Scotland trip planning

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!

You are right there Andy, seeing my post below from July last year shows that GM/WS will gain one more SOTA summit.

I see you only have GM/SS-067, GM/SS-257 and GM/SS-089 to activate before you make all the above changes Andy.

Jimmy M0HGY

Well it’s surprising how good it can be. And how bad. Main roads, even in far away places get quite good coverage. Also the more remote parts get special funding from EU and UK governments to support the infrastructure. But it’s not going to be like highly populated areas in the UK. My main phone is on Three which means 2.1GHz for 3g. Three used to roam customers onto Orange 2g networks when there was no Three coverage but it’s years since I’ve seen my phone do that. Even so it often is exceptional when you consider where you may be.

The original networks (O2 and Vodaphone) built lots of 900MHz cells and these have better coverage. Lots of 900MHz cells are being upgraded from 2g to 4g etc. as 900MHz signal penetrates buildings better than 2.1GHz. But in and around Torridon, you wont be getting 4g! So those networks may well offer the greatest chance of non-summit based coverage.

If you are like me, you will have upgraded your phone many times and I have a sack of old phones. The things nobody would be seen dead with anymore! But these are great for SOTA with a PAYG SIM in them on a different network to your main phone. When I will be in seriously remote parts of GM, I check the network coverage maps and add one of my old phones to the bag. One is an old Nokia 3200 Classic and the other is an old Blackberry. Probably adds 200g to the bag. This massively improves the chance of getting a spot out. As long as you remember to send a text every 90 days the credit doesn’t expire. I put £10 credit on an O2 SIM in 2013 and there’s still nearly £3 left now.

Worth considering.

Totally agree on the second phone suggestion. However, I don’t have a sack full of old phones, so I had to buy one off eBay. Well worth it, even for areas like GM/SS. Once had to use the Orange/EE PAYG phone to speak to the XYL from Galloway which has very patchy O2 coverage. It maintained my Brownie points record. :wink:

Unfortunately I’m too old to be classed young and not old enough to be classed as older/wiser, I’m a Young’n of under 35😁.

I’ll make sure I have petrol fillup at Inverness. My current thinking is to do two day hikes and stay in relative luxury and have a solid roof over my head instead of backpacking it all. I also maybe going with my brother.
I’ve ordered the OS map from dash4it for a cheap price if £5.11 instead of full price of wh Smith’s or the like.
Current plans are around May sometime go up Friday walk sat and Sunday, maybe come back Sunday afternoon or Monday depending on routes, times etc etc. First or second weekend of may possibly.

My morse is coming but has took a back burner over Christmas and need to get back into it, and am no where near fluent enough for a QSO in CW yet.

I’m also on 3 network so I’ll check the coverage, but I get hardly any signal in my house my street seems to be in a small hollow.

Lochcarron has a 24/7 self-service card-operated petrol/diesel station. Kinlochewe has a service station open 08:30 - 18:00 - Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr & 08:30 - 17:00 - Sa. Fuel prices in Inverness are similar to other large connurbations but out in the rural bits you may find you shed a tear when filling up. I’ve seen prices up to 22p/L more than back home.

Well it’s 114.9p/l here at home so anymore than that and I’ll push it home if need be. It is down hill all the way home anyway, obviously.:grin:

“Tesco” and get the points!!:wink:

Enjoy that. It’s £1.21 for diesel this morning. I’d expect around £1.50/L when you get up there by May with the pound being worth 5/8ths of naff all and OPEC cutbacks.

At £1.21/L the credit limit at the pump is less than the cost of filling my pickup from dry. 82L x £1.21 = £99.22 and the pumps only dispense £98.00 max. :frowning:

That sounds like an excellent plan. In my view, having a comfortable bed and somewhere to dry kit is essential after a damp day in the hills. Then again, I am older… but not necessarily wiser. :wink:

Ok so current plans are to drive up to loch carron / strath carron area setting off about 8 am Friday 12th may. On Saturday and by luck it’s the eu-na s2s event on Saturday I plan to activate. . . . Fuar tholl GM/ws-109 . It’s had 5 QSO on 2m in 2004 and that’s it.
I might have time to activate GM/ws321 on Sunday before the 8 HR drive home. Depends how the drive North goes on Friday.
Anyone is welcome to come join me on the road trip. I know it’s late notice. I’m at a bunkhouse but I’m sure we can sort accommodation out if someone does want to come along.
Hope to work a lot of people on Saturday :grinning::grinning:.

from searching around online it looks likes a very rocky summit on Fuarr Tholl and not much chance to peg some guys in. It has a small summit wind break made of stones and possibly a new stone trig point. If the trig point is not there as some photos show it destroyed has anyone got any tips to getting a pole secured upright with just a bend stone wall effectively to use?


Instead of using pegs just tie the guys around suitable rocks, or loop them over rock spikes or nubbins. Sometimes you can jam the foot of the pole into a rock cleft so that you only need a single guy.

I activated GM/WS-259 at the end of March when I was staying up there and GM/WS-313 is now recorded as done in April. So only GM/WS-321 could be a first activation, good luck.


Thanks for that but my plans may still change. May be hitting the lakes for 3 days instead. I get to bag more hill time Friday,sat, Sunday and save myself a 16-20 hour round trip which would be for only 1 possibly 2 hills if I went to Scotland. Now I’m going on my own it’s not what the trip started out to be. Oh I better decide before Friday! LOL

Hi Anthony,

I carry a couple of bungy cords with me. I have removed the steel hooks and replaced them with alloy carabiners (the really cheap ones) though that detail is not strictly relevant here - but it does make them lighter and easier to use, I find.

I also carry three lengths of braided nylon cord approx 1.5m long, with a loop tied in each end, which I use to guy one of my walking poles. I then bungy the antenna pole to that.

Now, to your question - if I can’t get pegs in the ground, and there is no fence post or trig point, I use one (or two) of the guy lines to extend the bungy. That way, I can get it around a rocky outcrop, or some feature in the top tier of the summit shelter etc.
Sometimes I do that anyway, if it is the quickest option.

In this photo I used two bungies and one of the braid guys to reach an anchor point at the back of the smooth boulder on Tonelagee:




The only GM summit where I have had real issues is Creag nan Gabhar in January when it was well below zero at the summit and had been for weeks. This is a very rocky summit and the ground was frozen harder than concrete. I had to use my ice-axe to lever up rocks that were frozen to the ground and use them to support the guys. It wasn’t very windy so this was quite easy to do.

On volcanic summits on Lanzarote and Fuerteventura I have used cracks in rocks plus loose rocks to support the pole. The problem here is lava weighs nothing compare to rocks in GM so I needed substantial amounts of it to make up for the low density.

The ability to make do on an awkward summit is directly proportional to how desirable the summit is to the activator and chasers! :grin: