Monday, 13 September 2021

GM/SS-236 Corse Hill (Whitelee Wind Farm)

It was a 32 mile, 55 minute drive from Blaeloch Hill car park to the hamlet of Carrot near to NS 576483, my start point and parking place for the ride to the summit of Corse Hill. The Sat Nav took me via Dalry and Stewarton.  I encountered a small diversion due to a road closure on the way. At Carrot there was room to safely park at the track junction.
Bike route out and return via unmarked track through NS 575473 (2014 mapping
Just beyond the track junction a bridleway goes left to avoid the homes in the hamlet. I was trying to ride my bike all the way to the summit, but before I reached the track at NS 579581 I had to push for a bit due to a heavy gate and a rough section crossing the burn. It took 22 minutes to reach the summit trig point, which was over a distance of 2.4 miles. A good time saver compared to walking and less tiring by using the e-bike again, as I did a few hours earlier on Blaeloch Hill.
It was 1600z when I got started on the 60m band. My friend Nick G4OOE in Scarborough was first in the log on the international part of the band - 5354 KHz in CW. Propagation was stretching out as far Italy and Fabio IK2LEY was again logged. Time was short as I had a 220 mile drive back to North Yorkshire, so I restricted my acitvity to 60m CW/SSB and 40m CW. There was no apparent interference from the enormous Whitelee Wind Farm, which I was in the middle of, unlike my experience earlier in the month on Meikle Says Law GM/SS-148, where the interference, especially on 60m, was dreadful. The only noise I heard was the movement of the turbine blades, quite spooky and the feeling of being watched by a webcam  close to the trig point which was moving about and probably capturing my activity. Between 1600z and 1627z I logged 24 stations. After packing up I made a short and very amateurish video of the summit, which is now on YouTube:

To save getting off the bike on the way back I took a longer route on a track that was not on my map. It brought me out where I wanted it to by my car. I had a reasonable drive home, discovering that the KFC outlet on the A66 roundabout at Penrith was now closed. The Burger King on the other side of the M6 was open but had toilets "closed for cleaning". A likely story.... I didn't buy from there. So I drove into Penrith by the railway station, for a McDonalds Burger, which was barely warm. I shan't be going there again. Returning to the A66 the Appleby bypass was being resurfaced, so a convoy system was being deployed at night to safeguard the workers. Sutton Bank near Thirsk was closed for two weeks, causing a further delay. I arrived home in Pickering at around 2300 local time.

Over the two day trip I had four SOTA Completes out of the five I had hoped to do, 103 SOTA QSOs, 11 S2S. This takes me on to 940 Completes. 548 Miles driven on the road trip.

I hope to get back over the border this year before it gets too cold - but that's after a 10 day SOTA Tour with Victor GI4ONL in Northern Portugal in early October. 

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