Saturday, 7 July 2012


Great Rhos - 660m, 4 points


Assocation: Wales, Region: Mid Wales

Latitude: 52.267101287842, Longitude: -3.2000999450684

OS Grid Reference: SO18217 63895,   Locator: IO82JG

For this SOTA outing we decided to activate Great Rhos, the flat topped summit of the Radnor Forest. Present at this activation was Mal (GW6OVD) and myself Andy (GW7RKC).

The 13th century Haines Mill, our start point on the A44
We set out from Aberdare at 9.30 and arrived at  our start point on the A44, some  4.4km South East of the summit at  11am. This location is the site of the Haines Mill,  which has had a watermill since the 13th century. The mill itself was closed but we were able to park where the mill stream runs under the road. 

We gathered together our gear and went through the metal gate to the left of the mill site. A small road took us Northwards alongside a stream. The stream was in full  flow due to the heavy rain that we had experienced in the previous week. 

Mal crosses the bridge at the beginning of the ascent
After a short walk  we arrived at metal gate with signage warning us that the road was closed to the general public. We then followed a bridlepath sign to the left of the road which led us to cross the stream using a wooden bridge. At this point the path started to ascend the hillside at a steep incline.

Getting steeper...

 The weather had been very wet in the days and weeks prior to this activation but still we hoped that the rain would hold off.  The sky did not look promising!

As we continued on, there were plenty of signs warning of the dangers of straying from the path. The area is used for live munitions testing!

Andy takes a breather.
Mal and I agreed that this was one of the more physically demanding summits we have tackled. It was a steep ascent nearly all the way and frequent breaks were needed to allow us to catch our breath!

Nearly there.
Nearing the summit we went through a metal gate and then decided to travel 'line of sight' toward the trig point. On reflection this was a mistake, the ground was rutted, boggy and very difficult to negotiate. We later discovered that had we followed the fence we would have eventually encountered a trail which would have made  things much easier.

Antennas Up!
We reached the summit at 12.40 and wasted no time preparing for activation. The 'old faithful' 2m SlimJim was mounted using the trig point for support. The 40m dipole was also assembled.

Mal had brought a small popup beach tent which served  to make the activation quite comfortable, enabling us to keep warm and also keeping the Mic wind noise to a minimum. We fired up the ft817 with a 30w linear and the contacts came rolling in thick and fast. It wasn't long before we had both gained  four contacts for activation. The weather was being kind considering the very wet summer we'd been having so we pressed on with the task of filling up our log books. The only minor disappointment was 40m as the band conditions seemed poor with many 'static crashes' presumably from nearby electrical storms.

Operating in comfort..

At 2.30pm we decided to call it a day and began to pack up. As we made our descent the sun occasionally peeked through the clouds and we were rewarded with some great views of the surrounding countryside.

As always , Mal and I would like to thank all the contacts who contributed toward this activation. 

Best wishes and 73,

Andy - GW7RKC

Route Taken

No comments:

Post a Comment