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Isle of Man plans - Easter weekend 2016

I’ll be operating MD/AI4SV this weekend on whatever SOTA peaks I am able to scramble up. Most likely afternoon Saturday. I will have an FT817, 40/20/10 end-fedz for HF. I operate mostly CW but will give ssb a try as well, all on or near typical QRP freqs. I can also give 2m and 440 MHz a try if there is interest. If anyone has recommendations for SOTA or otherwise for the visit, please let me know.

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Remember our 2m band is 144-146 and our 440MHz is 10MHz lower 430-440MHz.

The peaks are all quite simple, with a bit of planning you can do all 5 in one day but you need a bit more daylight than at Easter.

The WX looks like very heavy rain, then rain, then light rain then dry for Saturday. It getswindy then with strong winds/mild gales after that. Welcome to the UK at Easter!

The following is a rough plan for completing all 5 GD summits in a day. We’ve done it that way once but that was in summer but you may be able to pick bits and pieces from it. GD is our favourite holiday destination each year for 30 something years, We can see GD from our QTH on Walney Island part of G.
Basically Mull Hill is a drive up if you’re brave as the track is quite rutted, about a 5 minute walk. Exposed to weather but the WW2 pillbox is usable if desperate Mind your head.
Bradda Hill is hard work. Can be done by walking up the cliff path from the tower on Bradda Head but the route is very exposed in parts. The route in the enclosure has a very steep grass climb which will not be nice in bad wx.
South Barrule is a straight 45 minutes climb on a track that may be slippery in parts if wet. There is a windbreak shelter but it’s not much use!
Slieau Freoaghane. (Slu Ferane or there about to pronounce ) The Hill of the Heather is quite a long walk and the path from the bridle way will probably be muddy. You could follow the bridle way that contours the hill and look for a green path that climbs back and up which may be drier but longer. No shelter on top
Snaefell If you’re lucky the tram may be running. as its Easter otherwise a 45minute walk from The Bungalow Station on the mountain road Muddy to begin with then quite steep. Plenty of buildings to hide frpm the wx but beware the mist.
On 2M the calling channel is 145.500 for FM and 144.300 for SSB

We will keep an ear out for you and hope to catch you on some of them
Take care

GD in a day
Drive along Douglas Prom to the Villa Marina (first proper traffic lights not crossings, left hand lane), left up Broadway, Keep straight on, cross the TT course at the traffic lights. About ¼ mile on turn right and follow the road round to meet up with the Mountain road and turn left on to it. Follow the Mountain road up to the Bungalow and park at the station car park close to the motor cycle museum. Straight up Snaefell from here about ½ hour walk, a good path with some paving. Lots of room on the summit, the café will be shut wall to wall break through on VHF
Back to the car, and back down the mountain road to the junction with the B10 {turn right over the cattle grid) signed to Kirk Michael I think. Follow this road until just past the junction with the B22 (a tight hairpin you’ll need later) On your right is a tree plantation and on its western edge is a green road which joins the B10, room for a couple of cars by the gate. Walk up the green road and keep your eyes open for a small brown gravestone like marker on the right (about 25 mins walk in). Leave the green road to the left at this point on a track boggy and indistinct at first, which gets better and leads directly to the top of Slieau Freoaghane. A pole, a pile and a trig and not much else with no real shelter.
Car again and back to the hairpin junction. Take the B22 down past the Injebreck reservoir to join the A23, turn right to Crosby. At Crosby cross the TT course (A1) and take the B35 towards St Marks. The A24 crosses this road, turn right on to it towards Foxdale (mind the ducks). At Foxdale turn left onto the A3 signed Castletown. Look for the first major junction on the right (A36) easily missed in the woodland. Take the A36 and follow it round to the crossroads known as the Round Table. Turn left and park in the forestry road immediately after. Straight up South Barrule from here, a bit of a false top on the way to put you off, the summit has a trig with a shelter that is pretty useless. Some shelter on the SW slope if the wind is in the right direction! This one is our favourite.
Car again and back to the Round Table, turn left and follow the A36 towards Port Erin. After about 4 miles you come to a crossroads, turn right. At the next T-junction turn right and follow the road round. There is a small parking area for about 6 cars, often full, at the start of the track on the right (a little triangle). Walk along this track almost through peoples gardens carry on round the base of the hill reaching a plantation of trees. Along the edge of the plantation to the end and turn left up the steep grass slope (hardest bit of walking on the trip) to join the cliff path. Turn left (bit of exposure here) and follow the path to the summit of Bradda Hill. Top is a pile of stones with no shelter. There is a wall quite close that may help. VHF from here is best into N Wales and Ireland. The fire damage on the top from 7yrs ago is now gone (2014)
Last lap now back the way you came to the T junction but carry straight through this time into Port Erin. Do not go right into the town turn left at the T-junction and continue to the Four Roads Roundabout. Take the third exit towards Port St Mary. Just before entering the town, turn right Signed Cregneish and the Sound.
Just after Cregneish a minor road goes off to the right. Just into this road there is room to park on the verge just opposite the land rover track that leads to the summit. I bottomed the car once on this one which was not popular!
This forks about half way up but both routes lead to the broad, WW2 building, hard standing infested summit of Mull Hill. Lots of break thru on VHF here as well but you’ve done it so make your way back to Douglas.

Plenty of info on my Isle of Man SOTA webpages.


Good to meet you and your daughter today Jack. I hope that the rain holds off this weekend and you find some interesting archaeology.

73 Richard and the crew @SOTABEAMS

Thanks everyone for suggestions on frequencies, routes, and summits. After reading through and doing some planning tonight (and, incidentally looking up how the UK grid system works, and terms like “green lane” and “kissing gate”), I have a better sense of what is ahead. I am still planning to get out Saturday, but I will see if I can’t work in a peak on Friday afternoon as the weather Saturday looks worse. 73 - Jack

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Thanks for the detailed directions. I’m traveling with my daughter who is a pretty good sport, but probably not up for five peaks in a day, particularly if the weather does not cooperate. If I don’t get them all this trip, I guess we’ll just have to come back :smiley:

Hope you can get there OK.

“At this stage, it is looking likely that over the peak Easter days we will not be able to accommodate all passengers.
MV Arrow will be arriving tomorrow, allowing us to dedicate Ben-my-Chree to passengers.”

The 15:00 and 19:15 sailings to and from Liverpool are cancelled.

Mr Woodward said five passengers were initially treated on board the vessel for “what are believed to be minor injuries” but ambulances were called as a precaution. “We apologise for any disruption caused to passengers… safety is absolutely paramount to the Steam Packet Company,” he said. The disruption will affect people travelling to the Isle of Man for the Easter Festival of Running, which starts on Good Friday.

And forecast is NOT good :scream:

40m ssb will get a fair old pile up from UK and parts of Europe, but limited to 7060 to 7200 here.

No 15 of the bucket list
Visit isle of man for TT and getting those Summits on air :smile:


Thanks for updates on ferries and weather. We are taking the Manx Ferry and have advance reservations, so probably okay on that front. As for weather, I guess we will get wet. Weather may well limit the number of peaks, but I am pretty determined to have at least one to show for my effort. 73 - Jack

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We left for the ferry to Isle of Man this (Friday) morning and are now just North of Edinburgh. So, MM/ instead of MD/

Not quite what I had expected. Turns out that MM0FMF was entirely correct – no ferry service today. I had thought it affected another company, but it’s all the same one. So, when I got the news the morning at the ferry terminal, I quickly made other plans. I will still get to Isle of Man, and in fact have an excellent itinerary planned, but not this trip.

Instead, I pointed the car northwards and drove, drove, drove to Edinburgh. I don’t have particular SOTA plans, but we passed a few hills on the way up, so I am sure I can find at least one that will fit the bill. If we can manage it, we will get a look at the University of Edinburgh, do a quick tourist pass of the city, and still have time to get on the air. Looks like I have some homework tonight.