna. The hill is a WOTA summit.

Contacts were made into England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and of course, Scotland over the year.

I have no problem revisiting hills to activate, the hills which are ‘near’ to me are mostly all within an hour of my house and if like me, you have to rely on others to get you there.

Those who have read the blog have noticed that my ‘rucksack’ had humorously written a post about life with me, I’ll forgive it but I’ve changed my password and details since, just in case.

The usual visits to Corlic, one of my local hills were documented too, this year a mix of HF and VHF, an excellent place to do some HF portable testing, I must admit I should have out more often. Next year maybe.

SOTA Chasing…

A good year pointwise..

I’m well on track to break 680 points in total since the beginning of 2009 with 60% coming this year, my target of 1,000 is slowly getting there, over 95% of the points are VHF and although HF could speed up my rate of points, Ill concentrate on VHF as long as the excellent activators we have here in Scotland are active.

My thanks go  to all those who have taken the time to ‘work’ me when I have been out activating also a ”big’ thanks once again to those regular activators who suffer all sorts of weather to let us ‘chasers’ get our points.

Part Two, coming soon

* – For the SOTA scoring system explanation HERE refer to section 3.11

Picasa photos of each activation –

Hill Of Stake Beinn a’Mhanaich Beinn Chaorach Meikle Bin Ben Lomond

Meall Nan Tarmachan Goat Fell Ben Donich Ben Bowie Beinn Eich

You Tube summit panoramas  – GM7something


About gm7something

64, married, three kids......overweight, unfit, folically challenged, need I go on ?
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