Drove north under dark grey clouds with occasional rain, hoping that the latest weather forecast would prove right. As I climbed up to the border, the sky was bright on the otherside and the edge of the dark clouds almost formed a straight line east west across the sky in front of me. By Galashiels the sun was shining brightly and it was 3 miles further to Clovenfords on the A92 where I planned to start my ascent. It was not at all clear where the track that is shown on the map leaves the main road and there were three false starts before I realised that it required a left dogleg through the farm yard.
I took the gradual climb route following the track on the map as it meandered its way up the hill. The summit area has 3 large masts bedecked with all shapes & sizes of antennae and dishes with the summit trigpoint just beyond. After visiting the trig I walked back a short distance along the wall which is flanked by a wire fence and set up the dipole, bungying the pole to a fence post and tying off the ends to the barbed wire.
Once set up, I found FE in use, so CQd on FM to open with a S2S with Roger on SI-084. Roger indicated he would QSY to a lower channel and I called QRZ for a minute or so till Mike GW0DSP found me, and spotted me - thanks Mike. There followed a run of 24 QSOs after which, I was ready to move to 7mhz only my fingers were almost numb with the cold and despite multiple layers, I was shivering in the fierce cold wind. It is very difficult to manage the clothing balance between energetic ascent with a heavy pack, and the stillness of sitting operating on the summit. I fumbled with some of the gear and decided to do no more. Packed up, descended to the car, drove to Galashiels Rally where I had time for a good chat with Andy MM0FMF. Perhaps over optimistically I came away from the rally with a palm paddle. Don’t hold your breath.
73 jim gm0cqk