Moel y Gamelin Hike - GW/NW-042 SOTA (2020)

Summits on the Air Activation Report

Activation Date: Saturday 8th August, 2020.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX.
Summit: Moel y Gamelin, North Wales, Wales.
Summit ID: SOTA reference GW/NW-042 (2 points).
Summit Height: 577m elevation, 382m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 53.00961, -3.22904. Maidenhead Grid IO83ja.
Distance: 5.0km travelled with 298m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T1.(?)
Elapsed Time: 1hr 35m (including operating).
Weather: Feels like 20.0°C, 22 kph NW wind, 64% humidity.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FTM100D, MFJ-1714, Zippy 4200mAh 4S LiFePo4.
Callsign Used: MW1HAX/P.
Contacts: 17 (2m FM).

Trip Notes

  • Moel y Gamelin is the highest summit in a range near Llangollen, Denbighshire, North Wales. It reaches 577 meters above sea level and is part of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. At its peak, there is a large historical cairn of unknown date, adding to the area’s character.
  • Earlier in the day I had undertaken a successful SOTA activation of Moel Siabod in Snowdonia. Having driven east, I would now activate Moel y Gamelin and then its neighbouring Cyrn-y-Brain.
  • I parked near the Ponderosa cafe on the A542 main road. This is a very scenic road and is popular with motorcyclists. The cafe car park is gated for customers only however there is a good selection of roadside parking options. I parked on a dirt layby directly opposite the cafe.
  • There are three different paths from the roadside which all head southwest towards the summit of Moel y Faen. I took the northernmost path which skirts between thick heather and old mining tips. The route is obvious and it’s difficult to go the wrong way.
  • Clearing the summit of Moel y Faen the target of Moel y Gamelin comes in to view in the distance. It’s approximately 2.5km from the road to the summit. I passed a number of dog walkers, runners and people just stretching their legs.
  • Arriving at the summit cairn I enjoyed a great view of the path continuing in to the distance towards Moel Morfydd. No sooner than I had put my bag down, a thick fog descended on the hillside. I set up my Yaesu radio and called CQ searching for SOTA contacts for about 15 minutes.
  • After packing away the radio, I followed my ascent route back to the car parking area. After a quick break I would continue my walk on to Cyrn-y-Brain.
  • This is an easy hill which can be enjoyed year-round by almost anyone. Ideally, SOTA activators will want to combine this with GW/NW-043 during the winter bonus period for a convenient ten points.


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

GW/NW-042 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 1).
GW/NW-042 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 2).
GW/NW-042 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 3).
GW/NW-042 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 4).
GW/NW-042 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 5).
GW/NW-042 SOTA Activation, 08/08/2020 (Photo no. 6).

Walking Route for Moel y Gamelin

The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for Moel y Gamelin. The GW/NW-042 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 17 amateur radio contacts operating as MW1HAX/P from GW/NW-042 Moel y Gamelin on Saturday 8th August, 2020 (all times shown are UTC):

13:482E0XYL2mFMKaren, 5/9
13:512E0MDJ2mFMMatt, 5/5
13:522E0LKC2mFMPete, 5/9
13:522E0LMD2mFMAnne, 5/9
13:53G0LGS2mFMStewart, 5/5
13:53M5GWH/P2mFMLee, 5/9
13:54MW0WMW/M2mFMMike, 5/9
13:552E0TDX2mFMNeil, 5/9
13:56G7RC2mFMRon, 5/9
13:572W0JYN2mFMSteven, 5/9
13:582E0FSY2mFMLarry, 5/9
13:59M5AFG2mFMDave, 5/9
14:002E0MGA/M2mFMMark, 5/5
14:01G7HEM2mFMMike, 5/4
14:012E0KPD2mFMPaul, 5/8
14:022W0SEY/P2mFMJake, 5/7
14:03MW0OFA2mFMFrank, 5/6

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 y Gamelin:

If you found this content valuable, why not Buy Me a Coffee?