Once again the Met Office were wrong while the TRUE PROPHET Geoff Monk (www.mwis.org.uk) was horribly right! I left the village to cycle the 14Km to Linn of Avon at the crack of doom and was walking by 0830. The ascent is just as described in my report of the first activation; the only difference was the weather. Reaching the ridge the wind was gusting 40 to 50mph but otherwise quite bright if no sunshine. Reaching the 1000m level, at the aptly named Big Brae, the cloud was just touching the ground so the final 3Km had to be navigated in very poor visibility. Other walkers who know the Cairngorm plateau will know the difficulties this presents with wide open spaces and very few discernable features. No problem, all the practice this “summer” meant that I reached the summit tor absolutely spot-on.
I managed to find a nice qth in complete wind and rain shadow (yes of course it was raining, doesn’t it always when I head into the hills?), unfortunately the mast was not as sheltered. Once set-up I called CQ on 5MHz. There was an initial slow uptake but eventually I managed to work my way through all takers including 3 summit to summit qsos. Stations worked were:G0RQL, GW7AAV,G0VWP on NP-005, GM4FAM, G4BVE on LD-018, GW0VMZ, G0NES, GW0DSP (eventually – local noise made it very difficult for him, maybe a case of following his callsign and getting some DSP – hi), G8LKB, GM7PKT on CS-018, G3RMD and finally G4JZF. My apologies for the regular qrx as I had to re-erect the mast which collapsed readily in the wind.
I then announced a shift to 40m but it appears that there were no takers on this band. I had promised 2m SSB so proceeded to erect the 2m delta loop beam. Holding the beam up proved impossible, the mast would not stay up and finally the whole lot cartwheeled across the hill. I took this as a sign, packed up the gear, set the compass heading and headed down. Below 1000m once again it was completely free of cloud and eventually the sun came out – the summit remained shrouded in cloud. For those of you like to know of the wildlife the stag rut has just started so there were several herds of deer, plenty of grouse, and Ptarmigan higher up still in their summer plumage but on the turn.
I cycled out to Cockbridge to meet the xyl at Briggies; who ever thinks those diabolical machines (bicycles not xyl) were a pleasurable means of transport needs their bumps felt. The only plus point is that 7 of the 11Km are downhill and can be quickly passed and the Cairngorm Brewery Nessie was excellent. Today I have a sore bum!
Thanks to all the regular chasers