So new to the hobby both SOTA and amateur radio I have few points and little experience. I do a fair bit of walking although I’ve been a tad lazy the last year or so. Having cracked a few 1pt’rs around me I continued to another nearby on the banks of Loch Tay. Drummond Hill GM/CS-114 sits in Tay Forest Park looking over Loch Tay and the nearby town of Kenmore. The hill is an ancient forest replanted in more recent times. Drummond Hill is marked with signs coming in to Kenmore and there is good secluded parking at the trail head. There are three significant paths around the hill but you could make up your own walk using parts or all three. I elected to follow the paths up to the top and west of the peak. The paths are wide to allow wood harvest vehicles up and down but are steep nonetheless. The woods are thick and the path offer little views. I did have hopes that the viewpoint would provide great views along Loch Tay but it was not to be the only view was down onto Kenmore and the hills to the south east and a sad view of the charred remains of the Scottish Crannog centre.
I knew there had been felling on the top but I didn’t know to what extent. When I arrived at the top of the path I stepped off it and made my way across a felled area, hazardous in itself. The top of the hill was still covered in trees and sprouted above the felled area like a wart. As I walked towards the treeline I used the stone dyke as a nav handrail it carried all along to the peak and beyond.
I tried to judge the best side of the wall to follow I elected to follow it along the southern side as there appeared to be some kind of path up the steep treeline. I chose wrong.
The trees were thick and the ground soft everything was green, it was hard bloody going. I did come across a ruin of a house, I guessed from the fire place that’s what it was. Hardy living up there even if it was a shepherds bothy.
The peak itself was indistinct and I tried my best to ensure I was on the summit according to GPS to confirm.
I started on 40m getting a few calls before I started to get routinely talked over. I chopped to 20m where it was definitely quieter. Calls including S France, Spain, Switzerland, Poland and Austria. All on a SOTABeams Bandspringer. I’m constantly impressed with the performance of the TX-500.
So much for so little power.
I packed up to get off the hill before dark and started to make my way down. Having had a carppy experience on the way up I elected to go down on the northern side o
f the wall. This was by far better and whilst I didn’t see any I did come across a deer spa.
Lots of deer hair in amongst the mud. As I crossed the harvested area I turned north on the path for a few metres to look at the mountains to the north. I hope to get them on the activation
list soon, maybe next spring.
Would I jump at doing Drummond Hill again? No. There’s definitely easier 1 points to gather with more attractive viewpoints either at the top or along the way. Still and all I’m learning how it all works, enjoying myself, getting outdoor exercise and getting a few repeat Chasers. Thank you one and all it was only when I looked back at my log I realised there were a few regulars. Cheers Ken in particular.