Black Mountain 2020

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

This was the one.  Success today would earn me my mountain goat award.  The parking is good here but as always it was windy.  It’s an easy climb up to the trig point on top of Hay Bluff, but this is too low and still below the activation zone.  The summit is another Km or two South East from here and is marked by a small stone beside the path.  There was a group of people stood chatting at the summit point so I set up a short way off and called CQ.  I soon had four contacts in the log to qualify the summit and complete my 1000 points.  The final contact being Gez M0NTC from Dudley.  I was glad it was one of my regular chasers, thanks Gez.

GW/SW-041 Log

Journey Details

Date – 12th January 2020

Postcode – HR3 5RJ

Parking – SO 239 373

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Diamond SRH770S

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 7

SOTA points – 6+ 3

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

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Sugarloaf 2020

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

The weather forecast wasn’t that promising for the morning but in the event it turned out to be not that bad a day.  I arrived at the car park to find it already full with a group of mountain bikers about to set off for a day out.

I managed to squeeze the car in the last space and was soon out on the trail.  There are two likely routes up from the car park so I opted to go up one and return via the other.  Of the two the more Southerly loop is definitely the easier, next time I will use this path both ways.  There is a good path all the way up to the summit and on a clear day will present no problems.  This is a popular summit and even on a blustery January morning there were plenty of people on the top.  I managed to find a spot clear of the trig point where I set up.  I soon had seven contacts in the log and was on my way back down.

GW/SW-011 Log

Journey Details

Date – 12th January 2020

Postcode – LD3 7UL

Parking – W 03°01’46.63″ N 51°52’27.44″

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Diamond SRH770S

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 7

SOTA points – 2+ 3

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

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Waun Fach, Mynydd Llangorse and Mynydd Troed 2020

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

We started the day with Myntdd Troed.  Parking here is very limited but we were the first to arrive so not a problem today.  The ascent up Troed is very steep up a muddy/grassy slope and with all the recent rain today it was quite slippery.  With care though we made it up safely and soon set up the station on top of the trig point from where I soon had six contacts in the log, including a summit to summit contact with G4TQE, John up on G/WB-003, all with 5w from the Diamond antenna on the HT.

GW/SW-009 Log

Journey Details

Date – 5th January 2020

Postcode – LD3 7UL

Parking – SO 160 283

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Diamond SRH770S

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 6

SOTA points – 4+ 3

Group – Myself & Richard M1HAX

Walking Route Summary

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

Down from Troed it’s across the road and straight up Mynydd Langorse,  A much more gentle and pleasant climb to a large flat summit.  We went the extra mile today to reach the highest point although most of the summit plateau is within the activation zone.  Typically this is a difficult summit to activate but once againI worked it just using the 5W from the HT.  It did help having GW4GWH, 2W0NXV and MW0XOT all sat together in a car parked not too far away.

GW/SW-015

Journey Details

Date – 5th January 2020

Postcode – LD3 7UL

Parking – SO 160 283

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Diamond SRH770S

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 4

SOTA points – 2+ 3

Group – Myself & Richard M1HAX

Walking Route Summary

GW/SW-002, Waun Fach – 811m, 8 points

A short drive around to the other side on Troed saw us heading up for our final summit of the day.  Waun Fach provides a variety of terrain ranging from a long flat ridge walk to steep almost rocky sections which makes for a pleasant finale to the day.  Parking is very restricted here with possibly room for two cars, one each side of the gate.  I noticed today though that there is probably room for one car to park on the verge at the bottom of the lane so next time I will probably try that.

We soon reached the top and set up the station on the new concrete platform.  Once again just using the HT and 5W I managed to work seven stations easily enough.

GW/SW-002 Log

Journey Details

Date – 5th January 2020

Postcode – LD3 0EU

Parking – SO 186 290

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74

Antenna – Diamond SRH770S

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 7

SOTA points – 8+ 3

Group – Myself & Richard M1HAX

Walking Route Summary

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Tor y Foel 2020

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GW/SW-013, Tor y Foel – 551m, 2 points

Another easy walk up with good visibility.  This is usually a difficult summit to activate as it is not very high and penned in a bit so I set up the 6m pole with the Long Ranger on top.  t worked quite well and I soon had another nine contacts in the log including another S2S with Mike GW7HEM over on GW/MW-013.

GW/SW-013 Log

Journey Details

Date – 4th January 2020

Postcode – LD3 7YF

Parking – SO 056 176

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + Amp

Antenna – Long Ranger on pole

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 9

SOTA points – 2+ 3

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

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Waun Rydd 2020

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GW/SW-004, Waun Rydd – 769m, 6 points

Another fine day in the Brecon Beacons meant good views all the way up today. An uneventful walk, from the car park jst follow the obvious path until you get to the corner at SO 060 205 where you need to turn NE to find the summit which is marked by a small stone cairn, well more of a small pile of rocks really.  I operated straight from the HT, not setting up a station, and soon had 7 contacts in the log including two summit to summit contacts with MW6BWA on both 2m & 70cm and then another S2S with Mike G7HEM up on Titterstone Clee.

GW/SW-004 Log

Journey Details

Date – 4th January 2020

Postcode – CP48 2UT

Parking – SO 056 176

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 on 2m

Antenna – Diamond SRH770s

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 8

SOTA points – 6 + 3

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

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Fan Fawr & Pen y Fan 2020

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GW/SW-001, Pen y Fan – 886m, 8 points

It’s Pen y Fan, what more is there to say? Just park the car and follow the crowds.  Plenty of people on top so didn’t set up the station, just worked from the HT.  Eight in the log including a S2S with GW4TQE on GW/MW-013.  Took the alternative route back down to the Storey Arms and lunch at the car before setting off in the other direction for Fan Fawr.

GW/SW-001 Log

GW/SW-005, Fan Fawr – 734m, 6 points

From the car park I took the right hand gate for a change which is the one on the end of the path up, so with the clear weather and a faint path it was a quick and easy ascent, not needing the map or compass at all.  Makes a change, Fan Fawr is usually hidden in cloud!  It was cold at the top due to the wind chill so again I took the easy option and just called CQ from the HT.  I soon had three summit to summit contacts and then worked another three stations to easily qualify the summit.

GW/SW-005 Log

Journey Details

Date – 3rd January 2020

Postcode – LD3 8NL

Parking – SN 982 202

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 on 2m

Antenna – Diamond SRH770s

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 8 + 6

SOTA points – 8 + 3 + 6 + 3 = 20

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

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Fan Brycheiniog 2020

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

To start the new year and the new SOTA season we decided to head West to Fan Brycheiniog from the Llyn y Fan car park.  It was a typical January day in the Beacons, not actually raining but not dry either.  We were in cloud from about half way up so took the opportunity to try a bit of nav practice once up onto the flatter section above the Bwlch.  On the way up we heard Allan GW4VPX calling from MW-011 and managed to work him from the HT for the first chaser points of the season.  It was quiet at the top so we bagged a couple of seats in the shelter.  As we arrived I heard GW4TQE calling CQ SOTA so bagged a quick S2S with him up on NW-042 again from the HT on 5W.  It seemed busy on the bands so rather than set up the station we just worked from the HT and managed to put ten entries in the log.  The descent was uneventful until about halfway down when I heard an EI calling CQ and managed to work Martin, EI3GO from central Ireland.

GW/SW-003 Log

Journey Details

Date – 1st January 2020

Postcode – SA19 9UN

Parking – SN 799 238

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 on 2m

Antenna – Diamond SRH770s

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 10

SOTA points – 8 + 3 = 11

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

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Cadair Idris 2019

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GW/NW-009, Cadair Idris – Penygadair – 893m, 8 points

There are a few good routes up this mountain.  This time I chose the Pony Path, probably the easiest route used by many tourists in the summer months but today I had it to myself in the depths of Winter.

There is good parking available at SH 697 152 although as usual in the Snowdonia National Park it is not free.  Tickets cost £4.00 for 4 hours or £6.00 for the whole day.  It is easy enough to do the summit and back in four hours but not knowing how long I would be on top for I opted for the full day ticket.  The path is very obvious and quite steep until you reach the fork at SH 691 135.  The final section just before the summit is more dramatic and makes a nice finale to the climb.

I had the summit to myself but I would imagine that on a summers day it would get very crowded, so plan accordingly.  There is a trig point on top which worked well for me but would probably not be usable when sharing the summit.

I set up the station on the summit and soon had sixteen contacts in the log then just after I had packed away I heard a call of “CQ SOTA” on the HT and quickly bagged Gillian 2W0OVW/P and Phil GW4HQB from GW/SW-013 using just 5W and the rubber ducky antenna.

GW/NW-009 Log

The return route was uneventful, just follow the path back to the car park.

Journey Details

Date – 22nd December 2019

Postcode – LL40 1TN

Parking – SH 697 152

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + 50W PA on 2m

Antenna – Long Ranger

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 18

SOTA points – 8 + 3 = 11

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

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Glasgwm & Aran Fawddwy 2019

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GW/NW-015, Glasgwm – 779m, 6 points

There is limited parking at SH 812 217, space for one or possibly two cars only, parked carefully on the grass bank.  From here there is an obvoius track leading South until you get to a gate where the path forks, take the less obvious left hand path through the gate and up the hill towards the woodland.

Once into the woodland there is a good forestry track through the woods until you get to a stile at SH 833 206 which opens out onto the flanks of Craig y Ffynnon.  The path here is not so clear, just follow the stream up keeping it to your right until you reach the col at SH 840 200. Turn South here following the fence line to the top of Glasgwm.

There is plenty of room at the top to set up, I soon had the station operational and fifteen entries in the log from a broad area.

GW/NW-015 log

When finished descend back down the same route to reach the col again at SH 840 200.

GW/NW-007, Aran Fawddwy – 905m, 8 points

From the col head North East following the fence line, at times on the left and sometimes on the right.  There is a path of sorts which has in places been laid with old railway sleepers, but these are treacherous in wet weather and best avoided except where essential to cross the small swamps.  I expect it is a lot easier in the dry of summer.  Eventually you will reach the summit which is a little way off from the fence line so in poor visibility leave the fence at SH 861 222 and head North East for the summit.  There is a nice trig point on the top which makes a good shack.  I set up the station here and soon had twenty three contacts in the log.

GW/NW-007 Log

The return route is just a case of following the fence line back to the col and then down the valley and back through the woods.

Journey Details

Date – 21st December 2019

Postcode – LL40 2BL

Parking – SH 812 217

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + 50W PA on 2m

Antenna – Long Ranger

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 15 + 23

SOTA points – 6 + 3 + 8 + 3 = 20

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

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Long Mynd, Stiperstones & Cornden Hill 2019

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G/WB-005, Long Mynd – Pole Bank – 517m, 2 points

The parking for Long Mynd is a bit exposed but there is room there for four or five vehicles.  It is an easy walk from the car park up to the summit trig point and viewing area where there is plenty of room to set up the station.  It is a busy summit even on a winters day so take care to avoid the tourists.  I soon had the station set up and eleven contacts in the log including Richard G4MUF who was working from home in Wooton Bassett.

G/WB-005 Log

Journey Details

Date – 14th December 2019

Postcode – SY9 5EL

Parking – SO 417 942

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + 50W PA on 2m

Antenna – Long Ranger

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 11

SOTA points – 2+3

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

G/WB-003, Stiperstones – 537m, 2 points

There is a large car park for this summit, it seems to be a popular walk.  The route to the summit is via an obvious track that rises gently to the top.  At the top there is an obvious large rocky outcrop with the trig point on top.  This looks like it would provide plenty of entertainment on a summers day but when I was there the wind was blowing at about 80 mph over the top making climbing it a tricky business.  Nevertheless I did and I managed to set my station up beside the trig point, I didn’t want to risk the radio on the top of the trig point as the wind would have removed it almost immediately.  As it was the wind still managed to blow the radio off from the base of the trig point, luckily it landed on my head which saved the radio from any damage!  I also managed to lose my hat and a glove, both taken by the wind, I did recover my hat but never found the glove.  Balanced precariously beside the trig point I managed to make nine contacts before giving up to the elements and descending back to safety.

G/WB-003 Log

Journey Details

Date – 14th December 2019

Postcode –  SY5 0NF

Parking – SO 369 976

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + 50W PA on 2m

Antenna – Long Ranger

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 9

SOTA points – 2+3

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

GW/MW-013, Corndon Hill – 514m, 2 points

It’s just a short drive over to Corndon Hill, there is no car park beside the road, there is one marked about 1/2 Km to the North along a track but I didn’t check it out.  There is room on the corner of the road for one car to park without causing any obstruction so I parked there.  It’s an easy start South along the track before turning South East to head up the hill.  This is quite steep in places but not at all difficult under foot.  At the top there is a trig point, a large cairn and a welcome bench.  Make use of each as you will.  I soon had the station set up on the trig point and in relative comfort settled down to make 23 contacts, including once again Richard G4MUF in Wooton Bassett.

GW/MW-013 Log

Journey Details

Date – 14th December 2019

Postcode – SY5 0JJ

Parking – SO 301 975

Radio – Kenwood TH-D74 + 50W PA on 2m

Antenna – Long Ranger

Band – 144 FM

Contacts – 23

SOTA points – 2+3

Group – Myself

Walking Route Summary

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