My 1st GM activation-Hill of Fare GM/ES-070

Staying near Sauchen, near Aberdeen, I escaped the holiday cottage on 21 June 2022 to try & achieve my first GM activation. Fraser MM0EFI had alerted for Brimmond Hill nearby, so I chose this summit on his recommendation.

I started the walk from the north west, at the highest point on the B993 between Torphins & Millbank, OS ref 650048, What3Words sank.dean.purified. At height of 298m shown on the OS where a forestry track starts.

I parked in the layby, but there is a parking area behind off the road. In fact, the track is good enough to drive a mile up the track to the rough edge of the forest at OS650037, arose.stables.famous. A mountain biker’s car following me had gone straight there, it would have saved me two miles walk in total had I done the same!

The path leaves there & gradually ascends with the trees getting thinner until it is just moorland. Easy walking for most on a rough path, but I was off colour today, so went slowly with several stops.

At a bend in the path at about 460m, a narrow path goes to the right to a small cairn/pile of stones at 667033, basics.declining.wept. As this was well within the AZ, I based myself here. (Alternatively follow the original path until it meets another track, turn right, head SE & veer off for the actual summit of 471m.)

The Slim Jim was erected at 5m on my pole & tried to contact Fraser MM0EFI, but he was having bad QRM from the masts on Brimmond Hill GM/ES-086. However a full contact was made eventually for a S2S on 2m. I was using my old Kenwood G71TH handy with an external Pacer LiFePo battery.

Meanwhile Viki MM6BWA/P was calling from GM/CS-030 near Glenshee, & another S2S resulted on 2m. However despite several attempts, we couldn’t manage a QSO on 70cm, & she failed to qualify on that band with only 3 QSOs. A quick QSO with her other half, Rod MM0PLA/P gave me three contacts.

Weather cloudy with a mild breeze, fabulous views across the Don valley & towards Deeside.

That’s where things ended as three incomplete QSOs followed, 2 @ /M at Aviemore & Dunrobin & a GM4 somewhere. So no point today, but at least I had my first GM activation plus 8 S2S points. On the descent I remembered that I hadn’t spotted myself! That might have pulled in another QSO or two, but never mind. Spot yourself before setting up is my new motto!

So on balance a good activation, but as 2m seems a bit of a desert, hf gives better results as the database for this hill shows. (As a postscript Elaine, my XYL, & I drove up the track the next day to look at some interesting wild flowers.) John GM0MHF.


That’s irritating, only getting 3 QSOs. I had the same result on G/DC-007 in the far south west earlier this month using 2m & 70cm but fortunately I was able to switch to 6m and use FT8 to claim the point (singular :slight_smile: ) without resorting to HF.

I’m going to try again with VHF & UHF on Monday on G/DC-008 and you’ve reminded me I need to let people know!

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Very sorry I missed you John, as I was all set up in the garden and copying you 59+, only for my 857 to then fail on me. That would have been your 4th QSO as well. Bummer.

73 Simon

Thanks for your commiserations, chaps. A bit of a nuisance, but I only missed out on 1 point. However I did get 8 S2S points which pushed me over the 300 mark total and got another region under my belt. All part of the fun! (And I hope your 857 is feeling better, Simon.)
73 John

Nice report John. Sorry I was working some distance away from my home QTH - which is almost los with Hill of Fare - just out of range with only my wee handie and stuck behind another hill between us, but hope you will return soon with better luck next time. 73 Mike

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Thanks very much, Mike, until the next time! 73 John


Hi John,

Well done getting the GM activation done; you’ll know what to do to qualify it next time :+1:. On Orkney & in Pitlochry we started putting a ‘setting up spot’ on while we/I faffed around sorting the antenna etc (Nic doesn’t faff; it’s just a man thing apparently…) . Then we could sit down and find an actual frequency, if necessary. It seemed to help the chasers prepare/tune up on the correct band etc.

Speak soon & 73, Simon.

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Paul, M0PLA, also does SOTA, is someone else and not Viki’s other half!.
Rod, now back to being M0JLA

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Sorry Rod!

Good stuff, Simon! 73 John.

No problem for me, John, No need to apologise but I thought a correction might remove possible confusion.
Bad luck with only 3 QSOs - It happens to Viki fairly often in Scotland and I have failed to qualify a good few hills for all sorts of reasons and I don’t really mind. Zero contacts does upset me :unamused:

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