Tom Read - click to email meBDXC ISWL WAB SOTA RSGB IOTA - see my radio page for more detailsLiam & Jimmy

Snaefell GD-001

 

Snaefell, GD/GD-001 - 621m ASL - SC 397 881 - IOM Outdoor Leisure North - 1 SOTA point        Map & summit information from SOTAwatch    Click to return to summit index

 

We arrived at the Bungalow tram station and parking area on the A18 mid morning on Wednesday 24th July 2013.  This would be the last summit we needed to complete the Isle of Man, although certainly not our last activation of the week.  After a bit of kitting up, and the obligatory photo by the gate onto the Snaefell footpath, we got cracking with our ascent.

Liam, Ed & Jimmy prepare for ascent    Ascending Snaefell, photo by Edward

On the ascent of Snaefell    Ed's shot of a tram close to the summit

The walk was fairly easy, initially along a gentle gradient.  After the first third of the route, a good path often with stone flags assisted underfoot, and this was well established before reaching the steeper flanks.  As such, we were able to maintain a decent rhythm all the way up.  Upon reaching the railway line and summit hotel, we paused for a few more photos before going in for our lunch.  The agreed plan was to eat first, activate later!

Jimmy & Liam at the summit    Ed approaches the summit hotel

Tram outside the summit hotel    Lunch in the summit cafe

Lunch was not cheap at around 10 per head for a main course, but the portions were huge and the quality excellent.  Jimmy, Liam and I all started with homemade vegetable soup and roll.  Ed and Liam were then into lasagne and salad, while Jimmy and I were delighted with our gargantuan steak pie with chips, veg and gravy.  A highly substantial meal was welcome, as we had no firm plans for an evening meal, and we didn't want to impose a time constraint on our activation because of any such thing.

A hungry Liam tucks into his starter on Snaefell    Jimmy & Edward in the summit cafe

Jimmy setting up    12m GP antenna    Transmitter mast on summit

Following lunch, we walked up the final few metres to the summit of Snaefell, and the highest point on the Isle of Man.  Edward 2D0NSR/P set up for 40m by the railings of the large outbuilding that can be seen in these photographs.  I set up initially for 12m a little way downslope in lee of the worst of the wind.  Jimmy MD0HGY/P, more typically, set up just a short distance from the trig point.  The race was on between jimmy and myself.  Whoever made the first contact would have been the first person to have activated each of the highest summits of the five UK associations - Scafell Pike G/LD-001, 978m (England), Ben Nevis GM/WS-001, 1344m (Scotland), Snowdon GW/NW-001, 1085m (Wales), Slieve Donard GI/MM-001, 850m (Northern Ireland) and now Snaefell GD/GD-001, 621m (Isle of Man).  I needn't have bothered - Jimmy had already made his qualifying four contacts before I had even finished setting up my 12m aerial...

Tom & Liam    Activating on Snaefell

Jimmy went on to make 12 QSOs on 2m FM, but spent most of the afternoon pottering around the summit area having a look at the various vistas on offer.  Edward made eleven QSOs on 40m SSB, courtesy of good inter-G propagation on the band.  His highlight was a scheduled contact with his grandad Roy G1NUS back in Macclesfield.  Roy was particularly keen to get Snaefell into his logbook and had insisted Ed gave him a 'phone call with his frequency when QRV.

Busy summit scene    Liam & Edward 

The 12m part of the activation went particularly well.  I was amazed when my initial calls on 24.921MHz PSK31 resulted in a run of 20 QSOs, by far the most I had ever made on datamodes from a single activation.  The only downside to this was that it did eat into my available radio time.  Although this was probably the "fastest" sustained QSO rate I have ever enjoyed on PSK31, it is still a slow mode when compared to SSB or CW.  When I did switch to CW, all hell broke loose and I was at the sharp end of the pile-up for the rest of the afternoon.  47 QSOs were added on CW, and then 16 on SSB.  One or two of the chasers annoyed me by constantly repeating their callsigns that had no match whatsoever to the partals I was asking for!

Edward's operating position    Edward 2D0NSR/P

I was determined to do a spot of 20m from Snaefell, but hadn't really expected to be occupied for so long on 12m.  Nonetheless, that was a happy inconvenience!  When I did set up for 14MHz it was already gone 4.30pm BST, so I didn't spend too long on the band, and just batted away a quick 17 QSOs.

Ed & Jimmy QRV on 2m SSB    Pavement between the summit trig and the cafe

Ed had packed away by now, and Jimmy was certainly considering doing so, but in the end had a quick dabble on 2m SSB.  This added just two extra QSOs to Jimmy's log.  I got packed up and wandered with Liam down to the tram line in front of the cafe.  It was now a beautiful afternoon, and we sat in a slightly sheltered spot and admired the now clear views down to the A18 mountain road.  While Jimmy was packing away, I tried a quick CQ call on the VX7R, just with its rubber duck antenna.  This added two Barrow-in-Furness stations, taking my tally for the day to 103 contacts.

View from the summit    The railway line as it leaves the summit

When the rucksack laden figures of Jimmy and Edward appeared walking down the sloping concrete pathway to the summit building, it was time for us all to descend.  My decision to spend a little time on 20m at 4.30pm had ruled out the possibility of taking the tram down for the descent, which pleased Jimmy while slightly disappointing Edward!  However, I was surprised to find that staff were still in the restaurant at 5.30pm, until I realised that this was one of the advertised Snaefell Sunset Dinner evenings.  So trams would still be running, but only for pre-booked diners.      

Liam prior to descent    Last part of the descent

The descent was easy enough and fairly swift after such a long rest on the summit.  We reached the Bungalow just as a tram was crossing the A18 to descend to Douglas - possibly to pick up that evening's diners.  The lads and I drove back up to Union Mills and did a bit of shopping en route, picking up snack type items such as sandwiches and pasties for a light supper.  After a shower at the campsite we took our food into the "Pitstop" - a kind of common room on the campsite with television, plug sockets for charging things, and free Wi-Fi.  And then we went to the pub!

Back at the car    Tram crossing the A18

While Slieau Freoaghane GD/GD-002 was my favourite walk, I think Snaefell was my favourite day, with all aspects like the lunch in the summit restaurant and my amateur radio logbook taken into account.  This was it - mission accomplished - all Isle of Man SOTA summits activated, and with two full days to spare.  Mull Hill GD/GD-005 would get any remaining radio attention from us.  Many thanks to all the following callers who worked us on Snaefell.

2E0XYL

2m

FM

J

G4ZRP

2m

FM

J

G4RQJ

2m

FM

J

G6LKB/M

2m

FM

J

GW4ZPL

2m

FM

J

MI0BOU

2m

FM

J

GI4ONL

2m

FM

J

G6TUH

12m

PSK31

T

DL8OL

12m

PSK31

T

HB9MKV

12m

PSK31

T

OM7OM

12m

PSK31

T

OE5REO

12m

PSK31

T

OE5FSL

12m

PSK31

T

DL6XAZ

12m

PSK31

T

I4UUL

12m

PSK31

T

UA3PHY

12m

PSK31

T

EA5FIV

12m

PSK31

T

RA1TCJ

12m

PSK31

T

DK6AN

12m

PSK31

T

HB9AGH

12m

PSK31

T

DL5CJ

12m

PSK31

T

M3XIE

40m

SSB

E

OH1LA

12m

PSK31

T

MW0DNK

2m

FM

J

GM0AXY

40m

SSB

E

SP6LUY

12m

PSK31

T

M0MDA

40m

SSB

E

SQ8OAU

12m

PSK31

T

GW4VPX

40m

SSB

E

OM5DP

12m

PSK31

T

G0TDM

40m

SSB

E

GW4CQZ/M

2m

FM

J

G1NUS

40m

SSB

E

SQ8GBG

12m

PSK31

T

GM0YMM

40m

SSB

E

DJ9KG

12m

PSK31

T

G6LUZ

40m

SSB

E

DL6KR

12m

PSK31

T

GV8ADD

40m

SSB

E

G0DRM

40m

SSB

E

OK2EI

12m

CW

T

I0KHY

12m

CW

T

G3XQE

40m

SSB

E

SP4JFR

12m

CW

T

OV2V

12m

CW

T

OE1KLW/3

12m

CW

T

DL1FU

12m

CW

T

ES4OJ

12m

CW

T

DM2RN

12m

CW

T

DM3AZ

12m

CW

T

HA5OV

12m

CW

T

F5JGA

12m

CW

T

OK1MDK

12m

CW

T

OK2KR

12m

CW

T

F5LVL

12m

CW

T

EA1BXX

12m

CW

T

DJ9KG

12m

CW

T

SP6CZ

12m

CW

T

K4DY

12m

CW

T

OM7OM

12m

CW

T

MW0IDX/M

2m

FM

J

DJ5AV

12m

CW

T

OK1RR

12m

CW

T

DL5ML

12m

CW

T

F5UJK

12m

CW

T

N4EX

12m

CW

T

OK1TA

12m

CW

T

DK2TA

12m

CW

T

DL1JEE

12m

CW

T

G3XIU

2m

FM

J

DL8BBJ

12m

CW

T

RV4AB

12m

CW

T

W4ZQ

12m

CW

T

OE1WEU

12m

CW

T

2W0GWK

2m

FM

J

OE1PPA

12m

CW

T

OH1XX

12m

CW

T

OK2KJU

12m

CW

T

DL0FBG

12m

CW

T

DL2RVL

12m

CW

T

SP5IR

12m

CW

T

EU1FY

12m

CW

T

S52CU

12m

CW

T

DF7AB/P

12m

SSB

T

G4RQJ

12m

SSB

T

EB2CZF

12m

SSB

T

DG1BP

12m

SSB

T

G6ODU

12m

SSB

T

OK1DIG/P on Vidrholec ST-100

12m

SSB

T

OM7OM

12m

SSB

T

DJ5AV

12m

SSB

T

SM2SUM

12m

SSB

T

EA2CKX

12m

SSB

T

EA1GIB

12m

SSB

T

DL8DXF

12m

SSB

T

DL5WW

12m

SSB

T

HA5OV

12m

SSB

T

SQ9MZ

12m

SSB

T

OE2SCM

12m

SSB

T

EA2DT

12m

CW

T

DL1SWN

12m

CW

T

OM3SX

12m

CW

T

OK1DMZ

12m

CW

T

OK5CW

12m

CW

T

DL2DXA/P on Unger SX-033

12m

CW

T

OK2MBP

12m

CW

T

SP9FZC

12m

CW

T

DJ0GD

20m

CW

T

OK1MDM

20m

CW

T

IT9CLM

20m

CW

T

EA2DT

20m

CW

T

SP4JFR

20m

CW

T

UR5BV

20m

CW

T

DL8DXL

20m

CW

T

DL8UVG

20m

CW

T

DK7ZH

20m

CW

T

PA0B

20m

CW

T

SM7DER

20m

CW

T

F5SQA

20m

CW

T

DJ6PC

20m

CW

T

DL9MWG

20m

CW

T

UR5AW

20m

CW

T

IK3ELC

20m

CW

T

2W0DAA

2m

SSB

J

DK7FZ

20m

CW

T

G4UXH

2m

SSB

J

G6LKB/M

2m

FM

T

M6LSB

2m

FM

T