The WX forecast for this coming Sunday, my usual SOTA day, looked awful but the forecast for Saturday was for showers during the morning and getting better in the afternoon. So I looked for a nice easy hill and Trahenna fitted the bill as I need my regular SOTA fix.
I parked in the same place as for my activation of Broughton Heights arriving about 11:45am. Everyone else had decided it would be Saturday or nothing and the car park was full but I was just able to squeeze in on the end. The sky looked ominious and the odd drop of rain was falling with the wind getting quite gusty. In the distance the sky looked a bit better so I set off.
I walked up the path from the car park a bit and at the first copse, turned right and followed a sheep track up the slope that leads to the Hammer Head ridge. It’s a bit of a slog, not terribly hard but not the sort of thing I can saunter up, but I knew that once at the ridge, the climb to the real summit would be quite gentle. Up and up, hit the ridge fence and followed that until another fence strikes out to Trahenna summit. Over the gate and a few minutes later I was there. I was feeling disappointed as I hadn’t stepped in any bogs on this Borders hill but there is one on the path near the summit!
I must be getting fit as it took 46minutes from leaving the car to reaching the top. I had the antenna up and everything running to hear Robin GM7PKT finishing up with Jack GM4COX. For once I was ahead of my published time, a whole 45minutes ahead, amazing. I worked Robin and then waited until he QSY’d to 80m before operating which gave me time to eat my sandwiches.
1315 Started the activation and a lovely wall of callsigns. It really is great to be on the end of the pileup instead of trying to crack it. The wind was steadily getting stronger and colder but the sky was brightening all the time.
Approx 20 mins to work everyone, all good signals and excellent operating. I then finished my lunch, had a long waffling chat with Jack GM4COX and finished up catching Frank GW3RMD/P for the second S2S of the day.
I took a bunch of photos, packed up the gear which took much longer than normal as the wind was really blowing now. As the views were fantastic and the WX was really quite lovely apart from the howling wind, I decided to walk home via the Hammer Head ridge to the path that follows the John Buchan Way, then back down the Hollows Burn Path to the car park. A glorious walk along the top but the gusts were strong enough to almost topple all 96kgs of me!
Total time to walk and operate was 3hrs 45mins including 1hr 35mins at the summit, about 4.2miles walked. Absoloutely glorious day even with the wind and another 5 points. On the way back, the heavens opened with some spectacular showers. Now the sky is completely clear and I’ve just set up the camera to take some photos of the eclipse. Today has been “Top Banana”!
Worked: GM7PKT/P (CS-086),GM4COX,G4ZRP,GW0VMZ,GW0DSP,GW7AAV,GM4FAM,G0HNW,G3NQX,
Apologies to G4GKE, I asked you to standby and then forget and worked a few others before you called again. I’m off to write out a 1000 times “I will not ask people to stand by and then forget”.
I’ve posted some photos of the day onto Flickr in the SOTA group.