Aran Fawddwy Hike - GW/NW-007 SOTA (2019)

Summits on the Air Activation Report

Activation Date: Tuesday 31st December, 2019.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX.
Summit: Aran Fawddwy, North Wales, Wales.
Summit ID: SOTA reference GW/NW-007 (8+3 points).
Summit Height: 905m elevation, 670m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 52.78702, -3.68786. Maidenhead Grid IO82ds.
Also Activated: GW/NW-015.
Distance: 17.4km travelled with 1039m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T2.(?)
Elapsed Time: 5hr 25m (incl. operating and other summit(s) on the same hike).
Weather: Feels like 1.7°C, 17 kph ENE wind, 100% humidity.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FTM100D, MFJ-1714, Zippy 4200mAh 4S LiFePo4.
Callsign Used: MW1HAX/P.
Contacts: 8 (2m FM).

Trip Notes

Aran Fawddwy is the highest peak in Merionethshire, Wales, standing at a height of 905 meters above sea level. It is a significant cultural and natural landmark in Wales, with a rich history dating back to Welsh mythology and the 15th-century rebellion against English rule. This mountain range is home to a variety of wildlife, including red grouse and peregrine falcons.

The mountain is one of the eight P600 mountains in Wales.

I undertook this Summits on the Air activation on New Years Eve 2019. This summit is often paired with Glasgwm GW/NW-015, which I have written about seperately.

The entirety of this hike took place in poor visibility, with a cold breeze.

The route chosen was to approach from the South West following the ‘duck board’ path via Waun Camddwr. Navigation is quite straightforward with mostly obvious paths and tracks to follow.

The biggest challenge faced was that the ground surrounding this hill is remarkably wet and boggy (even in summer). I highly recommend waterproof boots and gaiters for this walk!

As the path climbs to the summit of Aran Fawddwy a large cairn with a summit marker comes in to view. In fine weather, the views from here are excellent, particularly looking east where the mountain drops away steeply. This steep drop-off would appear to lend itself to good VHF take-off to the east.

From the summit I completed a quick SOTA activation on the 2-metre band, netting eight contacts with three S2S in under ten minutes.

For the return leg I simply retraced my steps back to the car parking area, skipping the detour to Glasgwm along the way.


Below are some photographs taken during my activation of Aran Fawddwy on Tuesday 31st December, 2019.

GW/NW-007 SOTA Activation, 31/12/2019 (Photo no. 1).
GW/NW-007 SOTA Activation, 31/12/2019 (Photo no. 2).
GW/NW-007 SOTA Activation, 31/12/2019 (Photo no. 3).
GW/NW-007 SOTA Activation, 31/12/2019 (Photo no. 4).
GW/NW-007 SOTA Activation, 31/12/2019 (Photo no. 5).

Walking Route for Aran Fawddwy

The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for Aran Fawddwy. Note that this summit was activated as part of a multi-summit hike and the map below shows the full route taken on the day. The GW/NW-007 summit area is marked on the map with a blue pin icon.

You can download the route shown above as a GPX file suitable for use with most GPS devices. This file is provided for information only, to support your own walk planning and research (it may contain navigation errors, detours and/or safety hazards). The route downloads provided here are governed by the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.

Station Log

I logged the following 8 amateur radio contacts operating as MW1HAX/P from GW/NW-007 Aran Fawddwy on Tuesday 31st December, 2019 (all times shown are UTC):

13:41M3ZCB/P2mFMCaroline, 5/4, S2S G/SP-007
13:42M1MAJ2mFMMartin, 5/4
13:43MW6BWA/P2mFMVicki, 5/4, S2S GW/NW-022
13:44MW0JLA/P2mFMRod, 5/6, S2S GW/NW-022
13:45GW4VPX2mFMAllan, 5/7
13:46MW0UPH/M2mFMAled, 5/9
13:46MW0WMW2mFMMike, 5/9
13:47G4AZS2mFMAdrian, 5/5

In the notes field I will usually log the other operator’s name and the signal report they provided. In accordance with the Summits on the Air rules, I do not make a log entry where a complete exchange of callsigns and signal reports was unsuccessful.

Additional Information

The following resources may be helpful to walkers, mountaineers and SOTA activators interested in Aran Fawddwy:

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