GM/SI-004 Sgurr nan Gillean - GM0GAV

I managed to plan a couple of days away with my friend Mark, tagging along as he completed his last few Munros. The plan was he would do GM/SI-005, Blaven on Monday alone, I had already done that plus I was doing CW Field Day over weekend so could not get up to Skye before Monday evening. Tuesday we do GM/SI-004 Sgurr nan Gillean plus Am Basteir and Bruach na Frithe at the northern end of the Cuillin Ridge on Skye. Then Wednesday down to Loch Quoich to do summits on South side by kayak.

Mark is an active climber, where I am best described as competent but rusty. By rusty I mean 25 years of rust!!! I do enjoy scrambling, fairly fit and no issues with a bit of exposure. We settled on this route - up Bealach a’Bhasteir, then up and back down the west ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean, then Am Basteir finally Bruach na Frithe decending into Fionn Choire. Weather was great, dry with a bit of cloud and pretty calm.

On way up, looking back to Sligachan where we started.

Sgurr nan Gillean’s pinnacles on the left, Am Basteir + Basteir Tooth on right. Follow the scree between the two peaks.

Almost at the top of the scree in Bealach a’Bhasteir

Fast forward and we are at the top of Sgurr nan Gillean! Am Basteir front right, Bruach na Frithe high peak behind. Phone was stowed when I put my gear on. Went up Tooth Groove & Arete, fine but a bit exposed…

Me going through the hole on West Ridge

Mark below at the hole

Rest of the Cuillin Ridge

Guide with his clients on Tooth Chimney below

Mark waiting for the party below to clear the abseil

Me coming down Tooth Chimney

Then up and down Am Basteir’s east ridge, before dropping to right of Am Basteir and climbing up Bruach na Frithe

Sgurr nan Gillean from Am Basteir

Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Basteir from Bruach na Frithe

It was a quick activation with KX2 and 6m wire, 22 qso’s on 30m and 20m. 15 minutes and was packing up again. Really great day out, cant wait to get back to Skye.

Sadly the plan for Loch Quoich by kayak scrapped due to wind and rain, Mark went to do Gairich alone via the dam. I had already activated it (and remembered the bog!) so I activated Ben Tee in the rain.

73 Gavin


Hi Gavin, great report with terrific photos. :+1: :grinning:

cheers, Geoff vk3sq

Wow! Much respect and a wee bit envy, well OK a lot!




Great activation Gavin.

One of only a handful of activations and the first one for 10 years. A bit of a rarity in the UK.

Great mountain day out too!



Well done Gavin !


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Impressive route. Excellent pictures. Splendid activation. The Cuillin is serious stuff. 73 Mike

Terrific pictures of a most enviable day out! For me the Cuillin are the finest mountains I have ever set foot (and hand) on, pity I’m too ancient to venture on them again!


Fantastic! Great to see some GM mountaineering on these pages. Can you shed any more light on the 6m wire antenna Gavin?

73, Fraser

PS I hope you had a less squelchy time on Ben Tee that I did, although I did get a view at one point.

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The antenna has just been measured and its in fact 5.5m! should have marked the winder…

It is my substitute for an AX1 whip. Use with KX2 & ATU in tight situations where you cant run out a wire from top of a pole. Can use it with a 5m travel pole or the 4.1m mini travel pole sold by Sotabeams.

Tie wire to top of pole with a bit sticking out, few wraps round pole and straight into rig with BNC to banana adaptor. Two radials each 4.25m, both soldered into single banana plug. Its an efficient antenna on 20 / 17 / 15m, but may not tune on 12 & 10. If you want to use on these bands telescope the top section of the pole, tie knot further down wire and wrap the excess wire back down the pole.

It will tune and radiate quite well on 30m, but too short for 40m.

Ben Tee was in the cloud and rain all the time, but bog not bad due to dry spell. Mark said Gairich was OK also, bog was horrible when I went up there.

73 Gavin


Many thanks for the super report Gavin. It bought back happy memories of… err, well it’s too long ago, so best not dwell on it. It’s certain I’m a bit too old for that now.

I was very pleased to work you on 20m when you were on Ben Tee. I haven’t worked into Scotland on 20m for many years, so maybe it is a sign of the new sunspot cycle getting revved up. You seemed to be working almost everywhere and your signal peaked at S9 about 5 minutes after we worked. :grinning:

73, Gerald


Thanks Gavin. Sounds like a perfect set up for a restricted summit space. I think I’ll have to try it out.

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It might even work for the In Pin!


Thats my thought. :blush:

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Ohh yes, for me and Fraser :slight_smile:
To be honest my plan was to activate from Sgùrr Dearg summit as the col between the two is 21 or 22m so its within the activation zone.

73 Gav

Yes, operating from Sgurr Dearg would be within the rules, but to me it is such a dreadful cop-out, besides which it is the peanut gallery for watching the acrobatics on the In Pin and on a fine weekend in summer (yes, its been known to happen!) it can get pretty crowded!


I’m up for it Gavin. It either needs to be 0600, 2100 or when the crowds have gone in September!

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