Well it’s been a long time coming but I’ve finally managed to activate G/DC-008
At 250 miles from the home QTH it took a bit of justifying but I siezed the opportunity of a weekend away with the XYL to grab this far flung singleton.
Having previously activated the “old” version, G/DC-004, I’d got a pretty good idea of the lie of the land but that didn’t stop the way up being part of the “how not to” series :-s
I started off by doing what I’d done back in October 2009, heading for the trig via the path from the small parking area to the right of the fence. Beyond the trig, I headed straight for the bank behind that led to higher ground along what appeared to be a path… this soon degenerated into a mire of tussocks, sinkholes and thorny bramble tripwires that would give the worst Galloway ground a run for it’s money! After forcing my way through a steep bank covered in sapling trees I eventually gained the haul road at the point where it turned back on itself, from where I headed East of South East straight up the hill towards my chosen activation point, on the South East corner of the access land at SW999574. Here I found the rocks mentioned by Gerald G4OIG in his initial survey of the area, which I was glad to use as shelter from the brisk wind that was blowing across the otherwise shelterless landscape. Just to be sure, I trekked to the obvious highest point and backtracked to my operating location, finding the drop from the summit indicated by my barometric altimeter to be about 14m - well within the AZ.
Despite the more arduous than expected ascent, I opened bang on time at 1530z on 60m and at 1533 was rewarded with a call from Gerald who had kindly visited G/HTW-010 Yearsley Cross on his way home from a few days HuMPing in the Scottish Borders to work me He was kind enough to spot me, which eventually brought me another four difficult contacts in the face of extreme QSB and heavy QRN, including a very welcome S2S with MM0OAT/P on GM/SS-274. Geoff GM4WHA showed extreme persistence to give me the fourth contact that secured my qualification of the summit.
A brief excursion onto 80m showed S9+ noise and even worse QRN, so I moved to 40m where conditions were not quite so bad and self-spotted, which eventually delivered a further five contacts including one with IK2LEY to add a continental flavour. After five minutes of calling provided no further responses, I decided to call it a day and after packing up and trying a few calls with the HT on 145.500 without reply made my way downhill. Considering the conditions, I was quite chuffed with the result; my only real disappointment being not contacting ace chaser Don G0RQL in his “back yard”!
As usual, on the way down a better route presented itself. Based on this, my recommendation for the ascent would be not to follow the (boggy, wet) path to the right of the fence but to go from the car park through the kissing gate into the field, then follow the left hand side of the fence to another kissing gate that gives access to the compound containing the trig point mound. From here a faint path makes it’s way to a derelict building at the foot of the slope up to the haul road, a path to the right then taking you through less dense vegetation up to the road via a gully cut in the bank for drainage. Not easy to follow, but it is there!
So thanks to all, particularly Gerald, G4OIG, Graeme M0OAT and Geoff, GM4WHA and hope to catch you from our more usual stamping ground of GM in the not to distant future
73 de Paul G4MD