After my failure to get up GM/ES-025 in the heat, I thought I would go for a shorter outing
this time. Monamenach is a very straightforward 4 pointer in Glen Isla, about 1hr 30m drive from my home QTH in Aboyne, with easy parking near the start and a good ATV track for 2/3 of the way up.The final 1/3 is a steep “Route 1” pull, up a mainly grassy track. The summit cairn is a small pile of stones and the featureless top offers no shelter at all, so it wouldn’t be great on a really windy/bad WX day.
Parking point is next to the river just past the holiday accomodation of Auchavan. The road to Auchavan is a dead-end, heading up Glen Isla from a turning off the B951 that leads past Forter Castle. The ATV track up starts just past a gateway next to Auchavan.
Route up. ©Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey. Media 041/22
The path that heads directly to the summit is the first branch off the ATV track, where the latter starts to get very grassy.
Summit cairn, looking roughly West
I was dampened by a passing shower on the way up, after that the weather was quite settled but with a strong breeze. The walk up took about 1 hour 20m. I tried setting up my tarp as a tent, but the walking pole holding it up just kept blowing over (see next activation report on Ben Rinnes GM/ES-021 Ben Rinnes 23rd Aug 2022). The only other folk I saw all day were a couple with a dog who sat and had their lunch by the cairn.
My usual gear: 857d, 40m dipole + wire delta loops for HF and 5el yagi for 2m. O2 phone signal wasn’t great - my spots sent OK but Sotawatch was very slow loading, so I didn’t do much S2S hunting.
Starting on 2m FM at 1058 utc, I got 5 in the log, with MM7SWM in Glasgow being furthest at 125km. Switching to SSB I got one contact, G1ZJQ, near Newcastle 219km.
On 40m the band was quite busy with Lighthouse activators and with short skip. 18 in the log, including 6 “local” GMs, one S2S with GW4TQE/P, a few Gs and just 2 EU (EA2CKX and PA7RA).
I went briefly back to 2m FM for a S2S with Fraser MM0EFI/P who was up on GM/ES-041 about 100 km North of me and then moved to 20m. 29 in the log, all EU and a nice S2S with TF/HB9GKR/P.
17m brought 8 contacts, with best DX SV2SOQ.
I ended the day on 15m which brought 5 more for the log, including AE4FZ(a tricky 41/33 exchange) as best DX chaser and my best DX of the day 8H77I on Java, using a special call for the 77th aniversary of Indonesian independence. - I called him and he was last in the log at 1422 utc and I found I could download a QSL from him later that evening.
68 QSOs for the day. Thanks to all as usual.
There were some nice views from the top:
Looking North up Glen Isla:
Looking South at Mount Blair GM/ES-035
The first 15 minutes of the drive home were quite interesting - first I encountered a white duck dawdling down the middle of the road who was not very interested in getting out of the way. Next I came across an abandoned 4WD with farm trailer which had crashed into a power line pole. The power line was dangling across the road but thankfully still high enough not to trouble my little Skoda. Further on I flagged down a couple of approaching cars to warn them. Then a mile or so later I met what looked like two small racing cars, similar to Formula 5000 but no rear spoilers. All this before I got back on the B951