Tom Read - click to email meBDXC ISWL WAB SOTA RSGB IOTA - see my radio page for more detailsLiam & Jimmy

Cruim Leacainn WS-344


Cruim Leacainn, GM/WS-344 - 232m ASL - NN 166 807 - OS Explorer 392 - 1 SOTA point       Map & summit information from SOTAwatch      Click to return to summit index


Now we had done GM/WS-001 which was planned and agreed, and GM/WS-339, which was our "optimistic on-the-off-chance" summit. But Jimmy was still poring over the OS Explorer 392 sheet at every opportunity. As we took a drive out to Loch Ness on the last day of our holiday, Friday 8th August 2008, Jimmy pointed out of the car window, a few miles outside Fort William. "That's WS-344" he said, "It looks really easy". Marianne said nothing, but I suspect resigned herself to accepting a third SOTA activation of the holiday!

Tom ascending to Cruim Leacainn    Jimmy on the ascent

En route back from Loch Ness, I suggested that Cruim Leacainn GM/WS-344 looked ideal for an hour's family stroll before supper. Marianne agreed, and it seemed our luck was in. As we closed in on Fort William on the return drive, Marianne said that she didn't feel like a walk, so could I drop her and Liam off first, and then go back out and just do it with Jimmy? No problem, the extra time to taxi Marianne and Liam back to Fort William and drive back up the hill would be cancelled out by the improved prospects for the pace of ascent!

Jimmy on summit, with Ben Nevis behind    Tom on the summit of Cruim Leacainn

Looking at the map, we weren't convinced that a route through was possible from the A82 near Achindaul Farm, but agreed that this was the only starting place we feasibly had time for. At NN176795, we turned into the access track for the farm, and to a large parking area by a residence at NN171800. The front door was open, with people bobbing around, so I asked a lady if access to the summit was acceptable, and permission to park. The answer was in the affirmative in both cases, and we began to put our boots and packs on while having a friendly chat with the farmer.

Jimmy MM3EYP/P on 40m SSB    Tom MM1EYP/P on 40m CW

"Just follow the track all the way up" he said, which we already knew from the map, but we thanked him nonetheless. The track was a good hard surface that could have easily been driven up in a normal car, although access was only permitted to vehicles servicing the transmitters on the summit. The track looped and zigzagged around until passing just to the south of the summit.

Transmitter masts on Cruim Leacainn    Trig point on Cruim Leacainn - but not at the summit!

Jimmy and I branched off to ascend the grassy bank to the top, upon which we set up for 40m. At around 7pm in the evening, this band was not as easy to use as on the two previous activations, which had QRV times of noon and early morning respectively. However, we made five contacts each to secure the activator point and unique, although Jimmy's fifth was on 2m FM into Fort William.

That completed our GM SOTA, a pleasing haul of 3 uniques and 12 activator points each.  Thanks to the following stations, all worked as follows:

G0TRB Tamworth Roger 40m SSB 2.5 watts J
G3OHC Selby Graham 40m SSB 2.5 watts J
GW7AAV Connahs Quay Steve 40m SSB 2.5 watts J
G8HXE Urmston Keith 40m SSB 2.5 watts J
GM8AOB Fort William Martin 2m FM 5 watts J
G4SSH Scarborough Roy 40m CW 2.5 watts T
DJ5AV Heiligenberg Mike 40m CW 5 watts T
G3OHC Selby Graham 40m CW 5 watts T
DL5WW Neubrandenburg Guenter 40m CW 5 watts T
HB9AGH Zurich Ambrosi 40m CW 5 watts T