Tag Archives: Blaeloch Hill

SOTA..my ’09 participation so far


Why have I participated ? If you have read earlier postings in this blog, I did portable hilltop work in the ’80 on 11 metres and the CB 27/81 band, I, although now  much older, less fit still enjoy my jaunts into the hills, SOTA activators are given points as relevant to the height of the summits, I started with a 2pt hill, Hill of Stake, the trip in to this hill (app. 6km)  took slightly under 2 hours,the walk in was a steady rising track ( just under 4km )then a slog through heather and bog….. next was Duncolm, this also took just under 2 hours although there was a track from start to finish ( app.6.5 km), easy walk but steepish in places.

A trip to Blaeloch Hill was done on the second day of International SOTA weekend ’09, this wet, wet slog (app.2.5km )took roughly an hour, Conic Hill was the next summit activated, this was a steep walk (app. 2.2 km) which took an hour but as quoted elsewhere this was the most picturesque. The first 4 point activation was Beinn Chaorach, this was the longest haul timewise so far (app. 5km ), nearly 3 hours to reach the summit via two other hills.

Almost 9 hours walking in time plus app. 22.2 kms walking to 5 hills to collect 9 activation points but I must say in my defence, I’m totally unfit, overweight and last did any serious hillwalking over 20 years, ces’t la vie but I have some summits planned to do before the end of this summer. I will, of course, be active from my local hilltops whenever possible at weekends.


I did another activation today (25/7/09), I operated from the summit of Beinn A’Mhanaich, a 4 point summit (see report above)


Portable……so far

The weather forecast for this weekend is to be windy and wet, kinda knocks any portable work on the head. I’ve some plans to do more SOTA summits in the near future but obviously the weather must be suitable.
I’ve looked back on the posts in this blog, starting from the ones where I went ‘local’ to the SOTA activations, firstly Hill Of Stake then onto Duncolm then Blaeloch Hill followed by last weekends visit to Conic Hill.
These four hills vary in different ways, for scenery, Conic Hill on the east bank of Loch Lomond wins hands down, it was a steep, rough well worn path to the top, the weather that day was sunny, we definitely chose the best weather for views. The Hill Of Stake was the highest of the four, it was a reasonable slog to get here, the old mine track for 4 km then roughly 2.5 km over rough, heathery but marshy ground with no path,the best views were to the west and south. It had a tremendous take off to the south. Duncolm, the walk in was started in misty conditions but by the time we reached the summit, the sun was shining, the views from here were good to the NW, we could see the south part of Loch Lomond. This was the easiest of all the walk ins, it started steeply then leveled out with then a steady rise to Duncolm, there was track all of the way. It really makes a difference when a path is present. Blaeloch Hill was just an uphill slog, we followed what seemed to be a track created by the ‘Cat Tracked’ survey vehicle we saw parked nearby our drop off point. The underfoot conditions were very wet practically the whole ascent, the last .5 km was a uphill trudge, the scenery was not awe inspiring then when the weather eventually cleared, views over to Arran, Mull of Kintyre, Ailsa Craig and Bute were the highlight.
A total of four summits for 5 SOTA Activator points, not much but a start, hopefully more activations to follow.
Over the four activations, two contacts were made into to NI plus one into G land and numerous around GM land, as NE as Muirhead nr. Dundee , E to Fife, SW to Girvan as well as many more plus all the contacts made N to Robin, a GM7/P SOTA regular,furthest being one to the NE of Fort William ( an ‘STS‘ (Summit to Summit))
The local hills, Corlic, Dunrod and Auchinleck have all proved fun to work from, only Creuch left to visit, 1447 ft asl but unqualified for SOTA, the take off N,W and E is excellent, be interesting to see the results from a session on there. Here’s hoping the weather improves soon.


Me !! at the top of the Hill of Stake

International SOTA Weekend – Day Two Blaeloch Hill

Blaeloch Hill  in the North Ayrshire hills was the activation for today, we left home and set off and reached the foot of the route to Blaeloch, we ascended from a layby on the LargsKilbirnie road. A long damp heavy slog uphill took us to the summit of Blaeloch Hill, the summit was found only after finding the Blae Loch which nestles at the W side of the summit. The weather had been mixed on the ascent, high winds plus hailstones made it slightly uncomfortable at times.
The ‘camp’ was set up and the antenna and mast were erected, the mast then had to be reduced in length as the high wind was putting stress on it.
First contact was Barry, a 2MO station in Bathgate, Barry had activated Tinto Hill the previous day, next contact was Bob, a MM1/P station at Ardentinny nr Dunoon, I next contacted Eunice, a MM3/P station at the same location, we exchanged signal reports and I left to go back to S20 (145.500) to try and get the fourth contact I needed to fully activate the hill, a mobile station, Derek, 2M0 in Patna, Ayrshire came back to my call, the activation had been made.

I took a break and headed to the wreckage of a Fairey Firefly aircraft which had crashed to the SW of the hill, I had a quick look and headed back, if interested, further information on this specific air crash is HERE.

I then called on S20 and made the contact with MM1, John in Glasgow, I’ve made the contact with John on each of my activations. Next to answer my call was Andy, a GM7 station from East Kilbride. Grant, a MM5 station from Bearsden, with whom I had spoken to the previous day was next in the log.
I had another quick break for some lunch then called on S20 and MM0, Gordon from Irvine came back to my call, we chatted for some time then Brian, a MM1 station from Howwood called in for a chaser point. The next station contacted was a STS (Summit to Summit) contact, Alan, a 2M0 had been activating Nutberry Hill and was ready to depart.
Next station I contacted was Gordon, a MM6 station from Troon with whom I had previously spoken to the previous day, last station contacted was Julian, a MM0 station from Irvine, contacts were getting thin on the ground and the weather was deteriorating so we decided to ‘break’ down the station and head back to our prearranged pick up spot.
The walk-in and out was very wet and muddy, the ascent was steepish at times but another SOTA point had been earned.

Photos :

Top Right – Blae Loch
Next Left -Me
Middle Left- Firefly Engine Block
Middle Right – Firefly Crash Landing Site
Bottom – Firefly Wreckage