Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Summits | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

GM/WS-006 Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan

I have never been into upper Glen Affric before, so this area been on my radar for some time. It’s been cold spring in GM, with higher summits getting new snow on top of older snow. I wasn’t sure what I was going to find, so if I didn’t like the conditions I would retreat and activate GM/WS-141. I had my avalanche experience 30 years ago in Antarctica and don’t fancy repeating it again!

Colwyn MM0YCJ had an adventure on GM/WS-006 Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan, worth a read!
SOTA Summits


Slept in the car and nice early start, heading west on my bike

13.5Km on bike, first half to Athnamulloch pretty easy.



Nice camping spot at the west end of Loch Affric

Route west with Beinn Fhada GM/WS-039 in distance

Then the track gets very rough with large boulders, hard and slow cycling


Another nice camping spot

Thankfully off the bike and climbing, looking south west to Alltbeithe Youth Hostel

Nice woodland regeneration inside the deer fences, good path but now overgrown with heather!

South to Kintail

North to remote Munro Mullach na Dheiragain

First view of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan, conditions looking fine

Left to Right Beinn Fhionnlaidh GM/WS-054, Carn Eighe GM/WS-004, Mam Sodhail & An Socach

On top, looking to west summit of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan

Route up

No wind and very pleasant on top! KX2 on knee, Palm Pico paddle attached to right panel of KX2. 4 x radials on the snow, 9M long inverted L on 6m long Decathlon travel pole.

Weather was good so headed to non SOTA Summit Munro Mullach na Dheiragain, looking back to GM/WS-006. From here it was a long walk back to my bike via An Socach

Nice cottage available to hire by groups at Athnamulloch!

Not the easiest route, lots of retracing steps. 27km on bike and 20km walking. Back at the car 1700, a long day but very lucky with the weather. (Sorry Garmin have made tracks invisible white!)

42 qso, mostly on 30m as other bands busy with ARI contest. 3 x S2S and sadly only 1 qso on 2m with MM0GHM/M on Barra. My HF gear including 6m pole and wire is under 2Kg, plus a Icom V86 and half wave telescopic at about 300g. The low weight makes it easier to cycle and undertake bigger trips like this without being too weighed down, but this is near the limit of what I could manage in a day!

73 Gavin
GM0GAV

26 Likes

A long day indeed. Many thanks for the report and photos. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the great report and pictures. Great activation on bike and foot.

Brings back good memories…
I was hiking that - for me unpronounceable summit - in 2005 during my first visit to Scotland. Stayed some nights at the youthhostel there and enjoyed it a lot.

I have the Five sisters of Kintail on my SOTA todo list which are just in the area.
Might need to revisit Glen Affric.

73 Joe

Stunning photographs and no new avalanche experience.
Fantastic wx and hike.

Well done
David
G0EVV

Great report, Gavin, and lovely pictures to bring back memories!

It looks a right mouthful, doesn’t it! Actually it is fairly simple, Ceathreamhan sounds close to Kerranon with the R rolled, emphasis on the first syllable.

2 Likes

Wow. What an expedition. Great report and photos.

Epic!
I’m going to weigh my radio kit tonight. I reckon 3-4kg. I was still carrying winter safety kit at the weekend and cycling with a heavy pack isn’t pleasant.

73, Fraser

Paniers, Fraser. I unload the bag into the paniers and get the weight off my back. I can cycle much easier with the almost empty bag. The issue is more weight right at the back and in a low gear on some steeper sections means the front wheel can lift when you apply “he-man” effort to the pedals.

3 Likes

Yup. I actually biked through Glen Affric and out the other side using panniers many, many years ago.
Unfortunately one of my current MTB’s is full suspension and the other is a full carbon hardtail. Neither can take a rack.
I have some bike-packing kit (large saddle pack and handlebar bag) that I put some stuff in if I’m doing bike & hike. Usually lunch, water and spare clothing, which helps a bit.
The main problem is the extended winter and the need for self-reliance and self-extraction, given Covid and my desire to not bother my local Mountain Rescue Team. This means I’ve been carrying a decent first aid kit and a portable bothy on most hikes, as well as a bit more spare warm clothing. Then add an ice axe/crampons plus the radio gear and a 40-50l sack is starting to look full.
Roll on summer. :sunny::sunny::sunny:

4 Likes

Can I give you big :+1: for having such a sensible view point.

FB on the bike issue. When I was shopping for a new bike I was interested in a mule bike where it would be used mainly on estate roads/tracks to get me and the SOTA kit in nearer to the hills rather than it’s true MTB capabilities on descents and MTB runs. I ended up with an ally hardtail with airshock front, 1x11, disc brakes. It is much lighter that the previous bike and I could probably save more by dispensing with the dropper seat post. Though it’s not as light as Gavin’s new toy. Spec says 13kg vs 10kg for Gavin’s.

1 Like

I wasn’t looking for a new bike, but the Giant XTC Advanced 29er came up near me and I snapped it up for £500. It’s an absolute delight on long runs and I actually ride it 40 miles (30 of those off road) to work once a week.

I must weigh it!

1 Like

Your photographs are very good. I’m jealous !!

As I remember, in Scotland that is when the rain gets a bit warmer!

4 Likes

Such vivid colours in that countryside, really rugged and wild. Excellent photography which puts my efforts to shame.
Hopefully will do doing a cycle trip this weekend but nothing nearly as daunting.

73’s Wal VK2WP

You need to visit the eastern side of the Cairngorms. Just remember your factor 40.

2 Likes

What a great adventure! I’ve been thinking about some multi-transport-mode trips later this summer, good inspiration.

Yes Fraser, its a difficult one to get right. I wasn’t going to cycle in winter boots and even more weight. But as ever I carry enough gear to survive a night on the hill - Bothy bag, thermal bag, torch, first aid, extra mid later, Goretex Jacket & bottoms and so on. But on my side weather forecast was excellent with low temps, light winds and excellent viz. Plus a report from the area on Friday that the new snow was soft and deep with little evidence of older icy snow underneath. Just decent boots and walking poles needed to prod around :slight_smile:

There is little effort put into my photography, all taken on a Samsung S10E phone left on full auto. Reasonable pictures for web viewing, so long as you don’t zoom too much.

73 Gavin
GM0GAV

1 Like

What is the camera you are using.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

Geoff,

just my mobile a Samsung S10E, left on fully automatic! Its does seem to produce nice landscape colours on its own.

73 Gavin
GM0GAV

1 Like

That cottage for hire is called Strawberry Cottage stayed there a few years ago. It will be closed at present.
Sleeps about 15 people or more has a big room upstairs. It has good facilities including a toilet.

When I was there the midgies were mighty!

73 Rob GM3YTS

1 Like