West Highland Way (sota-ified)

so i had originally planned the following itinerary for May 2020, but I think we all know why that did not happen.
I will be filling the alerts over the next day or two

Sat 17 Sept i will be leaving from Milngavie, some days are WHW waking days, days with SOTA are typically hill days only. I think I might have one or two days where I am walking and doing SOTA. If the wx up high is too dodgy there may ba an abort. I am using an MTR2 with an EFHW, and will use my Yaesu FT1 until the batteries die (probably the third activation in).

The days and peaks as I have them on my spreadsheet:
18 Sept Conic Hill
19th: GM/SS-011
21st: GM/SS-001, GM/SS-002
22nd: GM/CS-050
23rd: GM/CS-008
25th: GM/WS-017, GM/WS-019

depending on how things go and how the WX is looking I might leave the Way and head up into the hills out of Kinlochleven and do the following peaks between the 26th, 27th, 28th. as noted ot just depends on the WX: GM/WS-058, GM/WS-020, GM/WS-037, GM/WS-069, GM/WS-003, GM/WS-002, GM/WS-001

I will do what I can to keep the alerts correct and/or pull them if meeded. I think most of these activations will occur at various times of the day

Thanks amd hope to get a few of you in the logs


Hope you have a lovely time and fingers crossed for decent weather! :smiley:

Like you I had planned to walk it in 2020, but… yeah… I did walk portions of the WHW earlier this summer while on a camping trip to Scotland and drove along some of the rest of it and if you’ve got the time and can cope with the extra load it looks perfect for a combined long-distance walk and SOTA adventure.


Gosh, I wish the bands would cooperate! I haven’t heard a European SOTA in a long
time now. Darn it… Have fun !
John, K6YK

Moving along the WHW well, and doing pretty good against my list. You saw my write up on Ben Lomond. I did make it up both Ben More and Stob Bienn on a “zero” day, and what might be the 2nd hardest single day of SOTA I have done (The hardest being W6/WH-001 Mt Dubois). I would even caveat that the day jaunt up Mt Whitney (W6/SN-001) is easier than these two). Somethinf about this stairway to the clouds that just screams thigh burner:

I managed to qualify both on VHF.
I skipped CS-050 opting to get to Tyndrum quickly so I could book a massage.
Today (23 Sept) I got a nice early start from Tyndrum and hit the Bridge or Orchy hotel by 10am, dumped half the weight of my backpack into a garbage bag to pick up at checkin and headed up Beinn Dorainn GM/CS-008.
Another crazy bog and mud filled ascent that opened up into an amazingly beautiful day to look South and where I had come already

Worked 20 and VHF and decided what the heck, lets break out the qcx-mini and work 17m as well. I wound up with two different pile ups, one when I spotted myself. one about 20-30 minutes later when RBn picked me up and respotted me. 17 was very strong onto the Southern part of the continent. thanks EA stations for being patient. I do need to make some adjustments on my paddle.

Tomorrow is a move day, and then Sunday I am still on schedule to activate GM/WS-017, GM/WS-019.

After that we shall see, I do have a 7.5cl of Glengoyne 18 I bought for finishing on Ben Nevis :slight_smile:


You are doing rather well so far. Look forward to the next instalments!

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I’m smiling at that and not in a “told you” way. When I see people, such as yourself, who are a lot fitter than me with a lot more stamina say they found it hard going then I think that perhaps I’m a little bit fitter than I give myself credit. There again, I only did one of them as two would be a hill to far. Ben More is a constant 1:3 climb, 3km forward and 1km up. When you’ve got the top and activated you’ve got to come down. Or do Stob Binnein. Then it’s a 300m descent to the beallach and another 300m ascent. And you’ve still got to get back to the car. So back to the beallach and then down the steep slope to the track out or back down the 1:3 slope you came up.

Looks like you may have got OK WX which is also a plus. Probably around now is a good time to do them as it’s not too hot or cold and whilst there has been rain lately, we did have a very long dry summer. Of course you found the boggy ascent on Beinn Dorain. Imagine what that is like if we had had a normal amount of rain over the last 6 months! That bog is biblical in its ability to swallow a whole leg and then it dries out a bit and you start to climb the choire headwall and then… the fanfare plays and you come out to the beallach. The rest of the climb is quite gentle in comparison and good ground. The views are a bit impressive. It was murky when I was there but it was clear when I was on its neighbours. That and the radio makes it worthwhile.

You should enjoy Meall a’Bhuiridh and Creise. Give your self a bonus point for each one you can pronounce :slight_smile:


well, I finished, (a week ago now). After Meall a’Bhuiridh my goal was to actually finish. Not that I had any worry but I had not set out to do a named Long Trail since the late 2000s so once I left the Kingshouse area my goal shifted to enjoying the Highlands and finishing :). That said yes I wanted to do Criese as well but that was the day a big storm system moved in. I could not see the approach to Criese while climbing up Meall a’Bhuiridh, and by then the winds were already ripping with gusts of 40+. So I opted for the one peak that day and get down in one piece :). To which I was successful. While walking down though the winds has increased such that the gusts were strong enough to knock me airborne. All in all I did finish with 6 total SOTA peaks whoch added 30 miles to my overall expedition, and was pretty lucky with the wx, I really only had the one bad day of weather, just bummed it was an activation day. After doing Ben More though I am not sure what the big deal with the Devil’s staircase is all about…hehe.

Anyway thanks to all who chased me while I was out in the boondocks of Scotland; the Highlands are an amazingly beautiful place and I hope to go back at some point, but for all the travelling I have done in the UK over the years I have realized I have not even scratched the surface of that continent to the South. My next few trips over will be van lifing a few months at a time to explore Europe within the constraints of the schengen and popping SOTA where I can. I should be in the Pyrenees later this week.

73 de Jamie!