Friday 2 October 2015
Had not planned to be heading back Wales quite so soon. Having had Monday and Thursday off this week I assumed that my next days off would not be until next week. However, due to staffing issues next week I was given Friday off in the expectation that I will work for most of next week. Following on from my activation of the three one-pointers north of Newport my original intention had been to do the four one-pointers around Pontypridd next week. With this change of working schedule the walk was brought forward to the Friday. This was probably fortuitous as the weather looks as though it will be turning bad again next week. Left home at 04.30 arriving at the start of GW/SW-027 for 07.00.
FT-817 5 Watts, 4.2Ah LiFePO4, 60m/40m/20m linked dipole, 7m sotapole and a palm paddle.
Mynydd Y Glyn GW/SW-027
Parking up at the end of the driveway to the farms (ST 043883), the first part of the walk is up a well made driveway until you reach the gate across the path. Through the gate but after about 20m the obvious path fads away. It would appear that you need to walk on the right side of the Wall/barbed wire fence. However, you need to take left side option as far as a large opening then move to the right side of the wall. Follow the wall through a gate into the top field. Walk directly towards the summit and a gate will be seen ahead. through the gate and follow the obvious pathway to the summit. Distance 1.25 miles, Ascent 436 feet, Time Taken 35 minutes.
The station was set up on the trig point and a quick check of Sotawatch showed that F/HB9AFI/P was on 7-cw. So after a summit to summit with Kurt I moved up frequency and put out a CQ call. It took a while for anyone to respond but eventually 5 QSO’s were made with European stations. It was obvious that the band had gone back to its bad ways again. This was borne out on 7-ssb where despite calling for some time no contacts were made. On the walk up I had found out the my boots had sprung a leak as my socks were wet from the dew covered grass. So I decided to pull the plug and had back to the car for a change of socks.
Cefn Eglwysilan GW/SW-025
A 20 minute drive and I was parked up on the grass verge (ST 096903). From the car I headed straight up the slope to intercept a path heading up gradually to the left. Take this path directly to the summit trig. Distance 0.2 miles Ascent 140 feet time taken 7 minutes.
A quick tune around 40m showed that the band was picking up a bit so a self spot on 7-ssb produced 3 slow but sure QSO’s with reports of rapid and deep QSB. A change to 7-cw produced a further 5 QSO’s including a summit to summit with Heinz HB9BCB/P on HB/BE-148. A check of 20M showed a ‘dead band, so time to decamp and move on to the next summit.
Craig Yr Allt GW/SW-037
On my original alert I had started that I was heading to Garth Hill next however, Craig Yr Allt was the closer of the 2 remaining summits so it was off to the narrow parking area opposite the start to the path (ST 140850). There are several paths meandering around this hill but the main path up is fairly obvious. If it goes up follow it! Distance 0.43 miles Ascent 266 feet time taken 15 minutes.
Having had to feeling from the last summit that the band was starting to improve as the day went on, this was quickly dashed as I set up just below the summit and tuned around 40M. It had gone very quiet again. A self spot for 7-ssb produced 4 QSO’s before silence prevailed again. A change to 7-cw and numerous calls produced absolutely nothing at all. So it was to be just 4 QSO’s – at least I had qualified the hill.
Garth Hill GW/SW-034
So after a disappointing operation from Craig Yr Allt it was off to Garth Hill for the final hill of the day. Parking up on the large grassed parking area in front of a large cottage (ST 104830). A short walk east along the road to the drive way up to the afore mentioned Cottage. Walk up the drive way form about 20m were the start of the path is clearly marked. Follow the path to a ‘T’ junction where a right turn takes you all the way to the summit mound topped by the trig point. After a day where I had seen no-one on any of the 3 previous hills, this summit was more like Clapham Junction. I moved away from the trig and established the station on waymark post close by. Distance 0.5 miles, Ascent 372 feet, time taken 15 minutes.
Using the same MO as on the last summit I self spotted for 7-ssb but called until I was hoarse with no reply. Changing to 7-cw first in the log Roy G4SSH, only the second British station worked all day. This was followed by 7 further QSO’s including 2 summit to summits with HB9BCB/p on HB/BE-148 and DK2JK/P on DM/HE-053. Once the CW contacts had dried up a change back to SSB and further self spot produced absolutely nothing at all. So it was time tom pack up for the final time and head back home.
Overall this was a great day out, the hills were up to expectations and the weather was superb. It was just a shame that the sky was partially broken again. Four summit to summits were logged but only 2 British stations were worked all day. Thanks to all the chaser for fighting through the heavy QSB to pull me in – much appreciated as always. For me the high point of the day was walking up ‘my’ mountain – Mynydd Yr Glyn, though why a mountain is called The Valley Mountain I can’t work out.
73 Glyn G(W)4CFS/P