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Scotland in August


Due to a family wedding event in August, I will find myself in Balloch on the southern end of Loch Lomond for a weekend.

I have search the summit database around the area to find “easy” summits, that would be ideal for a few hours of activating. Due to the fact of the limited number of activations I am unsure of which may be goers (usually the activation count relates to the difficulty).

Any suggestions for a late afternoon/early evening activation on Friday or relatively quick up and down on the Sunday would be welcome.




In reply to G7ADF:

Ian, how about GM/SS-064 Tinto on the way back home. Its a nice easy walk & close to the M6 south of Glasgow. The fact its been activated 20 times must tell you something. There are plenty of smaller ones in the same general area.


In reply to G7ADF:

Ben Bowie SS-251 is only 3.2 miles as the crow flies from Balloch. The OS map suggests it would be a doddle to climb. About 230m of ascent in total. Most of the route is along a Forrestry Commission track with only 600m up a firebreak onto the summit. Total about 2.7km from car to summit.

Conic Hill SS-240 is 7 miles away but probably at least twice that by road. The West Highland Way footpath runs across the flanks of this hill from Craigie Fort on the banks of Loch Lomond. About 360m of ascent and about 2.3km from the road to the summit. It’s a bit steeper than Ben Bowie though.

I’m not sure how good these are for VHF working. Glasgow is not far but is hidden a little by nearby high ground. Load Google Earth and the SOTA overlay and check yourself. I find the Geograph website invaluable to show me what the land is like along with the Get-A-Map page from the OS website.

Don’t be put off by the low activation numbers as there aren’t too many activators up here. In fact with less than 30 activators and 1214 summits to do most summits have very low activation counts.

Tinto is a nice easy 4 points though. There’s a big car park at the base and someone of average fitness should be able to get up in under 90mins. The big car park is the hint. This is a popular hill and in good weather I’ve seen over 50 cars at the base! There’s a cafe at the base but it’s never been open when I’ve been near. The Abington M8 Services are 10 miles away if you want a wash and drink after the walk.



In reply to MM0FMF:

Thanks for both replies. Looks like our stay has just been extended by the fact that its BH monday. So we have booked a hotel in Lanark for the Sunday night so we can visit a friend in Symington. Guess what the local hill is. Looks like Tinto is the one to go for.




In reply to G7ADF:

You probably already know this, but Bank Holidays are on different days in Scotland than England. The Scottish one is August 6th and the English one is August 27th. Just in case this affects your plans.



In reply to G7ADF:

Scotland in August! Unless you are one of the infinitely lucky ones that the midges find unpalatable, pack your insect repellant and put it on before getting out of the car!

Given an extra day I would be tempted to go for Ben Lomond! Not a quicky but one heck of a viewpoint!


Brian G8ADD


In reply to G8ADD na MM0FMF:

Hopefully work wont find out that its not a bank holiday in scotland and require me to go in :). It might mean theres a little less crowding about.

As for the midege problem, I dont usually suffer too bad, but not met many Scotish ones yet. Looks like I’ll be doing things Joe Brown fashion or if things get really bad Don Whillans (with the pipe).

I will only have limited time as I will be with the CiC, but should get a good few hours to play out :slight_smile:



In reply to G7ADF:
The Scottish midges have tungsten-tipped teeth!


Brian G8ADD


Is the midges problem an all year round one or just during the summer? And is this all over Scotland.

Just curious as one day … we’d like to visit Scotland



Hi Peter… worst in summer esp. August…and prevalent anywhere out of cities in the mountains etc.

My answer was to take a piece of bracken, stuff the stalk down between your rucksack and back and arrange it with the “fronds” wafting over your head as you walk. That did the trick.

The other tricks are… eat Marmite…keeps mosquitoes away too…

…or dont wash for ages… and then the midges either dont come or they will be the least of everyone’s problem hi hi.

73 Marc G0AZS


I found the trick with Midges in Scotland was to take the mother in law :0)

When we stopped in West Scotland one summer we were plagued by them but my wife, the kids and I only got a handful of bite between us, however my mother in law got eaten alive. I put it down to the fact that the MOL doesn’t like garlic where as we had it nearly every day in something or other.

Conclusion: Eat lots of garlic and other spicy food and take a sacrificial lamb with you who tastes nicer to the midges than you do.

I will be in Scotland the last two weeks in August. Tinto is on our list to do so we will have to make sure we do it different days and can maybe get an S2S.

Regards Steve GW7AAV


In reply to G7ADF:

For midges I use Avon “skin so soft” It`s very effective & a lot cheaper than “proper” repellents. It does work - even the gun & tackle shop in Fort William give it prime space in their front window. I wont go on as this subject was done to death last year. :wink:


I gather your “Mol” is not the most favourite person in your life, Steve :slight_smile:

But I’ll bear your tip in mind, might come in handy



In reply to ON3WAB:
The midges begin to be a real pest in June and peak in August; the first frosts in the mountain areas are usually in September and the midge problem then diminishes rapidly. They don’t bite in bright sunshine and in windy conditions they don’t fly and at worst will content themselves with your ankles! Evening twilight and mild damp conditions bring them out in droves.

They are so eager to get to me that I have seen them drown themselves in midge repellant whilst I was applying it! The annoying thing is that there are some people who are totally immune, and others who merely feel a mild prickling whilst the midges are active, whereas I come out in bumps and itch for a week from each bite.

Spring is completely midge-free, but that is the time of the year for the clegs…


Brian G8ADD


In reply to G1INK:

Avon SkinSoSoft is really good. The British Army use it. Also it isn’t full of horrible organo-pesticides like the proper midge repellants are. It smells nicer aswell. In my case, the midges prefer Mrs. FMF and my kids to me, so I dont need to use as much stuff!