Welsh Marches Tour 2016 – Day 1

Sunday 15 May 2016

Long-Mynd-towards-the-Wrekin short
A weeks leave had been booked and now it was time to decide what to do with it.  The wife had a hospital appointment on the Wednesday and a beautician appointment on the Friday so I decided to take my self off for two days on the Monday and Tuesday.  I wanted to do the Welsh Borders 2 pointers and as much else as I could squeeze into two days. Then my wife suggested travelling across on the Sunday afternoon to save an early start on the Monday.  This allowed me to get one summit in on the Sunday evening.

Day one was now going to be The Wrekin which was literally 5 minutes off of my route.

Day two was easy to plan – it was going to be the ‘Famous Five’, the four high points of the Shropshire Hills – Titterstone Clee Hill, Brown Clee Hill, Long Mynd-Pole Bank & Stiperstones along with their close neighbour Corndon Hill.

Day three was not so easy to decide or plan.  Various options were considered but the final list ended up as Beacon Ring, Y Golfa, Stingwern Hill, Caeliber Isaf, View Edge then on the way back home Walton Hill.

The question was – had I bitten off more than I could chew?  It all looked feasible on paper!  Well there was only one way to find out.  The priority was to get the 2 pointers done regardless and then as many of the 1 pointers that I could manage.

Equipment

FT-817 5 Watts, 4.2Ah LiFePO4, 60m/40m/20m linked dipole, 7m sotapole and a palm paddle, VX-8, VX-170 plus RSS 2M dipole.

Day One

The Wrekin G/WB-010

Having left home at 12:30 it was a good drive up the A34, M40, M42, M6, M54 to Telford and the car park for The Wrekin (SJ 638092).  The Car Park reminded me why I don’t normally activate on a Weekend – it was jammed with every man and his dog heading to and from the track to the summit.  There was even the ubiquitous Ice Cream Van with its associated rubbish laying all over the ground.  Anyway ignoring the crowds I booted up and decided just to carry the VX-170 and the half-wave 2m vertical dipole.  The walk up is fairly easy with just a couple of steep sections following what appears to be an extension to the M54!  The only observation to make is the amount of rubbish the hundreds of visitors leave behind.  Once at the trig the view was spectacular and allowed me to scan the hills that I would be doing over the next 2 days. Distance 1.33 miles, Ascent 814 feet, Time Taken 40 minutes.route

Moving away from the summit area and the hoards of trackie clad sightseers I found a convenient hollow and set up the 2m vertical by sticking it into the side of my boot.  A self spot and call on S20 quickly brought in local station Adrian G4AZS followed by a very nice summit to summit with G1ZAR/P on Heath Mynd G/WB-007.  Several more calls brought Don M0HCU, Pete G4URM & Steve G4ZWY in to the log before I called it a day and got ready to descend and get to my hotel.  The RF break through problems discussed on the reflector in the days leading up to the trip were not evident today however, they would create problems tomorrow.
log
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Before leaving the summit area I took the time to survey the Iron Age Hill Fort remains (I have an MA in Archaeology) a theme that would repeat itself several times over the next couple of days.

73 Glyn G4CFS/P

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