Monday, 31 December 2012


Craig y Llyn    600m   4points

Association Wales region South Wales
Latitude 51  43  0 N     Longitude  3  35  0  W
Grid reference SN907 032   Locator IO81fr

It was New Years Eve and my last chance to activate Craig-y-Llyn within the 2012 period. This summit is quite close to my home QTH and lies at the North end of the Rhondda Valley. After a short drive I arrived at my starting point on the Rhigos Mountain (SN921025). The weather was very poor with strong winds and lashing rain so I put on my wet weather gear and set off for the summit at around 9.40 am. This is one of the easier summits in the SW SOTA region with forest roads all the way and a gentle incline (at least where I started from!). It took under half an hour to cover the 2km to the summit.

This particular summit has a trig point set between the forest road and the tree line. Because of the poor WX I decided to place the homebrew SlimJim antenna in the trig point and run the coax into the trees which would afford me some protection from the wind and the rain. I used some bin liners that I had in my rucksack to help keep the rain out of the equipment. By around 10.30 I was operating and the contacts started to roll in. By 11.0am I had bagged around 7 contacts and discovered that waterproof trousers aren’t waterproof when sitting in a pool of water on your tarpaulin groundsheet! Wet and cold I decided to call it a day, packed up and headed back to the car.

As always I would like to thank all the stations that called in and helped with the activation.

73 and see you in 2013!

Andy – GW7RKC

The Trig-point with SlimJim

Soggy Equipment Under Trees!

GPS Track-log of Route

Contacts Made


Sunday, 30 December 2012


Summit Information for GW/SW-002

Waun Fach - 811m, 8 points

Association: Wales  Region: South Wales   

Latitude: 51 57 46 N, Longitude: 3 8 38 W

Grid Reference: SO 215300, QTH Locator: IO81KX

This summit was planned originally for Saturday the 19th of December but due to poor weather  it was delayed until the 20th. Present were Mal (GW6OVD) and myself Andy (GW7RKC). We arrived at our chosen starting point in the Mynydd Du Forest at around 10.10. 

There were limited parking spaces in the area and these had already been taken by other vehicles but we managed to find a spot and started to get our kit together. 

By 10.18 we had begun our hike, we walked up the road until we found a bridge across the stream where we crossed into the forest.

Looking back down the trail at Grwyne Fawr
A short trek through the forest led to another stream and the open hillside at Grwyne Fawr. At this point we began the ascent.

This section of the hike was long and steep and frequent stops were required to catch our breath.  


View of Pen-y-Gadair Fawr from the trail

There were few clearly defined trails here so we were relying on our GPS to guide us toward the summit. 

As we got higher the wind strength increased significantly.  Eventually we reached the top of this section, and the wind was now cold and very strong. It was also very boggy which made progress slow as we tried to find routes around the worst areas.

An island in the bog!

We made it to the top of Waun Fach at around 12.15 but it took us a while to get started as we had to negotiate another muddy bog that encircled the summit. The only shelter available was the boulder that marks the summit and we crouched down behind it to get some relief from the wind. There was no way to guy the antenna in the mud so we pinned the antenna mast to the boulder by leaning against it.  

We began the activation and within around thirty minutes had logged around 11 contacts. At this point we were getting very cold so we decided to pack up and make our way back down.

We took a slightly different route back down the mountain side (see GPS track below) to avoid some of the more difficult terrain. 

Many thanks to all the contacts listed below for helping us with this activation!

73 from Mal & Andy

A Well earned break on the descent!

The end is in sight, Mynydd Du Forest in the distance

View to the North East from the trail, you can just make out Grwyne Fawr Reservoir on the left side.

GPS Tracklog


List of Contacts


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Black Mountain GW/SW 041

Summit Information for GW/SW-041
Black Mountain   703 m ASL, 6 points
Association Wales, Region South Wales
Latitude 52 0 30 N   Longitude 3 5 12 W
Grid Ref. SO255 350  Locator IO81KA

I arrived at the car park at SO239  at around 10.15 where there is room for 10-12 cars. I headed straight towards the summit and after a few hundred meters I picked up a well defined  path to the south cutting diagonally up the mountain. After a while the path doubles back on itself back towards the summit.
Shortly after  the trig point the path splits, to the left takes you up to the activation zone, the path to the right goes on towards Twmpa and eventually to Waun Fach.
On arrival at the activation zone, I battled with the wind to get the 2m  antenna  up and found myself a nice little nook to shelter in.  
There's a good VHF take off from here and it wasn't long before I managed to activate the summit.
Many thanks to all the stations listed below for their assistance in activating Black Mountain.

View from car park at SO239732

View from path at Hay Bluff 

Car park at Hay Bluff

Trig point at  SO244366

Lord Hereford's knob (Twmpa)

Todays route

Log for GW6OVD/P

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Summit Information for GW/SW-005

Fan Fawr - 734m, 6 points

Association: Wales  Region: South Wales   

Latitude: 51 51 45 N, Longitude: 3 29 49 W

Grid Reference: SN 970193, QTH Locator: IO81GU  

First Snow of The Winter

My starting point today was the lay by usually used for  access to Pen y fan at

SN983 199 (446M ASL). The lay by was unusually quiet today but then, it was a bit nippy!

Crossing the main road to the stile I headed diagonally across to the right to pick up the main path at SN 974-196.  This route is very boggy in places so I was grateful the ground was frozen solid.  Visibility was down to 50m by this time and the path started to rise steeply.  At the summit conditions were a little harsh and there was no shelter to be found.  I quickly managed to activate the summit and was on my way  back down just as it started to snow heavily again.

If you are planning to visit this summit in adverse conditions I strongly recommend you use GPS 

Starting point at the foot of Pen y Fan

View from the steeper part of the path as the mist cleared for a moment.

Near  the top the path levels out a little

Not much to see at the summit, at least,not today!

Back at the starting point the snow was starting to stick