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

Snowdon 2007


We had driven over from Macc when I got home from work on the Friday teatime, and checked into the Dol Peris Hotel.  This, by the Thursday, was just about the last room available in Llanberis, but it turned out to be comfortable and pleasant. Llanberis was heaving, so we thought ahead and booked our table at the Spice of Llanberis Indian restaurant for the following night. After a couple of drinks and relieving the "Word Up" game machine of a few quid at The Heights Hotel public bar, we returned over the road and retired to bed.

After breakfast on the Saturday morning, we queued at the bus stop opposite and caught the 0945 local bus up to Pen-y-Pass. It was good we did it that way, for the car park was fenced off, marked "Full". Jimmy led the way along the Pyg Track and soon disappeared as he progressed rapidly through the ant trail leading its way to Snowdon summit. Marianne was next to break away from the pack, leaving myself and Liam to slowly plod together for the next two and a half hours.

Liam is very pleased with himself for reaching the summit!    Jimmy MW3EYP/P on Snowdon    Tom MW1EYP/P on Snowdon    Click to return to summit index


Despite the forecast for isolated heavy showers, it remained dry and calm with excellent views for the ascent. As we passed the junction where the Miners' Track joined and progress became slightly steeper with a few semi-scrambles, we could see the summit, covered in hundreds and hundreds of people. By this stage, Jimmy was activating, and I was listening in with interest. He reported to me that his mother had arrived on the summit, and that Mike Peters from the 80s band The Alarm was performing acoustically! Hence the mass of people on the summit, all part of the charity ascent and now an appreciative audience as Mike belted out "68 Guns" and other old favourites. As Liam and I climbed up the wall to the ridge, we heard frequent loud cheering from the masses on the summit.

Mike Peters on Snowdon    Jimmy is towards the right of the photo, in the red hat

Mike's summit performance can be seen on this video.  The latest information on the developments at Snowdon summit, together with a news story and photograph of the event (with the ubiquitous Jimmy in it) can be found on the Snowdon Blog.

We reached the railway track, and followed it up to the building site for the new summit complex, due to open Summer 2008. The arrangement of the steel girders reminded me of the new bus station in Macclesfield. We soon found Jimmy and Marianne on the summit, and set up the SOTA Beam. It was difficult to find suitable space with all those hundreds of people milling about, and an HF antenna would have been out of the question. Mike Peters had finished his concert, but was now posing for photos at the trig point.

SOTA Beam set H-pol for 2m CW    A fellow radio amateur on Snowdon summit - but not doing SOTA    Sheep now rule in the ruined former mineworkers' school/chapel

I made 15 QSOs, 14 on 2m FM and just one on the 2m CW. I made the one nominal contact on CW to ensure I couldn't be accused of just using one band/mode. 15 contacts was sufficient immunity against the "four and off" charge while use of a SLAB, 5 watts and a beam ensured my short-term popularity. Remarkably, 7 contacts were with radio amateurs from my home town of Macclesfield, some at home, some on other summits and one on holiday - in a caravan in Llanberis! Jimmy had earlier made 16 contacts on 2m FM just with his handie dandie and rubber duck.

Jimmy led Liam and Marianne off the summit while I was still operating. Just as I was packing up, the weather closed in rapidly, and suddenly it was bitterly cold in strong wind and heavy rain, with very poor visability. I maintained radio contact with Jimmy who gave me frequent updates as to progress. I managed to catch them up halfway down to the first lake, and Jimmy was soon shooting off ahead, realising that he could ditch group leader responsibilities onto his father.

It rained pretty hard and consistently during the descent. Even after 5pm, there were others still ascending and asking "How far to the top?". We reached Pen-y-Pass at 6.50pm, which meant a 55 minute wait 'til the next bus down to Llanberis. We stripped off what dripping wet stuff we could in the waiting room. Another party was dropped off with their driver promising to be back in four hours, so possibly a Three Peaks attempt. The bus was on time, and after a welcome shower at the hotel, we arrived at the Spice of Llanberis right on our 9pm table booking time. The food was brilliant, and I recommend this establishment - but try to book - I have only ever seen it full. Marianne and I were in good spirits and downed a few pints of Cobra beer between us. She had been pleased with her own abilities on the walk, and proud of Liam who made it all the way there and back on foot for the first time.

With our coats, hats, overtrousers and boots still wet from the day before, we decide to forego any possible walking on the Sunday. Instead, we visited Elidir Fawr GW/NW-005, but from the inside! We went on the Electric Mountain tour, which was very interesting, and a nice way to spend half the day.

Many thanks to the following stations worked:

MW1EYP/M Pyg Track Tom 2m FM 0.5 watts J
M1MAJ/M Blackpool Martyn 2m FM 0.5 watts J
M0GIE Royton Phil 2m FM 0.5 watts J
M3PXW Ellesmere Port Barry 2m FM 0.5 watts J, T
2E0HJD Clitheroe Mick 2m FM 0.5 watts J
MW0NCO Porthmadog David 2m FM 0.5 watts J
MW0BYT Bangor Ross 2m FM 0.5 watts J
G3OWO Garstang John 2m FM 0.5 watts J
2E0EDX Blackpool Ian 2m FM 2.5 watts J
M3ZCB Blackpool Caroline 2m FM 2.5 watts J
M1EIB Huyton Phil 2m FM 2.5 watts J
M3WID Widnes Jim 2m FM 2.5 watts J
G0HIK Ireleth-in-Furness Nick 2m FM 2.5 watts J
GW0DSP/M Flintshire Mike 2m FM 2.5 watts J
G1LMT Newcastle-under-Lyme   2m FM 2.5 watts J
GW0DSP/P Halkyn Mountain Mike 2m FM 5 watts T
2E0BAX/P Shining Tor SP-004 Sean 2m FM 5 watts T
M3RXX/P Shining Tor SP-004 Greg 2m FM 5 watts J
G0CSX Macclesfield Oss 2m FM 5 watts T
2E0NHM Warton Nigel 2m FM 5 watts T
M3TMX Dalton-in-Furness Jordan 2m FM 5 watts T
GW0DSP/P Halkyn Mountain Mike 2m CW 5 watts T
G7ADF Wigan Ian 2m FM 5 watts T
MW3EYP/M Pyg Track Jimmy 2m FM 5 watts T
GW7AAV Connahs Quay Steve 2m FM 5 watts T
M0SJS Newton Heath Steve 2m FM 5 watts T
MW3WSC Garndolbenmaen Will 2m FM 5 watts T
G3CWI Macclesfield Richard 2m FM 5 watts T
MW1BYH/P Llanberis Andy 2m FM 5 watts T
G4JZF Walsall Graham 2m FM 5 watts T