Tal y Fan Hike - GW/NW-040 SOTA (2020)

Summits on the Air Activation Report

Activation Date: Thursday 24th September, 2020.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX.
Summit: Tal y Fan, North Wales, Wales.
Summit ID: SOTA reference GW/NW-040 (4 points).
Summit Height: 610m elevation, 190m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 53.23563, -3.90524. Maidenhead Grid IO83bf.
Distance: 3.2km travelled with 254m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T2.(?)
Elapsed Time: 2hr 0m (including operating).
Weather: Feels like 5.6°C, 26 kph SW wind, 84% humidity.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FTM100D, MFJ-1714, Zippy 4200mAh 4S LiFePo4.
Callsign Used: MW1HAX/P.
Contacts: 15 (2m FM).

Trip Notes

Tal y Fan, nestled in Snowdonia National Park, is a captivating mountain standing at 610 meters. It can be approached from several directions, the most interesting being from the north via the druid circle remains.

For this walk I would approach from the easiest and shortest path starting from the minor road due south of the summit. There is parking on the verge for one or two cars by a stile where the GPS route shown below starts. Alternatively there is a car park a bit further up the road (westward) - however this car park can become busy in summer when people are undertaking the Welsh 3000s route.

Climbing the stile which is marked with a public footpath sign, a faint grassy trail leads directly towards the summit. After a short climb the path reaches a col with Foel Lwyd (to the west). Here, I turned north east making the final climb over some more rocky ground before arriving at the trig point.

On a clear day, as it was for this SOTA activation, there are great views in every direction across the Snowdonia National Park and towards Anglesey.

While my father took in the views (who had joined me to see what this hill walking stuff was all about), I set up my Yaesu FTM100D and worked a number of local stations on 145.525 MHz. Sadly, no summit-to-summit contacts today.

We then retraced our steps back down the trail towards the car, completing the walk in about two hours. Tal y Fan is a quiet and pleasant hill which I would recommend to other SOTA enthusiasts.


Below are some photographs taken during my activation of Tal y Fan on Thursday 24th September, 2020.

GW/NW-040 SOTA Activation, 24/09/2020 (Photo no. 1).
GW/NW-040 SOTA Activation, 24/09/2020 (Photo no. 2).
GW/NW-040 SOTA Activation, 24/09/2020 (Photo no. 3).
GW/NW-040 SOTA Activation, 24/09/2020 (Photo no. 4).
GW/NW-040 SOTA Activation, 24/09/2020 (Photo no. 5).
GW/NW-040 SOTA Activation, 24/09/2020 (Photo no. 6).
GW/NW-040 SOTA Activation, 24/09/2020 (Photo no. 7).

Walking Route for Tal y Fan

The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for Tal y Fan. The GW/NW-040 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 15 amateur radio contacts operating as MW1HAX/P from GW/NW-040 Tal y Fan on Thursday 24th September, 2020 (all times shown are UTC):

10:162E0FWA/M2mFMSimon, 5/9
10:17G0LWU2mFMAndrew, 5/9
10:19G3NWR2mFMJohn, 5/9
10:192E0JCM2mFMJohn, 5/9
10:202E0XYL2mFMKaren, 5/9
10:20G3ZII2mFMMike, 5/5
10:222E0MIX2mFMDerek, 5/9
10:22M7RAN2mFMRichard, 5/3
10:252E0EVD2mFMClive, 5/7
10:262E0JFY2mFMMark, 5/9
10:27G6LKB2mFMDavid, 5/8
10:27G4ZRP2mFMBrian, 5/9
10:28G7UZA2mFMJohn, 5/3
10:29M0WTR2mFMTony, 5/6
10:31GW4ZPL2mFMJohn, 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 Tal y Fan:

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