Thursday, 3 January 2019

Two days activating SOTA in the Scottish Borders - Ettrick Pen GM/SS-074

My walk route
After a good nights kip and big breakfast at the Tushielaw Inn in the Ettrick Valley I drove south west to the end of the road near Potburn and parked at NT 189092 - which is the end of the public road.  On the way I passed by Ward Law - a summit I planned to climb in the afternoon. 
Parking place for Ettrick Pen
Unoccupied farmstead at Potburn
The steady walk to the summit took me 75 minutes and I stopped off to look inside the Over Phawhope Bothy at 181081 and meet Maud from Edinburgh by chance, who had just got up after staying overnight in the bothy. The bothy was extremely cosy and Maud told me she'd slept on the sofa in the property overnight.

Over Phawhope Bothy - inside & out
Proceeding on the track gave way to moor near the sheepfold shown on the map at 190076 and I found a foot beaten track around some newly planted trees which took me up towards the fenceline and then south east to the highest point where the three fences meet and where there is a big pile of stones for shelter. The route taken has been shared in the tracks section of the SOTA Mapping Project. 
The pile of stones on Ettrick Pen
I set up and spent 45 minutes on the air. I could have qualified this summit with my VX-170 handheld and vertical on 2m FM - five contacts were made with this, including a summit contact with G4OOE and G3TQQ on G/NP-015 Great Knoutberry Hill in the Yorkshire Dales. The 40m band kept me busy though, with 26 EU callers in Morse but only 2 contacts on phone, despite repeated CQ calls. I gave up at 11:16z and packed up, reaching my car at 12:28z for my lunch prior to driving back up the valley for the final summit of my two day trip, Ward Law.  

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