Apology: Glas Tulaichean no show

Sorry for the non-appearance on Glas Tulaichean today, all to do with men with guns! The WX had been reasonable all the way up the A93, about 25% blue sky. But as I climbed up towards Glenshee the mist descended to about 700m and it was drizzling a little. That didn’t bother me as the forecast was to brighten up and by the time I’d climbed to the mist’s level it should have gone. I parked at the Dalmunzie Hotel at Spittal of Glenshee at 10.15am and popped inside to pay my £2 parking fee. It’s a bargain as you get a nice place to park and it cuts about 5kms of the total walk. Anyway the receptionist came back a few minutes to later to say sorry no walking on Glas Tulaichean today, they’re stalking on it’s slopes.


I hid my disappointment and wandered outside. It was raining hard and I didn’t have an alternative hill planned. I could have parked my car back at the last public car park and sneaked in as you can always walk the main paths and ridges even if they are stalking. But having been told no, it seemed irresponsible to go up there against a polite instruction to keep away. There’s enough irresponsible walkers out causing trouble without me adding to it.

No maps, no routes in the GPS. I was well out of my usual stomping ground and the only two hills in the area I know are Glas Maol and Mount Blair. I’ve done them both and they’re not memorable enough to want to do them again, even on a nice day. Certainly not today in this WX. I rang my XYL and told I would not be walking as I had no maps etc. There’s a mobile phone mast on The Cairnwell and I was parked at the foot of that hill. Full scale phone strength but no HSDPA, EDGE or GPRS data connection so I couldn’t get online to post to Sotawatch.

Rude words were said loudly!

Having come 95 miles North I wasn’t going to turn back though. I drove north for another hour or so up to Barry GM4TOE’s QTH and dropped in to say hello. Having done that I continued onto to Grantown-on-Spey and then back down the A9. Of course my trip down Scotland’s most dangerous road was in beautiful sunshine, the Cairngorms were stunning and so were all the other summits that I didn’t have maps, routes or info. The WX improved all the time.

The rude words that were shouted at every new mountain vista would have won me a gold in the Swearing Olympics.

Well the hills will be there next time. So sorry for the no-show and not updating the alert, forces outwith my control. Apart from reconnoitering roads to see how far it’s possible to drive to a summit and back in a day (some of the A roads up by Barry’s QTH are very narrow and winding) and also seeing the wonderful Autumn colours in the sunshine, that was an extremely valuable day off work wasted.

I’m off to shout some incredibly rude words at the birds in the garden!


In reply to MM0FMF:
Sorry that you were thwarted in you endeavours today and that your drive north on a precious day off work was wasted. I monitored FE before and after the appointed hour, but your dulcet tones did not materialise. Was slightly concerned, as the hill is quite remote, with a long walk in, so pleased to hear all is well. Noted that it has only been activated twice by Barry and Robin, so better luck next time. The only guaranteed way to get a message through on a mobile phone is to write it on paper, attach message with elastic band, and throw it at recipient.


In reply to MM0FMF:

I seem to remember someone saying something along the lines of “It is not the good days that make us mountain men…” it seems that would apply here.

Sorry to hear you had such a frustrating day, but to add to your frustration you only have to look at Carolyn G6WRW’s logs for 5mHz yesterday to see who was monitoring Fox Echo for your call. The band conditions seemed very good yesterday and every station seemed to be 5/9 here most of the time. There was quite a lot of concern expressed at your none appearance, mainly I think because in the past you have been able to keep us informed when you have been running late or forced to change plans because of road works or weather. It was somewhat of a relief to see this post. Better luck next time.

Best regards Steve GW7AAV

PS Anyone know where I got the quote or the rest of it?

In reply to MM0FMF:


You could have saved a lot of trouble by checking http://www.snh.org.uk/hillphones/ . It is always worth doing a search on the web for any hill that you are planning to do at this time of year.

I’ve found myself having to divert to a different hill and needing a different OS map. I now carry all the OS maps in the back of the car as it is much more convenient to use Memmory Map on the computer at home anyway.

Robin, GM7PKT.

PS. The good news is that most of the deer stalking ends on 20th October but still worth checking the situation before making any plans.

In reply to GM7PKT:

You’re right. But I completely forgot I was going out on a Monday. You get blasé about there being no shooting as I nearly always walk on a Sunday. Anyway, the important lesson learned is to always have a alternate hill.

I had to blow off steam today, another day off work but I was tied up till mid morning so no long drives. Instead I did a quick chug along the Pentland Ridge, Flotterstone Car Park, Turnhouse Hill, Carnethy Hill and Scald Law SS-125. Then down to Loganlea Reservoir, Glencorse Resv. and then back out along the road to the car. Total was 13km and 705m ascent on the 3 hills. It was fun to walk with a tiny bag just holding waterproofs, lunch and the handheld. 3 contacts only on 2m FM. I was only up giving away points not trying to qualify the hill. Total time was 4hr45m including 20mins stop for lunch on Carnethy and 30mins faffing about on Scald Law. Hardly any one on the ridge which is a nice change for the Pentlands.