I had a quiet and relatively sober Hogmanay and that meant I was OK to drive this morning. The WX forecast was good so I was off to The Craig Of Monievreckie. I’ve done this summit a few times before on New Year’s Day, it’s becoming a tradition. It’s a fabulous wee 1pt hill with an open Southern aspect over the Lake of Menteith which is only one of two “lakes” in Scotland, the rest are “lochs”. To the North you look into the start of Munro country around Crianlarich area. Best of all it’s only 1hr drive and 1hr walk to the top. Not a serious climb but good for the body after Christmas excess!
The sun was shining, the sky was blue so I put on some sunglasses. I knew that would cause the sun to runaway and it did
But it was glorious on the walk in till the sun went a bit AWOL.
Later on it clouded up some and got colder, a lot colder. What is amazing is how mild it has been and so there is little snow about. There are just a few patches of snow clinging on to GM/SS-002 Stob Binnein in this photo and that’s a 1165m summit and is the 18th highest mountain in Scotland.
I worked 30m CW, 60m SSB, 40m SSB and 40m CW. 60m was brilliant with large numbers of very strong chasers. I was going to do 20m but I was just too cold. There was a persistent breeze which was very cold after 1hr30 exposure. It’s cold now after a mild week, the gritters were out in force on my journey home and all the cars outside are now white with frost.
Now sometimes, you have a QSO on an activation that makes it all super special. A few years back I made an effort to activate Morvern summits on VHF so Robin GM7PKT could chase them for the completes. This November I struggled to ensure Victor GI4ONL got a complete when I was on Fuerteventura. These just felt good to be able to give someone a buzz from my activations. Gerald and Paul were up bagging summits just after Christmas and it was great fun chasing Gerald for completes using a 35 year old FT290Mk1. Those summits are not on the air too often and chasing them with a vintage QRP radio and simple antenna gave me a buzz.
Today’s super special QSO started with an S2S with Peter OE5AUL on 40m CW. Not too strong but workable easily. I thought I know that call… who is it though? Then he told me Sylvia OE5YYN was taking over the key. Ah yes, I do know who it is, Sylvia’s husband! Funny how you remember when you’re told the answer! I then had the pleasure of a CW S2S exchange. Considering she only started revising her CW skills recently after a 30year gap it was a pleasure to be able to work her on the key. I think her sending was better than mine… perhaps her hands weren’t so cold! Anyway, it was good to see she has progressed to activating in CW.
30m CW: 7 QSOs
60m SSB: 18 QSOs
40m SSB: 8 QSOs
40m CW: 8 QSOs
Thanks for all the contacts and all the best for 2019.