SOTA DXpedition

Done when the birds had stopped nesting. This is the only time anyone could do it.

October ISTR, WX is a problem then.

Sea stacks are outwith my skills and TBH, there are tens of thousands of other summits that are exotic* and that are in my skill set

*exotic: my SOTA exotic definition is a bit out of the ordinary that should generate an acceptable number of chasers. For me, islands, Eastern Europe, Urals, Alaska, Chile, Falklands etc.


Hi Jimmy


73 de

Andrew G4VFL


I am aware that climbing these sea stacks are difficult for various reasons such as needing proper rock climbing gear and due to the wild life that live on these sea stacks meaning that it’s only possible to climb them around the autumn time and permission is needed to climb these sea stacks also. I certainly have no intention of ever climbing and activating these sea stacks myself as I am not an experienced rock climber. However given that people have climbed these sea stacks and that it is possible to get permission to do this, I was wondering if one day of SOTA activators would climb them and activate them for SOTA as I know there are a few experienced rock climbers that are SOTA activators also. However the addition difficultly is that due to the summits being rock, it would be impossible to set up any antennas which means that HF is out of the question and you are restricted to hand held and rubber duck so I will be only way to successfully activate these summits is if you have at least 4 other radio amateurs (unless any radio amateur hold more than one callsign) on the St Kildas DXpedition that can work you from base.

Jimmy M0HGY

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Catch the ferry Oban to Barra then you can drive/ferry all the way up the outer Hebrides. No access issues and late Sep/Oct is ok weather, no midges and less tourists. I’ve done it twice not operating at the time but it’s a beautiful part of the world.

  • another one

The Paps on Jura also look interesting and I believe there might be a distillery to add to the expedition. Probably sensible to sequence the visits correctly…


Thanks very much for the information Paul. I will certainly look into a trip to the Western Isles.

Boring. The little summits around them and up at the far end of Jura are much, much more interesting and less frequently activated.

Jura whisky is an acquired taste. One that I haven’t acquired! The Islay distilleries produce much, much better whiskies IMHO.


Thats been top of my list for a while, been putting it off until I could spend the time to do it properly as its a bit of a drive from down here. I’m reasonably familar with the Inner Hebrides but really want to explore further out, its a lovely part of the world.


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Or Maritime Mobile

I suspect 2m handheld with a decent antenna would reach a fair way over the open sea to the Outer Hebrides. HF on a vertical would work too. There are a lot of variables that could get in the way of this however!

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More summits more time to aquire the taste?


It also has a special charm for me to activate a summit first. Especially if this summit has been valid for years.

Mountain climbing is out of the question for me… so the only summits left are in regions where SOTA activators are rarely on the move… or they are unpopular summits that are rather far away or can only be reached through a lot of undergrowth.
But there are still enough of both in Europe.

But I also find it interesting to activate summits that are visited much less frequently, such as a 6 point summit in the midst of 10 point summits.

I make trips where SOTA is clearly in the foreground. (like my Swabian Alb or F/MC and EA2 trip) I then do these trips alone and make several summits a day.
…At the moment I am thinking about how long it would take to do all the summits of ON, LX and PA. Will a 2 week holiday be enough? And actually - it’s a shame that I haven’t been to DL/XX yet… or OE…? which is also just 250 km away.

Fortunately, there are also hiking (not only hiking!) holidays with my wife, where the goal of a hike can also be a valid summit (like our G/DC - G/SC Trip) .:grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Here, the next destination is EA8/GC in March… and Tuscany in the course of the year… For the next few years, Cyprus and Israel are on our wish list (also because of the culinary delights)… and she really wants to go to Greece again…

There is still a lot to do… on personal DX-peditions.

73 Armin


With my skill set and retirement budget, Goat Fell GM/SI-006 is as exotic as I go with island activations. I operated 2m FM there pre-SOTA in the 1990’s. I must have been to Arran more than a dozen times with my kids back then but they were too young and tired to reach the summit. There was a kind of magic about the place with my golden retrievers dozing under our seats on the ferry, wandering around the grounds of Brodick Castle, and the fish and chips supper on our way back to the return ferry.

And 25+ years later, nostalgia is beckoning me back come the spring or early summer.


Looking at the activator list on SOTLAS there was 3 years between my activation and the previous one, so whilst not rare it isn’t commonly activated either.

As I found out, you’ve got to get lucky with the WX however!


Goodness me… at last there is something we agree on 100%. :laughing:

Island activations are absolutely brilliant. The Orkney trip that Paul G4MD set up for the two of us back in 2012 was just marvellous. I highly recommend a bit of island hopping to add to the interest, all planned into the itinerary which went extremely smoothly. Islay in 2013 and Mull in 2016 were similarly enjoyable, even without any islands to hop to (Jura was one step too far in the time available). Oh… the Islay beer is pretty good as well. :grinning:

A return to Mull is still there in the planning file.

For those interested in Scottish Islands and cars… CalMac Ferries do tickets called Island Hoppers that give a number of trips so you can (wait for it) go island hopping. i.e. you can buy one ticket that lets you go from Ullapool on the mainland to Stornoway on Lewis. Drive across Lewis, Harris. Get the ferry from Leverburgh to Borgh on North Uist. Drive on North Uist, Grimsay, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay. Then ferry to Barra. Drive Barra and Vatersay. Finally getting tferry from Castelbay, Barra to Oban on the mainland. This is just for the Outer Hebrides.

There are 62 SOTA summits on these islands above linked by CalMac ferries which should be enough for anyone to start with. Some of these are quite trivial summits and some are serious undertakings involving difficult terrain that is seriously remote for UK geography.

In addition to the 62 on the “main” islands there are another 9 islands needing private boat hire to reach.

There are still a number of unactivated summits on the main islands. Given that the 9 needing private boat hire have all been activated and the unactivated are on the main islands, it should give you some idea of the effort needed.


Thanks for the video Joe, it was fascinating to watch, but not the inspiration. Actually, the real primer for the question came from me needing to fix my Coordinate Converter which was having some subtle problems when dealing with negative numbers, specifically South and East Lat/Long.

So I went on SOTLAS and found some peaks I could use as an easy reference, and happened across South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands with my test summit being randomly picked, the exotically named Henriksen Buttress. I’m not suggesting a DXpedition there, but it is clearly a land of untapped SOTA opportunity, and will probably rightly so remain like that for a long time!

Fascinating all the responses however. With Scotland on my doorstep and having had very little SOTA activity outside the Lake District it is clearly a consideration. I did have a trip planned to the Orkney Islands last year that was scuppered, would be nice to at least re-plan that trip.

I’m up for suggestion possibilities for a SOTA DXpedition however. I can someone legitimately call myself an event organiser now.

Dark drizzly winter evenings here in the Lake District are the ideal time to do some virtual tourism.

Cheers, Mark.


I guess really I should realign to VG8/SG-024 as the obvious choice for me :grinning:

Well a possible idea is…

As I said, I am driven by uniques and completes (I have some people to blame for this affliction). I was looking at a Hebrides expedtion and if I go on my own I can rack up plenty of uniques but few completes. A better plan would be to have a team of me and A. N. Other going to Stornoway and working South, with CW and SSB activations simultaneously. And say the well known team of Gerald G4OIG and Paul G4MD starting in Barra working North. That way you get 4 stations (2xCW 2xSSB) active at the same time for the chasers with the activators getting uniques and the chance to get completes as well. They meet in the middle and get suitably merry at a hostelry before continuing North/South.

Add in a few more teams to make it more fun. Or mad.


When are we off? :joy: