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)

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