Carn a'Ghille Chearr GM/ES-041- a good day on 10m

With a nice forecast, I headed for this 4 pointer in the Cromdale Hills which I hadn’t activated before. It is a long rounded, fairly flat ridge with 2 culminations - one with the trig point and a secondary within the activation zone called Carn Eachie. I went up from the Strathavon side, follwing the route detailed by Walkhighland users. There is a parking area just off the B9136, just across a bridge over the River Avon. You drive past the Tomintoul distillery which is just to the South (visitors by appontment only). In the parking area there is a map and info board provided by the Glenlivet Estate.

A signposted track leads north for a short way until another sign for Cromdale points left along a concrete track. The track uphill turns left past an abandoned house and water mill

and then passes a small fishing loch

Its then a steady plod uphill until the track unfortunately peters out. It took me about an hour to reach that point.

Two old ATV tracks continue for a short way but eventually disappear. I took the righthand one and meandered uphill, following deer or reindeer tracks across short heather and boggy areas covered with bog cotton. I should have walked on a bearing as the hillside is featureless and I ended up walking too far north around the flank of Carn Eachie, eventually topping the ridge between the two culminations. I could see the trig of Carn a’Ghille Chearr in the distance with a track leading up to it but I could also see the cairn marking Carn Eachie, which was considerably closer. I therefore chose to head for that as, being pretty hot and tired after the cross-heather trek (it was about 23 deg), I preferred to avoid another 30m hike just to gain another 20m of elevation. Sorry about that for the purests, but an activation zone is there to be used.
Route up © Ordnance Survey 2024

Equipment: KX3, Quansheng UV-K5, Spiderbeam 7m mast, al 6m mast,Sotabeams linked dipole 40/20, 2el yagi 6/10/12m, 2m Slim Jim
I set up right next to the cairn - Ben Rinnes in the distance. Actual Carn a’Ghille Chearr summit is behind the Spiderbeam pole. Tee-shirt conditions with a strong breeze from the SW.

Started at 1156, a little later than advertised due to my meandering ascent.
2m: just the one FM QSO with GM0APN
40m: pretty quiet. Mike 2M0WNA was first in the log, with 5 more G land ending with one solitary EU chaser EA4GU
20m: a bit more productive, with some good short skip to G land. 14 itl including 2 EU S2S. GB3RS was 59+30 on the KX3 meter, easily the loudest signal all day, although Chris F4WBN came close on 10m.
10m: this didn’t sound very promising to begin with. I could hear a couple of EU beacons and 2 French stations ragchewing, but that was about all. A spot produced Chris, 2M0RVC, using his new call, but he could barely hear me. Then I heard a…9HAT call. HB9 -no! It was LU9HAT in Cordoba giving me a 57 report - nice surprise on a very quiet band. He was followed by a very loud G6VFF on the IOW, so short skip as well. Things were looking up. 2 more EU chasers and then a S2S with husband and wife team HB9EVF/P and HB9HXJ/P and then another from SA PY2VM. 13 more EU and G land including M1AOB who had chased me earlier on 20m, Dinos SV3IEG and Chris F4WBN and 2 more S2S with DO7SBR/P and F5MMP/P. After a short break, I had a QSO with IS0GGA then another spot brought just 2 more chasers - ZS6FY and ON/PA3GLF. At that point activity seemed to fade, so I went back to 20m and picked up another S2S with LB1RH, who was last in the log at 1421. I had checked 6m earlier but it was dead.

Views from the top
Looking down at Tomintoul distillery

Looking SW towards the Cairngorms

Looking South towards Creagan a’Chaise GM/ES-038 - trig point on far right

Ben Rinnes (again) GM/ES-021

On starting down, I stupidly started to retrace my steps, which was pretty pointless as I had gone to far North on my way up. Anyway, before I came to my senses I found the start of the track that leads up to the proper summit and trig. This just ends abruptly, rather than cointinuing to Carn Eachie

The end(or start) of the track - looking back towards Carn Eachie

I saw 2 people with a dog as I started down but nothing else all day. Disappointed not to see the Cromdale reindeer that were reported by the last Walkhighlands user, but a really nice day on the hills.
73 all.


Hi Simon, thanks for a great report with photos. A great read.

Geoff vk3sq

1 Like