Hill of Tillymorgan GM/ES-079

Hill of Tillymorgan is a gentle 1 pointer just over an hour’s drive north of my QTH. I picked it as an easy return to activation after an enforced layoff for a few weeks after I sprained a medial knee ligament on my last activation in Sutherland. I also wanted to field test a smaller and lighter battery and delta loops for 30 and 17m which I made during the layoff. For the moment I have decided to stop using my DX Commander vertical due to weight, so for the other bands I reverted to my Hyendfed in inverted L configuration plus my Moxons for 10 and 6m.
Parking and route up
I parked (X) next to some ruined buildings across from the old church of Kirkton of Culsalmond after checking with some workmen who were doing up one of the buildings. In the future this option may not be available if the buildings are fully renovated and sold off.

The very obvious track then goes straight up, first through farmland and then pinewoods and arrives at one of the three large wind turbines that have been built on the southern flank of the hill. These are easily seen on the satellite from Google maps and I have marked the route I took. The air in the woods was full of the smell of freshly cut pine, with piles of logs beside the track.

As can be seen, the hill has a lot of old slate quarry workings on it. Annoyingly, the track I followed up from the middle turbine ended at a barbed wire fence, as the summit is used for grazing sheep. There must be a gate somewhere but not on the south side. After taking my pack off and lowering that over the fence, I gingerly got over myself. The summit trig was in sight just past some quarry workings.
Being a grassy summit, there were no issues setting up and the sheep stayed well away. Weather was good, but I could see a line of very heavy showers tracking to the north of me so I set up my tent just in case. Happily only a light shower came over later in the afternoon.
Operating position - Moxons lowered

View South. Mither Tap and Oxen Craig GM/ES-061 on the horizon.

First in the log was a S2S on 40m with Fraser, MM0EFI/P who was on Mount Battock GM/ES-032 about 45 miles south of me. A spot brought 23 QSOs including 3 more S2S. I then migrated to 20m where SV3IEG was first in the log. LX1QF was a nice EU “exotic” and then Bob KD1CT called in from New Hampshire with a great signal for my best DX of the day at 3051 miles. However, I didn’t hear any other signals from Stateside all day. Logged 2 more S2S with Germany and then tried 10m after hearing some signals from Italy. A spot and CQ brought a local QSO with Paul 2M1EUB but nothing else. 6m was dead, much as I anticipated.
I then chased a couple more S2S on 20 and 40m and then put up my 17m delta loop. Looking around the band VK2BY was a 57 with a big pile-up. A spot brought a run of 12 QSOs, all EU apart from 4Z4DX, who gave me 55. I was happy enough that the delta loop was working OK. After chasing 2 more S2S on 40 and 20 I went back to 17m for 6 more with EU. I then tried 10m again and got one QSO with OE6GND.
I then put up my 30m delta loop. This necessitated removing the Hyendfed from my second pole as the loop apex was very close to the top. Memo to self - the apex fixing point needs to be colour-coded to avoid putting a corner point up there by mistake, Doh! A CQ brought 4 or 5 stations all on top of each other which made copy difficult, so apologies for my slow response and a few dit-dit-dah-dah-dit-dits. Just 5 in the log but I was happy enough that the loop was working. Checking RBN showed my CQ was heard pretty well over most of Northern Europe from Iceland to RK3TD in Russia.
After another brief return to 20m, I packed up at 1600 local, sun still shining. On the way down I stopped right underneath one of the monster turbines - these had been motionless on the way up with no wind, but all three were now turning in the breeze. This is the closest I have been to one, and the huge blade woosh-wooshing about 50 feet above my head made me feel a bit nervous.

I am glad to report that my knees held up OK, so I am good to go for the next hill, hopefully this weekend, weather permitting. My new battery also performed well, so happy with that as its quite a bit smaller and lighter than my previous one. Thanks to all and see you in the log next time.


Nice one Simon, Hope you’re ok now. Thanks for the points
Best 73 de Allen

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Simon, Great to hear you’re better and getting out again. Brilliant to work you again yesterday for our third (I think) S2S! 40m was in decent shape yesterday morning.

When you’re feeling a bit fitter, Mount Battock from Glen Esk isn’t a bad walk. There’s a really smooth vehicle track most of the way to the summit and then a bit of a grassy slope for the last wee bit.

Cheers, Fraser

Hi Fraser, thanks for the info. I’m not sure where I’ll go next - looks like we will be dodging thunderstorms over the next few days.

Cheers, Simon

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Many thanks for the excellent report Simon. I was very pleased to work you on 40m as I had somehow missed Fraser. I had a look at the OS and then at the summit’s position geographically. I somehow doubt I will get that far north to facilitate a Complete.

It is interesting that you are in the process of lightning your pack. I am currently doing the same - lots of brain-storming and sketching out ideas. I am hoping to try a few out over the summer… any excuse to get up a summit or two. :wink:


Sorry I missed you too Gerald. My Mount Keen 40m log is full of G stations, from N.Yorks through the Midlands right down to the south coast.

It’s sheer coincidence that Simon and I were out at the same time (again). We really should be more coordinated, given that we live around 8 miles apart!

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Great report and photos Simon. :grinning: Thanks.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

Wonderful report and great to make a S2S from G/SP-005 Pendle hill

Craig 2E0VRX/P

Thanks for the feedback Geoff.

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Thanks Craig. Good to work you and Mike M7MCG/P

73 Simon

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