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SOTA Trip in Snowdonia


So who thought it was a good idea to descend Y Garn GW/NW-004 the direct way rather than via the Devil’s Kitchen then? Just about everyone according to Jimmy - Gerald WML, Caroline ZCB, Roger IDX et al.

Well you’re all wrong. I came down that way based upon all that reassuring advice - and my new walking trousers have hardly any “seat” left in them from all the shuffling down on my backside on steep loose paths that were outwith the tolerance of my vertigo!

Sure Devil’s Kitchen is not a ‘pleasant’ descent - but I can cope with it without suffering trauma! Nonetheless, safely down now and quaffing good ale in the Cwellyn Arms after a very good (expensive) meal.

We started off driving for an hour to get from Snowdon Ranger YHA to Idwal Cottage YHA. We ascended via the Mushroom Garden to Elidir Fawr GW/NW-005 and activated just using VHF handhelds. The traverse across to Y Garn GW/NW-004 was good and probably the best part of the day.

The Welsh Pale Ale at the Cwellyn is the discovery of the Century.


So who thought it was a good idea to pair up Moel Hebog GW/NW-014 with Moel-ddu GW/NW-045? Several - but we didn’t - thank goodness. We ran out of time after Moel Hebog on Monday, and found that Moel-ddu today was more than sufficient for a day. Fair enough we had a lateish start due to a “lie-in” after NW-004/005 yesterday, and we were done today by just after 5pm - but it was still more than enough for a day’s walking.

There’s a long and in parts boggy walk along the old tramway to the quarry, then there’s a couple of hellishly steep and slippery sections to almost scramble up. I wasn’t looking forward to descending them but I just about coped.

Easy activation with Jimmy on 2m FM and me on 20m CW. Now about to head back up to the Cwellyn Arms for supper and beer. Last night we had a nice surprise when Simon G4TJC turned up at that pub! Maybe we’ll see him again tonight?


My JT65Android app is crashing every time I press “answer caller”. So apologies SA4BLM, LY2FN et al. Going to use CW instead…


Wow. Even with 20m CW, it was a struggle just to get the 4 contacts. Jimmy had no trouble on 2m FM, and no sign whatsoever of the infamous Great Orme GW/NW-070 pager QRM.

Earlier we had revisited Mynydd Bodafon GW/NW-071. 15m CW was fine on that one. I would have done longer but all frequencies being swamped by static rain noise, combined with a quickly advancing opaque grey wall, towards us over the Menai Strait, meant it was time for a very sharp exit.

That was after visiting our old friend Sean MW3PZO in Criccieth to kill some time while the monsoon passed.

Original plans for today were to take on the Nantlle Ridge pairing of GW/NW-020 & 024. However the weather forecast did for that! Tomorrow has a fine forecast though, so we will hopefully add another new unique then - Moel Ysgyfarnogod GW/NW-038 - before heading home (probably via a curry house).

I write this enjoying, again, some excellent food and ale in the Cwellyn Arms.


So we rounded things off today with a most enjoyable activation of Moel Ysgyfarnogod GW/NW-038 in lovely weather.

This hill starts with a pleasant but long and boggy walk in along an old track, possibly a disused tramway. But then there is a sting in the tail with a lungbusting steep pull up the final 200m of ascent to the summit. The list of previous activators makes interesting reading.

Anyway, easy qualifications for us both on 2m FM and 20m CW, and several S2S. Route home took in the Bull in Bala, and the Amantola in Queensferry - where we are right now!

Great fun!


Oh dear… sorry to hear that! I hate to say this… but the best answer is to do more of it. The more you do the more you get your “head in”.


Heck of a lot easier if done from the west from the dam at Llyn Cwmystradllyn.


Good choice! Had a New Years eve party there once, plus several other visits. Close to WML Towers…


the best answer is to do more of it. The more you do the more you get your “head in”.

It’s not really a “head” thing though is it? A discomfort with heights is a physical thing resulting from your own body’s balance system, not a psychological condition. Sounds like the sort of advice that claims the best way to overcome a morbid fear of dogs is to get a dog…:wink:

Heck of a lot easier if done from the west from the dam at Llyn Cwmystradllyn

All Jimmy’s research suggested that route was more difficult due to much worse bog to cross. If there was a good path taking the ridge line to the summit from the dam, then that would be great - but I don’t think there is?

Good choice!

Yes, it seems to have become our “driving home from Snowdonia” dinner stop. We phoned Marianne en route to ask her if we should get some food ourselves on the way, or wait 'til we got home, secretly hoping she advised the former!


I’m not a doctor or have I enough knowledge of your particular circumstances. However, I’ll venture what you have is not Vertigo, but a general intolerance to “exposure” to heights.

I have met people who have had Vertigo. But they can get attacks just walking around in the street. Caused by an inner ear problem.

Most people have a very reasonable self preservation realted “fear of heights”. I have it too! But by practice I can control it. I’m much less tolerant now than when I was rock climbing at a high standard. If for some reason I have a break from scrambling then it takes a little while for me to get my “head in” again.

My route wasn’t particularly boggy and I had a path/farmers track most of the way. See on SOTA Maps.


OK, this has been a long time coming, but I’ve been busy…

Here’s all the reports and photos from the Snowdonia trip Jimmy M0HGY and I did in August 2017:


Click on ‘SOTA’ on the left-hand menu pane.

Select NW-014 Moel Hebog (which was the first SOTA of the trip), then just follow the links from the end of each report to the next one.

Alternatively, here’s all the direct links:

GW/NW-014 Moel Hebog: http://tomread.co.uk/new_page_15.htm
GW/NW-005 Elidir Fawr: http://tomread.co.uk/new_page_23.htm
GW/NW-004 Y Garn: http://tomread.co.uk/new_page_22.htm
GW/NW-045 Moel-ddu: http://tomread.co.uk/new_page_25.htm
GW/NW-071 Mynydd Bodafon: http://tomread.co.uk/bodafon.htm
GW/NW-070 Great Orme: http://tomread.co.uk/great.htm
GW/NW-038 Moel Ysgyfarnogod: http://tomread.co.uk/new_page_24.htm

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