Black Mountain & Sugarloaf 2019

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GW/SW-041, Black Mountain – 703m, 6 Points

We arrived at the car park below Hay Bluff, as always it was blowing a gale over the pass but hey, ho.  A quick ascent up the face soon had us skipping between England and Wales along the top border path.  It is tempting to set up at the big cairn marking the top of Hay Bluff but this is still a metre below the activation zone.  It’s such an easy path along the top that it would be a shame not to head on up the the true summit.  There is a small pile of rocks marking the spot, not really what you could call a cairn but maybe one day.

It was still fairly windy on top but I knew there were some of our locals listening out for us from Swindon so I set up the beam for a proper activation.  It was worth it with a large pile up following.  I soon had sixteen entries in the log in not many more minutes, including G8VVY from Wiltshire.

GW/SW-041 Log

We packed up and were soon back at the car for the drive over to Sugarloaf

Journey Details

Date – 13th January 2019

Postcode – HR3 5RJ

Parking – SO 239 373

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – 2 Ele yagi

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 16

SOTA points – 6(+3)

Group – Myself + Richard

Walking Route Summary

GW/SW-011, Sugar Loaf – 596m, 2 Points

Arriving at the Sugar Loaf car park we were surprised by how full it was.  We managed to find a space though and were soon heading up the hill.  It pretty soon became apparent that we had parked in the lower car park but never mind, the upper one was full as well and only about 40m higher.

The area is a dog walkers paradise and there are many paths criss crossing the approach so unless there is visibility of the summit regular checking of the map is wise.  The approach is quite flat but the final section up to the trig point does get a bit steeper.

As it was so busy, we had passed numerous groups on the way up and there was a constant stream of visitors whilst we were on the summit, we decided to operate from the built in WT antenna again.

GW/SW-011 Log

We soon had eight contacts in the log so packed up and set off for home.

Journey Details

Date – 13th January 2019

Postcode – NP7 7LA

Parking – SO 268 167

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Nagoya NA771

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 8

SOTA points – 2(+3)

Group – Myself + Richard

Walking Route Summary

 

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Fan Gyhirych & Fan Nedd 2019

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GW/SW-006, Fan Gyhirych – 725m, 6 Points

Starting from the caving club there is a long walk in, most of it over fairly good tracks.  This year they have resurfaced the track from the forest through to the turn for Fan Nedd which is not very comfortable to walk on.

The ascent was uneventful, weather was kind although the summit was in cloud so not much view.  We operated straight from the handheld and soon had six contacts in the log.

We didn’t hang around, this is not the most exciting summit in the Brecons, so we were soon back down on the old military road heading towards Fan Nedd.

GW/SW-006 Log

GW/SW-007, Fan Nedd – 663m, 4 Points

The ascent of Fan Nedd is a bit more interesting.  By the time we reached the turning point off the track we had a good clear view of the whole mountain which made a nice change.  The track up was in good condition so we soon made it to the top and set up in the old shelter next to the trig point.  The wind was steady and cold so again we decided to just operate from the HT rubber duck antenna which was a bit of a struggle.  We eventually got our four contacts before setting of on the long trek back to the car park.

GW/SW-007 Log

Overall it was a good day out in the hills, albeit a long one.

Journey Details

Date – 12th January 2019

Postcode – SA9 1GQ

Parking – SN 855 155

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Nagoya NA771

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 6 + 4

SOTA points – 6(+3) + 4 (+3)

Group – Myself + Richard

Walking Route Summary

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Waun Fach, Mynydd Troed and Mynydd Llangorse 2019

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An early start for a longer day completing the Black Mountain three peaks challenge.

Note this route includes the drive between Waun Fach and the col between the two Mynydds

GW/SW-002, Waun Fach – 811m, 8 Points

The walk up Waun Fach was going well until our navigator decided to take a short cut straight up the side of Pen Trumau, which was rather hard going.  We reached the top just in time for a summit to summit contact with Vicki, MW6BWA and Rod MW0JLA, both on SW-014.  This was quickly followed by another summit to summit with David on NW-043, a busy day out on the hills.

GW/SW-002 Log

GW/SW-009, Mynydd Troed – 609m, 4 Points

Back down from Waun Fach it was a quick drive around to the col between Troed and Langorse for the second assault of the day.  This time I tried the route anticlockwise around the mountain which I think was a bit shorter than the usual clockwise and also missed out the infamous gate.

It didn’t take long to reach the top.  The steps in the mud seem to be getting more pronounced and as the weather had been fairly dry recently they made the climb up much easier.  This time I set up the beam on top and soon had 9 contacts in the log including Vicki and Rod again for a second summit to summit over to SW-012.

GW/SW-009 Log

GW/SW-015, Mynydd Llangorse – 515m, 2 Points

We were soon back at the col, didn’t stop though and pressed on straight up Langorse.  An easy two point walk to finish the day although more of a challenge radio wise.  This is well known as a difficult summit to work VHF as it is largely surrounded by taller peaks.  We set up short of the true summit as that is another 600m walk and back to gain only about another 5m height.

I set up the beam and soon worked Vicki and Rod once more, they were still on SW-012.  I also managed Emyr on SW-006 and then just as I was leaving the summit I caught Roger over in England on WB-016, luckily I was only just out of the activation zone so I quickly ran back up into the zone for a nice final bonus S2S contact.

GW/SW-015 Log

Altogether another fine day out on the hills and 23 extra SOTA points earned.

Journey Details

Date – 6th January 2019

Postcode – LD3 0EU &  LD3 7UL

Parking – SO 186 290 & SO 160 283

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + 50W PA on 2m

Antenna – 2 ele dipole & Nagoya NA771

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 5 + 9 + 8

SOTA points – 8 (+3) + 4 (+3) + 82(+3) = 23

Group – Myself, Peter & Richard

Walking Route Summary

Note, this includes some driving time & distance

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Fan Brycheiniog 2019

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GW/SW-003, Fan Brycheiniog – 803m, 8 Points

The weather for the weekend was forecast to be good for a change so a chance to bag Fan Brycheiniog.

We started from the NW car park and took the long route back over Pic Du.  Visibility was good so all in all an uneventful but pleasant walk.  There was some wind blowing over the ridge at the top which made it quite cold from the wind chill but the shelter was free so we set up there and soon made the required contacts.  We shared the first few contacts to make sure we bolth qualified it and then I left Richard to clear the pile up.

GW/SW-003 Log

The return back to the car was again a pleasant walk back along clearly defined paths.  Altogether a very pleasant day out in the hills.

Journey Details

Date – 5th January 2019

Postcode – SA19 9UN

Parking – SN 799 238

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Nagoya NA771

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 5

SOTA points – 8+3

Group – Myself & Richard

Walking Route Summary

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Fan Fawr & Pen Y Fan 2019

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A new year and a new allocation of SOTA points so started the year with a couple of easy ones in the Brecon Beacons.

GW/SW-005, Fan Fawr – 734m, 6 Points

The forecast for New Year’s day was looking good so we were hoping for a nice clear run up Fan Fawr, but as usual in the Brecons the cloud was sitting on the tops so it wasn’t to be.  At least it was not raining and the wind was low.

The walk to the top was uneventful and even though the car parks were overflowing everyone was heading up Pen-Y-Fan.  We didn’t see another walker until we were at the top and operating the station.

We soon made four contacts which we shared between the two of us and then I went on to work the rest of the pile up.  Once done it was an easy walk back down to the Storey Arms and the car for lunch.

GW/SW-005 Log

GW/SW-001, Pen y Fan – 886m, 8 Points

Pen-Y-Fan summit in the cloud

Pen-Y-Fan was a bit busier than Fan Fawr.  We started by queuing to get through the gate out of the car park!  The long trudge up the tourist path was mostly just dodging around the New Year day trippers, we were into cloud by about 600m so not even a view to enjoy.  The top was predictably busy but we 

The station

managed to find enough space to set up the station.  This time I worked the first four and then left Richard to work the pile up.

Once finished we packed up and returned to the car via the Storey Arms path for a change.  This path has been completely reworked and is now fully pathed all the way to the top of Corn Du which made for an easy decent.

GW/SW-001 Log

Journey Details

Date – 1st January 2019

Postcode – LD3 8NL

Parking – SN 986 200

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Nagoya NA771 & 2 ele yagi

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – x+y

SOTA points – 14 + 6 bonus

Group – Myself & Richard

Walking Route Summary

 

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