High Willhays Hike - G/DC-001 SOTA (2020)

Summits on the Air Activation Report

Activation Date: Sunday 7th June, 2020.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX, Jani G2JP.
Summit: High Willhays, Devon & Cornwall, England.
Summit ID: SOTA reference G/DC-001 (4 points).
Summit Height: 622m elevation, 537m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 50.68520, -4.01116. Maidenhead Grid IO70xq.
Distance: 8.8km travelled with 239m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T1.(?)
Elapsed Time: 2hr 40m (including operating).
Weather: Feels like 16.7°C, 16kph E wind, 60% humidity.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FTM100D, MFJ-1714, Zippy 4200mAh 4S LiFePo4.
Callsign Used: M1HAX/P.
Contacts: 5 (2m FM).

Trip Notes

  • High Willhays, also known as High Willes, is located in Dartmoor, Devon and is the highest point in Southern England at 621 meters above sea level.
  • This is a huge rolling hill which is not very challenging and can be approached using paths from several directions.
  • A four-point Summits on the Air hill, High Willhays was my primary target for the day after visiting Staple Hill and Christ Cross along the way.
  • Note that this hill is within one of Dartmoor’s military danger zones, and should not be approached if red flags are flying.
  • I parked towards the end of a narrow road near Rowtor to the north of the summit. A 4x4 gravel track leads up towards the col between Yes Tor and High Willhays.
  • Near Yes Tor I unexpectedly met Jani G2JP, one of my Twitter followers, who had tracked me down on the hillside using APRS. Jani was hoping to undertake his first SOTA activation and had brought much of his base station from home including a SLAB battery, desktop transceiver and collinear antenna!
  • I pushed on to the summit while Jani made slower progress with his heavy load. I set up at the top and completed my SOTA activation, including a QSO with Jani who was nearing the summit, and Gareth G0MFR/P on the summit of Win Green G/SC-008 (which I had activated a few days prior).
  • When Jani arrived, I packed away my station and made sure he was succeeding in his activation activities before I left him to search for VHF DX contacts and returned back along the track to the car.
  • This is an enjoyable hill walk which is not too difficult and well worth ticking off.


Below are some photographs taken during my activation of High Willhays on Sunday 7th June, 2020.

G/DC-001 SOTA Activation, 07/06/2020 (Photo no. 1).
G/DC-001 SOTA Activation, 07/06/2020 (Photo no. 2).
G/DC-001 SOTA Activation, 07/06/2020 (Photo no. 3).
G/DC-001 SOTA Activation, 07/06/2020 (Photo no. 4).
G/DC-001 SOTA Activation, 07/06/2020 (Photo no. 5).
G/DC-001 SOTA Activation, 07/06/2020 (Photo no. 8).
G/DC-001 SOTA Activation, 07/06/2020 (Photo no. 6).
G/DC-001 SOTA Activation, 07/06/2020 (Photo no. 7).

Walking Route for High Willhays

The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for High Willhays. The G/DC-001 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 5 amateur radio contacts operating as M1HAX/P from G/DC-001 High Willhays on Sunday 7th June, 2020 (all times shown are UTC):

13:02G4XLO2mFMKevin, 5/9
13:05G0MFR/P2mFMGareth, 5/9, S2S G/SC-008
13:08G2JP/P2mFMJani, 5/9
13:092E0RIP2mFMBob, 5/9
13:182E1KJB2mFMKevin, 5/3

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 High Willhays:

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