A New Hill For Me…..

Hillside Hill…

not exactly an imaginative name although it being a sister hill to Dunrod Hill. It is part of the same hill group but is only 1m less in height ASL than Dunrod. A cairn adorns the summit which as I found out was exposed to the wind when it comes from the East. An excellent view can be had in all directions but unfortunately there was poor visibility but the main local high spots were visible, last week’s hill Corlic is to the E, Creuch Hill, the highest by far in the area at 1,300 plus ft was occasionally in cloud to the S, Dunrod to the west roughly 500m away.

I had set off with the plan of working both WJZ and Neil 2M0NCM who had SOTA declared. I travelled through Greenock and headed southwards along the single track road known as the ‘Old Largs Road’ and just before the road heads towards the ‘Back of The World‘, we took a right turn to take us to the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre car park mentioned previously in the blog.

Having left the car which then headed back home, I headed up over the stile and along a damp grass path until I reached the foot of the hill proper now it goes straight up but the track  zigzags to ease the ascent until you reach a gap which heads towards Dunrod Hill when you notice a slight track heading N to Hillside. A short climb and you quickly reach the summit.

A cairn marks the high spot whilst on the west side of hill, some snow was still lying, the wind by this time was racing through at a pelt. I found a nook and set up my mast just in case if needed. A cup of hot tea to warm myself first then off to look for contacts, Roddy IOB had called so we had a ragchew and later from the Old Kilpatrick Hills, ECO called in. I then monitored S20 and later than planned, Iain WJZ called from Ben Venue.

A move to 145.450 and another four chaser points were in the bag, his ascent sounded quite eventful. I listened and ‘tested’ the beam to see who and what distance I could get. Central Scottish stations through to Edinburgh were heard with no problem, the North Ayrshire hills were keeping signals for the S and SW from coming through to me.

I had texted and later phoned Neil 2M0NCM who was on Criffel nr Dumfries but this was not the day to hook up. I had previously on 11m worked Criffel regularly from my local hill but I had chosen this hill as a change today. I had heard Alan XXP call in to WJZ when he was near the top of Hart Fell, I eventually with the help of Neil NCM found him, the signal was weak both ways but contact made so eight points were the total for the day. I then broke down everything and after another cuppa I decided to head N and follow a faint path which descended and took me round the nearest hill and eventually joined a well-kept rough Water Board track. Scroggy Bank antenna farm was in the distance so after a good pace along the track, Scroggy Bank was passed. From the mast, it looks as if it is a microwave relay station.

It was now a downhill walk towards the start of the Greenock Cut, I had heard Roddy IOB calling me on S20 but never made contact until I reached a spot which gave me a view up the river valley, I headed down the track and started down towards Greenock, Katie arrived so I said goodbye to Roddy and headed home.

A walk of approx 6km done mostly on grass and rough track using paths I haven’t used before, the tracks were busy with Sunday walkers plus the local trail bikers were roaming the hills.

In true fashion, the weather started to brighten as I got in the car but still a good day out.

Where is Hillside Hill map <HERE>

Wikipedia article on nearby Loch Thom/Greenock Cut <HERE>

Photos below in the Gallery,

not the best day for photography as air clarity was pretty poor.

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