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Gallivanting in Galloway


RF conditions not good. But the WX was glorious yesterday, I look like a lobster. I try to avoid that due to the dangers. Today covered in factor 30 and that did the trick… scared away the sun, a bit overcast and a cold wind but it was better walking temperatures.

Yesterday, Craignell SS-178

Today, Millfore SS-092


Ooo, I am heap big jealous… but I mustn’t wax lyrical too much about Craignell otherwise there will be a rush to activate it. I see it has been vacant since I was up there in 2013… was it really that long ago? :frowning:


They were surprisingly easy for Galloway summits. But that’s 13years SOTAing speaking. Yes hard work for 1 and 2 points but the views were worth it. I didn’t realise how unfit I was till I started cycling on tracks for SOTA. Took about 30mins to cycle up hill 1.4miles and 150m ascent. Only took 5 mins to get back at a scary 25-30mph. Yes very scary.


Yes, I am gagging to get back over to Galloway to mop up the outstanding ones, but would appreciate a certain person getting his backside into gear and tagging Kirriereoch onto the end of the GM/SS line before I get there… only please give Neil the heads up so he can be first in line. Otherwise you might find some ancient Scottish rite is enacted which will cut short every subsequent activation you attempt! :grin:


Had a classic opportunity for a direct comparison today Andy as you were on 40m CW at the same time as Jack GM4COX. Your signal was in the noise and barely readable, but Jack was 579 with QSB. It’s amazing the effect that the extra distance had. 60m was still too noisy here to be any use, probably worse than yesterday, but there were more people at home enjoying the excellent weather… indoors. :grinning:


I was hoping I may be able to give you or Paul a possible complete but it wasn’t to be. Conditions bizarre today… bands were quiet, no noise and people were there then gone then back.

When I got to the end of the tracks and the foot of Cairnsmore - Black Craig of Dee, I looked at it and thought “what is all the fuss about, looks straightforward.” Then after 10 paces into the tussocks I realised “ah, I see”. Gordon Bennett! The computer said 40mins for 1.25km walked and 245m ascent which is normally fine. But Galloway! So it took 1hr30mins. Found 3 thigh deep holes full of water, nearly lost a boot but kept dry socks, how I don’t know.

Stunning views today… Corserine and The Merrick still had snow patches on their North sides. Also Mullwharcher was peeking over the lower shoulders of The Merrick. Hmmm…


A panorama from Black Craig’s summit, basically South on the left through West ending at almost North.


Which route did you use? We did it pre-SOTA via Benniguinea and were not impressed, not least because it had turned misty by the time we finally
got to the top. We have been considering coming up from the Raiders Road instead.


Raiders Road Caroline. When I checked online the road was closed due to overunning logging activities. I drove past it on Wednesday and it was closed. On Friday I was going to park in the car park before the road starts proper and then cycle to the high point on the Fell of Fleet forest road and then walk to Fell of Fleet but the road was open now. I drove to Laggan of Dee but there is no parking space there and I wasn’t sure if the buildings were in use. I parked off road at NX572746 which was rather soft and muddy… I needed to put the Hilux into 4wd to escape as a sniff of throttle caused the back wheels to churn the ground. 4wd and it moved just on tickover! It’s 5.5m long so there are probably many more spaces a car would fit.

From there up the track and past the last remaining plantations then up an old firebreak through clear fell and brash. From then on the nightmare begins as the ground is dia-bleedin-bolical! It’s horrendous till the granite slabs covered in moss appear about 75m below the summit.

Views were so really excellent that it was worth the effort. But on a wet or bland day it would be pure hell.


Either way sounds unpleasant, don’t fancy getting the car stuck at Laggan of Dee. It says Toll on the map. Don’t fancy paying for the priviledge either! Undecided which way I will take. Hoping to go there to activate it before midsummer, and activate Fell of Fleet SS-181 same day.

73 Phil


£2 takes only coins.It’s a bargain to be able to drive on these forest roads for such a piffling sum. Not like car parking in the Lake District!

There’s a better place to park about 500m further than where I parked. I paid the £2 but was too mean to add an extra km to the walk and what’s the point of having real 4wd with two gear leavers, 5 speeds and 2wd/4wd-hi/4wd-lo and diff locks if you don’t use it now and then. :smile: The other thing is that with the pickup bed unloaded and in 2wd drive there is no weight over the rear wheels hence limited grip. It’s easy to spin it in the wet if you give it too much throttle on a bend. Of course you can also hoon about like a loony “power sliding” with the tail hanging out and some opposite lock if you want. Not that I’ve done that, no sir!


My 15 year-old Defender 90 has all these.

Walt (G3NYY)


Exactly Walt. They’re great toys to play with but I do wish my Hilux’s thirst for diesel wasn’t so prodigious.


My 21 yr old Defender 110 also arrives with two gear levers, and since I fixed the linkage it even goes into diff lock without needing a hammer! Stayed on the road today but it made the double bends up to St Peters Church in Martindale look easy. Even behaved on the way down, but admittedly less fun on the A66. Marginally queter than being in a Sea King but still has the feel of 4000 rivets bouncing along in loose formation! (Hallin Fell G/LD-043 Half an hours steep walk from the parking on the fell by the church - but busy in nice weather!)
(Photo - Summit of Hallin Fell with “Helper”)
73 Paul


I’ve just had all the tailgate covers off so I could lube up the linkages and catches on the main drop tailgate and the topbox cover. Being a flat back, it sucks all the dirt off the road and covers the back, salt, grime, mud, gunge. Much better for the application of some grease. I only noticed how bad it had got getting the bike in and out so many times last week. Slam… slam… SLAM… was needed. Now it just presses closed with a click.