Ben Alder GM/WS-009 and neighbours

If all goes to plan, I will be on the group of hills around Ben Alder this Thursday and Friday.
They have not had many activations, probably due to the 16km track to be negotiated before the foot of the hills is reached.
I’ll be using 145-fm and HF SSB with bands chosen according to conditions on the day. Hopefully I can catch a number of you in QSOs before “midge season” ramps up here… as always any help appreciated!

I will try and remember to run at full power - all 5 watts - a recent foray to Gathersnow Hill resulted in me forgetting to put the power back up after feeding the 2.3GHz transverter with 2.5W - no wonder folk had a hard time hearing me! oops. Andrew @G4VLF on Broughton Heights about 10km away didn’t have any problem with the signal level on 13cm though… :smile:

The grand plan is Carn Dearg GM/WS-038 and Geal Charn GM/WS-010 on Thursday, camp high (maybe) , then Ben Alder GM/WS-009 and Beinn Bheoil GM/WS-047 on the Friday.

Alerts are posted and I should be able to self spot.
@M6BWA Vikki / Rod - I will watch your plans and listen - think the Cairngorms might be in the way though…



Sounds like a great trip Alan. Hope it goes well. Assume you’re biking in to Culra?

I won’t be around for a S2S. Will be on holiday in Prague, no radio allowed. :sob:

Yes, bike test was successful last week, saved about 6km of walking (each way) along the side of the reservoir and my legs didn’t fall off :grin:

Enjoy Prague.


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First time I was up there was for winter climbing. Walked in with huge packs, stayed at the bothy for a few nights. Thankfully got a lift back from a gamekeeper in the back of his Hi-Lux. There may have been a dead deer in there as well…

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I remember a walking friend telling me about Ben Alder. He was walking in from the South. He said when you see it for the first time you don’t think there is much distance to cover. Then after some hours of walking you realise it’s not got much bigger and it’s a long way off. The lack of scale means you think it’s not that big a mountain and close by and it takes a while to realise it’s massive and a long way off!


Have a great trip Alan, I hope the weather is good. Bike is an essential! I separated into two day trips with my XYL. The northern 4 Munro’s bike to Culra, Ben Alder and Bheoil from Rannoch side to Ben Alder Cottage. Great mountains!

Will be working at home so will listen on 2m FM

73 Gavin

Thanks Gavin,
plan is bike to Culra, northern 4 Munros , down into the valley and weather dependent, camp low or high up on Alder, then Bheoil and down the north east ridge .

Last in the vicinity in 1979 - on a school/council run bothying trip! - Walk in from Luiblea , night in Culra bothy, then over to Ben Alder Cottage bothy, then a wild camp somewhere on the way back to the minibus. I do remember that Ben Alder is a big lump! That and being taught how to glissade off a top that still had snowpack - with a full pack of course!

All we need now is some propagation…



I’ll be home from my GM/NS tour by then so can’t chase from here but will try from home. Sounds like quite an adventure.


Hi Alan, it was good to catch you on 40m late yesterday afternoon. I saw your spot on 2m first but you were down in the noise for me on East Craiglockart hill.

Thanks for activating, you were a good signal, 40m seemed to be working a little better. Spent an enjoyable half hour working out your route! Unfortunately I’m not sure I’ll be turning it into a complete any time soon! Thanks. Paul

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(M6BWA) Well the Cairngorms weren’t in the way were they? Sorry I took so long to make the contact but I was just setting up on the rocks on GM/ES-021 and only had the RH770 on the handy as I was fiddling with the pegs. A very faint CQ was heard so I grabbed the radio and went from there. 58/57 on 2m was very good and I was delighted by 59/35 on 70cm - I wonder how you knew I liked 70cm??
I hope you are enjoying the good conditions again today. I remember when looking at Ben Alder when staying on the Corrour estate some years ago - it looked a big one!
73 Viki

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Made it!
All around and back again. Some pictures to follow, but first a huge thanks to all who chased me and helped to spot/rustle up others - you made it worthwhile and I appreciate it :clap: :clap: :clap:

Viki @M6BWA and Rod’s @M0JLA trip sounds a success too and I was contacted by Charlie over in Aberlour who had been pleased to work Viki earlier in the week and had made the effort to listen out and make another sota contact.
2m was quite hard work tbh even with the help given. 70cm got it’s annual QSO with Viki.
40m - great support from all including regular WAB folks etc - thanks!
20m very busy and QSB 15m less so when I got there.

A few notes to self…

  • if you pack a battery bank to charge your phone - take a cable too :smiling_face:
  • if it’s sunny wear a hat - I have some interesting white patches at the centre of the wrinkles on my face - oh and a “cozy” patch on the top of my head
  • take more pictures - thought I had taken more to be honest (not all shown here for server space)

Summary - I had a fabulous time with really good weather, not too hot, not too cold, very little wind .
Biking in is the way to go - spoke to one chap who had walked in along the loch - for 4 hours! Imagine the walk out when you are more tired and with a heavy load. (New Zealanders no doubt scoff at our “short walk-in”). E-Assisted bike maybe even better way as that track is in excellent condition.


the last mile or so on a single track for a change, the main track is a super gravel road (not open to public vehicles).
Left to right - Ben Bheoil , Ben Alder centre stage, Carn Dearg just out of view to the right

I camped out at the far end of the pass between Ben Alder and the out of sight Geal-Charn which is hiding just to the right of the splendid Lancet Edge shown below en-route to Geal-Charn from Carn Dearg…

Ben Bheoil from Ben Alder - with deer paddling in the lochan (too small to see here…) with hills in every direction - splendid!

Ben Alder from Ben Bheoil with some bloke attempting to look happy having completed the round

  • I promise no more selfies…

Thanks to Matthew for the inspiration to get out and do this, not directly but through his wonderful “night-a-top” series (I did want to camp out on Ben Alder but my legs went on strike - took a full 1h30 of ascent the next morning when I was “fresh” ha ha).

If you read this far, thanks, and thanks once more to all the chasers.



Nice trip Alan! I pretty much have the same trip in mind. Alternatively I did consider an end to end from Dalwhinnie to Corrour but that’s a lot of walking…

Go for it!

Avoid bank holiday weekends though - “bothy campsite”** was pretty busy when I was coming away.
The round of 6 Munros gets done in a day by fit young folk although they’re not carrying extra “stuff” and spending time on the summits. I skipped Beinn Eibhinn in favour of getting down and eating :slight_smile:

Benalder Cottage would give you the overnight? Then there are another 3 “little ones” you could do on the way to Corrour station.

** Culra being closed due to asbestos


Hi Alan
I’m planning to activate GM/WS-001 Ben Nevis on Thursday 1 June. Planning early start and spending a long time on summit so S2S should be a possibility. 145fm.
Hope your plan works out.

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Alas I’ve already been! This thread turned into an activation report too…

There are some folks a bit nearer (than my QTH) who will hopefully be able to help out though.
@GM4OAS @GM0HBK @GM4NFI @GM7PKT and you have your alert up already which is good.

I understand that the “tourist car park” is a bit pricey, so just be aware (£12 a day was quoted!) I am sure that there are alternates…

I will see if I can sneak out up a hill under the guise of a dog walk :wink:

Good luck with the weather and the activation. Oh and wear sun-block …


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Thanks Alan. I’m camping at Glen Nevis Touring Park so no parking issues.

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