On the 26/3/11 I had planned to carry out my first SOTA full day activation of GM/SS130 Criffel
The day started by leaving Annan on the bus at 0620 heading for Dumfries. As it happens i was lucky to get to dumfries early and meet the earlier connecting bus for Sandyhills. This dropped me right off at the lane for Ardwell which runs right up to the carpark by the farm and i arrived there in good time so had a quick break and a coffee and set up the SOTA pole for use from the back pack with the handy.
Setting off from the carpark at 0730 for the summit it was a very nice warm day on the ground but things quickly changed there as the climb whent on.
Its a short walk from the car park up the lane to a right turn then onto the forestry path. This has been upgraded and is now makes for a very easy walk.
Arriving at the fence half way up as i feared the path ended and the boggy marsh started but being the first out of the day it was quite easy but getting towards the last 100m of the summit the wind suddenly got up and i was covered in mist. Arriving at 0900 a quick brew and a sandwich i was set up by 0910 and a quick text to GM4WHA and M0DXT just to let them know i was there and i had my first spot.
Chosen band of operation was 2m with handy and the SOTA pole and resulted in 12 contacts in the first 1 and 1/2 hours but buy this time it was bitterly cold and losing sensation in my fingers i was starting to think about packing up and going home with the mist and wind on the top of the summit but persevered and things changed for the better. The sun broke through and warmed things up nicely and the mist then vanished and the wind dropped making for a really enjoyable day out as a first SOTA activation.
By 1430 contacts where drying up so decided to call it a day and head back home but made for a nice gentle walk back down in the warm sun even though the boggy bit was well churned up by now. Just a shame i had mis read the bus time table and the 1620 bus doesnt run on a saturday Doh!!
eventually arrived back in Annan by 1900.
Total time 13hrs
Time to Summit 1 1/2hrs
Time to base 45mins
Total Contacts 26
ODX 2E0MAS/P and M6AIF/P on Winterhill SP-10