Saturday, 8 March 2014

GW/SW 011

 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




 The objective for this weekend's SOTA activation was the Sugar Loaf mountain which is situated a couple of miles north-west of Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, Wales. This mountain is the southernmost peak of the Black Mountains.

Present at the activation was Phil (MW0PJJ) and myself Andy (GW7RKC).

Phil and I met outside the Aberdare Amateur Radio Society HQ at around 9.30 and headed off toward Abergavenny. Despite a detour, forced by roadworks on the A465 Heads of the Valley road, we made good time arriving at the main car park for Sugar Loaf at around 10.45. Phil had put an alert on SOTA watch for Midday, so we did a quick kit check and got our hike toward the summit underway.

A view back down the trail

It had been a fairly misty morning and the peak of Sugar Loaf was obscured by a shroud of low cloud.

The Sugar Loaf, shrouded in low cloud

The WX report was good so we had high hopes of better visibility and we were not to be disappointed as the sun started to appear from behind the clouds and the mist 'burnt off', rewarding us with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.


Nearly there Phil!

 We reached the summit around midday and started to assemble the station. It was incredibly windy and the normally straightforward task of erecting the antenna mast became a two man job!

In fact, the wind was so strong and unrelenting we only need to guy the mast on one side, against the wind!

Phil operates the station from a sheltered 'nook'
With our trusty homebrew ladderline SlimJim being battered aloft we settled into a nook in the side of the mountain which gave some much needed shelter from the wind. We were then able to start operating the the station and from the outset there were plenty of contacts rolling in.

Phil (MW0PJJ) filling his log....

Within just a few minutes of operating we had enough for our activation. I was particularly pleased to have a summit to summit contact with Allan GW4VPX/p over on GW/MW-034 (Mynydd Cynros).

Andy (GW7RKC/p)

An hour (and 1 antenna collapse) later and with full log pages we decided to wrap up what had been a very enjoyable SOTA activation.

Our route to the summit

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