Saturday, 9 February 2013


Summit Information for GW/SW-011
Sugar Loaf - 596m, 2 points
Association: Wales  Region: South Wales   
Latitude: 51 51 46 N, Longitude: 3 3 30 W
Grid Reference: SO 272188, QTH Locator: IO81LU 

For this weekend’s activation the Aberdare Amateur Radio Society SOTA group decided to activate the ‘Sugar Loaf’ located near Abergavenny in Monmouthshire. The mountain is under the ownership of the National Trust and is a popular destination with walkers.

The group consisted of Mal (GW6OVD) , Phil (MW0PJJ) & friend Gareth Evans, and myself Andy (GW7RKC). We all met at Mal’s around 9.30, loaded up the kit and set off for our start point at SO268167. We arrived just before 10:30 and took advantage of the ample parking at this location. We wasted no time in getting our boots and packs on then started our journey toward the summit.

Top of the first incline, the river Usk is just visible
The first few hundred meters from the car par climbed reasonable steeply but quickly leveled out to a much gentler incline so we began to make good progress. 

The WX was quite reasonable considering the forecast had been poor and thankfully the rain held off. It was quite misty with low cloud but there were frequent breaks in the murk to permit beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

As we walked along the track we could see Sugar Loaf in the distance...

A mist shrouded Sugar Loaf

Mal & Phil , here comes the hard bit!

After we had walked less than 2km the path began to rise much more steeply as we progressed up the West side of the mountain.  

Mal is just visible at the top of this image!
By around 11.30 we had covered 2.7km and reached a summit completely shrouded in low cloud.

Sugar Loaf trig. point

This seemed to be quite a ‘busy’ summit so we elected to set-up away from the trig point to cause minimal obstruction to other hikers. 

Let the set-up begin...

Left to right - Phil (MW0PJJ), Mal (GW6OVD), Andy (GW7RKC)
We found a nice 'nook' on the North edge of the mountain which gave a great operating position , offering shelter from the cold wind. 

Gareth looks on as Phil works the pile-up!

We were soon operating and to our delight the QSO’s came rolling in aplenty! In no time at all we had got our 4 contacts each but the chaser stations were still piling up trying to contact us.  

The tripod, mast and 'Slim Jim' doing fine business...

By 13:00 hrs we all had full log pages and the cold was starting to get the better of us so we decided to call it a day.

I think I can speak for the group when I say this was a great day out and I’d like to extend our thanks to all the stations that called in and made this a successful and enjoyable activation.

73, and catch you on the next mountain,

Andy – GW7RKC

GPS Tracklog

Phils Log
Time Callsign Band Mode Notes
11:52 G8CMU 144MHz FM 5/9 MIKE
11:53 G4ILI 144MHz FM 5/9 grant
11:58 G3XQE 144MHz FM 5/9 KEN
12:03 M0MSW 144MHz FM 5/9 MARK
12:05 G0KHK/M 144MHz FM 5/9+ PAUL IO82XJ
12:15 G4NKU 144MHz FM 5/3 DAV
12:17 G0GRI 144MHz FM 5/9 IAN
12:19 2E0MDJ 144MHz FM 5/9 MATT
12:20 G7WBX/M 144MHz FM 5/9 MARTYN
12:21 G0ELJ 144MHz FM 5/7 DAVE
12:22 G3IRA 144MHz FM 5/7 IO91DM
12:29 G4WUH/M 144MHz FM 5/9 IAN

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