Ben Rinnes, a 4 pointer, is a well-known tourist attraction outside Dufftown in Moray with its own small dedicated car park just off the B9009 SW of the town. A very visible track leads all the way to the summit from the parking area, which took me about 1 hour 30m to walk up. I had previously avoided activating Ben Rinnes due to its popularity with walkers and went up on Tuesday in changeable, breezy weather. Even so, there was a steady stream of visitors, including a large group of about 12 German-speaking tourists. The top is dominated by a granite tor, which the trig point sits on. The South side of the summit ends in a steep drop but the North and East sides have flatter areas and I set up just North of the track up, to get as much shelter as I could from the strong Westerly wind.
Track from about 2/3 of the way up
Summit tor and trig
My activation start was delayed by a problem with my 2m yagi. For some reason, one of the driven element feedpoint screw-holes was misaligned and I struggled for some time to get the screw to go through. After much bad language I got it sorted though.
Gear: 857d, 5el 2m yagi, Sotabeams linked dipole for 40/20m, wire delta loops 17/15/12/10m
Starting at 1112 utc 2m FM brought just 2 QSOs, with MM1FAS in Elgin and 2M0PVP in Edinburgh.
40m was in better shape to EU than on 21st Aug when I was on ES-028 and brought 12 QSOs, including a S2S with OE7RDI/P.
20m brought 12 EU QSOs including 3 S2S, one with DM5RE/P whom I hadn’t been able to hear on 40m.
At 1300 I got a text from Fraser MM0EFI who was up on Millstone Hill, GM/ES-077, 45Km SouthWest of me and we made a good S2S 59 both ways on 2m FM.
With rain looking likely, I put up my tarp in tent configuration and this time got it to stay up, unlike my attempts on ES-028. This was by the simple expedient of bunching the tarp tent “roof” round the handle of my walking pole and then securing it upwind with a guy line. Rock solid!
15m was quiet and brought just one QSO, a S2S with Armin, HB9/DL6GCA/P.
For the final 30m of the activation I went to 17m, which, after a slow start proved quite productive, with 19 QSOs, including another with Fraser, Barry GM4TOE and a S2S with Stephan F/HB9EAJ/P who found me just by tuning around as he had no phone signal up in the Pyrenees. I knew the band was open to the Far East but it was still a nice surprise to be called by JA3CYY, Mori in Kyoto, for easily best DX of the day.
47 QSOs in total. Thanks to all.
More views from the top:
Looking NW across the Moray Firth