Northern Scotland in August

I’ll be on a SOTA DXpedtition to Northern Scotland the 2nd full week of August staying up near Tongue and Lairg.

Summits activated will depend on the WX and any deer stalking taking place. So I have a vast swathe of possible summits including

NS-035: Quinag: Sail Gharbh
NS-051: Quinag: Spidean Coinich
NS-052: Ben Loyal: An Caisteal
NS-054: Meallan a’Chuaill
NS-057: Ben Mor Coigach
NS-070: Sgurr an Fhidleir
NS-085: Meall an Fheur Loch
NS-107: Ben Hiel
NS-141: Meal nan Clach Ruadh

Ben Loyal and Quinag summits are particular targets though anything up that part of Scotland is a worthy summit. Why these two? Well here are some pictorial reasons…

Ben Loyal

Quinag: Spidean Coinich and Sail Gharbh


Bands will include 80m, 60m, 40m, 30m, 30m and 13cms for a few special summits where 13cms chasers will be in range.

(Images (c) and John Muir Trust.)


I assume 30m twice is a typo and you will work 20m , won’t you?


Oooo… er yes! 20m. I’ve got dipoles for 80m, 60/40/30 and 30/20/17 so I’m hoping I may be heard.

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OK, perfect. I hope to be able to chase you on 20m. Perhaps on 30 and 17m too but less likely.
Enjoy your expedition in such beautiful scenary.


The WX will be whatever but I’ve been checking with stalkers/estates.

Quinag summits: no stalking / access issues as the land belongs to the John Muir Trust.

Ben Loyal / Ben Hiel and area: I spoke to the estate and they will be stalking but they have designed their stalking so it does not impede access to the hills for walkers. “Please come up and have a lovely time” was the comment I received and “thank you very much for taking the time to call us” I asked the nice lady if she would order up some nice WX and she promised she try :slight_smile: .

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You should have asked for some good propagation as well as enough wind to deter the midges, they’ve got tungsten tipped teeth up there!

Thursday 15 August 2019


GM8CPZ/P on GM/SS-220

Redoing 4th of 4 GM summits whose logs were lost in house move (Posted by G8CPZ)

145.500‑fm,​ 10.1175‑cw,​ 5.3545‑cw

Would 2m FM be a stretch? Then maybe a S2S via NVIS on 5MHz cw ?

I currently expect to be on one of the Quinag summits on Thursday. Blaeloch to Spidean Coinnich is 280km and the direct path crosses some of the highest ground in Scotland. So I doubt handy to handy would work! There’s an aircraft wreck to check out on that summit: WTDWHD

I will be QRV on 13cms for Quinag so I can work Martin GM8IEM who lives reasonably near. That means off loading other gear to minimise weight etc. and so no serious 2m gear. I’ll have 80 and 60 so that’s possible. I don’t normally check SOTAwatch for other spots when I’m activating, I have enough things to do myself and phone coverage is often such that I can spot via SMS but not get a mobile data connection. But even that may be problematic. I am trying to remember what it was like when I was last up that part of the world but can’t, age is catching up. I will have my satellite spotter with me so I will be able to spot myself.

It will be a case of checking the alerts nearer the time but I’m keen to chase you as that will be a complete for me.

I could do 5MHz after 2m and before 10MHz if that helps with timing.

I’ll try to visit the plane wreckage if I have time in my 5-hour timeslot between Renfrew school runs.

I think we’ll need to play it by ear but thanks for thinking about an S2S in advance.

I spoke to the head stalker for the group of summits west of Loch Merkland, Meall an Fheur Loch et al. “No problem with your route. Call or text me when you know for sure you heading off for them and I’ll let the stalker know to look out for you. Thank you for bothering to check with me, I wish more people would make the effort.”

I worked Robert GM4GUF in Biggar on 2m SSB with just a dipole from Ben Hope, so there might be a path south. It was 41 both ways and arranged by Martyn working Robert on 5MHz. I suspect Robert’s antenna was doing a lot of the work! I could faintly hear him on 2m FM, but he couldn’t hear me.

Thanks for the info.

You’re just the person to speak to… can you remember your route up Cnoc Corr Guinie NS-135? Did you just follow the forest tracks off the Alness to Struie road? Instead of spending most of Monday driving up and having limited SOTAing time, I’m heading off Sunday and staying in Alness so I thought I could bag it before checking in to the hotel.

There’s a not very good description of the route in the resources section for NS-135. I’ve just taken a screen extract of our GPS track which might make it more comprehensible. When we were there there was plenty of room at the top, but vegetation could have grown up by now.

If you’ve not already done it NS-138 is a short but steep ascent from the B9176.

I might come looking for routes from you for our next trip to Newtonmore!

Yes, the same as my intended route. Thanks.

©Crown copyright 2019 Ordnance Survey. Media 009/19

You’re really making me jealous Andy! What an exciting undertaking. I hope you find the Fleet Air Arm aircraft too. I went to the Lochnagar one and it was one of the most complete of any of the high ground wrecks I’ve seen.

Ben Hiel is easily done in conjunction with Loyal. It’s 103 by the way.
Good Luck,
73 John

3 summits activated so far, Cnoc Corr Guinie near Alness, Ben Loyal and Meadie Ridge up near Tongue.

I managed to lose my phone on Ben Loyal which was a bit of a bummer. I operated from the foot of the Tor on the summit because I was simply too big a girl’s blouse to climb it solo. In the end a couple of awfully polite ladies came and spoke to me and then went for it. They wandered over 15mins later and pointed the route and said it was quite easy. So I went for it and it was quite easy especially with my bag at the bottom. I took a photo of the trig on my phone. Then I lost the phone on the way back to the car.

Today, the next summit, Meadie Ridge, involved driving past Ben Loyal and having checked how to do trackback on my GPS I allocated an hour to look for the phone as I knew it was no more than 30mins from the car parking. As it was it took me less than 10mins to find it sat by a puddle of bog/swamp/gloop I nearly slipped into. Result!

I had to find it as it had this photo on it.

More reports and photos to come as well as more actiations.


Well done in finding the phone, Andy :sunny:
I was not able to hear you at all yesterday and have been out walking (not SOTA) today. Good luck for tomorrow.

I could hear you for a few moments Rod but then the QSB got you. Band conditions are rubbish.

Thanks for the feedback, Andy. You vanished into the QSB so I did not call again.
Hope all is going well at your end.

The predicted rain never came, oh well, could have done some more. I must admit that letting the legs rest was probably good, I’m surprisingly not hill-fit at the moment.

Here’s my route up Ben Loyal…

©Crown copyright 2019 Ordnance Survey. Media 009/19