Geallaig Hill GM/ES-036 - a good run on 10m

Good SOTA weather at the weekend at this time of year being rare, I picked Geallaig Hill - close to home, good track up, not too high and a summit I hadn’t visited for 3 years. SFI was over 170 so I thought 10m would be good, although a CME had hit on Saturday producing an A of 38, so some disturbance possible.
There is a parking area on the B976 opposite Braenaloin Farm, close by the gate which opens onto the track up which goes all the way to the top.

Gate and info board

I had a late start due to family commitments and was pushed to get up and QRV for 1200 UTC before Fraser, MM0EFI, went QRT on Beinn a’Bhuird, GM/ES-004. Made it with a few minutes to spare, only to find my coax had a bad joint. I always pack 2 cables though and managed a quick QSO on 2m FM with Mike, MM7MWL/M, before finally exchanging with Fraser just before he started back down. I only had my 2m loop with me, so a spot and CQs brought no further contacts.

Activation site - right beside the summit cairn which doubles as a shelter and also hides the trig point. No wind and some weak sunshine.

857d, Sotabeams 40/20 linked dipole, Moxon for 10 and 6m, 2m wire loop,Sotabeams 7000hds pole, DX Commander 7m pole.

40m: Esther and Ian, GI0AZA, AZB were first in the log followed by 18 others. Band wasn’t great to EU but Manuel EA2DT got through OK.

10m: put the moxon up and first itl was a tricky S2S with M0PJE/P on G/SP-013 via (I presume) backscatter. Beaming South I could just barely hear him, but beaming North he was a good 52.
After that, a spot produced CT2IWW off the back of the beam, followed by a continous run of US chasers: 17 itl with KF9D furthest West, plus XE3O for best DX of the day. Just a few EU - IT9, SV and G0FWX for another on backscatter.

Moxon lowered - nothing heard on 6m.

20m: 24 itl all EU, including a S2S with DK0FSW/P and a second QSO with EA2DT.

69 itl for the day and apart from 2 walkers with a dog early on, I had the hill to myself. Packed up with the sun getting low and was back at the car by 1600 UTC. Coming down, you have to remember to keep the deer fence on your right and not be tempted to take the track going down to the West at the only junction, otherwise you will have a long walk back to your car.

Views from the summit

Looking South across the Dee at Lochnagar, GM/ES-008

Looking North at Morven GM/ES-018

Looking West at the Cairngorms and Fraser, MM0EFI, on Beinn a’Bhuird


Excellent work Simon. I was working /M on a local high spot but was still cold in the car so full marks for activating Gellaig on a fine, but quite chilly day. :+1: 73 Mike

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Superb Simon. Thanks for the photo of me, some 20km away. Your photo is quite interesting, in that you can just see the Beinn a’Bhuird summit plateau behind the sprawling summit of Ben A’an. I would have reciprocated, but I couldn’t work out which of the brown and white lumps was your one.

As for me waiting, well I had a niggling thought that I needed Geallaig Hill for a complete. I just checked, and thanks to you I no longer do.

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I was really struggling to copy you but glad we made it in the end. I was using a flowerpot antenna, not too high off the ground so not ideal.
I didn’t get as many contacts and the DX wasn’t as good as last time I took it out, but had no problem getting across the pond.

Approx 3 degrees on the summit, ice on the path and cloudy with the mist coming down so not as picturesque as your summit!

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Sorry I missed you this time Simon. I got really cold hands after an hour and a half on Dirrington Great law GM/SS-225, so I had packed away the radio by the time you were active. It was a weak signal to Fraser on 2m, so might have struggled to get to you.

Excellent. Glad to give you that, Fraser.

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I think as I only had a 2m wire loop, it would have been doubtful anyway.

Thanks for persevering. I like the difficult ones best.

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Lovely write up and super photos, the hill looked stunning. We had rain off and on all day here so really glad we were able to get you for the chase :ok_hand:

Always nice to hear you and Esther!

Hmm, I’ve been wondering whether it would be worthwhile travelling that far north for the Trans-Atlantic S2S event next November. I could tie it into a few more days on the hills… Those fence posts look tempting and track all the way would be a bonus in the dark. A distinct possibility. :grinning::

Another excellent log from you Simon. Unfortunately I wasn’t around to be part of it, but maybe next time.

73, Gerald


Geallaig Hill is a pretty easy one, with a Land Rover track all the way. As Simon’s photo shows, the summit shelter is fairly good. Not much traffic either Gerald.

Of course, you could pre-order some completes from me Mike and Simon. :slightly_smiling_face:


Got to agree. It’s a nice straightforward hill will a good track, shelter, car park area at the bottom. The biggest concern is the B976 to Braenaloin Farm. in the Winter with snow etc. You could always take the A939 instead that goes to Strathdon/Corgaff etc. There’s another track shown from that side to the summit.

One of the best bits is driving back down the B976 and seeing out to Lochnagar and the cliffs :+1:

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There also seems to be a decent track up from the South, off the A93, with what looks like room to park 1 car, with perhaps more room to park up the farm track if the farmer is obliging.

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I volunteer to try that in January when I’m allowed back up there again. :slightly_smiling_face: