Kintyre & Knapdale SOTA trip

I’ll be down activating summits in and around Kintyre and Knapdale from next Tuesday 5/May/2015 for 4 days. I’m concentrating on activating summits with trig points which means I’ll be doing 40m SSB/CW and other bands.

I was intending to take the ferry to Arran, bag a wee summit and then get the ferry to Kintyre as the cost of the ferry is only a touch more than the cost of fuel to drive all the way around. The last time I checked the WX it didn’t look too bonny that way. So I may take longer driven route and I wont know till Monday evening.

Some of the targets are listed below but depending on access, WX and how much I drank the night before the targets are subject to change.

GM/SS-243 Beinn Ghuilean (Kintyre) NR71 + trigpoint
GM/SS-200 Cnoc Moy (Kintyre) NR61 + trigpoint
GM/SS-206 Beinn na Lice (Kintyre) NR60 + trigpoint
GM/SS-188 Beinn Dubh Airigh (Mid Argyle) NM90 + trigpoint
GM/SS-173 Carn Duchara (Mid Argyle) NM81 + trigpoint
GM/SS-279 Carn Breugach (Isle Of Kerrara) NM82 + trigpoint

Don’t forget that Martyn M1MAJ and Caroline M3ZCB are out in GW/SW next week and John G4YSS is in GM/NS. Also Tom will in The Azores as CU8/HB9DPR. Plenty to chase!


Thanks for the heads up information.
Will add it to me currant coming up week list.

And certainly will be listening out for all :smile:


That sounds great, I’l be looking out for you, I hope you find time for 60m - if you don’t like the look of the weather on the tops can I suggest a visit to Crarae and/or Arduaine?


…or Cruachan Power Station

And don’t forget the Tick Tool - seriously! If you don’t have one they are available from most local vets or pet shops.

I am a bit confused though, is it the 7th May or the first Tuesday in May??
2m FM would be good as I can see nearly all the summits from my work and I could probably arrange a skive for a complete. Hope you get good wx for it and you enjoy the lonely hikes - I did, if fact I would go back in a flash to the summits 30 odd miles from home but 200+ miles drive. :frowning:


1 Like

5th… now fixed

I got ‘ticked’ on Mull a few weeks ago :frowning:

Hi Andy

Sounds like a great expedition have fun and keep safe! I’m not at all jealous… Sadly I’m fully committed work-wise so doubt I’ll be chasing you unless you run over to Saturday…

73 de Paul G4MD

Andy, a wee warning about the Arran ferry from Ardrossan - it doesn’t take much of a choppy sea to cancel the sailings. So a keen eye on the wind speed and direction would be a good idea. I think you might be a tad upset if you drove all the way to the Ayrshire coast to find out you have to drive all the way back up again.
They have plenty of sailing reports on WestFM (96.7FM and 106.7FM) if there is doubt about the ferry - well ferrying.


Well the WX for tomorrow looks proper May Holiday weather in Scotland: very wet. Then when it’s less wet it’s more windy! It brightens up a lot later in the week. But stays fresh and breezy :slight_smile:

Expect summits in the near of Campbeltown on Tuesday & Wednesday. The others in the near of Oban/Knapdale for Thursday & Friday. There’s a chance of a dry window tomorrow afternoon and if so I’ll aim for Beinn na Lice SS-206 then. It’s only a 20min yomp from the car park.

With so many people warning of ticks, I picked up a tick remover today. Forewarned is forearmed.

Whilst browsing the outdoor shops for a fix of “equipment porn” I seem to have acquired a Haglofs Barrier Pro II belay jacket for only £80. :smile:

I have an excellent down jacket that comes out in the Winter and fine and warm it is. However, it doesn’t pack down that small, about the size of a rugby football. It’s overkill for this time of year. I don’t mind taking less water in the Winter and that makes enough room for the down jacket. The Haglofs weighs in at 380gm (I weighed it just) and packs to about the size of a 7Ahr SLAB. It’s Pertex and synthetic insulation so I don’t care about it getting wet as it will stay warm and windproof. It’s meant to breathable and be water repellent, we shall see.

I bought a cheap Chinese softshell 3 years back for the princely sum of £12. It was meant to be breathable, it isn’t. It’s meant to have a DWR, it doesn’t, it takes on rain like a sponge. It’s not warm but it is windproof. It doesn’t pack down either. The Haglofs will replace this, weigh less and take a fraction of the volume. I got my £12 out of the cheap shell, I’m not complaining. I certainly wouldn’t have paid full price (£180) for this Haglofs jacket either. Reports to follow.

As expected Tuesday was a washout. I thought I would see Noah and his Ark at one point. Nasty crash outside Inverary, it looks like a car aquaplaned of the road down a 10m embankment into the loch. I was stuck for 90mins whilst the emergency services picked up the pieces and cleaned the mess :frowning:

Today I managed 3 summits, all 40m only starting on the WAB net then QSYing for CW. The WX started with no wind and drizzle and ended with quiet warm sun and serious wind from the NW. Tomorrow should be OK.

Beinn na Lice is about 20-25mins from the Mull Of Kintyre car park. I’ve driven that road before but I must have suppressed the memories of how diabolic it was. Cnoc Moy was approached by driving a private road to a farm and parking there, I had previously arranged permission for this. It was a rough forest/farm track so it was time to test out the TonkaToy in 4wd etc. Fantastic! I got lost on the way as there are many new roads to handle the harvesting of the forest. I had to have a wee play on the dirt tracks. 4wd-lo is an eye-opener… flat out in 5th I think it will do 35mph! But the torque… I’m sure it will climb a 1:1 slope in 4wd-lo 1st gear on tickover :smile:

Finally Beinn Ghuilean. Ha, ha, some is having laugh here, that’s steeper than the North Face of the Eiger! OK there was a less steep path but the summit is bogging. What a nasty peat hag boggy featureless place. The walk up is strenuous but good.

Tomorrow I head North towards Oban. Planned summits include Tom the Tiger aka Tom an t-Saighdeir (pronounced Tom an Tijer), Carn Duchara and yet another Beinn Mor. I’ll start on the WAB net (7.160 LSB) and continue from there.

How did the Haglofs Barrier II work? Stunning. It is pure magic and I cannot understand how I have put up with inferior jackets for years. I’m very pleased with it, worth a lot more than the £80 I paid.

OK, who broke the sky? I thought this was too good to last.

It took longer than expected to get up North from near Campbeltown. Anyway, I’m holiday and you do need to check out the views etc. on the way. First problem as Tom an t-Saighdeir… I couldn’t find it. I’d checked the views from Google Maps and Bing Maps, I had the 1:25000 map and what I found on the ground did not match what I’d seen. I even drove up into the forest and it still didn’t match. OK, I was in the wrong place but after 25mins faffing I was not in the right place and then it rained hard. Not going to happen, so it was off to Carn Duchara.

An exciting road and amazing views. I drove right past Lagolachan where you park. I had to do a 19-point turn in a narrow road in a vehicle with no lock and got back to the parking spot. Oooh, it looked steep. Anyway 1h35 later of wonderous forest walking and some good knolly bits I was at the trig. We had fierce winds that were baltic and sleet and hail on the way. I plugged in and… nothing. OK SWR was fine but hardly a signal. 40m CW worked and I was qualified. Next WAB net and Steve operating GX4WAB told me there had been a flare or such. Drat! I worked a handful on 40m SSB on the WAB net then spotted and moved down but nobody found me. I called on 2m FM and Jack GM4COX was workable using the urbber duck. 30m CW was quite lively.

What a shame, I know it was on last weekend when Robin activated this, he only did 2m but did work Don G0RQL. Jack did on 40m before and Neil 2M0NCM has done it. But till last year it was unactivated.

It’s a gem of a hill, sorry few of you had a QSO.

Heard you on 40m CW, indeed called you, but your signal was in rapid terminal decline and I don’t know whether you replied… At least I didn’t need that summit for a complete - unlike the GW/SW summits on offer by Martyn and Caroline. Drat, drat, drat!!!

73, Gerald G4OIG

I put up a 40m dipole this morning in an effort to work you Andy.

I had my eye on the spots all morning, then finally saw a spot from G4OBK for 7.033MHz at 13.25utc. I have S8 QRN but could just make out your CQ. I called you a couple of times but then your signal just faded away :frowning:

Well I did at least try.

73, Colin M1BUU

I heard you in the pileup… I sent BUU? a few times but no reply. Some without BUU in their call kept sending too, just to make it more fun :frowning:

The WAB lads have appreciated the trig points you’ve put on for them. Thanks Andy.

Just one more summit tomorrow, Carn Breugach on Kerrera. I wont be able to catch the earliest ferry, so I can’t get to the island before 10.40, 55mins to the summit, say 11.40. WX is cracking now, hardly any clouds, wind down to a breeze (still Baltic).

Sunset over Oban harbour, Kerrera and Mull in the background.


With photos like that you certainly know how to kick a man when he’s down Andy. Another three weeks to wait until the next GM trip with Paul. Just hoping that our day out on Saturday airing the B calls will ease things a little. :smile:

Cracking pictures Andy, and good to work you on 2 FM though no inter GM propagation on 40 today.

As mentioned out tomorrow to Activate SS-284. QRV 1100hrs local, so I will try and track you down for a S2S HF - don’t think it will go on 2? Possibly SS-276 en-route to my Mum’s for my usual Friday night ‘nosh’.

Catch you then.


Jack (;>J

I did have snow today and hail. Hail first for a few minutes about 10mins of snow, though nothing stuck. Whilst on the summit I watched band after band of sleet and snow moving up the Pass of Brander washing over Ben Cruachan and Ben Lui. Lots of fresh snow above about 800m.