Chris Bryson

GM/SS-251 Ben Bowie SOTA Activation

This week I opted to activate the Ben Bowie summit, I had other commitments to take care of in the afternoon and it’s one that can be completed in a morning so it seemed like a good choice. I was again joined by Douglas MM7DCD for this activation – Doug planned to spend longer at the summit and camp the evening so I completed the return trip on my own. Again the walk was tracked on Strava if you’d like to see the route I took.

Unrelated to SOTA, during the week I passed my RSGB Intermediate exam and registered my intermediate callsign on Friday (22nd September 2023) morning. This was my first time operating under my new callsign 2M0NZB. I think I have the SOTA and QRZ pages updated correctly. I will commence study towards my full exam in October.

We parked just off the A818 near Daligan Farm and started the walk up. The path starts off rocky as shown below. As you walk up you’ll get great views over Loch Lomond to the left of the path – a great view of Inchmurrin is shown below.

After walking for around 35 minutes we came to a hairpin bend in the path we’d been walking up, it’s at this bend that we took a smaller path heading up towards Ben Bowie.

This smaller path doesn’t last long and you come to a small fence, from here you take a right turn, keep the fence to your right and follow the path which will take you to the summit. It was very clear where to walk and the boggy section of the walk was only 20 to 30 meters long.

As you walk up to the summit you’re greeted with a new view of Helensburgh as shown below.

Once at the summit we got our telescopic poles and antennas up. Conditions were great, it was a comfortable temperature, very little wind and the sun made the occasional appearance.

I achieved 7 contacts pretty quickly on 2M FM using the Yaesu FT-65 with Spectrum Slim G antenna then a further 11 contacts on 40M HF with the Sotabeams Linked Dipole and Xiegu X6100. Two of those 11 on HF were summit-to-summit (S2S) contacts. Unfortunately my compressed timeline only allowed me a short window for operation but glad to get my fifth activation complete.

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