A Saturday (16th July 22) with a good forecast is not to be missed, so I picked Meall Mor as it’s a 2 pointer with a relatively short walk-in, my knee still not being 100%. The parking spot is about 1 hour 15m from my home QTH, on a minor road signposted to Blacklunans, off the A93. The route up initially follows a forestry track for about 100 yards and then you have to turn left into a clearing, which is bounded by 2 dry-stone walls. Follow the right-hand wall all the way up to where it meets the left-hand wall, cross over it by the junction and then follow the left-hand wall up to the top where it meets another wall which runs along the crest past the summit cairn. There is no path and you have to pick your way carefully through calf-high grass and heather. Just below the top it gets pretty steep so I traversed around that. I was very glad of my walking poles, particularly on the way back down.
Looking down from the first junction point
Looking back down the crestal wall
It was quite breezy at the top, with the wind from the NW so I set up the operating position just down from the cairn on the SE side and was nicely sheltered.
Operating position - 40/20 linked dipole on left, delta loop on right
A cheeky bird on my dipole
Overall, the bands weren’t that great, with a lot of QSB and I couldn’t hear many of the EU summits that were on 40m. In fact I started on 40m with a failed S2S with DL3TU/P - I just didn’t copy my report - too much QSB.
A spot brought a short run of 15, including 2 S2S, with Don G0RQL, first in the log. It was nice to work Tim, G5TM, who was my first SOTA chaser 2 years ago.
Moving to 20m, signals were stronger but still with a lot of QSB. 21 in the log including 4 S2S (IK2LEY/P, SV2CNE/P, OE7RDI/P, EI3ISB)
On to 17m, I picked up a S2S with HB9GUX/P and a spot brought another 11 chasers including 2 more S2S(HB9CDH/P, OE6CBX)
12m sounded quiet but I heard OE6CBX so picked him up for a S2S on that band. A spot brought 3 chasers, including Chris F4WBN and I think that is the first time I haven’t been able to give Chris a 59. report
Dropping to 15m brought 9 chasers including a S2S with HB9GVW/P. Seeing a spot for IW0HK/P on 20m I QSYd quickly,made a S2S with Andrea and then went back to 15m where I managed a non-SOTA QSO with 4Z21MG, a special call for the Maccabiah Games in Israel. Another spot brought a further 11 chasers including a S2S with OM/SQ9MDF/P; unfortunately the QSB made Wioletta disappear so I failed to complete a S2S with her after I finished with Leszek.
10m seemed dead but I spotted and called for about 5 minutes and managed to raise a local, Paul 2M1EUB. Straight after Paul, D08SD called and we had a 58/58 exchange. Further CQs brought nothing though.
Going back to 20m brought another 21 chasers including a S2S with LA9DSA/P who I see from his FB post was operating inside a nice warm hutte on his cold and wet hill Paul 2M1EUB followed me down from 10m and we exchanged 51/51, presumably on groundwave.
I finished the day on 40m and after a spot I called for about 3 minutes before getting a response, but eventually got another 12 in the log including Brian MM1HMZ and Don G0RQL for a second time.
All in all, a really nice day out. Great weather, beautiful views and 109 in the log including 15 S2S. Thanks to everyone as usual.
Views from the top
Looking North- dominated by Mt.Blair GM/ES-035
Looking North over the shoulder of Mt.Blair at Cairn Toul GM-ES/003 (I think)
Looking WNW with Schiehallion GM/CS-005 on the horizon (28 miles). Thanks to Fraser MM0EFI for correcting my ID on this.
Drumderg wind farm
Looking NW with Drumore Loch in the foreground.