UKC

/ Midge situation in Scotland

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
SFrancis - on 15 Aug 2017
Just wondering what the midge situation is like in Scotland at the moment?

A friend just returned from a trip upto skye and said its the worst he has ever seen. Just wondering if it is worse than usual?
Kevin Woods - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

Not particularly worse than typical August, I think. But I also think folk say 'worst' every year. I don't know how many summers have now also been the wettest in memory.
nathan79 - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

I can't give any info as I'm at home hiding from them awaiting winter(which will probably be a snow-free disappointment). I have seen a few pics and heard tales from friends that they've been bad.
Martin McKenna - UKC - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

They have been pretty tame from my experience this year, that being said, I've not climbed much in the west this year yet.

Last year was BAD, especially in the east and the Gorms where they are usually a degree tamer. I got a west coast midging on Shelterstone last August.
Andy Nisbet - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

I was in Skye last week for a day. There was a light breeze so no midges. But I'm sure they were there if the wind had disappeared.
SFrancis - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to All:

Cheers, I suspected as much. I'm always informed it's the "worst" they have ever been, when I mention I am thinking of heading there.
JLS on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

It's just your luck with the wind.
I was at the same crag in Glen Coe both Saturday and Sunday. Probably spend 14+ hours outdoors all told. Of that time only the the last hour on Sunday, when the air went still around 7:00pm, was bad.
The rest of the time, no problem. However when it got bad it was really bad.
Despite only opening the car doors for the absolute minimum still hundreds of the feckers got in.
In reply to Martin McKenna - UKC:

Strangely I've had a pretty easy time on both my trips north this year, but concur with Kevin - everybody always says this is the 'worst year' ever - particularly if they're soft and from England ;-)
atrendall - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Pretty average on Skye I'd say. Vicious and intense for a while but never for long and Smidge seems the business.
deepsoup - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:
Not particularly bad at the moment according to the forecast here: https://www.smidgeup.com/midge-forecast/

But of course it can change *so* quickly - on a warm summer's day it can go from heaven to hell in a minute if the wind drops and the sun disappears behind a cloud.
malky_c - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

Same as every other summer really. I have avoided them more than normal though, and it has been a pretty windy summer, which has given them less opportunity.
Dave Hewitt - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

They seem to have picked up a bit in the Stirling area these past couple of weeks - I had none for ages then a few while having lunch at the Andrew Gannel crag in the Ochils last Wed. Then on Sunday took a wander up Earl's Hill (a very unfashionable hill - always seems to be quiet - but a very good viewpoint) and there were none at the summit but masses at the road a few minutes later. Also last Wed a friend phoned from the east top of Stob Coire Sgriodain and said he was having to sit on the cairn they were so bad.

Also a few while standing blethering with Mike Myers (not that one) outside his garage in Coniston a couple of weeks ago.
Andy Johnson on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

Some anecdata:

Spent the week before last week in a cottage in Ardmanurchan and didn't notice any midges, with the exception of a couple of hours early one evening. Not windy but occasional showers. The week before that we were near Callander and they were never a problem.

I also spent a few days backpacking on Skye late May / early June. The midges were bad around Sligachan (but they always are) and near Loch na Sguabaidh, but otherwise I didn't have a problem. Didn't notice any in the northern Cairngorms later that week - Glen Avon was wet but midge free when I passed through to Faindouran.

Every year seems like the worst year for midges because every year most of us have to re-experience them. At least the clegs aren't as bad as they were in 2011.
DannyC on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

Surely the situation is as it always is in Scotland in August...?

If there's not a breath of wind, or alternatively very hot sunshine, they'll be terrible! I really do think it's as simple as that - with little or no variation year on year.

Thankfully, it really only requires the lightest of breezes to keep them at bay, so choose your crag with care and you'll probably be fine. Plus midge nets, spray and tucked in trousers can make a light midge-ing fairly easy to tolerate.

In summary, never let a 'worst year ever for midges' report put you off. Enjoy!

D.

dominic o - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

Just back from 10 days climbing on the East coast and didn't see a single midge, let alone get bitten - made up for it with fulmar puke though

Managed to climb on 9 days mostly thanks to the accessible and high quality climbing at Moy and Loch Fleet. Highly recommended!

Check out blog posts at https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/category/uk/scotland/

Steve Perry - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to DannyC:

> Surely the situation is as it always is in Scotland in August...?

> If there's not a breath of wind, they'll be terrible! I really do think it's as simple as that - with little or no variation year on year.

> Thankfully, it really only requires the lightest of breezes to keep them at bay, so choose your crag with care and you'll probably be fine. Plus midge nets, spray and tucked in trousers can make a light midge-ing fairly easy to tolerate.

> In summary, never let a 'worst year ever for midges' report put you off. Enjoy!

> D.

UKC should make this the standard reply.
Jim C - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to JLS:
> Despite only opening the car doors for the absolute minimum still hundreds of the feckers got in.

Not sure if it makes a huge difference, but when someone wants to exit the car when it is surrounded by midge, we put on all the blowers, and only one person exits at a time, so the air is concentrated on that door, we hope that it minimises the midge getting in.

( BTW, I swear by my wire loop midge net ( beekeeper type) rather than the ones that flop around your face, they are not so claustophobic and do not overheat you as much with your breath on hot days. The wire is usually very flexible so can be squashed into a gaiter or fits easily into my smallest day sack. )
Post edited at 17:00
olddirtydoggy - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

Just returned from Arran and we didn't think it was too bad, even on calm days. The lower levels were as you would expect but a little bit of wind seemed to keep them down.
DannyC on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to dominic o:

I really enjoyed reading through your posts there Dominic. Sounds like a great wee holiday; laughing in the face of the midgy threat!

D.
Pursued by a bear - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> I swear by my wire loop midge net ( beekeeper type)

I usually put a baseball cap on then the midge net over. Does much the same job and since I usually have one with me, there's no weight penalty.

T.

climbwhenready - on 15 Aug 2017
In reply to SFrancis:

Hmm. Hardly seen any in Outer Hebrides last 2 weeks. On Skye at the moment and there's a few, and I've got the smidge, but really not very many.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.