Ladylea Hill (GM/ES-049) - unremarkable hill

That’s the description from Walk Highlands, but I beg to disagree. It’s not a hard walk by any stretch of the imagination, but the views from the expansive flat summit are fantastic - Lochnagar, the Buck, and many of the other hills that make up this part of the Cairngorms National Park. I had Mrs MM7RVC with me today, plus two SOTA hounds, so I wasn’t planning on a long activation, and the HF conditions have not been great.

The gentle climb begins on an easy forestry track before reaching a deer gate. Above this point, a new plantation of native tree species is being established, so in a few years, there will be little view until the summit.

At about halfway, there is a small cairn with what looks like Buddhist prayer flags. A nice drop of colour amongst the heather.

I set up next to the small summit cairn, which has a conveniently placed strainer post from a fence which appears to have gone long ago.

Starting off on 20m, it seemed that it was going to be a struggle, but luckily, my spot was effective, and chasers from Spain, Italy, Finland, Poland, England, and Wales appeared with one French Summit to Summit to give a total of 12 QSOs. A quick join of the linked dipole and a CQ on 40m brought 4 more contacts—all from England and Scotland, including Mike (2M0WNA) using his new callsign, which takes me by surprise every time I hear it.

A quick cup of tea (thank you, Mrs C) and we set off down the hill to find a spot for lunch.

If you are ever in the NE of Scotland, I can thoroughly recommend the Kildrummy Inn. Dog-friendly in the beautiful garden and terrace, it makes a great spot to stop and refuel. The food is also awesome, and considering they have Michelin rosettes, the prices are not extravagant.

The whisky bar definitely needs more investigation…

Without SOTA, I would never have gone up Ladylea or discovered the wonderful Kildrummy Inn, which is only 40 minutes from home - what a great hobby!


Those weren’t there when I went up last year.


I did a quick “om shanti, shanti, shanti” just to be at one with the hill!


Buddhist stuff means you get the chance to plug Mr. Hillage and his guitar. Except this song is a Hindu mantra. But it’s all the same really, Eastern mysticism. :wink:


You’re not alone, Chris… I still trip over it myself every time I use it or hear it…:grinning: Good to work you though. Ladylea is a fine reward for not too much uphill effort. Scene of my first (and very slow and nervous) CW activation…:weary: 73 Mike


My favourite Hillage track is Palm Trees (Love Guitar) off the Green album


Mine too.


Nice one Chris. I don’t think I’ve seen Ladylea Hill without snow on it. It is a great one for short winter days.

In the usual weird way the internet works, I was reading this offering from google 15 mins before logging in to the reflector and reading your report:


Interesting read. There were a lot of pines with brown needles, so it doesn’t look like a great success. A lot of these “rewilding” projects aren’t well thought through as the Brewdog estate has proven.