I thought if I had written Corlic in the header that our regulars would scurry off, I had originally decided to have only an occasional post on my visits to local hills but each one is unique, I guess
There was no plan early on Sunday morning as I contacted Neil and Cat who were heading northwards towards Crainlarich but not long after Graeme 2M0GIL had mailed me as to his intentions of activating Meall Gainmheich, a hill which lies next to Ben An. I, as usual, had everything charged and packed ready to go and I got dropped at my usual point NS 307725 and headed west on the usual route to the top although the ground underfoot was decidedly softer than normal, a zigzag route from highish spot to highish spot was taken and for once, I met someone who was actually descending the east flank. I spoke and passed a few minutes talking to them about the general area, the sight of Bob flailing his SOTA pole kind off made him wary I think. I was about 10 mins from the summit when I found out Neil was nearing the steep-sided summit of Beinn Chuirn on the north side of the River Cononish near the gold mine. I think he left Cat panning in the river whilst he activated. I thought it was time to make haste if any other station was ready to activate.
I arrived on the summit and was met by a strong wind, I sheltered in my usual nook which although was slightly sheltered still was windy, the only other place to shelter would have been the south slope but all stations activating were to the north and the north-east of me this would have not been ideal.
I was checking through the 2m band and heard someone calling for any SOTA stations, I broke in and had a word with Graham, a GM4 who was on a high spot near Galston in Ayrshire, a quick word then it was off to check S20 (145.500 mhz) I heard Alan, XXP calling on S20 from Trahenna Hill, Alan was quite possibly line of sight and as I left him to look for the others, I made a note of catching him on 4m FM later. I had a chat with fellow blogee Roddy who heading eastwards along the A8 towards Erskine. I kept an eye throughout the S frequencies and finally heard and contacted Graeme 2M0GIL who told me that the hill was also being activated on HF. Graeme was busy so in true fashion with any activators I work, I keep it short and sweet as other stations are waiting to work them. Graeme’s blog post on Meall Gainmheich <HERE>. I heard Alan as he planned another summit nearby , I called in and we moved to 70mhz (4m) and we made a contact using only the handie antennas. Another 4m contact in the bag. Next and last was Neil who I thought would have been a hard station to work as his summit of choice was snuck in behind two higher munros, Beinns Oss and Dubhchraig but I managed the contact, Neil intended to activate another nearby Marilyn Meall Odhar but this was a HF activation due its height and place.
A good day, a bit wind-swept but worth the trip, the summit was very busy with sunday walkers, a few puzzled looks although I fielded one or two questions about what I was doing. I headed back the route I had ascended, I monitored the 2m band in case of any more SOTA calls as I descended but none.
I reached the road and decided to head down past the grid station following an old track which led to what was once a rural cottage, I mentioned this to Roddy who remembered visiting the cottage. Only dyke walls are left now and no evidence of the cottage remains. I looked across the fields and headed home via the furthest out part of my local golf course, a quick trip down the Green Road and past the golf clubhouse and 5 mins later, I was home.