Why Hill O' Wangie?

A short-notice trip to Morayshire meant that a quick activation was on the cards whilst the girls discussed my eldest son’s forthcoming wedding arrangements. A quick consultation with the wise men of the unofficial North East Scotland SOTA massive led me to choose the fantastically named Hill O’ Wangie (GM/CS-121) just close to the hamlet of Dallas in Speyside whisky country. Apparently Wangie is an ancient name for wildcats but none were seen today.

A quick check of Walk Highlands and a route map from Fraser (MM0EFI) alluded to the fact that the view from the trig point was disappointing. I can confirm that even with the clear fell, you can’t see much, although there are some good views of Moray on the way up the mountain bike track, including a strategically positioned gnome.

Lonely Mexican gnome

Lonely Scottish trig point

I set up the inverted V at the trig point in glorious sunshine with the mast velcroed to a remaining tree stump, and despite it being only about 7ºC, it felt quite warm. Having spotted on 40m, I convinced myself that the antenna had come disconnected at the junction as not a single reply was heard. I lowered the mast but all was good and the meter showed no issues. With an emergency message sent on the WhatsApp group, conditions were confirmed as poor and my struggle was confirmed as real. Luckily EI3GYP came to my rescue plus a couple of other UK stations.

A move to 20m elicited Poland and Finland but then the hail/sleet/wet snow started and I made a quick departure from the hill to go and discuss what colour the ribbon should be on our buttonholes.

The 705’s christening with hail

It was not a great day for QSO quantity, but it was an activation nonetheless and a good stretch of the legs up a lonely mountain bike trail.

Clear fell moguls


There’s much worse than sleeping gnomes down in Englandshire forests… this guy was hanging about last Monday.


I was listening on your 40m frequency Chris and could copy the odd word, but most of the time your audio was in the noise. I heard the EI work you and I heard something of the other UK stations as well. At one point it looked as though your signal was gaining strength, only for it to slide back to being incomprehensible.

Well done on the activation. You may be somewhat disappointed with the log, but do as I do on such occasions and be pleased it doesn’t take long to enter it onto the database. :grinning:

73; Gerald


Thank Gerald. It was the strangest day of my limited SOTA career. I’m using PoLo as a logger so no paperwork required!

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Hi Chris, like you I thought my radio wasn’t working yesterday, I couldn’t seem to raise anybody at all initially. After about an hour I got off the mark with a mobile station from Kelso on 2m and then some European stations on 20m, although Gerald, G4OIG was a gratefully received 4th contact which got me the point for Dirrington Great Law GM/SS-225. Eventually I ended up with a dozen contacts including a couple of s2s but it was a long struggle.
I had a nice walk up in the sunshine but a burst of hail put paid to sitting in shirt sleeves at the top.
Hopefully conditions are better next weekend when I am up in Sutherland to do some GM/NS summits starting with Hill of Nigg, GM/NS-152 on Thursday on the way up to Strathhalladale.


Conditions were so strange Andy that I decided to check your 20m frequency and there you were, a decent 55. It must be the shortest skip contact I’ve ever experienced on 20m (groundwave excluded). I’ve worked activators on Shetland on 20m before, but never so far south in Scotland.

The bizarre conditions obviously extended to 40m. I’m fairly certain I heard Laurent F4HZN call Chris, but a contact didn’t result. It was almost as if for a time the propagation on the two bands had swapped over. The K index was 2, so what was causing it I don’t know… nowt so queer as propagation. :grinning: