Great Rhos Hike - GW/MW-002 SOTA (2019)

Summits on the Air Activation Report

Activation Date: Sunday 1st December, 2019.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX.
Summit: Great Rhos, Mid Wales, Wales.
Summit ID: SOTA reference GW/MW-002 (4+3 points).
Summit Height: 660m elevation, 379m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 52.26714, -3.19984. Maidenhead Grid IO82jg.
Distance: 8.6km travelled with 335m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T1.(?)
Elapsed Time: 3hr 40m (including operating).
Weather: Feels like 0.0°C, 11 kph N wind, 85% humidity.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FT891, Linked Dipole, Zippy 8400mAh 4S LiFePo4. Yaesu FTM100D, MFJ-1714, Zippy 4200mAh 4S LiFePo4. Yaesu VX6, Diamond SRH770S.
Callsign Used: MW1HAX/P.
Contacts: 31 (20m SSB, 2m FM, 70cm FM).

Trip Notes

  • Great Rhos is a hill located in the county of Powys, in mid-Wales, near the border with England. It is part of the Radnor Forest and is the highest point in the eastern part of the Radnor Forest range, with an elevation of 660 meters.
  • The hill has a long history of human activity, with evidence of ancient settlements and burial sites dating back to the Bronze Age. Great Rhos is located within the Radnor Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest, designated for its outstanding natural beauty and ecological importance. It is also part of the Radnor Forest Special Area of Conservation, designated for its unique habitat and wildlife.
  • I approached the summit of Great Rhos from the North, keen to avoid the military danger area marked on maps to the south and east.
  • There is parking for a couple of cars at the end of a reasonably short single-track road.
  • A farm track leads up through some fields before a grassy foot path winds its way towards the trig point at the summit. Beware of cattle in the farm fields in the summer. The walking and navigation for this route is reasonably easy.
  • I undertook this hike just as the Summits on the Air winter bonus season was starting in early December. Near the summit it was rather cold, with icy frost coating the undergrowth.
  • I set up my SOTABeams mast and proceeded to activate on VHF, UHF and HF. I managed a good number of Summit to Summit contacts, including HF contacts in Poland and Germany.
  • Once I was too cold to stay any longer, I packed away the radio equipment and retraced my steps back to the car.
  • This is a very pleasant four-point hill to walk, and one well worth bagging during the SOTA winter bonus period.


Below are some photographs taken during my activation of Great Rhos on Sunday 1st December, 2019.

GW/MW-002 SOTA Activation, 01/12/2019 (Photo no. 1).
GW/MW-002 SOTA Activation, 01/12/2019 (Photo no. 2).
GW/MW-002 SOTA Activation, 01/12/2019 (Photo no. 3).
GW/MW-002 SOTA Activation, 01/12/2019 (Photo no. 4).
GW/MW-002 SOTA Activation, 01/12/2019 (Photo no. 5).

Walking Route for Great Rhos

The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for Great Rhos. The GW/MW-002 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 31 amateur radio contacts operating as MW1HAX/P from GW/MW-002 Great Rhos on Sunday 1st December, 2019 (all times shown are UTC):

11:40MW6BWA/P2mFMVicki, 5/9, S2S GW/MW-009
11:42MW0JLA/P2mFMRod, 5/9, S2S GW/MW-009
11:43MW6BWA/P70cmFMVicki, 5/4, S2S GW/MW-009
11:47GW4TQE/P2mFMJohn, 5/9, GW/MW-013
11:502E0MDJ2mFMMatt, 5/7
11:54G0LGS2mFMStewart, 5/9
11:59MW3TMX/P2mFMJordan, 5/3, S2S GW/NW-043
12:18F4HZR20mSSBMicke, 5/9
12:20HB9MKV20mSSBRudi, 5/9
12:21HB9AGH20mSSBAmbrosi, 5/7
12:22F5JKK20mSSBJacques, 5/5
12:24EA2DT20mSSBManuel, 5/5
12:25SQ9NOT20mSSBVioleta, 4/1
12:26EA1DHB20mSSBRicardo, 5/5
12:27EA4FVT20mSSBDiego, 5/9
12:28DJ5AV20mSSBMichael, 5/7
12:29HB9GNP20mSSBGabriela, 5/9
12:30YL3CW20mSSBValery, 5/9
12:31UT1DX20mSSBJulian, 5/9
12:31HB9GUX20mSSBHawe, 5/9
12:31OH2BKX20mSSBPasi, 5/9
12:32W1OW20mSSBBill, 5/7
12:32IZ5IOS20mSSBRudy, 5/9
12:33SQ9MDF20mSSBLeszek, 4/1
12:39SP9BIJ/P20mSSBMarco, 4/4, S2S SP/BZ-065
12:40SQ9BQW/P20mSSBWojciech, 4/4, S2S SP/BZ-065
12:41DL/HB9EIZ/P20mSSBMarkus, 5/5, S2S DM/BW-228
12:44SA4BLM20mSSBLars, 5/7
12:46YO6CFB20mSSBLacy, 5/5
12:47F4FUW20mSSBMike, 5/9
12:48US9IBC20mSSBIgor, 5/7

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 Great Rhos:

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