I have previously activated this hill, conveniently located at the south end of the Lairig Ghru, and that time really did not have good visibility so hoped this time to be able to sit there and see at least six high SOTA summits. The glorious weather during the week looked hopeful so Sgor Mor it was. Oh foolish child, and so easily deceived!
The long slog from Linn of Dee is best covered using the mode of transport Satan designed for when he returns at the last trump – the mountain bicycle. So I risked life, limb and piles to cycle in with the Lab loping along beside me, certainly quicker, not sure about comfort. Leaving the bike at White Bridge (it is black) I had a really pleasant walk along the Dee, passing Chest of Dee, before heading off up the hill at NO002896. Aim for the outcrop and go for it – steep boggy heather but once on the plateau it is quite pleasant. Unfortunately the weather closed in and I could not see the summit rocks and had to walk a compass bearing to find the summit. The hill is surmounted by rocky outcrops, flattened by glacial action, and a gravely surface which is quite amenable to pegging guys for the mast.
There is a small shelter on the summit and this was pressed into service because, of course, it started to rain heavily when I got to the top! Stretching the survival bag across the shelter and weighting it down with stones at least provided protection from the worst of the rain for the rig, my rucsac and upper body – shame about the legs and boots. I put out a CQ on 5MHz and received an immediate response from Brian G8ADD and then the fun started. For once I did not have paper and pencil and in my growing senility I cannot remember more than one callsign at a time, so my apologies now if I forgot to call you in, got your callsign confused, called you out of turn or just plain forgot! Working Carolyn summit to summit I had to ask her for a repeat of her callsign – how many times have I worked her and I still wrote it down wrongly – sorry! Roger, MW0IDX called me at the same time but I disappeared into qsb/qrm when I called him back. Conditions were not good. Finally I managed a summit to summit with Roger GW3TJE and he really made my day by telling me he had lovely weather – you go off some activators! Leaving Roger with the frequency I qsy’d to 40m but once again the skip did not work for me with the only stations heard being in eastern Europe mostly calling CQ contest and this resulted in zero contacts.
I decided the best place to be was a lot lower than I was although by now the cloud had lifted enough for me to see ES-001, ES-002, ES-003, ES-007 and ES-013 (5 out of six ain’t bad!). The dog and I yomped off the hill and back to the bike and, for once, I was almost convinced that a bike was a good idea.
Thanks to the chasers, and the two summiteers, for all the contacts even if the propagation conditions were not good.
Oh, yes; the sun is shining today and the sky is blue – maybe the horned one knows about my antipathy towards his chosen mode of transport!