Pen Y Garn 2019

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GW/MW-004, Pen y Garn – 611m, 4 Points

Sunday morning we decided to bag the local summit of Pen Y Garn.  It is possible to drive almost to the summit up the forest track from The Arch on the B4574 but we decided to walk in from the South starting at the top of the road North out of Cwmystwyth.

Parking at SN 791 753, there is just room for one car on the top of the bend.  The track up towards Nant Cwta is overgrown and swampy but passable with care.  You will pass a derelict cottage with some interesting machinery abandoned outside.  The track is clearly visible all the way up to where it meets the forestry road but is overgrown and decaying so take care if you go this way.  Once onto the forestry road it is an easy route up to the summit with some lovely views.

The wind at the top was bitterly cold but there is a wonderfully complicated shepherds shelter on the top with a windproof entrance curled around to the side to keep the wind out which worked very well.  Unfortunately I was without the amplifier having been unable to fix the fault from the previous day so had to work the summit with five Watts from the HT with the Nagoya antenna.  This proved difficult.  I soon had Allan GW4VPX and Frank MW0OFA in the log but then spent quarter of an hour calling CQ with no response.  Eventually I found Keith G0RQF chatting on another channel and managed to tail-end his conversation to get a third contact in the log.  Luckily Belinda had brought her radio so she started on down back to the car to get out of the AZ and make a fourth QSO to complete the activation.  Not ideal but by this time we were both getting very cold.

GW/MW-004 Log

As soon as I had the fourth contact I quickly raced down the hill to catch up and we enjoyed a pleasant walk back down to the car.

Journey Details

Date – 14th April 2019

Postcode – SY23 4AF

Parking – SN 791 753

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Nagoya

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 4

SOTA points – 4

Group – Myself & Belinda

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Drosgol, Banc Llechwedd-mawr, Plynlimon-Pen Pumlumon Fawr 2019

 

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A weekend break on the Welsh coast delivered the chance to have another go at these three peaks.  This time with the weather a bit warmer and some sunshine promised.  This year we were staying to the South of the route so the approach to the drop off point was along the lakeside road around the Nant-y-moch reservoir which has some wonderful scenery.

GW/MW-008, Drosgol – 550m, 2 Points

The route up to Drosgol summit is straightforward along the lakeside track until Nant y Baracs.  Choose a point here to leave the track and head East up to the top of Drosgol.  There is no best route but there are a number of tracks made by the farmers quad bike that can be followed at times to aid progress.  Otherwise it is just a slog up through the undergrowth to the top.  The views from the top are worth it though on a clear day.

GW/MW-008 Log

Conditions were not the best for contacts but fortunately Allan GW4VPX was also out activating this day.  I heard his call just as I was entering my spot into APRS so soon had him in the log.  It took me a quarter of an hour to get another five contacts for a total of six from Drosgol.  This time I made sure the radio was recording properly as well.

GW/MW-007, Banc Llechwedd-mawr – 560m, 2 Points

From Drosgol Descend NE down to Afon Llechwedd Mawr.  There is a footbridge located at SN 766 888.  It’s not marked on the maps and I had forgotten to mark it on mine but at least this year I knew it was there.  From the summit take a line directly through the 454m spot height and extend to where it crosses the river.  The footbridge is there.   The descent and following ascent are entirely over rough ground.  There is no track that I have found other than again the odd bit of quad bike track that rarely goes in the right direction.  Once you reach the false summit at 543m the going is much easier accross and onto the true summit of Banc Llechwedd-mawr.  Here there is a summit cairn and a shelter which was welcome as even though the sun was shining the wind was bitter.

GW/MW-007

I set up the station and again contacted Allan who had waited on his summit for me to get here.  Thanks Allan.  Again it was har going to get the contacts but I eventually managed six in the log.

GW/MW-001, Plynlimon-Pen Pumlumon Fawr – 752m, 6 Points

From Banc Llechwedd-mawr. it is an easy decent down to Afon Hyddgen/Afon Hengwm.  Again there is an unmarked footbridge, this one located at SN 779 891 on the short section where the river turns North-South.  This is a nicely sheltered spot so I took the opportunity for lunch sat beside the river in the sunshine.

After lunch it was time for the big one.  This is a real slog up here as apart from a short section it is almost all off piste through long undergrowth.  This time with the wind in my face as well.  Following the footpath from the river up to the track, don’t be tempted along this, cross straight over and make directly for the marked track up at the 463 spot height marker.  From here a short releif South along the track until it starts to drop away at which point it’s time to say goodbye and head South up to the high ground.  Once you get to the 668m spot height keep an eye out to the right, there is a faint track over there somewhere that will take you to the summit.

GW/MW-001 Log

It was busy at the top.  Having not seen anyone all day I was surprised to find the shelter full and a few other folk milling around.  I set up the station beside the trig point.  The wind was fierce by now and this was the only shelter I could get.  I soon realised that there was something wrong with the setup as I was hearing Allan again when I arrived but as soon as I swapped over to the Long Ranger antenna I couldn’t hear anything.  I swapped back to the Nagoya duck antenna and managed to log my four contacts but it was a struggle with only five Watts.

The descent down to the A44 is easy enough with a clear track all the way back to the road.  I was soon back down in the car park waiting for my lift.  Unfortunately I was an hour and half early so had a bit of a wait.  It was worth it though for another glorious day out in the Welsh hills.

Journey Details

Date – 13th April 2019

Postcode – Drop off SY23 3AG & pick up SY23 3LE

Parking – SN 736 887 & SN 798 840

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + 50W PA on 2m

Antenna – Longranger and Nagoya

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 6+6+4

SOTA points – 2+2+6

Group – Myself

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Shining Tor 2019

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G/SP-004, Shining Tor – 559m, 2 Points

After a fine lunch in Hayfield it was a short hop down the road to the old Cat & Fiddle pub, the so called second-highest inn in England.  Unfortunately no longer so as it has been closed for the past couple of years.  The building is still there though and seemingly still in good repair.  There is plenty of parking in the lay-by opposite the pub, or on a quieter day there is room for a couple of cars on the corner where the route leaves the road.

This is an easy walk rising gently up a well defined track.  The summit itself is marked by a trig point where there is plenty of room to set up.

When I was there the wind was from the East and the sun in the West so I set up on the Western side of the North/South wall affording a lovely sheltered sun trap.  On calling CQ I soon has twelve contacts in the log before packing up and heading back down to the car.  Altogether an easy and pleasant additional two points.

G/SP-004 Log

Journey Details

Date – 6th April 2019

Postcode – SK11 0AR

Parking – SK 001 719

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + 50W PA on 2m

Antenna – MFJ Longranger

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 12

SOTA points – 2

Group – Myself

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Kinder Scout 2019

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G/SP-001, Kinder Scout – 636m, 4 Points

A trip up to the Peak District for a family do offered the chance for a bit of SOTA activity in an area new to me.  Kinder Scout, famous of course for the mass trespass, was one I have wanted to do for a long time, at last the chance came along.

We managed to get an early start and so M7BBE and I were in the car park at Bowdern Bridge for a 9am start.  The map is not clear exactly where the car park is so after a bit of faffing around we found the bridge over onto Edale Road and up to Tunstead Clougth.

Here the road ends but the path on up through the fields is easily followed.   Once you reach the access land at SK 064 866 there is a path straight up Kinderlow End but we chose instead to take the longer but easier route around to the South of the hill, then turning North at Edale Cross.  This Cross is a stone monument on the side of the path marking the turning up towards Kinder Low.

From here  there is a narrow path up past some rocks until reaching a well paved route across the top leading to Kinder Low trig point.

The true summit of Kinder Scout is a further 750m North East from the trig point but the height difference is only 3m gain so Kinder Low is well withing the activation zone.  The trig point is situated on the edge of the escarpment with good takeoff from the South through West to the North.

This is a popular summit with plenty of people around so we set up the station a little distance away from the trig point on some convenient rocks. We soon had twenty contacts in the log including three summit-to-summit contacts.

G/SP-001 Log

Once I had cleared the pileup we soon packed away the station and headed back down the same route to a well earned lunch at the pub in Hayfield!

Journey Details

Date – 6th April 2019

Postcode – SK22 2LH

Parking – SK 048 869

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + 50W PA on 2m

Antenna – MFJ Longranger

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 20

SOTA points – 4

Group – Myself and Belinda

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