We had only resolved to do one other hill, what with this being a family
holiday. We only actually had advance permission for the one SOTA
activation expedition - The Ben - but
Jimmy had spotted Druim na h-Earba GM/WS-339, a low summit with easy access,
just south of Fort William. Hence we also alerted for this one, figuring that we
could 'bag' it with an early start one morning, and be back at the holiday
apartment in time for breakfast! After a most enjoyable evening out with SOTA
legend Robin GM7PKT, we set our alarms...
So, at 5am on Thursday 7th August 2008, we were up and cooking ourselves an
early breakfast of white puddings and beans, and in the car shortly after 5.30am
BST. The drive took us back around Fort William town centre, and up the hill
signpost Auchintore. We parked alongside the picnic spot and viewpoint at
NN097722, and set off through the gate opposite.
At the car, he called me on the 2m handheld to confirm that he had found the
aerial and was on his way back up. I timed him, and was mightily impressed to
discover that he completed the descent AND ascent round trip in exactly 15
minutes. That had probably saved us 15 minutes from if I had gone with him!
So poor Jimmy had to ascend and descend this hill twice over - thank goodness my
preparations were tighter for Ben Nevis GM/WS-001
three days earlier! The 40m SSB/CW combo did the business again, and we enjoyed
a good activation. The 2m SOTA Beam wasn't carried as back-up this time; it
would have been completely pointless. The only place VHF signals were going from
here was down into Fort William, and the handies would have taken care of that -
if anyone had been out of bed - which they weren't!
We were back at the holiday accommodation at 9.15am, where Marianne and Liam were still in bed. A perfectly executed plan - almost! Many thanks to the following stations, all worked on 40m with 5 watts as follows: