As close as you get to a blizzard in June?

Todays plan was Maoile Lunndaidh GM/WS-053 a Munro just over 1000m in Strathcarron, NW highlands. It has a huge walk in that I’ve been putting off for a long time, but I needed to get it done to compete my Munro round, so today was the day regardless, even if the WX forecast look rather spicy:

Heavy showers in the Highlands, together with lightning, hail, near gale-force westerlies and fresh snow on higher Munros.

I took that with a pinch of salt for June … well i was wrong and this is why i am writing a report…

It turned out to be a fine example of winter conditions in June, in what can only be described as horizontal snow in the 40-50mph winds … It required me and shadow the spaniel to get reacquainted with the shelter for extended session on the summit as a squall hit:

Somehow I managed to get a mast up and qualify 2m and then HF. It was also blown over twice, the boulders I picked to use for guying were clearly not big enough. Rather incredibly I managed an excellent summit to summit with @MM0EFI who was experiencing similar conditions on Ben Nevis, the only other brave soul activating in GM-land in a blizzard!

Allot of water had been dumped during the day and made for a tricky river crossing on return, which had to be done twice, once with the dog on my back.

Otherwise in between the squalls it was a huge but superb day and i did get some views !

25 Likes

Well done Tim and thank you for your efforts and the same goes for all other activators who brave the elements to keep Sota alive and well. May I also recommend your faithful companion Shadow for the SOTA Dog of the year award, What a little star he is.

73’ Don GW0PLP.

3 Likes

I think your hound’s face is priceless in that video… it looks like he’s saying “Tim what the hell are you doing bringing us all the way up here to video me in the wind and snow? Right you’ve got your video let’s get back down to somewhere warm and give me some biscuits.”

p.s. I think it’s a 10k walk to where you cross the river BEFORE you start climbing the damn hill!

4 Likes

Indeed, the forecasts can be so far out that you start to disbelieve them. Yet this week the forecast did make me sit up and pay attention, leaving me pleased that for once that family commitments dictated that I had could not head north for the hills. When I saw you were out activating I did think you might find conditions a bit tough.and so it proved to be.

Well done on surviving the onslaught. I’m sure you’ll be back for more, fair weather or foul, in due course. :grinning:

73, Gerald

3 Likes

@G5OLD

Hi Tim.

Thanks for the summit Tim and well done on getting another SOTA and Munroe ticked off. I think you only have 2 more Munroes left to do? Great photos and video…Shadow is a faithful companion👍

73 Allan

2 Likes

Nice one Tim. Thanks for the contact and stay safe. Best 73

1 Like

Thank You Tim. Great Photography and Activation report. Thank You also for the QSO.I did not realize how bad the weather was for You Two. It certainly looks like your “Best Friend” was with You through the Day. Well Done Both of You. 73 de Paul M0CQE

2 Likes

Well done Tim, it was all happening with the weather! I do remember the seemingly endless walk back to my bike!

It will remain one of the least activated summits in Scotland, I wont be rushing back… Next visitor will be Fraser in 5 years time on his retirement Munro round!

73 Gavin
GM0GAV

4 Likes

The only months that I did not experience snow on Highland summits were July and August, and I am convinced that it was only because after a few bad experiences with tungsten toothed midges I avoided going north in those months! I remember an apocalyptic snow “shower” one May in Glencoe that dumped 6" (15cm) of snow in less than 15 minutes - we bailed out and went to the pub!

2 Likes

I’ve had snow in August on Sgor Gaoith GM/ES-009 :slight_smile: Or maybe it should be :frowning:

3 Likes

In 26 years here at our Aberdeenshire QTH, just 700ft asl, we’ve recorded snow falling at some stage in every month of the year - except July. Hope this isn’t the year July bucks the trend…! :cold_face:
Great work on your recent activations, Tim - and Shadow, too - despite the Arctic interludes! :+1:

3 Likes

Well done… operating in that weather.

I did the a large part of the Skye ridge traverse solo many years ago in July and got caught out in a snow storm which lasted for about 30 minutes. Luckily the sun came out afterwards. :blush:

3 Likes

Best mountain dog I’ve ever had this one! And if I was to guess what he’s thinking, it’ll be “Now what, am I gonna get any food out of this?”

That’s why I’ve put it off for so long. I took a bike this time, but it was still painful.

Yep. Ladhar Bhienn and Beinn na Lap !

Fully agree., nor am I going back up there any time soon. Fraser @MM0EFI, I am relying on you now to get the summit completed :joy::joy::joy:

Even though I was well prepared, i will now be packing a few more winter items in the van that I would normally stow in the summer. I always have goggles and a bothy bag, both extremely useful on this trip. Especially the Bothy bag - a reminder for me how much the warmth and comfort factor shoots up, when inside. Not sure I could’ve activated this without it.

6 Likes

When the tamperers moved the position of the true summit from the other end of the Mica Ridge I remember looking at that and thinking I could do it but I’d probably need to camp near Glenuaig Lodge to recover either after the trip in or before the trip out. But you and your friends can hire the lodge which sleeps 8 for only £1450/week which should be nicer than a tent! So we could arrange 8 people to activate it if we had the skill and £180 each it would cost :wink:

3 Likes

At risk of pouring petrol all over this :smiling_imp:. Maoile Lunndaidh is still there as summit I believe. the Marylin has moved to the true summit Creag Toll a’ Choin. But don’t change it please, the later is harder to pronounce and doesn’t fill me with dread.

3 Likes

The SOTA summit is Creag Toll a’Choin which I think was measured as 20cm higher than Maoile Lunndaidh and it became the top. It’s now been remeasured as 27cm higher. That’s a big change :slight_smile:

But the new summit and old summit position are in essentially the same AZ so the reference never changed. So it doesn’t matter which you activate from as the AZ is enormous.

3 Likes

It amazes me that people actually go about trying to measure these things to that level of accuracy. I mean, how do you tell where the highest point is under a pile of stones.

Incidentally, I activated from the old Summit. Simply because it had a great big cairn, which I needed in those conditions.

3 Likes

Thanks for the summit Tim, I hope you don’t mind but although it now shows on my “Complete Targets” on SOLTAS It isn’t top of my list to activate. I don’t know if I’m unusual when chasing as usually as soon the contact goes in the log I then spend the next quarter of an hour with a map looking at the probable route. My thoughts as I clicked on the link was “How the bloody hell do you get there?”, and on looking at the map in more detail I had a vague recollection of a walk that involved driving rain, followed by sleet, followed by snow and then ice. According to my notes I did manage the Munroe Sgurr (Will someone teach this Mac Scottish so it doesn’t autocorrect badly) Choinnich, which is just a couple of hills away and despite being nearly 30 years ago there I parts of the walk that are still very memorable. The keeper actually stopped (and we initially thought this is going to be trouble) but he give us a lift providing we opened and shut the gates which seemed a good deal. He explained that the deer could read a calendar as they would come close when the season was closed but vanished when the shooters appeared… Anyway thanks for the contact, and good luck with the last two…

3 Likes

No, that’s fairly normal. Well it’s what I do. But I like reading maps, they’re like novels but better!

6 Likes

Yes, I must really get around to mopping up my final 160 Munros!

Thanks for the S2S. I may explain in a separate post why I’ve activated Ben Nevis GM/WS-001 three times since April.

4 Likes