Tag Archives: Goat Fell

The Long Weekend….

With thanks to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who this week celebrates her Golden Jubilee and as they deemed to give us a day off in celebration, it has been a long weekend break from work, thank you Ma’am !

Back to the fun in hand, I had a lazy day on the Friday after walking to work. I thought four days ahead and I’m sure I’ll be out.

Sunday..

I had part arranged with fellow blogger Roddy (blog HERE) to visit and play radio from the Lurg Moor trig point but an early rise had shown that one of the regular activators had declared for three of the Mamores so plans were slightly altered to head to a higher destination at just over 1400 ft but after the original post was changed to activate Meall a Bhuiridh, the ski centre hill at the east end of Glencoe. It was a return to the original plan.

5 ele beam

5 ele beam

I set out trying to pre-guess arrival times and arrived 40 mins later having walked to the trig point from my house, just under two miles with a steady rise most of the way, I had the FT 817 and my SLAb in my back pack so much heavier than usual. I quickly erected the beam and settled down to enjoy the day and to await Roddy’s appearance. I knew fellow PARC member Craig HCF would be out on Beinn Ime which I could see to the North of me, the views with the crisp air were superb, the effort of ten minutes walking from the roadside makes this view all worthwhile. Below me and to the west, the urban sprawl of central Greenock with the docks along its waterfront and the vista of hills stretching in a 270 degree direction W to SE and for the other 90 degrees the moorland stretches behind towards Corlic and I could see the Hill of Stake on the boundary of Ayrshire and Renfrewshire.

Roddy soon arrived and it was time to sit and enjoy the radio and talk about this years SOTA expedition to the Lakes. First logged was Craig HCF on Beinn Ime followed soon after by Robin PKT on Meall a’Bhuiridh, eighteen quick points. We decided to sit and enjoy the day and wait for Robin for his move to Creise.

Whilst sitting I heard Neil 2MØNCM working Robin and waited until Neil had got himself organised on Saugh Hill just outside of Girvan, we had a QSO until Neil had to go and help steward a local hill race.  Graeme 2MØGIL was out and about in the Dumgoyne area and called in for a quick chat before he headed off the hill and home, I found out later he had dumped us to head home as it was his wedding anniversary, shocking. Soon after that Jim GLM called in from Stronend to the NE of us so more points in the bag.

There was a slight chill came down just after mid afternoon but Roddy has snuck himself in his bivvy bag and more plans for an overnight stay on a hill somewhere being made.

Greenock and trig point

Greenock and trig point

Robin soon arrived on the summit of Creise and this was a unique for me as I find the hill is snuck in behind higher hills which blocks the signal for me at home. I heard Robin talking to Iain WJZ, Ian was on Sgurr nan Gillean on the Isle of Skye, I could occasionally hear Ian but very weakly so I asked to call him but sadly I wasn’t to be heard, the earlier idea of 1400ft+ would have helped. Oh well !

A good day ‘chasing’ wise and to spend the day just yattering away.

We broke down the antennas and headed the short distance off the hill, Roddy to his car and me ? the long way home (by foot).

Monday…

More SOTA chasing with a newcomer or a station surprised at the response he got, Stewart STU had called from Ben More in the Crianlarich Alps and later appeared on Stobinnean and in-between his summitting, Robin PKT appeared on Bidean nam Bian the highest of the Glencoe hills, more chaser points in the bag and the push to get 2,000 gets nearer.

Tuesday…

Left home slightly after 7 am and headed with the intent of just doing a round walk of approx 7 ml but I looked west as I walked along the B788 and saw Corlic ‘calling’ me so at the substation, I leapt the gate and headed towards the summit and summitted just under 30 mins later, I had sent a text to Roddy IOB who then gave me a call on s20 and we chatted until he had reached his place of work. I called on both 2m and 70cms but no takers, I assumed this was because of the earliness.

The Arran Hills in the distance

The Arran Hills in the distance

I headed off the summit after taking in the views, the outline of Goat Fell was just showing above Garvock Hill, the distant sky to the west and east had a light brown tinge to it this morning whilst to the north it looked dark and threatening, I had seen light rain sweeping across to the south of me but I later headed in that direction passing through the ruined farm of Glenbrae before heading across the dam wall which separates the Higher and Lower Gryffe reservoirs.

I met one of the rangers from the local Centre at Cornalees and spent 15 mins talking about the fly tipping which sadly gets dumped in these out-of-the-way areas, soon I was on my way as the ‘scourge’ appeared and before I could get eaten alive I headed to find someone had ‘removed’ part of a recently erected stile, what can I say ?

Heading now towards home, I now made good time on the tarmac track and as I came out on to the B788, I could see a model (?) airplane doing all the turns and acrobatics so I had to be nosey.

Ready for take off

Ready for take off

I walked down and watched whilst a bigger plane than I expected took off and did its thing. Very interesting. The video below runs for over four mins but rather than editing I just left it intact.

Time to finally head back home along the B788 and along to the base of the Green Rd, up over the golf course and dropped down to home. 10 ml in the bag.

I prefer the old ‘Stobinnean’ instead of the present use.

The Trig Point details are HERE

I would like to thank Wikipedia and other sites I have linked to and of course, you…if you haven’t dozed off by now.

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Goat Fell and the Brisbane Glen

Yomping Through The Heather…Creuch Hill

I’d noticed this last week that someone had looked at my earlier Creuch Hill blog post for route and hill information so I made a mental note, a trip on the first date available as it had been almost two years I last made the trip to this summit. Now I remember why !

The previous day, Saturday would have been ideal as more than a few of the regulars were out multiple activating but I had committed to start replacing our back garden fence.

I had hoped the weather forecast would stay true and like the last trip out to Corlic, the sun shone with only the occasional cloud in the sky, I had charged everything up as usual at the end of the week as Robin PKT had been activating throughout the week. Ready to go !

This hill requires a drive to Greenock where you head out what is locally known as the ‘Old Largs Road’ heading past the Whinhill Golf Course on your left before heading into open moorland on a single track road heading along Loch Thom before coming to a junction, Greenock Cut Centre (worth a visit) is the road to your right but you now carry straight on into a narrower single track but with plenty passing places and as you head into North Ayrshire at the oddly named Rottenburn Bridge, in the distance you will soon see pylons crossing the road, the parking place is soon after this on your left at NS 251678. Time to make sure you have all your equipment and head off the obvious track to the first gate. Keeping on the track you now come to the burn where you gingerly cross a patched up footbridge and now climb the gate into open but rough country.

Goat Fell and the Brisbane Glen

Goat Fell and the Brisbane Glen

There is an obvious point to aim at but this is where the old shielings are whilst the summit is to the north of these. There is an old track which disappears in places for part of the route but looks as it hasn’t been used in many a year as nature is reclaiming it, on my last visit there was a faint quad bike track but nothing this time, the track disappears not long before the first pylon, I now headed up working my way through heathery tufts, marshy areas and almost hidden drainage ditches, believe me it is that rough.

Not long after passing under the pylons, I headed eastwards to see if I could see the remains of a branch of the old Grouse Railway which ends near old grouse butts at the south east base of this hill but I saw no evidence. I now headed straight upwards skirting the old shielings ( these are not on the OS map) and head to the obvious wrecked trig. The trig point was demolished in 1987 according to T:UK. Sadly demolished on the spot and no debris removed.

It had taken me approx 45 mins to cover the 1.7 ml.

I set up my 2m handie to listen for any SOTA activity whilst I set up the station, first I set up the mast with the 4m JPole and called CQ but nothing, I had a scran break then tried again and worked a station in the Dumbarton area. I tried again but nothing although I did hear a couple of Irish stations.

It was time to put up the assembled 2m yagi and today it was just pointed north as the declared activators were as if they were in a direct line, first I worked Craig ANL who popped up on Ben Bowie which I could see line of sight. A quick word and the first point was in the bag.

The views all round were fantastic due to the excellent air clarity, Goat Fell and the north end of Arran, Cumbraes and Bute to the south-west whilst the vista from the Cowal Hills to the Old Kilpatrick Hills was stunning, Glasgow land beyond spread out to the east and as you looked south-east into the Lanarkshire hills and finally due south, the North Ayshire hills and its only Marilyn, the Hill of Stake. Superb views which my photos and panorama will do no justice, I think a return to here will be earlier than later, I last visited the hill in 2009, deep in the post list there is an earlier blog post.

Looking North

Looking North

I was monitoring .500 when I heard Iain WJZ calling, we headed down to S18 and made contact, Iain was in what I call my ‘Etive Triangle’, from Creise to the big Buachaille and in a triangle south, I seem to struggle although I did catch Iain on Ben Starav the previous day, Iain today was on Stob Dubh and had activated the hill for its first time, unusual in that area. I left Iain to go and wait on Graeme GIL and Neil NCM but I next heard Robin PKT who was out on Stob Ghabhar in the Black Mount area to the east of Glencoe. Excellent signal both ways and I had a quick chat with Robin before heading to check .500 again. I was as usual chatting on occasion with Roddy 2MØIOB who was walking around the circular Greenock Cut walk from Cornalees, the other stations worked today were Jack COX from his home qth and Brian HMZ in the Paisley area. I then heard Graeme 2MØGIL calling and spoke to Graeme for a time then he was off to look for the other summit stations.

I eventually got talking to Neil on the slopes of Ben Vorlich (The Lomondside one!) before another quick word with Roddy before I broke down the station. I had entertained heading over the hills back home but knowing I had more than a few miles of heathery stuff and bogs to tramp through I took the lazy option and got picked up at my drop off place, a sensible idea I think. Cruach is 5 mile as the crow flies to my home but the route I would take would add to that, the lack of any paths helped make my mind up.

I headed down the hill trying the direct route but this ended with me almost in a massive boggy area so a double back and head down through yes, more heather. I was nearing the track when I saw Katie drawing in the parking area which has plenty of room for when of you think of visiting.

Cruech Hill start

Cruech Hill start

A good hill with a great VHF take off for 270 deg but take off south is blocked by the higher North Ayrshire hills.  On a good sunny day, it is worth the 3.5 mile round trip just for the views alone. I’ve been on this hill a few times over the years and never have met or seen anyone, I can see why. On the short muddy track through both gates there were no footprints.

A good day ended with a quick word from home with Neil NCM heading back home and not much later, Craig ANL had the temerity to visit my fiefdom Corlic, I heard him call and whilst we were on Roddy 2MØIOB popped in.

Congratulations go to Iain WJZ who this week achieved his ‘Shack Sloth’, I presume there will be plenty of STS(summit to summit) chases in there, well done on slothdom.

Feel free to click on the images to see them in a fuller size

Hill info…

Creuch Hill  441m ( 1447 ft) ASL

‘Creuch’ is an old Celtic word meaning ‘mud or loam’

Drop is 87m

The highest point in Inbhir Chluaidh (Inverclyde)

Trig Point – TP 2584 more info <HERE>

possibly used as a fort at one point <HERE>

Route <HERE>

My thanks as usual goes to Wikipedia, T:UK, SOTA etc for all linked to material.

Map <HERE>

2010…that was the year that was…part one

2010..

Since I wrote the blog post ‘12 months have past’, a few personal ambitions for 2010 have been achieved.

SOTAwise higher summits have been activated, a few have been revisited.

Visits to Hill of Stake, Beinn a’Mhanaich, Beinn Chaorach, Meikle Bin, Meall Nan Tramachan, Ben Lomond, Ben Donich, Goat Fell, Ben Bowie and finally a return journey to the top of Beinn Eich.

Not as many hills as last year but logisitics came into play.

Achieving a * ‘one point’ hill is still the same as the achievement of any hill, we have been blessed with magnificent scenery in our country. The views vary from sea level to the highest summit but each has its own unique highs.

The views from Meall Nan Tarmachan at 1044 m (3,425 ft) ASL on the perfect ‘blue sky’ day I activated it were tremendous, to the East you can see its sister hill Ben Lawers then to the north-east, the Cairngorm range whilst over to the north-west stood our highest mountain Ben Nevis and finally to the south-west Ben More , Stob BinneanBen Lomond and Beinn Ime stood out, superb scenery indeed. In contrast, the 360 view from Ben Bowie at 313m (1027 ft) ASL to Loch Lomond, the Firth of Clyde and westward to the Cowal hills was as enjoyable.

For 2010, I had started each activation not on my regular 2m FM but on 4m FM (70 mhz ), slow progress was being made during these  activations until I finally had my first hill fully activated on the 4m band, Goat Fell on the Isle of Arran took the honours, I had worked eight stations in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. What will next years band of choice be ? I think 70 cms possibly with 2 and 4m of course.

The activating year started with the Hill of Stake, I chose a ‘wintry’ frosty day as this is a very wet route in normal conditions, the first 4m contacts were made, 2m FM as usual made the most contacts. Next were return visits to a’Mhanaich and Chaorach, these hills  are presently covered with snow whilst I write this.

The highlights hillwise were Meall Nan Tarmachan which had been the first Munro I had climbed since the mid ’70s, Ben Lomond, another hill I can see from here and Goat Fell was with thanks to Roddy IOB, a most enjoyable day ! The downside of the Goat Fell activation was the ‘carry out’ (take away) suppers we had whilst waiting on the ferry plus one of our fellow bloggers advice that the start of the climb wasn’t that far away, you know who you are.

Activating the Corbett Ben Donich was my 2010 personal highlight, a hill of just over 847m (2,778 ft) often overlooked because of its more famous neighbours at Arrochar. Neil NCM had activated this hill in 2010 and as I normally do I checked out the route etc (Neil had kindly sent me photos of the route), I decided I wanted to climb this hill and I was not disappointed. An excellent hill which proves you do not have to climb the highest hills to meet satisfaction, one I recommend, the view down Loch Goil towards the Firth of Clyde was in my opinion, simply stunning.

Best contact ?

they all are but one ‘summit to summit’ contact stands out, I ‘worked’ GC0000, a club call used by John who was on the summit of Tal Y Fan (GW/NW-040), a hill situated in the Carneddau mountains of North Wales, I was on the summit of Beinn Chaorach (GM/SS 062) in the Luss Hills area, a 322 km contact, a cracker. No reports of any ‘lift’.

I also made a contact from Beinn Eich into the Lake District to Great Calva, Phil a M0 station was using a handie with a 40cm helically wound ‘duck’ type antenna. The hill is a WOTA summit.

Contacts were made into England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and of course, Scotland over the year.

I have no problem revisiting hills to activate, the hills which are ‘near’ to me are mostly all within an hour of my house and if like me, you have to rely on others to get you there.

Those who have read the blog have noticed that my ‘rucksack’ had humorously written a post about life with me, I’ll forgive it but I’ve changed my password and details since, just in case.

The usual visits to Corlic, one of my local hills were documented too, this year a mix of HF and VHF, an excellent place to do some HF portable testing, I must admit I should have out more often. Next year maybe.

SOTA Chasing…

A good year pointwise..

I’m well on track to break 680 points in total since the beginning of 2009 with 60% coming this year, my target of 1,000 is slowly getting there, over 95% of the points are VHF and although HF could speed up my rate of points, Ill concentrate on VHF as long as the excellent activators we have here in Scotland are active.

My thanks go  to all those who have taken the time to ‘work’ me when I have been out activating also a ”big’ thanks once again to those regular activators who suffer all sorts of weather to let us ‘chasers’ get our points.

Part Two, coming soon

* – For the SOTA scoring system explanation HERE refer to section 3.11

Picasa photos of each activation –

Hill Of Stake Beinn a’Mhanaich Beinn Chaorach Meikle Bin Ben Lomond

Meall Nan Tarmachan Goat Fell Ben Donich Ben Bowie Beinn Eich

You Tube summit panoramas  – GM7something

(August) Radio Days

VHF

Pretty quiet, spoke to 2M0IOB Roddy, 2MoUPG Patsy on occasion. Still monitoring S20 on occasions but relatively quiet.

SOTA activity.

An upturn in activity again.

I had two activations this month, a trip to the Arrochar Alps area to activate Ben Donich and a trip to the Isle of Arran with 2M0IOB, Roddy to activate Goat Fell.

Roddy’s Goat Fell Blog post <HERE>

Blog posts <Ben Donich> <Goat Fell>

On the 1st of the month, the first station ‘chased’ was Neil, 2M0NCM who activated White Coomb. I had nipped up to NS 327728 (Auchinleck Hill) to make the contact. On the 7th I activated Ben Donich, the only STS (Summit to Summit) was down to the Lake District and was to Richard,a G1 station on Skiddaw. The next day, I worked Robin, GM7 , a regular on these postings, on first, Beinn An Dothaidh then later in the day on Beinn Dorain. Neil, 2M0NCM had activated Conic Hill near Balamaha, famous for its excellent views of Loch Lomond, my photos of my Conic Hill activation are .

The following weekend, everyone seemed to be out, once again, I worked Robin GM7 who activated Beinn Achaladair, Beinn A’Chreachain and Bidean nan Bian over two days. Bob MM1 and his party was ‘chased’ on Black Craig on the Cowal peninsula. On the Sunday, Neil 2M0NCM popped up on Beinn An Lochain, a hill at the top of the Rest and Be Thankful.More ‘chaser’ points from Neil, 2M0NCM  on the last Sunday of the month who activated Earl’s Seat , high in the Campsies in what could be described as a wind lashed summit. Neil’s Earl’s Seat blog post <HERE>

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Finally on the last day of the month, I activated Goat Fell, my first activation of a GM/SI  Scottish Island summit. I activated the hill by using 4m FM, in all I had seven 4m FM contacts before going on to 2m to work Graeme, 2M0GIL in Glasgow and another blog regular, Neil, 2M0NCM near Girvan. I had made 2 contacts into GI (Northern Ireland) , one into G (England) and rest into GM (Scotland). I had hoped to fully activate a summit in ’10 on 4m , what next ? Roddy had also added EI (Ireland) to the list so four countries was good going. Unfortunately no STS as it was a quiet Tuesday SOTA VHF wise.

I finally achieved 500 ‘chaser’ points this month, my thanks go to the regular activators mentioned in this blog.

All in all, a busy month.

HF

The usual mix of stations all worked on data, mostly PSK.

The odd excursion outside Europe to JA land.

The propagation has been hit and miss on most days but there is always something to do.

ODDS…

I’ve tested out a ‘stealth’ dipole originally cut to 40m for short wave listening, it tunes in from 80m to 10m although some bands haven’t been open to see how it performs, hopefully it will work out. I have another option to try as well.

I’ve used WSPR some surprising results so far using only 5 watts, I hope to set up to use 500 mw in the near future

I’m debating whether to try a 4m JPole (vertically polarised) for the FM part of the band outside just to check and if there is any local activity.

Plans are afoot to activate more SOTA hills.

Both photos are ©Neil 2M0NCM, all rights reserved.

SOTA reference, click on hill :

White Coomb Skiddaw Beinn an Dothaidh Beinn Dorain

Ben Donich Beinn Achaladair Beinn A’Chreachain

Bidean nan Bian Goat Fell Conic Hill Black Craig