I had a wee 24 hr blip over Thu and Fri which kinda threw my plans up in the air…
However I got back to normal late on Friday plus I had no radio planned except maybe the usual trip to the mast or another hill depending on the weather or amount of alerts posted.
Saturday morning had only one GM VHF alert posted, Robin PKT had declared for the Beinn a’Bheithir twin tops just to the west of Glencoe, I waited at home to work him on the first of the two ‘Sgorr Dhonuill’ and decided a walk over the golfie and then a wee nip up to the Lurg Moor trig point although the OS has the trig on Knocknairs Moor, strange one…..anyway the place is at NS 303737.
I set off over the Green Rd (Devol Rd on OS map) and headed down to a side road and after just over a mile of leaving home I turned left heading westwards and as I was in probably the lowest area on the walk, Roddy IOB texted me to say Jack COX was on Nevis which unfortunately was out of reach from my present site plus it would be at least 20 or 30 mins until I got to some higher ground, I had timed the walk to hopefully coincide with PKT reaching the second top of ‘Sgorr Dhearg’, I steadily started rising in height having to take care as the road I had joined is the busy Greenock / Kilmacolm back road. I had my Baofeng dual band handie stuck in my shirt pocket to monitor but it was quiet as usual.
I headed northwards passing my usual set off spot for the ‘1000ft’ mast and I could see my target ahead but instead of carrying on to the gate which leads into a field and then on to the open moorland, I took what I thought was a short cut, bad move.
I had to negotiate a gully, not deep but entirely covered in gorse with only a small path through which I had to squeeze under barbed wire..mmmm.
I started up the other side and headed to the fence which I followed to the start of the moor, it is rough in places due to the cattle congregating in this area so care has to be taken, in wet weather this would be an even muddier morass. Off I headed to the trig point, this is not on a hilltop as such and is not much higher than parts of the road I take when I head home from here, only 50 or 60 ft height difference but the views are tremendous and worth the 10/15 min trip up from the road side.
As I emerged from the gully, I had heard a local station calling on PKT and followed them down to .450 and listened until I finally reached the trig point. I called and was acknowledged right away, not bad for 2 watts and a small dual band antenna over approx 90 km approx contact. I then called on .500 and hooked up with Roddy 2MØIOB who was nigh line of sight on a road side above Greenock, we moved to 70cm FM and chatted away when we were later joined by another local station VCV, a quick ragchew then it was time to head back to the hacienda. I headed back and arrived home after roughly a 5½ mile round trip.
Plus to top it all off I managed to program the wee handie at last, I still cannot see where I originally had gone wrong but hey! it’s all done now with 2m and 70cm FM plus PMR frequencies (legally on low power).
Only two VHF declarations but one I reckoned would even be hard even for me to work from a local hill but the other I could literally use a ‘piece of wet string’ to contact. Iain WJZ had declared for Ben More, the Crianlarich ‘one’.
I woke early and set off on a walk through local housing areas before heading to the cycle track and making my way eastwards, I had to dance around dog and horse ‘do’ until I hit the straight part of the cycle track, I had last cycled along here about 6 months ago, I left the track before Kilmacolm and headed along various country roads passing over the trickling River Gryfe on two occasions until I headed to the bottom of the Green Rd ( see earlier bit on this), off and slowly upwards I headed towards the golf course, I reached the highest point and thankfully it was all downhill from here. Six mile in the bag.
It was still too early for WJZ to appear on More as I had left home earlyish so no contacts out portable for me.
I sat and waited then decided coffee time but when I arrived back at the radio a text from the usual suspect saying WJZ was early, typical me disappearing at the wrong time.
I made the contact and Iain had mentioned he had ascended the hill in 2 hours….I wondered what I could take…much longer. I asked Iain if he was doing More’s sister peak but it wasn’t a ‘yes’ but I guessed ‘aye’.
Iain had got to the bealach and decided to casually head up the 1,000 ft to the top of Stobinnean ( I prefer the old name), I heard him call and worked him and listened to the rest of his contacts, I had come over 650ft ASL earlier and it was pretty breezy so I could imagine how it was at 3,800 odd feet.
Who needs, I may head there some day.
I had intended to head back out but as I had covered six miles earlier, it was enough.
The panorama is almost identical one posted in an earlier post…