“Well, we know where we’re goin’
But we don’t know where we’ve been”…
“I’m sure that when I stalked the Google “little man” that this was a proper tarmac road” I said, as we slithered along on wet slicked mud/ hard packed ice/snow. I am in debt of a car washing (we werent using mine). But we got there on the wee road north out of Kirkton of GlenIsla. Having left the car half on a snow drift (drive wheels on terra firma) we decided to tolerate the rather steep direct ascent of “The Crock”, 225M vertically in 500 horizontally doesnt do justice to the maximum pitch.
the short cut through a bit of forest,wasn’t
but eventually we found a summit and having descended the other side to hide from the wind set up the office.
This was to be the first (and last) test of my new aerial. A multiband “fan” dipole. It sort of worked, but the separation of the dipoles was too narrow and everything got tangled messing up the SWR. Nice idea to have an instant band change aerial but not practical in these circumstances. Still, 38 qsos happened.in 20 minutes. But, we have much yet to do! Sadly during the final ascent through the forest the last of any visibility vanished, a light snow started (and thankfully stopped) and the bit of blue sky we saw as we left the car became but a memory. We had to go fully onto instruments, just as well as without the compass we would have headed in exactly the wrong direction…
After a week of mild temperatures we reckoned these low(ish) tops might now be clear of snow, not so it seems:
shunning the route we’d used to climb for the descent as being too dodgy in the poor vis, we took the longer route round through the North and ended up on the track we’d rejected earlier (in preference for the straight up route):
just what it needed, a nice little drizzle to properly slick up that ice.
So,on we plodged to summit no.2 GM/ES-063, Hare Cairn, with gorgeous views over Blackwater reservoir, hahaha:
up there somewhere.
Due to the time we had to push up the pace but made it to the top to make just 8 QSOson 40 and 20, sorry for those who missed us here but we’ll be back for sure. Bit of a grind in the end, about 14km walk, which isn’t a lot, but the terrain was a bit harsh and the weather was grim (ish), at least it didn’t rain (much).
And we definitely decided that this game needs the institution of “Apres-Sota”:
p.s. Putting the dissapoinment of the fan dipole behind, on sunday morning I ran up a simple multiband “link” dipole. Of course, it needed testing so as GM/SS-192 is just 15 minutes drive away and a safe easy walk up it had to be done. 76 qsos in 90 minutes with most in the first 60 validated the build and nice to get decent reports back on 40 at last. Sadly the visibility became even worse than yesterday, AND, it felt much colder. I think it’s the chilliest I’ve felt for some time.
At least you can’t got wrong on the route. (the road serves all the commercial installations but isn’t accessible to the public). But the fog remained all the way down.