Tuesday, 8 October 2013

A one day Scottish Tour Part 3 - Bennan GM/SS-224

Up the moorland to Bennan from west of Glen (Farm)
The GPX track can be download from the SOTA Mapping Project by DM1CM
This was the toughest activation of the day due to the strong wind. The rain shower which had fallen on my short journey from Bishop Forest Hill had finished by the time I reached the roadside parking place at NX 829763, just west of a pink painted farm called Glen. 

Parking place for Bennan GM/SS-224 NX 829763
There was ungated access into the field due to drainage work taking place on the verge. A quad track followed the left side of a small copse. At the top of the copse I kept half right to a gate at 8279 7658 (gate cannot be seen until you are close). The tall structure of Turners monument could be clearly seen on the summit, north west of the gate on Glen Bennan (Not to be confused with the other Bennan (not SOTA)) 16 miles to the west, near Clatteringshaws Lock.

It was rough walking beyond the gate, but not so bad, time taken to reach the top being 22 minutes. The wind was probably around 30 mph and I set up behind the monument for shelter. There was no antenna support and so after a struggle to raise the flag pole it was eventually guyed. 

Monument to John Turner on the summit of Bennan GM/SS-224
I operated for 36 minutes with an excellent QSO rate finishing with 50 contacts. There was a lift on the 2m band to the south and on FM with a simple vertical dipole I doubled the VHF distance expected and completed 11 contacts, the more distance stations being G4ZRP on the Wirral and 2E0XYL in Cheshire. This was unusual. The best DX on HF was VE1WT (Canada) on 20m CW. All HF contacts on Bennan were on CW. 40m SSB was attempted but after calling CQ in different palces without success I did not like the sound of the band, so I quickly gave up in favour of visiting another summit. Twenty minutes later I was in my car turning it round to head back to Shawhead on the way to my last summit of the day See Morris Hill GM/SS-274.

1.4 miles walked with 550 ft ascent. 

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