Last week, while browsing Twitter, I scrolled past a short note and photos from Fraser (MM0EFI) describing his recent activation of Ben Newes in NE Scotland. I’m not sure if it was the snow, the KX2, or his vintage Land Rover (or all of these) but I wanted to know more about this activation.
Fraser kindly agreed to share the following field report for us here on QRPer.com:
Ben Newe SOTA Mini-adventure
I’ve lived on the eastern edge of the Cairngorms National Park in north east Scotland for around six years. I’ve always climbed the hills, winter and summer, enjoyed rock & ice but now just love being outdoors. I’ve held an amateur radio licence for 18 years but have to admit that until I discovered Summits on the Air (SOTA), my licence was under utilised!
SOTA has allowed me to discover local hills that I had previously driven by on countless occasions on my way to bigger adventures, or so I thought, because it’s possible to have amazing adventure on smaller hills just by picking the time of day, season, or even choice of radio gear. Sometimes I’ll just carry VHF gear, which is always a challenge in a rural area! Of course I still love a big day out in the mountains, but todays story concerns a little hill just 7 miles from my home in Royal Deeside.
It’s called Ben Newe and its’ SOTA reference is GM/ES-053. It stands 565m or 1853’ above Strathdon in Aberdeenshire. I’d planned on climbing it after work. Generally I work a really early shift one day a week and the motivation for getting out of bed at 0340 is knowing that I’ll generally be on a summit around 12 hours later.
I left for work at 0400 (British Summer Time, UTC+1) and that’s when the snow started falling. It actually didn’t stop until 1900 that evening. We’d had an unusual winter, with little snow. Here we were in April and it had snowed for over 12 hours! I really wanted to get out for a SOTA activation and the snow was only going to enhance my adventure. I spent some time (probably too much time) thinking of suitable peaks to climb whilst at work that day. Ben Newe fitted the bill perfectly. Continue reading Guest Post: Fraser Activates Ben Newe Despite the Winter Weather