Firstly before I start my usual rambling article.
I would like to pass congratulations on to one of the newest additions to our ranks, Cat CNC. Oor Cat who is mentioned occasionally throughout this blog and occasionally accompanies Neil 2MØNCM on his activations but now hopefully a new addition to the SOTA ranks. It will be fun to see who get the mike first on a joint activation. I was ‘wound up’ by both of them whilst they returned from the Arrochar area. I was chuffed to be her first contact. Nice one, Cat !
This never happened as a planned activation. I knew Neil 2MØNCM was declaring for Cruach Tairbairt in the Arrochar area, a lower hill covered on 360 deg by higher hills. I reckoned I would have to find a highish point to work him.
I had left home trying to guess the time of which I would take to my destination and if it ties in with the activators intended time. Off I set over the golf course and down the Green Rd, I was listening to the end of the RSGB news and the ‘call in’ afterwards. I had kinda thought that Corlic would be my destination but had left the decision to when I reached the bottom of the track.
As I approached the tarmac back road, I said to myself ‘Why not?’ so off I headed west until I reached the B788, a left turn then not before long a right turn down the single lane road which would take to the dam wall where I would head north to Corlic. The road was quiet as I slowly headed the slowly rising road until I reached the first of the Gryffe Reservoirs, their names being self-explanatory,’ Lower’ and ‘Higher’. The track levels out and now starts dropping very gently at Garshangan (which means ‘field of ants’ apparently). Icy patches were surprisingly still present on the side roads I had trekked over (they were gone on the return journey). In the distance is the conifer forested area which has archaeology dating back to the Neolithic period. I still wonder what the settlers to our area including the Romans thought of the ‘midge’.
I reached the dam wall at the ‘Higher’ reservoir and set out over the recently built set of steps along the dam wall. I could see a party of folk on the top of my intended target Corlic, a quick count let me know that ten people were there.
As I reached the end of the dam wall, I took a walk down to an old pump house (UPDATE : this may be an Air shaft according to a local authority map) where in older times, a tunnel was created in which water was pumped across the lower area between Corlic and Crawberry Hill before heading down Burnhead Moor to another pump station at NS 284742 where it once headed across to a nearby water treatment works above Greenock. There are (or were) ‘Air Shafts’ (Photo HERE) which originally were roughly 8 ft high round vents built with local stone but at sometime earlier this decade these were demolished and replaced by metal ‘lids’. Sadly these are another local landmark which have disappeared but the ‘health and safety’ police have had their way.
I then came upon the ruined farmstead of Glenbrae where the last attempt by me to walk to Corlic from home then return was dashed by my rather silly coming off a gate from a height and badly spraining my ankle and then having to literally hobble a slow way out the west track. Lesson hopefully learned.
Within minutes of leaving Glenbrae, you soon reach the ruins of another cottage, Burnhead, sadly these have both been left to fall in to ruins by the local estate. I am sure these would have been excellent places to live if they had been renovated at an earlier time, a bit lonely but quiet.
The party has just passed along the track heading west as I reached the stile at the bottom of the hill, I heard Roddy 2MØIOB speaking to Neil as I headed up the last short steep ascent to the summit.
I quickly set up the IOB two element yagi and almost right away worked Neil, he still had contacts to make on VHF before he was going to head to HF. I had a quick chat then headed to s20 and called out and worked Paul PJD who was mobile from Biggar heading east to Carnwath. I next hooked up with Roddy 2MØIOB in Gourock and passed the time as we were both waiting on another alert.
I left him and headed back to S20 and called out on both 4m and 2m FM, I then made contact with Chris GDL across the river in Shandon, this was a line of sight contact, I spoke with Chris until I found the cold damp weather was becoming a bit uncomfortable as the wind started getting up.
I had enough contacts to activate the hill for the new HuMP award being promoted by the then active Summitsbase website.
Having looked at the options for my return journey, I decided just to retrace my steps as the usual route off east would be boggier than it was a fortnight ago. The longer route adds about 2 miles to the journey but underfoot conditions would be far better.
Passing the ruins of ‘Glenbrae’, I heard Bob AWV calling CQ SOTA and as I set up the IOB yagi, the jungle drums (or a text from IOB) alerted me. I had to wait whilst Bob worked stronger stations to him and when I did catch him, he said it had started to snow. I looked around and for once in the day everywhere was bathed in sunshine. Bob was on Beinn Dubh to the west of Luss on Loch Lomondside. Another couple of ‘chasing’ points in the bag.
Breaking down the IOB beam then over a newly installed stile and off along the dam wall before long I was heading quickly back home. Almost 11 miles walked, poor auld Bob’s pegs were wabbit.
|Neil 2MØNCM/p||Cruach Tairbairt GM/SS 218||2m||FM|
Gryffe or Gryfe ? both mean the same with no apparent meaning.. Strathgryffe (Gaelic : Srath Ghriobhaidh) is the strath or valley to the east of the reservoirs.
Both Gryffe Reservoirs and the tunnel I have previously mentioned were built to supply Greenock with drinking water around the start of 1870’s.
Gryffe Reservoirs Geohack info HERE
Local archaeological links in this area
Gryfe Reservoir HERE . Go to page 161.
From Canmore HERE
For more HERE (Canmore), just type ‘Gryfe Reservoir’.
I may add to this bit as I look through local history sites.
Music supplied by the KLF.