Scotland trip planning

I am thinking/planning on doing a trip to Scotland this year, for a couple of reasons. One is that i haven’t been able to get to Scotland for leisure reasons since i did the west highland way(the proper way backpacking) back in 2002 or 2003. I also want to activate a summit for the first time and Scotland still has a small number of unactivated summits.

Do anyone have any experience of the torridon area? there are three unactivated summits there, all one pointers but the trip wouldn’t be a point gathering trip, just a bucket list sort of thing of activating a summit no one has ever done(for SOTA) before.

I’m looking at a 5-8 hour drive depending on area of Scotland I want to go to and also wondering what sort of time is best to avoid major snow and winter conditions but attempt to miss the midges too. I’d probably be backpacking and wild camping as the summits are remote!

Are the remote summits of Scotland useless for VHF or is it a nice to have in the pack, as in a handheld with 1/2 wave antenna?
any advise or help gratefully received.

Database says 3 unactivated summits and one of them, WS-259 is worth 2 points.

GM/WS-259	Beinn a'Chlachain	626	2053	57.4749	-5.7979	IO77cl 	NG 724491	2	
GM/WS-313	Bidein Clann Raonaild	466	1529	57.5809	-5.2566	IO77in 	NH 054592	1	
GM/WS-321	Seana Mheallan   	437	1435	57.5386	-5.4618	IO77gm 	NG 929551	1

Bidein Clann Raonnaild has a good track to the top and a large phone mast on the top… you should be able to self spot here!

It’s a long time since I was up there so I can’t help. Snows tend to be gone by April but it depends on the winter etc. That photo is apparently from mid-March and you can see snow on the big stuff in the distance, assume 900m mountains. Assume there can be midges from end May to end September. Robin GM7PKT recommended Smidge and I find it’s brilliant for me.

Don’t know why you want to go to Torridon, there’s not much to see up there really.

(All photos come from, they’re not mine. is an excellent resource for GM mountain info.)

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I am open to suggestions for location. They just seemed the closest to me thats all.
I have been looking at that site tonight and some people’s reports are very inspiring.

Torridon is one of my real favourite areas! There is a bunkhouse, Glen Cottage, about half a mile west of the normal start to Liathach but we used to wild camp on a piece of disused land nearby by the road. The midges don’t become a major pest until July but will appear in June, the months with the best chance of fine weather are May and June, by which time you will only find old snow in gullies and shaded hollows above 3,000 feet - although you still might get snow showers on the tops in some weather conditions. Unless things have changed drastically it is a long drive to a pub, we used to drive to Torridon Hotel if we needed a drink and a chance to dry out!

Others will advise on VHF, when I was there last I heard nothing at all on 2m but I believe that things have improved a little.

If you like a feeling of real remoteness you will love Torridon!


PS Andy, what a superb picture of Liathach and Alligin - Damn, I want to go there again…

Hi, VHF works OK from the higher summits in Torridon (out to the islands and east to Inverness), but from the lower ones you mention it would perhaps not guarantee a successful activation. I failed to activate GM/WS-321 Seana Mheallan, a few years back but haven’t had a second attempt, yet! No easy path to the summit as I recall.

Snow shouldn’t be a problem at these low levels by April. Midges will be present by mid June so April/May is perhaps best time to visit.



how do i create a list of the oldest dates as the ‘last activated dates’ ? is it possible on the sota mapping website somehow? If i could activate a unactivated summit and one that hasnt been activated for nearly a decade that would be good.

You tell the database to show the summits in oldest first.

Go to this page:

Change this:

To this:

Job done.

thanks that really helped. I might be onto something here. 1 unactivated summit and two summits not activated in over 10 years and 5 years respective.
A 4200mah battery with an FT817 should handle 3 activations. Now shall i find a friend, preferably with ham radio interest to come with me, or to do it solo? Doesn’t look like there are any bothies in the area so carrying full pack and tent it maybe.
I best start figuring out my radio kit and seeing how bulky ALL of it is, its a lot smaller than when i started HF activating, i had a slab battery and a ts-480, now i have an ft817 and a LifePo4 battery.

Anthony, when you are more definite about where and when then post some info back in this thread. The previous activator(s) of those summits may be very, very interested in chasing you for a complete or two. Also take the rubber duck for your 817 along so you can have a S2S on 2m.

i will do, I’m keeping most of it under wraps from here just in case someone beats me to the summits lol.:slight_smile:

I’ll post all the info on here before hand as I doubt i’ll get much phone signal in the highlands unless on a summit maybe.

Funny how you can ignore the drop down menus. The oldest activation parameter is most useful and it instantly highlights the unactivated summits. If I had the time, I could probably play for hours looking at the various regions. Certainly worthwhile considering where there is a selection of summits in the area and priorities are being set.

Well you can bet your last penny that someone somewhere has their eye on the summits that are unactivated. Although I am not one for awards and the like, I must say that it is nice to see your callsign up as “first activated”, though the options in the UK are shrinking fast.and the focus intensifies month by month.

All the best for your outing Anthony. Wish I could get up there to join you, but April looks more like another raid on GM/SS, this time from Northumberland…

73, Gerald G4OIG

Yeah I’m finding out now I’m looking and planning this trip why they are unactivated, there bloody miles away from what people call civilisation. So should be an awesome trip.
I looked to see if I could train it up instead of car but the price of the trains was more than double the cost of petrol! How do they expect to attract customers?

Of course you also would have to get yourself from the train station to the summits and back again. Car hire would be another expense. Some summits are feasible using public transport, but most aren’t. There is really no other opinion than to drive. Sharing an outing with another activator halves the fuel costs. Having someone with you on the hills, especially those away from civilisation, is also a major advantage.

73, Gerald G4OIG

If you are over 55 and Scotrail has a deal on then anywhere in Scotland return for about £15 (that includes from Carlisle I believe)

I noticed those 3 GM/WS summit listed above are the only un-activated GM/WS summits left, it will be great to see those 3 summits being activated at some-point. I hope you have a good SOTA trip in GM, whatever summits you choose to activate.

Jimmy M0HGY

There is a “heads-up” to Robin GM7PKT
Bet the race is more entrancing than F1

I have new ones to add…

But ??
73, Rod

Hi Anthony

If you go on a weekend make sure you fill up with a full tank of fuel at Inverness, most garages around that area don’t tend to open on a Saturday & Sunday. I found out the hard way and had to spend the weekend at Lochcarron, my boss wasn’t pleased but I enjoyed the Saturday night lock-in at the pub great hospitality from the locals.How is your morse coming along it could be useful if you don’t have a cell service.

Have you got any dates in mind I may be tempted on a road trip if I can get the days of with work.


He’s going to enjoy the mad scramble!