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!
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!
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.
"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.
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