Saturday, 5 January 2013


Fan Brycheiniog - 802m, 8 points

Association: Wales  Region: South Wales  
Latitude: 51 52 56 N, Longitude: 3 42 30 W
Grid Reference: SN 825218, Locator: IO81DV 

Left to right - Mal (GW6OVD), Andy (GW7RKC) & Phil (MW0PJJ)
For the weekend of the 5th of January, Aberdare Amateur Radio Society SOTA group decided to activate South Wales summit SW-003 Fan Brycheiniog. This particular summit is located to toward the West side of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The group met at Aberdare and consisted of Mal (GW6OVD) , Phil (MW0PJJ) , Ian (Foundation Student) and Myself - Andy (GW7RKC). We drove towards our start point at SN 85288 21765 arriving just before 10:00, there we found a small area with enough parking for around 4 vehicles. 

Mal & Phil Forge Ahead!
 We wasted no time in getting our kit together and headed roughly East toward the summit. After crossing a stream the trail started  to steepen and in places was very boggy underfoot, this remained the case for most of the hike.

Soon the mist began to descend and completely obscured the view of the vehicle we had left behind.  Our first objective was to get to Llyn y Fan Fawr which was at the foot of Fan Brycheinog, this we managed in about an hour , covering around 2.3 km. The Llyn was quite beautiful in an eerie sort of way with the mist rolling across it and small waves being created by the wind. We took a few minutes to enjoy the view and a few refreshments before the final push up the mountain!

Llyn y Fan Fawr

At this point we still had around 1km to go, and the trail began to get very steep as we progressed up the mountain.

As is often the case, as we neared the summit the wind became quite strong and care was needed as there are some quite dangerous drops at the trail edge.

It's A Long Way Down

The picture to the right shows one of the rather intimidating drops at the trail edge!

Phil modelling the latest in Neck-wear!

Mal & Ian arrived at the summit first and managed to assemble the equipment before Phil and I got there. A cylindrical stone shelter provided some respite from the cold wind.

By mid-day the station was underway and doing fine business with plenty of QSO's rolling in and we all managed to get our activation in no time. One particularly noteworthy aspect of this activation was the number of summit to summit QSO's with one of our group achieving 5! Part way through we were joined by around 4 or 5 hikers who also wanted to shelter from the wind. They seemed interested in what we were doing and Phil chatted to them about SOTA and amateur  radio.

By around 1.30 we had all bagged plenty of QSO’s and were starting to get a bit cold so we packed up the equipment and assembled at the nearby Trig-Point for a final photo before beginning the trek back.


Left to right - Mal (GW6OVD) , Phil (MW0PJJ) and Andy (GW7RKC)

Back at the car our efforts were rewarded by Phil making one of his legendary brews !

Time for a brew!

Many thanks to all the stations calling in and making this activation a success!


Andy - GW7RKC

GPS Track-log

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