After 3 hours of rather unpleasent weather yesterday, trudging up the Watkins path to the highest peak in North Wales (GW/NW-001), to my delight I found the cafe (and toilets) were once again open. For those not in the UK, the summit centre on Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa to give it it’s correct Welsh name) has been shut for some time - since before COVID I think. Anyway, while eating my squashed sandwiches (not purchased at the cafe) and drinking a coffee that I had purchase at 3560ft (1085m), to avoid going out into the torrential rain, I contemplated the idea of activating the summit from the comfort of the cafe (or in fact the lavatory).
I had the same idea earlier in the year on one of the smallest summits in North Wales (GW/NW-070), which also has a cafe and lavatory at the summit.
Would this be within the rules ? The cafe on Yr Wyddfa is not that far from the summit so would probably be within the AZ. If so, has anyone done this on Snowdon, or in fact done an activation from more salubrious surroundings ?
As I was unsure of the rules on this occasion, I should add that I elected to activate from outside - which is why I managed just 5 contacts before getting the hell out of there…
That would certainly be luxury SOTA @M0JKS Dave looking on the OS map, the cafe looks to be at approximately 1065m, so sitting in the cafe and using your hand-held should be perfectly doable. Maybe others will shine a different light on this, but I’d of thought all is good great to work you over the weekend buddy!
Not absolutely sure about all of the rules, but it doesn’t appear to be an issue in 3.7.1. It may be an issue in the Code of Conduct though, unless you can operate away from others “Activators must operate with due consideration for other people and wildlife on the hills. Excessive noise, inconsiderate siting of equipment and antennas, etc. is not acceptable” - that’s where FT8/FT4 and other digi modes are quite handy. I see quite a few American activations from folk making use of fire towers and similar structures, so being in a building is presumably OK? @M1EYP Tom - please could you advise?
I’m sure I’d read somewhere though that you can’t be in a building, which is why Nic & I activated Cadair Idris a few weeks ago in the pouring rain stood outside the shelter up there at my insistence we be outside… Actually, perhaps Tom shouldn’t advise it’s OK, otherwise Nic might kill me for making her freeze…
Anyway, I’m sorry we missed you yesterday from GW/NW-012. By the time I’d finished faffing on 20m and 40m and then put the 2m SlimJim up in the wind, my calls for you on 145.550 were unanswered. I did manage a 2m FM S2S with Alex @EI4JY which was pretty awesome though!
Well it was a nice surprise Ben, considering the state I was in, having also climbed Yr Lliwedd (GW/NW-008) on the way up. But only having a few pounds squirrel away at the bottom of my rucksasck (amongst the detritus that seems to accumulate down there) it was just a cup of coffee for me. I’ll have to wait until next time to purchase the very fetching Welsh dragon teddy my daughter would have demanded had she been with me (she’s 22). Next time you go up, don’t take your daughter in or you’ll never get out!
Thanks for all the QSOs this weekend - and all the S2S points this year. I have to go down to Minehead this weekend so might do a detor and head over the Severn bridge to GW/SW land…
Sorry I missed you too Simon. It was raining so hard i couldn’t log to my phone properly - and my glasses kept steaming up - so as soon as I got 4 I was off. I also got a S2S with Alex (EI4JY) earlier in the day from GW/NW-008 - which was awesome. I’ll be doing GW/SW-002 next Saturday if you’re out on a summit.Hopefully the weather will be kinder.
I activated Snowdon recently and was expecting it to be busy, but as we approached the summit (Rhyd-ddu path) the queue for the summit was visible. The path we used was probably quieter than most lakes paths, but the summit was more like the middle of the Metro Centre on the day before the kids go back to school…
The queue was approximately 200 people and was fairly consistent and it would seem that wanting a summit selfie would add about 30 minutes standing time…
I set up about 25 m from the queue (well in the AZ and probably about 5m higher than the toilets… ) and used a J-Pole on a mast held between my legs. I’d already decided it would be VHF only - I can see why Ben went up in the dark for an HF activation….
The kids used the cafe which looked nice while I played radio.
I’m glad we did it but I don’t plan to repeat this one in a hurry, I like a nice quiet summit….
The summit cafe is usually so busy that it’s difficult to imagine it being possible NOT to disturb others!
I’ve had some fun operating “indoors” - a golf shelter on G/WB-011, a turret on the Mourne Wall on GI/MM-002, a pillbox on GD/GD-005 - but generally I don’t bother - and I certainly wouldn’t bother from the Snowdon summit cafe!
I find it a rather depressing building… mostly because every time I’ve been in there it was full to overflowing with very wet and mostly quite miserable tourists. Note: I say tourists not hill walkers. Hardly any regular hill walkers would go near it in the summer months.
I’m only up there myself if working.
I would be pretty cautious about the validity of operating from the Snowdon Cafe. It looks as if it might be OK on the 1:50k map but on my old imperial measure 1:25k map it is outside the fourth contour line (3 steps of 25 feet plus 9 feet plus the thickness of the foundation platform) making it over the 25 metre mark. It is an artificial structure on a platform built up from the natural sloping surface, so I think that strictly speaking the height of a location within the cafe (ASL) should be the height of the natural ground surface, but even without this it would still be invalid.