A few days in Glen Sheill - GM/WS-016 , GM/WS-254

At the end of February I was “encouraged” by Mrs VPM to get something booked and get out on the hills… so I booked 3 nights in the Cluanie Inn in Glen Sheill at the end of March

The grand plan was to activate GM/WS-014 and GM/WS-018 one day and GM/WS-016 another with a day spare for weather contingency. As it happend, the weather was windy - very windy - extremely windy!

Day one was so bad I went in search of something else to do - I had a nice hot chocolate along in Sheill Bridge and decided to see what the conditions were like on the “little hill” GM/WS-254 - bonus points for anyone who can properly pronounce “Blod an Fhithich”. At only 646m it was protected to some extent by the surrounding peaks. I good path lead me upwards until the last 100m or so where the path disappeared and the cloud descended. I set up on a somewhat precarious perch which was at least out of the wind.

Of course once I’d activated and descended, the cloud lifted - here is the peak from the descent.

On the descent, looking south towards Sgurr na Sgine GM/WS-085 with "The Saddle " out of shot to the right.

Looking towards the Saddle GM/WS-051 - there are a couple of 100m missing from this view…

Some of the hills Fraser fancies doing as a ridge start with this fine one in the middle here…

A successful activation with kind folks putting up with my morse.

The forecast for the next day was for strong winds.
The day was nice and bright although “breezy” at low level, it was at least worth a try on one of the bigger hills.
This was the view from the hotel carpark of GM/WS-170 Am Bathach on the right, and GM/WS-070 Ciste Dhubh far horizon.

I went along to “look at” A’Chralaig (The Basket) which has an “interesting” set of needles to negotiate between in and the next sota summit .
The ascent up the leeward nose of the ridge was blustery but ok - I was in snow after 500m height reached - I had the ice axe out long before reaching the ridge, and on reaching the ridge had a good talk to myself about the conditions - the wind was fierce and it would have been foolhardy to continue, so descend carefully was the order of the day - the wind was probably in excess of 40mph in the gusts - not very handy on a ridge.
Chunks of snow getting blown around - Retreat!!

Retreat to the cafe at the hotel where another chap who had also made the call to retreat and I shared stories and ate cakes.
Some of the south Glen Sheill hills are shown here taken the next morning when the wind had reduced a lot…

So last day… GM/WS-016 and a couple of outlying Munros was the plan.

View south (west-ish) on the ascent - you can imagine Fraser over there keeping above the snow line.,…

Today’s goal from the adjacent Munro

A fine walk over and the operating site - tucked in at the shelter - Glen Affric behind.

A fine cornice to the north

The view into Affric - more fine hills!

Yes well I did some of that too! Huge thanks to all who managed to work with my shakey morse and apologies to those who I didn’t manage to work - there were at least two who, I am really sorry, but I couldn’t catch your callsigns in part due to the cold working it’s magic and partly due to me just not being all that good at copying!! I did try for 2m FM S2S to Ben Nevis @M1HAX , but no joy perhaps you were round the other side of the shelter.

Thanks for reading - as you can see - these are chunky hills giving a fine reward for the effort - we all love hills don’t we??

Take care


Those are excellent views Alan and I’m glad you’re here to tell the tale. It sounds like quite an adventure on those hills. Way beyond my capabilities but at least I get to live vicariously with your fine report.

And that’s some snow line in your photo! It’s like someone masked the lower slopes off and went daft with a can of spray snow.

Well done on a great trip and for being sensible about your safety in marginal conditions.


Whenever I’ve worked you your morse has been absolutely fine Alan. Send at the speed you’re comfortable with and hopefully the chaser will reciprocate.

Many thanks for the report and the super photos. Lots of the white stuff indeed! When you book accommodation so far in advance you have to have flexible plans and a range of options. Been there, done that, got the teeshirt. Days doing other things are definitely in the mix…a visit to the Rabbie Burns house and museum being one such occasion when the forecast was dire. Absolutely brilliant - almost as good as activating. :grinning:

73, Gerald