Sunday, 15 December 2013

GW/MW-004 & 005

Summit Information for GW/MW-004
Pen y Garn - 610m, 4 points
Association: Wales  Region: Mid Wales   
Latitude: 52 22 43 N, Longitude: 3 46 2 W
Grid Reference: SN 798771, QTH Locator: IO82CJ 
Today's Sunrise: 08:17 UTC, Today's Sunset: 16:03 UTC

Today I am revisiting Pen Y Garn (GW/MW-004) and wanted to try a different  route to the summit. Starting from the very narrow B road at SN 791-753 I headed north east for a short distance then soon after passing the derelict buildings I headed north west following the fence line for a few hundred meters.
I joined the main track at SN 788-757 and followed this all the way to the summit, some 3 kilometers away.
Its quite a gradual climb most for the most part, as the track zigzags  its way up the mountain following the eastern edge of the forestry.
At the summit there is a well constructed cairn where I set up and sheltered from the very strong winds. 
Visibility had been fairly good until now but it wasn't long before the mist closed in and it was hard to see more than 20 meters.  After struggling for quite some time trying to get the mast up in between the strong gusts, I eventually settled down for my first activation of the day.  

Date:15/Dec/2013 Summit:GW/MW-004 (Pen y Garn) Call Used:GW6OVD/P 

Summit Information for GW/MW-005
Llan Ddu Fawr - 594m, 2 points
Association: Wales  Region: Mid Wales   
Latitude: 52 19 5 N, Longitude: 3 46 36 W
Grid Reference: SN 790704, QTH Locator: IO82CH 
Today's Sunrise: 08:16 UTC, Today's Sunset: 16:04 UTC 

For my second activation activation I drove to SN 784-683 which is less than 7 kilometers as the crow flies, but by road took around 35 minutes.  I parked by the cattle grid overlooking Llyn Teifi res. and could see the vehicle track slightly further along the road heading in the right direction.  After followed the track for a few hundred meters it became very vague so I then followed the fence for a kilometer or so until it headed west.  I continued on north towards the summit but soon found myself trudging through ankle deep mud and progress slowed considerably. On the horizon I could could just about make out the silhouette of what I thought might be the trig point, but it turned out to be one of the many concrete post dotted around this area.
The actual trig point I was to discover, lies inside the dry stone cairn at the summit.
Soon after I had set up and made my first contact it started to rain heavily and combined with the strong wind, keeping the radio and log dry became very difficult.  This was to be my 100th SOTA activation, and there was no way I was leaving that summit until I had enough contacts in the log to qualify.  After making a further six I decider to call it a day.  All in all, an odd sort of day, one minute you could see for miles, the next, just a few meters.  Its at times like this GPS comes into its own, and if I ever revisit this one, I'll certainly be digging out my wellies!  By the time I got back to the car I was a little damp to say the least, and after a nice hot cup of coffee started the long drive home.  
73, and  thanks to everyone who helped with today's activation's of  Pen y Garn and Llan Ddu Fawr

Mal (GW6OVD/P)

Date:15/Dec/2013 Summit:GW/MW-005 (Llan Ddu Fawr) Call Used:GW6OVD/P 


Monday, 9 December 2013


Summit Information for GW/MW-010
Gwaunceste Hill - 542m, 2 points
Association: Wales  Region: Mid Wales   
Latitude: 52 11 28 N, Longitude: 3 13 59 W
Grid Reference: SO 158555, QTH Locator: IO82JE 
Today's Sunrise: 08:08 UTC, Today's Sunset: 16:02 UTC 

The starting point for today's activation was SO 165-534 where there is enough room to park a couple of cars but the access roads leave a lot to be desired.  From here its about 2.3k to the summit with just 146M of ascent.  There is a pretty obvious vehicle track heading off in the right general direction so I followed this most of the way up the gentle gradient.  As you reach the last of the trees at SO 162-546 the track becomes a little vague and the gradient becomes steeper.  At some points along the way I passed through areas of knee deep heather which combined with the gradient made progress rather slow.
At the summit there is room for whatever antennas you may wish to use, in this case I just used my 60/40 inverted V.  Unfortunately this had to be a quick activation as I had promised to be at my granddaughters  Christmas concert shortly after lunch so I decided to just work 5Mhz.
Steve, (G6LUZ) was kind enough to spot me on my second contact and within 25 minutes I was all done.  After working Allan, (GW4VPX) summit to summit, I left him with the frequency and was off down the hill to enjoy the afternoons festivities.
Many thanks to all chasers for all your continued support.
Mal  (GW6OVD/P)

Date:09/Dec/2013 Summit:GW/MW-010 (Gwaunceste Hill) Call Used:GW6OVD/P 
11:00zGW4VPX5MHzSSBAllan S2S GW/MW-011


Monday, 2 December 2013

GW/MW-013, WB 3,5,2 & 4

Sunday 1st December 2013

Today's Activations

Corndon Hill - 513m, 2 points
Association: Wales  Region: Mid Wales   
Latitude: 52 33 55 N, Longitude: 3 1 31 W
Grid Reference: SO 306969, QTH Locator: IO82LN 
Today's Sunrise: 08:00 UTC, Today's Sunset: 16:02 UTC 

Our 214 mile road trip began at 06.45 from my home at Hirwaun, and after loading up the car, Phil MW0PJJ and I set off on the 2 hour drive to our first summit of the day, Corndon Hill.
By the time we neared Kington it was getting light and the remainder of the trip seemed to pass very quickly.  As we drove through White Grit we could see the trig point at the top of Corndon Hill and it didn't seem very far away, but we were soon to find out it was quite a challenging climb.
As we are now into December, daylight was in short supply so we needed to be off the last summit soon after 4.00pm.  Unfortunately this meant that our time at each summit was very restricted.
At the summit there is a wooden bench where we rested to catch our breath for a few moments before setting up for the activation.  We had decided that we were going to activate all 5 summits today on VHF only, and it soon became clear that this had been a good choice.  All 5 summits are very good VHF sites and by 09.30 our first activation was complete.

At our second summit of the day Stiperstones (G/WB-003) we found ample parking at 
SO 369 976.  There is a clearly defined path which is not too steep but does get a little tricky under foot as you approach the summit.  After setting up just a single call produced more than enough contacts to bag our second summit, so after taking a few photos we started our way back down to the car.

After a short drive we arrived at summit no.3  Pole Bank (G/WB-005) and parked in the lay-by at 
SO 417 942.  After scaling the bank at the back of the lay-by we saw a narrow, but clearly defined path through the deep heather directly to the summit.  With just 20m of ascent, the walk takes less than 5 minutes which allowed us to claw back a little time.  This one is very popular with walkers who seemed very curious as to what we were doing with a 8m fishing pole at the top of a mountain.  
Again our activation was completed in under 20 minutes and we were off car to the car for a well earned cup of coffee and a bite to eat.

After a little lunch we set off down the narrow country lanes for Brown Clee Hill (G/WB-002)
For our ascent of Brown Clee Hill we parked at SO585-868 at the start of the bridal path but there was only enough room for 1 car.  The path starts off quite steeply and  a little muddy under foot. By the time we reached the first bend at SO 590 862 visibility had reduced to about 30m as the mist descended.  We headed north east from here and it became even wetter under foot, but the gradient eased off significantly.
Although the summit was excellent for VHF we experienced very bad qrm from the nearby mast throughout our activation, making anything less than a S9 signal very difficult to work.  

We arrived at the car park at our final summit, Titterstone Clee Hill at around 15.35 and quickly made our way to the summit as the light was starting to fail.  Again we found ourselves close to some impressive looking equipment which we were later told was for the radar at Birmingham Airport.  Fortunately we suffered no interference as on the previous summit, and managed to activate just as darkness fell.  Phil and I would like to thank all who helped with our five activation's today, and to apologize to those who we were unable to work due to our strict time restraints.
Mal (GW6OVD)