Day four and the holidays are over

Up here in the northeast of Scotland, you have to take advantage of weather window opportunities when they arise. This was day four of the Easter holidays and now that I’m a “government at arm’s length” employee, I have the novelty of getting the whole of Easter off, a first in 40 years of employment. So, I consulted with the NE SOTA gang and chose Millstone Hill (GM/ES-077). I was going to try The Buck (GM/ES-039), but my learned friends made comments such as, “this should be done alone” and “it will be fine when it dries out a little” which suggests that it is largely a bog during winter and probably should be avoided by the marginally sane. I have tried to activate Millstone with a 2m handheld, but VHF up here is Tumbleweed City unless the gang knows you will be on air. As per usual, I forgot something and that was the Yaesu FT-65 - soz Fraser.

The weather was not as kind as yesterday, but I “manned up” (I think that’s a hate crime as of today MM0EFI) and got up the hill once the low cloud had cleared. Luckily, I had a live actual report from Mike (MM7MWL) at the bottom of the hill.

It was pretty windy on top, with light drizzle and 40m was hard work, as was 20m. With a bit of persistence, I managed 24 QSOs, including Sweden, Slovenia, Finland, and Budapest, along with a smattering of UK contacts. However, I was getting way too cold and decided to get off the hill and into some shelter. Taking the longer, less steep route back was like two different worlds.

I am very lucky to live in such a beautiful place and have a vehicle that allows me to access some of the more esoteric parking at the bottom of the hills. I had just cleaned it, so I thought it deserved some publicity.

So that’s the holidays over, and with rain forecast until next weekend, the end of my SOTA adventures for the present time. What a great four days! I’m so pleased my hill fitness is coming back. When I got back, I weighed my rucksack, and it came in at 7kg (15.4 lbs); is this too much? The IC705 is about 1.3 kg with its integrated battery.

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The difference a day makes. :sunny:


Bennachie - Mither Tap from Millstone Hill, yesterday

I’ve been working right through Easter. Everything was in order yesterday and I just happened to have my gear in the car. I left work at 3pm, parked in the same spot Chris used at 3.30pm and by 4pm was standing on top of the hill.

I did remember my 2m gear but didn’t work anyone except @MM7RVC Chris and @MM7MWL Mike. Like you Chris, I toiled on HF with the contest and QSB hampering progress.


with the slim-G 5m up I could just hear very distant stations, but no response to my calls

The weather looks to be poor this week, so well done for making the most of your break.

When I said that, it was meant by way of encouragement. Won’t stand up in court anyway :laughing:

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I’ll ask Humza :grimacing:

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You need to study a bit and get your Full, then you can use 60m which is always contest free and the lair of trusty chasers.

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That is my ambition and I’m working on the intermediate at the moment. The odd weekend with a contest doesn’t worry me, this is a hobby, not life and death. Being out on the hill is probably 80% of the enjoyment for me. Back to low pass filters…

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Another great report Chris and some super (and very useful) photos. Well done on the activation. As for rucksack weight… beware of “mission creep”. Nowadays I have trouble keeping mine below 13kg. :worried:

73, Gerald

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Mine normally comes back heavier than it left because Mo has a habit of placing “interesting” rocks into it when I’m not looking.

I managed a three night trip with an 11kg pack. For summer SOTA with the carbon mast, a random wire and the KX2 I can get it down to 3kg excluding water.

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Or learn CW and use 30m which recently has got everything from local NVIS to the States.

You mean learn Morse code Richard?

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I’m really not used to 30m propagation the way it is now. Sure you could work South Coast G stations from up North of Edinburgh in the past but there is regular short skip conditions at present. That is just twistin’ my melon man as the man sang.

Great report Chris. I really enjoy everyone’s reports from overseas and hearing how you all work together on your adventures. I am hoping to get more involved with our regional W4 group here in the Southeast very soon; we have some camp-outs coming up this summer and fall that I hope to attend.

Definitely the quote of the day:

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