Carn Mor GM/ES-029 - Summer is over

If you can embrace the peat, you’ll like this, if not then pick an alternative

Tuesday 28th September 1400z
I set off from the side of The Lecht ski area, not at the road summit area, but around 1km to the south, marked 644m spot height on the 1:50,000 OS map. Leaving from the ski car park would have been shorter but steeper, and I fancied using the Land Rover track that headed up the hill from my chosen spot. Temperature was around 13 degrees celcius, with a stiff SW gusty breeze.

The track soon became single track path and this came to a peat hag which led to short grassy slopes over the first top of the day - Meikle Corr Raibhach. I’d planned on following a series of tops around to Carn Mor, around 7km one way. However, looking over to the next top (747m on the map) I could see it was defended by row upon row of peat hags. I chose to take a line along its eastern side. This was pathless, a bit heathery in places, but overall not too bad going on sheep tracks.

Meikle Corr Raibhach

Peat hag barrier

On crossing a mossy burn, I ascended springy mossy slopes, arriving at the top of the next bump, Meikle Corr Riabhach (779m) to find a fenceline and a flat summit area riven with peat hags, unavoidable this time.

Peat hag motorway

Eventually I reached a gate and on the other side, a better track. At a cairn, the fence kicked out west and I could finally see Carn Mor, although Monadh an t-Sluich Leith (800m) barred the way. Descending easy slopes from the cairn to a bealach (col) led to a wide peat hag followed by another spongy and grassy climb. Thankfully a narrow track skirted around the west side of this top and I soon reached a final wide col. A wider stony path led from here up to Carn Mor.

final summit path

Carn Mor has no shelter. It has a Trig point. It is actually well located (in the centre of no where in particular) and thus has great views all round. 4G was good on the O2 network. The wind was getting up and the forecasted 10% chance of rain showers decided cash in its chips.

Carn Mor summit, with my local summit Morven GM/ES-018 in the background

Activating GM/ES-029
I’d brought the KX2 radio and two aerials - a W3EDP and a 40m/20m inverted V. despite the well located trig point, I was going to have to guy the mast, having forgotten to pack anything to strap it to the trig point. I went with the W3EDP, strung out along a west-east line. I considered hauling out the bothy bag, but in the end managed to get some shelter from the trig point plus my rucksack, having layered up my clothing beforehand. It was now 9 degrees celcius, probably 4 degrees with windchill.


The MM0EFI office

1545-1554 20m SSB bought in F4WBN, OK2PDT, SV1RVJ & OM1AX and then it dried up. Tuning up to 15m I heard several stations, so took a punt and re-spotted myself. The only station to answer my CQ was John MM0WIV, who was up at a campsite at Rosemarkie near Inverness. Probably line-of-sight. John was using a Super Antenna MP-1 antenna. Fun time over, I retuned to 40m. The band was (as expected) very noise, with both S5 background noise and QRM. Spinning up the dial, I found a slot at 7.183MHz and spotted.

1606-1615 40m SSB. there was a shorter hop than of recent times, which was great. I worked some UK chasers I’d not heard for a few weeks. I worked 14 stations - SA4BLM, S57S, G4WTF, ON3UA, GI0AZB, 2E0AGB, M6VWX, GI0AZA, ON4VT, G0HIO, DL6MST, G0FVH and finally Don G0RQL. The usual suspects, but some new ones as well. Great to work GI on 40m, needing a really short skip for that!

I was packed up and away from the summit at 1630z, half-an-hour before my planned “latest time for a safe exit”. The weather system had passed over and it brightened up a little. I followed the same route back to the car, enjoying the late evening skies to the west and east.

Scarred hillsides

Ascent - 90 minutes
Summit Time - 60 minutes
Descent time - 90 minutes
Total Ascent - 452m, 1483’
Total distance - 14.8km, 9.5 miles

Route - there are easier ways up Carn Mor. I chose this route because I fancied the climb from the Lecht and didn’t want to drive a further 20 minutes to Chapeltown, where the shorter northern route starts. the hags weren’t too wet, despite heavy rain the day before, however I think this way would be wet throughout in winter, so probably best avoided unless under a firm covering of snow.

As for timing, well the nights are drawing in. It was dusk when I made it back to the car, so not much margin for error. I was glad I didn’t use the extra half hour and push it to the limit, given the terrain.

Arriving back at the car

Thanks for reading! 73



Nice one Fraser Thanks for the contact. It looks a bit bleak and cold up there but what a sky on that last piccy.
Best 73


Beautifully rugged - that’s the scenery, not you Fraser :joy:


Good cover if you need a sneaky wild poo, at least that’s what I’ve heard.


Sore legs today and it wasn’t a long hike.

The fresh air and leg work always works wonders on that front!


Great to get you in the log again on 40m Allen! Yes it was a bit bleak. The seasons are changing in the mountains for sure.

73, Fraser

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Many thanks for the QSO on 15m, an unusual band for me but it certainly worked.


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Hmm, if you allow 1 minute for every 10m of height gained, that gives 45 minutes for 7.4km of ascent. Conclusion - don’t ever invite me for a joint activation. Ask Neil 2M0NCM, he knows how much of a shackle around the ankle I can be. :laughing:

Many thanks for another excellent report and some superb photos. Sorry to have missed you yet again.

73, Gerald

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15m band is getting in really good shape lately. For your info, I chased @KX0R on 20m and 15m yesterday and the day before while he was activating summits in W0C. In both cases, his signals were better on 15m than on 20m.




Your twisting my melons Fraser by calling Carn Mor ‘Carn Ban’. Had me searching all over the maps of The Lecht area looking for it :slight_smile:

Nice report Fraser @MM0EFI , thanks. We seem to have missed you S2S on our trip to GM/SS last week, but maybe next time? (Fort William in December - looking forward to seeing the mountains with snow).

I managed to pick up a tick on GM/SS-029, so I must remember to watch out kneeling down by the trig/sitting on grass in the sun. I should use a mat like your blue one. Have sent the bugger off to a lab to be tested for Lyme, in case I need to see the Doc’s for antibiotics. That’s the first one this year I think!

I’m tempted to try 15m. I’m looking at building a second linked dipole for 15, 17 and 60. Would be interested in your suggestions for bands (I already have my standard kit of a 20/40m dipole and 2m SlimJim) that are successful from Scotland using QRP? With Nic being an M7, I’m limiting myself to 6w as well so she doesn’t get miffed when I can use the 30w amp :slight_smile: .


Hi Simon,
Since you have an antenna for 40m band, you automatically have an antenna for 15m band.



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Simon, as Guru says you can use a 40m dipole on 15m. But… you may need to add about 15cms of wire to each end of the 40m dipole to bring the 15m frequency down. i.e. without them the SWR may be at its best when on 15m only right up at the high end of the band.


Cheers John. Great to talk to you for the first time. I was chancing it on 15m, but it paid off. Looks like line of sight. We should have tried 2m. :smiley:

Enjoy the rest of your stay!



Hi Simon, Most of the time 40m has got me Yorkshire down to the south coast plus a further skip into Southern France, N.Spain, Belgium etc. Recently 40m has had a very long skip, passing over most of the UK, except the S.coast.

20m takes me to S.Spain, Italy and Greece as well as Ukraine.

17m gets me into the Swiss Alps, or has done this summer anyway. I expect greater things when I get good conditions.

Check out my activations on sotamaps and you’ll get the picture.

I was running 35w fr my ft-857d when I started HF SOTA, but now run 10w max from the KX2. I get slightly weaker signal reports on occassions but still work the same Chasers as before.

Oh, there’s already snow on Ben Nevis!

stolen from twitter, and originally stolen from facebook


I’m going to have to put that down to me writing this report on my raspberry pi whilst supposedly listening to a very long and important zoom call…

Soz! Now fixed. :smiley:

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I don’t know Gerald. I was just walking as fast as I could! Steava said 5kph/3mph average. Feeling it today though…

Cheers, Fraser


No such thing!

Same applies to Teams as well. I’ve had 2.5hrs of my life wasted in Teams meetings today already.


Set for my lardy boy speed, the route following the country boundary or such on the mapping software gave 7.6km to summit 305m ascent 153m descent. That matches your 14.8/452m figures closely. The time it says for me is 2hrs 2mins. Definitely need to sneak an anvil or two into your bag :slight_smile:


Ah, a mere human like me. I was thinking 2hrs ~ 2hrs 15 mins. :grinning: I’ve just got back from a quick bimble around the block and it took 63 minutes to walk 4.2 miles / 6.7km with not that much ascent. Around here I usually manage between 3.6 and 4 mph depending on conditions (slower when it’s hot) and the type of ground.

I prefer to arrive early on a summit and work through the alerted time so I put some bunce in my ascent times. The downside is that those that treat the alerts as gospel won’t be listening until the alerted time.