Beinn na Lice SS206
Easily reached from the road to The Mull of Kintyre. A rather narrow and twisty single track road with 2 gates to open and close. I visited when it was windy and misty after a previous day of torrential rain. The ground was very wet. Park in the car park, room for 10 vehicles, at the end of the public road. Walk back up to the cattle grid and cross it then climb up steeply following the fence. You follow the fence for the majority of the short route. There’s an obvious change in grass colour at a flatish part of the route and this is where you strike east for 100m to meet the summit. Takes about 20-25mins if that.
I setup at the cairn/trig/wind shelter in the gloom. My new Hagloffs Barrier II Jacket did the business in keeping the cold and damp out. I’d picked most of the summits because they had trigs and are not activated very often. My idea was to offer rare-ish SOTA summits to SOTA chasers and trigs/rare-ish squares to WAB chasers. So I setup on 40m and started on the WAB net on 7.160. A nice brisk bunch of 26 WABbers and SOTA chasers appeared with some excellent signals. After that it was 40m CW where I worked another 11 chasers. I had my satellite spotting system with me as the coverage seemed extremely patchy down here.
With 2 more summiits to work on this day and after the washout of the day before I didn’t hang about once the pileups had been worked.
Beinn Na Lice trig point/wind shelter and cairn.
Improving WX on the way back, Ailsa Craig SS-246 (Christmas Pudding) standing proud.
Cnoc Moy SS-200
The next summit Cnoc Moy is back up the single track road then up Glean Braecairigh. I think it took about 25mins to drive to the turn off for this summit. I’d been in touch with the estate owners and had permission to drive up the private road to the abandoned farm at Glenahanty. This saves about 2km or so, just over 30mins walking. On a day when you’re trying to bag a few summits, saving 60mins walking is a good move. The road is a dirt forest track and is a bit rough in places. It’s probably passable with care in an average car but I doubt I’d get my silly sporty car through without grounding the exhaust in many places. As it was I was in the TonkaToy (Toyota HiLux) so it was trivial. Lever back into 4wd-hi and off I went. It didn’t need 4WD on the way there to be honest though the final 200m drops a lot and is rough. It certainly needed it to get up the hill, a RWD unloaded pickup has limited rear wheel adhesion. I did it in 4WD-lo because I could. I don’t get to play on any rough ground very often so I had to have a play when I could.
From the abandoned farm you follow the road down then up to Gartnacopaig Farm which is being rebuilt/extended. It will be a fabulous place to stay when finished. It’s about 900m of flat road then at a fence you turn off and climb up. From the road to the trig is about 1km and a height gain of 200m. It’s not very hard but was quite steep in places. Follow the fence all the way. ISTR the fence wire disappears near the top but the posts are a suitable handle. By now the WX was much brighter but the wind had got very strong. I setup in a peat hag to keep sheltered. Same MO as before, 40m SSB on the WAB net followed by a QSY to 40m CW. A total of 29 worked on SSB and 9 on CW. Again the single item that made operating easy in blustery and damn cold wind was the new coat. I was delighted with the performance so far. In the few showers there had been, the DWR worked and water beaded nicely on the surface and the brisk wind blew the surface dry almost at once.
Return was back the same way. I’d noticed a dead sheep on the way up and coming down I could see there were 3 all within 50m of each other, a little odd. They didn’t stink too much so had not be dead long. I reported this to the bloke working at Gartnacopiag, showed him where on the map and he said he let the farmer know. The drive out was more playing on the dirt track then back to Campbeltown to invest in the one item I had forgotten to bring, a toothbrush. After 30+hours without a scrub, it was wondeful to give the old gnashers a quick once-over on the way to the next summit.
Cnoc Moy SS-200 Trig Point. Beyond is the Atlantic, next stop Newfoundland!
Looking North to Macrihannish Bay and golden sands.
Bein Ghuilean SS-243
This rises up just to South of Campbeltown. I parked at the edge of a houseing estate before the road rises up to a cellphone tower. This was the longest of the walks today. Up the road, through the gate, along the track down to the reservoir. That’s when you notice that Beinn Ghuilean is a bit steep and imposing for a 1pt summit. Worse there are cows in the field with calves. I made myself looking suitably big and impressive and the cows ran away! The path climbs and climbs steeply through wonderful forest and eventually you pop out of the woods and there is a bench with a great view North over Campbeltown and the bay. There is a faint path leading to the woods. I’d considered trying the very imposing looking grass bank but the stream was in spate and it didn’t look easy to cross. I’d read this path was good for the summit.
The path meanders over rough grass and heather through mature trees by a very busy stream. With the wind making a real noise in the trees and the water tumbling down the hill along with the fact the sun was now shining, this was tiring but very enjoyable. You can see how steep the bank is in this photo. The path is the dark passage between the distant trees.
After a while the path dies out and you have to cross the stream (easy) and then it’s up. Here is the end of the path looking back in the direction of the bench.
After that it’s a fairly brutal climb on difficult terrain, lots of heather and long grass. This was taken by turning 180degs from the previous photo.
I just kept pushing up for what seemed like a lifetime but was about 20mins Before I came to a flatter part of the summit. Still plenty of knolls to climb and the ground was thigh length vegetation or heather. It’s only about 1km from the top of the trees in that last photo to the summit but I was feeling the effort now. I’d not walked far or climbed much but the lack of paths and the wind buffeting was tiring.
Then you have about 600m of bloody awful peat hags to cross, like so. Bogging awful stuff after the rain.
There is a trig but I’m convinced it’s not in the AZ. So I think you can activate the trig for WAB or the summit for SOTA. The summit won. I crossed the rubbish ground and setup for 40m SSB again. The wind was howling and I was surprised the pole could cope. I rigged the dipole element to take some wind load. It was early evening so there were few takers; 9 on SSB and 3 on CW. I packed up and turned about. The return was almost into the wind. I didn’t realise the wind had been a help on the way up.
Back at the car it was boots off, a nice big injection of Exantide and off to the chippy. Chips and battered fish are not ideal food for diabetics but after 3 summits of climbing and only a Toffee Crisp and a breakfast bar since breakfast I was sure my sugars wouldn’t suffer too much. The fresh fish and chips were amazing. I was unable to sit out and enjoy them looking over the bay as I was mobbed by many Gulls and Crows. I sat in the cab of the pickup!
A view of Cnoc Moy SS-200 from Beinn Ghuilean, it’s the furthest-most peak in the centre.