After an enforced break due to weather and knee problems, a nice WX forecast for Good Friday encouraged me to go for Corwharn, a 2 pointer North Of Kirriemuir on the southern edge of the Eastern Scotland SOTA area.
For the route up, I decided to go from Glen Prosen. There are alternative routes from the south, notably from Balintore and Blackwater Reservoir, but these were longer. Fraser, MM0EFI, on his activation in January, had started from Glen Prosen as well, but taken a “Route 1” approach, which seemed a tad steep for me given my grumbling knees.
Route up I will add a map here once I get the OS licence details from Andy
Parking is at Cormuir Farm. The farmhouse appears unoccupied or is now a holiday let but there is room by the farm buildings to park clear of gates etc.
The start of the track up is accessed via a gate just up the road from the farm
A right turn off this track is waymarked and soon heads uphill and winds round the back of Corwharn. The track can clearly be seen on the right of the photo running along the flank of the hill. It eventually reaches a gate and just before that an old ATV track heads left down to the col, which is on the left in the photo. I reached the gate after 40 minutes walk.
The track heads up the flank of Corwharn from the col but soon peters out. A single track, (mostly deer trail from the numerous prints and poop) comes and goes beside the fence which runs all the way to the summit ridge. The upper section is a bit peat haggy, forcing some minor detours to get around steep banks. At the top, the fence is joined by another which runs along the crest which is accessed by a gate which is wired shut and needs climbing over.
Looking back along the crestal fence to the gate
There is a nice cairn just off the summit - photo looking South
Activation site, with 2m yagi and 10m vertical - looking North
857d, wire delta loops for 17/15/12m, Sotabeams linked dipole 40/20, 5 el 2m yagi, 1/2 wave vertical for 10m - this is a new very simple antenna which I made in about 1 hour following the article by G5TM in the latest Radcom. Testing at home, I found it better than my 10m delta loop but noisier and a couple of S points down on my hexbeam. I made plenty of decent contacts with good signal reports using it over the past 2 weeks, including W1AW/7 in Arizona, so I intend to use it regularly for activations.
Starting on 2m FM I found it pretty busy for a change and managed 14 QSOs including 3 S2S, with best DX G6ENN/P on G/LD-033
Moving to 40m brought a run of 20, with 2 S2S
20m wasn’t in very good shape, so no DX but 22 EU including 4 S2S and a lot of regular chasers
10m was open to the ME and SAmerica, but a spot and a lot of CQs brought silence until PY5JL called me. Best DX of the day, so happy with that, but further CQs were fruitless.
17m brought 23 QSOs, all with EU apart from N4EX in NC.
15m was disappointing - a lot of CQs with just 2 EU chasers. With a chilly wind getting up, I decided to have another run on 40m before packing up and I was rewarded with another 23 including 2 S2S. It was nice to work Steve, MM0XPZ, whom I had worked on 2m earlier in the day.
For most of the day, the weather was nice with just a light breeze. From the summit you have a good 360 of the surrounding hills:
Looking North West towards Driesh (with the snow) - a Munro but not a SOTA summit
Looking South-East down Glen Prosen towards the Airlie Memorial tower
Looking NorthEast across Glen Prosen and Glen Clova to the corrie holding Loch Wharral
Looking SouthWest at Mount Blair GM/ES-035
Thanks to all chasers and fellow activators and apologies to the Deeside SOTA group for my delayed activation alert which meant they thought I was activating on Saturday rather than Friday.This meant Fraser, MM0EFI, missed a Complete.
Annoyingly my knee is now quite sore, so it may be a while before I attack another hill.