I have previously activated this hill and knew that it was essentially a pleasant walk on the Monadhliath without any navigational problems and with established tracks there and back.
Park in the car park near the Kingussie Golf Club (NH756017) and either walk a short way back towards Kingussie and cross the bridge across the river or follow the path behind the clubhouse and use the next bridge. Walk the tarmac road until the bridge just before the lodge and then turn right following the estate track parallel to the river. It is simply a case of following this well made track to the summit with its trig point, unusually large cairn and a rather dilapidated shelter built into an outcrop near the trig point. The weather was absolutely glorious and, as with a lot of Corbetts, the panoramic views outstanding; it is worth visiting this hill for this reason alone.
I set-up the dipole and after a brief CQ back came G3RMD and G0HNW. Frank kindly spotted me after our exchange of reports – he was incredibly strong with me – but it was obvious that skip was very long as was to prove the case a bit later. I then exchanged reports with Paul and again he was very strong with me but it also appeared that I was receiving him via two propagation paths as there was an echo on his last syllable – a delay measured in mS – and this happened each time he stopped speaking. I did not hear this effect on any other station – any theories/comments? Once again I received most stations very strongly but most chasers struggled with my flea power signal. I had the usual pile-up of regulars and this is where it was quite obvious that the skip was very long as stations were calling on top of each other or calling when the chaser was transmitting. I was told that another station was trying for a summit to summit and with a real struggle I managed to exchange reports with Robin GM7PKT even though he wasn’t really very far away, probably on the limits of ground wave. This, and the poor signal reports on my last couple of activations, make me rather suspicious about the 80m extension on my dipole – I wonder if the wire is actually absorbing a proportion of my signal, hopefully when I get my network analyser working again I can see if there is a spurious response from this wire – the SWR is fine and the antenna analyser shows no problems. My last contact on 60m was with Cris GM4FAM and I then switched over to 40m. Despite calling CQ on a number of frequencies I received no response although skip was inter-UK and Eu so decided to switch to the beam and call on 2m.
Using the local chat frequency of 145.575 I managed three fully quieting qso’s with MM0LOZ, MM3VNJ and GM0UDL but absolutely nothing else despite calling CQ on 145.500. I re-orientated the beam for horizontal polarisation and then had a tune around on 2m SSB. GB3ANG was reasonable strength although I did notice that, like its 23cm brother, its unwanted sideband suppression (I presume) is less than 10dB – try copying the CW it’s weird! The rest of the band was dead and despite calling on and around the calling frequency and calling on CW too I did not have a single qso. After over two hours on the summit my tally of contacts was poor (13 on 5MHz, 3 on 2m) and so I headed back to the car following the continuation of the track to form a pleasant walk in perfect conditions.
Many thanks to all the usual chasers and for the spot