An Socach GM/WS-026 & An Riabhachan GM/WS-012

I spotted a report on Walkhighlands from someone who did these two peaks by cycling up Glen Elchaig, starting from Killilan. That sounded like a good plan for SOTA, Munro baggers would normally tackle the 4 peaks to the north of Loch Mullardoch starting from the dam at the eastern end. It looks like Colwyn MM0YCJ did this, activating the 4 peaks in one very long day. Deep respect! This is remote country, An Socach is considered to be one of the least visited Munros.

I was off work on Monday 3rd August, forecast was not the best but acceptable so I arrived at the Killilan car park 2230 for a sleep and an early start. Bit damp when I set off at 0600 on my bike…

The track up Glen Elchaig, tarmac for the first stretch then its a bit rougher. Looks like it may have been surfaced at some time in the past.

Iron Lodge, used for deer stalking parties. A track zig zags over to Loch Mullardoch

The main track becomes an ATV track at Iron Lodge, I hoped to cycle further but would have been no quicker than walking so dumped my bike.

Looking back down Glen Elchaig

Gaining height, looking back down Glen Elchaig

Loch Mhoicean where I left the track and headed up An Socach

Track looks better from a distance!

North towards An Cruachan GM/WS-221.

Rather damp An Socach GM/WS-026. Got set up then it really started blowing and raining heavily, very tough activation and not pleasant. Should have got the Bothy Bag out but I protected the KX2 best I could and kept going, then packed up quickly.

I set off along the ridges towards An Riabhachan GM/WS-012, watching the weather and thinking about aborting if the rain didnt stop!

Glad to say it stopped blowing and raining as I got nearer

Started to clear and glimpses of Loch Mullardoch

Summit of An Riabhachan GM/WS-012 with Sgurr na Lapaich GM/WS-008 behind

Much more pleasant activation and even glimpses of the sun! Then descended North before heading West to re-join the track back out. This coire was full of deer, literally 100s of them!

Loch Monar

Clearing nicely as I descend back into Glen Elchaig

Big day, 48km but half of that was on bike. Back at the car 1715, fast + fun cycle back down the Glen!

Used an new Inreach Mini to track and spot for the first time, worked well and good safety for big solo trips like this out of mobile coverage. Thanks to Andy FMF for setting up the spot gateway.

KX2 with 9m L + 4 radials, tuned by internal ATU. Both activations ended up with 38 qso’s each, all on CW. Great trip into the wilderness, only person I saw all day was a ghillie who wanted to know where I saw deer. Most upset when I said there were 100’s in the northern coire, that’s another estate!
73 Gavin


Lovely pictures, made my evening!

Thanks - from my notes it is a mere 29 years ago that I went up Glen Elchaig ( pre sota ) - what a day you had!
We took a tent and ony got as far as Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan - (which I notice only has a single activation) and that was a long two days! Some things don’t change - it was memorable for the vast number of deer which if anything took to following me rather than hiding.

Brilliant Reoprt - Thanks Paul

Great report and photographs. Its a long time since I’ve been across those hills. But I might include them in my winter visit to north of the border!


Great report and reminded me of a few great hills (pre-SOTA for me). I went in the same way a few years ago to do a few Corbetts as first activations. That track was rough then… worse now I suspect!