GM/WS trip March 2015

Up for a week staying at Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh. So I’ll post updates as I go.

Sunday 22/3/15 - GM/WS-325 Beinn a’ Mheadhoin 414M
Weather forecast was poor so picked this relatively small hill for our first day out this week. It was also unactivated for SOTA, one of an ever dwindling number in GM.
As expected, no paths, although some careful following of animal tracks (mostly deer I think) helped to make the going a bit easier through the heather and bogs. Full track and route on SOTA Mapping and route description on summit page on SOTA Watch.

A couple of small stones marked the summit. As with so many of these west coast hills the view down the sea loch was fantastic.

I set up for 2M SSB with a 3 element beam horizontal and 2M FM dipole vertical, also 40M SSB on inverted V dipole. FT857 with 7AH LiFEPO4 battery. 40W on 2M and 20W on 40M

I howled into the wind on 2M for a few minutes on FM and SSB. No takers.
Switched to 40M and dropped onto the very active WAB net hosted by G4HPE. Worked 13 stations, including DL and SM. Followed this by a move to 7.118, where I was spotted and worked a further 12 stations including LA. All other stations in G and GM. Thanks as always to the chasers,

The wind was increasing and looking like it was going to break something so I called QRZ a couple of times without reply and then went QRT.

Quick decommission of the station followed by a walk down off the summit in the increasing wind.

Found some better animal tracks on the way down which was helpful.

Wildlife count - 5 frogs/toads, not much else.

Photos on my Flickr Page


Hopefully will catch you during the week. Have very happy memories of Dornie as an ex ‘romantic liaison’ lives there.

Have a good week

Glyn G4CFS

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What summits are you likely to be at during the week, and at what time?

If late afternoon/evening maybe there’s a chance of an S2S?

Hi Dave, I’m kind of making it up as I go along. My main aim is to climb Corbetts, but if the weather is poor any lower Marilyn will do. I’m most likely to be active around the middle of the day. I’ll put alerts out each morning.

Monday 23/3/15 - GM/WS-132 Sguman Coinntich 879M
Mixed forecast again, with likely snow showers, but winds a little lighter, so picked this previously unactivated Corbett.

Start from the head of Loch Long (near Kyle of Lochalsh) at Killilan. Route details and track are on SOTA Mapping. For the first approx 530M (vertical) you have great paths, then it’s time to make it up for yourself as usual on Corbetts. A bit of bog but not a bad hill for underfoot conditions.

The weather was lovely at first, but there was a fierce snow squall which lasted for about 20 minutes and covered the ground.

Once at the summit I found another spectacular view point, particularly looking out west and south. Worth the near 900M climb for this view alone.

The summit Trig Point (sorry folks - I forgot to mention this when I was Activating) has to be the oddest one I have found. I suspect the frost has somehow got at the bottom of it and left the rest of the round concrete standing on “four legs” made from the steel reinforcing bars. Anyway, it made it easy for me to put the roach pole down the middle and set up the inverted V for 40M.

I called on 7.120 as 7.118 was splattered from below.

I didn’t self spot, but I was very pleased (and lucky) that G8VNW Nick heard me and spotted me. The usual pileup then ensued. 27 stations worked, all GM/G apart from 1 ON and 1 PA, plus a very nice S2S with ON/G4OOE/P Nick on ON/ON-024. All on FT857 with 25W

Once I worked down the pile up and a few stragglers I was getting pretty cold as I stupidly forgot my synthetic down jacket. So I went QRT on 40M and was just too cold to try 2M. My friends helped me pack up while I shoved down a couple of sandwiches.

We descended in the sunshine but head on into a cold wind, until we reached the corrie when the wind dropped and suddenly we were all nice and warm again.

Wildlife count: 30+ deer, frogs and feral goats.

Photos on my flickr page


Thanks for the contact today and sorry for my not great report to you today. Heavy duty QRN across the
whole of 40M, up and down noise, not sure where from.
Best wishes

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Good morning.
Be listening out for you again today.
Thanks for the last two summits both new ones for me self as well two new WAB squares too.

Keep up good work and most importantly be safe.


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Hi Gerald

Good to make the contact with you yesterday on GM/WS-132. It was a bit of luck as I was actually looking for ON/G4OOE/P, but found you instead.

I thought you showed an amazing amount of patience and skill with the pile up today on Raasay GM/SI-092 - much more than I would have …



Big Pile up.
Good one handling that one, went off made cuppa tea sandwich while people calling in over each other.
Can see why this one was a very Must.

1: Sota GM/SI-092
2: WAB NG-53
3: WAB NG-053 ISLAND :slight_smile:
5: trig point 2888

Suspect GM/SI-176 Is going to attract a lot of attention for same reason. BUT NG-55 this time and TP1212.
Plus bonus of another association clocked by 2 Sotas in area :sunglasses:

Gerald you the man of the day :smile:


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It’s a wonderful little hill with the most gorgeous views to the mainland and Skye… I wish I was there now.

It’s also one of the rarest completes I know of in the UK, only one person has completed it, Bill G4WSB.

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Really :smiley:
Warming up kettle for the next pile up :wink:


Busy busy busy Karl!

Enjoyed it, but it was hard work with so many calling at once. Eased a bit once I managed to work a few folk, but then more and more kept coming, I suspect word got around about what was on offer!

Couldn’t agree more and a great path too. I’ll do a proper write up shortly. Just sorting routes and photos.

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From 2010:

View from near summit of Dun Caan to Beinn na-h-Iolaire and North of Raasay.

View to Dun Caan from Loch na Meilich


Go on, get away wi’ ya Andy! I’m getting island sickness now… :frowning:

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Tuesday 24/3/15 - GM/SI-092 Dun Caan 444M, Isle of Raasay

Weather forecast included the rather ominous words “high risk of thunder”. So we decided lower level was a better idea. We headed out to Skye to get the 9:25 ferry from Sconser to Clachan on Raasay. We decided to take the car. It is possible to climb Dun Caan on foot from Clachan, but if you want to do Beinn na h-Iolaire as well you will need a car.

We drove to NG56134034 and were the only car in the parking space which will hold at least 5 or 6 cars. The path leads obviously from here to the summit. Details on SOTAWatch and SOTAMapping.

The weather came in again as I arrived at the summit and I retreated to the bothy bag. I then had a virtually continuous pile up on 40M for the next 30 minutes. Contacts in Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Spain. The rest in Scotland, England and Wales.

Once the pile up was gone I took the chance to shut down. I emerged from the bothy bag into a long snow squall and had real “fun” getting everything away. Followed the same good path down.

GM/SI-176 Beinn na h-Iolaire, Isle of Raasay

Having reached the car we headed north along the winding up and down road to the north end of the island. We parked at the public road end at Arnish. See the route details on SOTAwatch and SOTA Mapping. Fairly simple route took me to the summit in 50 minutes. The weather had improved a lot and it was quite warm and sunny out of the cold wind. The summit was still windy, but at least it was sunny.

A quick 20 minute session on 40M brought in contacts in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Sweden.

I was on a tight schedule to make the ferry so when it again went quiet at 15:00 I went QRT and quickly disassembled the station. A rapid yomp back to the car was followed by a steady drive back to the port arriving in plenty of time for the 17:00 sailing back to Sconser.

On the way we stopped to take note of “Calum’s Road”. A fascinating story you can find more about here.

There’s a book about it too.

The ferry journey back to Sconser gave great views of the Black and Red Cullin on Skye, looking very wintry indeed still.

All contacts on both summits on 40M SSB, no time or inclination to try anything else. FT857 25W, inverted V dipole.

Pictures here

EDIT: Note, I used the 9:25 ferry Sconser to Raasay and 17:00 Raasay to Sconser. I had room to spare, but not much. If you are planning this day out there is an 8:25 outward sailing and an 18:20 return Monday to Friday. Times vary a little on a Saturday and Sunday sailings are very few and far between. Make sure you read the timetable!

Hi Gerald

Thanks for the two summits today and at least one is on my ‘to do list’ in the next few months. Incidentally, I’ve read the book so ‘Calum’s Road’ is on the must visit list :smile:

73 Allan GW4VPX

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The marker posts up there are interesting, they remind me of the ones you see pictures of on Spanish summits and such.

Very inspiring Gerald, I am hoping to go up some time in the next couple of months…


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wow cracking views and pictures.
Love the low fly pigs over an uneven road surface sign :laughing:

Yet the 2nd summit pile up not so bad was it, unlike the first.
Only sussed out where you were once noted Si is for Scottish Islands and went in via the Sota maps etc, come forth the information to myself. Did wonder why such a dirty great pile up in first place.

One thing about Sota-ing. You certainly visit some amazing sites and view some rare old views. Most of the population not even know about and shared with us in form of photo’s.

thank you again


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Cheers Karl, Raasay is an excellent place to visit.

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Wednesday 25/3/15 - GM/WS-185 Sgurr Mhic Bharraich 781M (depending on the map you look at)

Best weather day of the week I suspect, so we headed for this Corbett near to Dornie. Great path from Shiel Bridge as far as the loch south of the summit, then the usual pathless walk up the last 300M (vertical) to the summit. Route and track on SOTA Maps and SOTA Watch.

Clear skies gave 360 degree views from the summits to surrounding higher Munro summits covered in the fresh snow from the day/night before as well as the old winter snow in some cases. This summit is a fantastic viewpoint with the north side dropping steeply down to the sea at Loch Duich. The panorama includes the Applecross hills, Five Sisters, South Shiel Ridge, The Saddle, Knoydart peaks, Beinn Sgritheall and last but by no means least the Back Cullin on Skye.

With the good weather I had some more summit time to play radio, so I operated 40m and 20M. Plenty of success on both bands, including mostly UK on 40M and then mainland European contacts on 20M and at least one out into Asiatic Russia.

I don’t operate 20M very often and it was apparent to me how rubbish I am at picking out unfamiliar callsign formats in “foreign” accents. I apologise to all the folk I had to ask to retransmit. I have checked my log and I think I have got them right!

Highlight on 40M was a contact with GM4COX/P for a summit to summit on GM/SS-091 Meall Odhar, thanks for waiting for me Jack!

FT857, 25W, Inverted V for 40M and 20M, 7AH LiFePO4

Wildlife count: Red Deer and a GOLDEN EAGLE just before we reached the summit.

Photos on Flickr

Day off today (Thursday) as the predicted “Scotch Mist” has arrived and it’s been wet all day so far. Annoyingly it’s forecast to dry up just too late for us to go out. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

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