Radio enthusiast and ‘mountain goat’ to ‘activate’ ten new summits in Outer Hebrides

What happens when a passion for amateur radio and hiking collide?

In Ben Lloyd’s case, it means taking on ten new summits in the Outer Hebrides with some amateur radio equipment.

The board director for Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) – the UK’s national society for amateur radio enthusiasts – is planning to climb ten summits on remote islands and from there, make an amateur radio contact.

If successful, it will be the first time the summits have been “activated”.

Essentially Mr Lloyd will be the first person to make an amateur radio contact from the summits.

Combining radio with the great outdoors

The radio enthusiast from Powys in Wales is undertaking the challenge over 12 days.

He aims to reach ten summits on the Islands of Seaforth, Lewis, Harris or Pabbay.

Mr Lloyd’s partner and fellow radio amateur Martha, and their two-year-old daughter Lyra will also be joining him for some of the more accessible Marilyns on the Isle of Lewis. 

Front of kayak on the way to the Island of Seaforth
Ben Lloyd started the trip today by kayaking to the Island of Seaforth. Image: RSGB

Starting the challenge this morning, Mr Lloyd kayaked over the Island of Seaforth in the Outer Hebrides which is only accessible by non-motorised vessels for most the year.

Attempting four summits today, the hiker successfully made contact with RSGB president John McCullagh who was over 200 miles away in Ballycastle in
County Antrim.

Before the contact took place, John McCullagh, said: “I’m incredibly excited to communicate with Ben whilst he is in one of the most remote places in Great Britain.

“The great thing about amateur radio is that there is no reliance on networks, phone, Wi-Fi etc. and with the right training and licence we can communicate with people worldwide.

“What Ben is doing is a brilliant way to combine this with adventure, family and the great outdoors.”

Hopes challenge will be a ‘family adventure’

Mr Lloyd is not new to climbing summits accompanied with his amateur radio equipment.

The keen hiker has climbed 428 summits in two years.

RSGB-Director-Ben-Lloyd on his first summit
Ben Lloyd is taking on the challenge of making successful radio contacts from ten summits in the Outer Hebrides. Image: RSGB

Taking part in Summit on the Air’s (SOTA) award scheme which awards points for four successful contacts made on each summit – Mr Lloyd has already reached Mountain Goat status.

This usually takes someone five years to complete

Mr Lloyd admitted he loved the challenge of the award scheme.

He said: “It allows me to combine my two favourite hobbies of amateur radio and hiking.

“Now Martha has passed her foundation licence, we can really make this a family adventure with our daughter Lyra too.”

You can visit RSGB’s Facebook page to find out more or to follow Mr Lloyd’s journey,

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