GM/SS-140 Turner Cleuch Law - collapse of tall thi

(The heading should be “Collapse of tall thin party” but it ran out of characters - I’ve been caught that way before, should know better.)

Today I thought I’d check out the HF gear on the chance that I might need to use it tomorrow to try to contact the Ailsa Craig activators (I’m intending to try 2m first).

Just as well I did - the “SOTA pole” collapsed in the high wind, so will need to be taped up a bit before tomorrow. It has received a lot of maltreatment by being loaded with yagis and feeder much too heavy for it - though I now have a much better attachment to the pole which causes much less stress. Basically, the plumbing pipe fitting as used on the SOTAbeams SB270 (and copied by me for my heavier yagis) has sharp inner corners that dig into the pole tubing if you push the beam too far down the pole, weakening the structure and (ultimately) allowing the collapse I observed! My own fault entirely, and already the cause is fixed. I must look out for more of these poles though when they next appear cheap at LIDL …

I got the notice of variation for “GA” yesterday (see the “Scottish Homecoming” reflector posting) so had fun using it - it caused quite a bit of interest both outwith and in the UK.

Many thanks to all providing contacts today, and to PA3FYG and HA7UG for the spots. A fair haul - 35 on 40m ssb and 11 on 20m ssb. “Where have all the 2m folk gone?” by MM3ZYS on the reflector reinforced again - though admittedly I was not trying on 2m. I gave a shout on 2m FM and was answered after a few calls by GM3UCI, but I only had GMnUCI until I got home and was able to check in the callbook (so no, that one didn’t get entered!). Sorry I lost GM3UCI in trying to QSY up - I was only using the “rubber duck” antenna.

I’ve added a couple of notes on access / route in the “Summits” data. Prior to today most of the activations were on 60m! It’s a nice little hill with quick access - less than 40 minutes up, less than 25 minutes down. Lots more around in that area for me to do.

(These backslashes it adds are a bit of a pain …)


In reply to GM8OTI:

I did Turner Cleuch Law with The Wiss 2 summers ago. Apart from bracken taller than me coming down from The Wiss and finding the ditch with both legs it was a belter of a day. Sadly either the PC or camera had a tizzy fit and the pictures decided to erase themselves. I ascended from Hartleap. Nice easy plod up the quad bike track.

There’s lots of nice lumps in that area. Not only The Wiss, but as you make your way down into Ettrick you have Cacra Hill, Law Kneiss (the GOML is long gone), Ward Law, Andrewhinney Hill (via the soft route), Ettrick Pen, Capel Fell, Croft Head and Scaw’d Fell. You can combine them into doubles or triples if you feel up to it. None of them are technically challenging, just nice walks in lovely countryside with occasional bit of effort needed. The only downside is that the Ettrick road is one of the longest dead end roads in Scotland and is annoying to the wallet to know that you have to drive all the way back out after you’ve driven all the way in!

See for more info on Ettrick area.