Moel Siabod Hike - GW/NW-010 SOTA (2020)

Summits on the Air Activation Report

Activation Date: Saturday 8th August, 2020.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX.
Summit: Moel Siabod, North Wales, Wales.
Summit ID: SOTA reference GW/NW-010 (8 points).
Summit Height: 872m elevation, 600m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 53.07319, -3.93407. Maidenhead Grid IO83ab.
Distance: 10.2km travelled with 754m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T3 / Grade 1 Scramble.(?)
Elapsed Time: 5hr 5m (including operating).
Weather: Feels like 16.7°C, 15 kph ENE wind, 66% humidity.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FTM100D, WiMo Log Periodic, Zippy 4200mAh 4S LiFePo4.
Callsign Used: MW1HAX/P.
Contacts: 47 (2m FM).

Trip Notes

  • Moel Siabod, the highest peak in the Moelwynion range, is a mountain in Snowdonia, Wales. It overlooks the village of Dolwyddelan and offers panoramic views of 13 out of the 14 highest peaks in Wales from its summit. The UK National Mountain Centre, Plas-y-Brenin, is situated at its base.
  • For this hike I would approach from the northeast, completing a circuit of the Daear Ddu ridge. I parked at the Bryn Glo car park on the A5. This car park is free and only really gets busy at the height of the summer season.
  • A short walk along roads towards the farm at Rhos and then an old mine track is gained on the lower slopes of the hill. I followed the path through old picturesque mining works towards Llyn y Foel.
  • The area around the lake is very boggy and it is usually necessary to contour around the base of the mountain to stay dry. On this particular walk I was lucky enough to be able to pick a direct route across the boggy area.
  • The Daear Ddu ridge is an easy grade 1 scramble which climbs directly up the eastern flank of the summit. Impressive views of the ridge can be seen on the approach to Llyn y Foel in clear weather.
  • The scramble can be indistinct, with the goal of staying as far right as possible, keeping close to the steep edge. Unfortunately, on this first ascent of Moel Siabod I walked straight past the start of the scrambling route. As shown in the GPS track below, I took an easier more path-like route to the summit. I’ve since gone back and repeated this walk, correctly taking the scrambling line, and I’m glad I did.
  • Arriving at the summit to magnificent views, I set up my new WiMo portable 2m/70cm SOTA Log Periodic antenna. Operating my Yaesu FTM100D at 50 watts yielded an EIRP of something like 200 watts (depending on undetermined system losses). Over the course of about an hour I made many contacts on the two-metre band, including summit to summit contacts in the Lake District, North Wales and Southern Pennines. The LogPer antenna seemed to perform very well and I’m looking forward to its next outing.
  • The descent off the summit follows a different route, opting for an easier path to the north side of the hill. Eventually this links up with the mine track before returning to the farm.
  • Moel Siabod is one of my favourite mountains in North Wales. It’s a great place to introduce people to scrambling, is easily accessible and usually fairly quiet. It can be a good option for a relatively quick activation before a long journey home after a trip to North Wales.


Below are some photographs taken during my activation of Moel Siabod on Saturday 8th August, 2020.

GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 1).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 2).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 3).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 4).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 5).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 6).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 7).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 8).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 9).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 10).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 11).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 12).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 13).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 14).
GW/NW-010 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 15).

Walking Route for Moel Siabod

The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for Moel Siabod. The GW/NW-010 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 47 amateur radio contacts operating as MW1HAX/P from GW/NW-010 Moel Siabod on Saturday 8th August, 2020 (all times shown are UTC):

09:37GW4TQE/P2mFMJohn, 5/9, S2S GW/NW-043
09:38GW4TJC/P2mFMSimon, 5/9, S2S GW/NW-022
09:402E0MIX2mFMDerek, 5/9
09:42G4VFL2mFMAndrew, 5/9
09:43EI3ISB2mFMJohn, 5/9
09:44GW3GUX2mFMJohn, 5/7
09:44G1JPV/M2mFMTony, 5/9
09:46MW0TFY/P2mFMDavid, 5/9
09:46G4KRN2mFMAlan, 5/9
09:47M7AVT/M2mFMAigars, 5/9
09:492E0WWV/M2mFMScott, 5/9
09:52MW0IDX2mFMRoger, 5/9
09:532E0LIU2mFMIain, 5/9
09:54GW4VPX2mFMAllan, 5/5
09:56M1CYR2mFMKen, 5/9
09:57G4URM2mFMPete, 5/7
09:58M1FHM2mFMAlan, 5/9
09:582E0WDX/M2mFMVin, 5/7
09:59M0HYE2mFMTom, 5/3
10:04G3MAE2mFMTony, 5/5
10:05M7OSH2mFMOliver, 5/5
10:06G0EVV/P2mFMDavid, 5/9, S2S G/LD-023
10:06G1HZR2mFMKeith, 5/7
10:07MW0RKD/M2mFMRuss, 5/9
10:08G4ZRP2mFMBrian, 5/9
10:092E0LKC2mFMPeter, 5/9
10:102E0LMD2mFMAnne, 5/9
10:10GW4ZPL2mFMJohn, 5/9
10:11EI5KO2mFMKeith, 5/7
10:14MW0UPH/M2mFMAled, 5/9
10:162E0IXM/P2mFMDavid, 5/9, S2S G/SP-004
10:20G0RGU2mFMJohn, 5/2
10:23GW1CJJ/P2mFMPhil, 5/9
10:26G0IEW2mFMJohn, 5/9
10:272W0HYW/P2mFMHywel, 5/9
10:29MW7GNZ2mFMGareth, 5/9
10:30M7AYH2mFMMatt, 5/3
10:30M1MLM2mFMBen, 5/7
10:31G1JZY2mFMTrevor, 5/9
10:32MW0XOT/P2mFMJohn, 5/9
10:32GW8NZN/P2mFMDave, 5/9, S2S GW/NW-012
10:342E0YYY/M2mFMMike, 5/9
10:35EI7HDB2mFMDale, 5/9
10:37GW0JAI2mFMGlyn, 5/4
10:37M3SNV2mFMStephen, 5/9
10:40GW0SLR2mFMRoy, 5/9
10:43G7EGQ2mFMIan, 5/9

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 Moel Siabod:

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