Tuesday, 11 August 2015

SOTA - Graig Syfyrddin - GW/SW-020

Graig Syfyrddin - 423m, 1 point

Association: Wales Region: South Wales
Latitude: 51 53 3 N, Longitude: 2 52 7 W
Grid Reference: SO 403210, QTH Locator: IO81NV

The next summit, Graig Syfyrddin, was a new one for me. I'd often passed close by on the way home from Wales, but this was to be my first activation. I duly found the single parking spot by the gateway, kitted up and started the easy ascent to the summit.

Parking spot
The 0.7 mile ascent was 420' and took just over 10 minutes to arrive at the trig point.

I set up close to the weather station next to the fence so I could use a fence post for the pole support.
I was rapidly on the air on 40 metres but the pile up lasted only a few minutes.

20 metres was in poor shape and on trying 30 metres, I discovered the entire band was swamped by QRM, I expect, from the adjacent WX station. With 30 metres a non starter, I went back to 40 metres and picked up a few more stations however 15 QSOs was the sum total of a 50 minute activation.


I had planned to activate Garway Hill, G/WB-013 next, but it was already 1700L, the band was in poor condition, I was hot and dehydrated and the attraction of spending another few hours out without getting some food was starting to wane.

Garway Hill
I cut my losses and headed back to the car and continued on the 70 mile journey home.

SOTA - Ysgyryd Fawr - GW/SW-016

 Ysgyryd Fawr - 486m, 1 point
Association: Wales  Region: South Wales
Latitude: 51 51 29 N, Longitude: 2 58 22 W
Grid Reference: SO 331182, QTH Locator: IO81MU

Next summit of the day was Ysgyryd Fawr. What a difference a few miles makes. I was lucky to find a parking space as all the spaces were full and parked cars lined the road. Luckily, just as I arrived a car departed and I quickly took the vacant spot.

It had really warmed up now and it was a sweaty hike to the summit. There was a steady stream of people hiking in both directions. It really is a very popular spot this one!

It took 35 minutes to ascend the 1000' over 1.5miles to reach the top.

Hot and sweaty
At the summit it was much too busy to activate right next to the trig point so I dropped down a bit onto the eastern flank and set up shop.

Busy summit

Operating position

Boots off, I settled down and called CQ on 7Mhz.
After a manic few minutes it all dried up so I went searching for any S2Ss.
This netted GM0BPU/p on GM/SI-184.
QSYing to 20 metres pulled in 20 more contacts in as many minutes including a further S2S with HB9BHW/p on HB/SH-002.
A brief outing on 30 and 17 metres brought things to a close, as I finished off my lunch and packed up.

All this took place whilst battling off a swarm of flying ants. Luckily I had my mosquito head net with me to give some respite!



Packing up, I now joined the crowds to descend to the busy car park below and make my way the few miles to the start of GW/SW-020, Graig Syfyrddin.

SOTA - Bryn Arw - GW/SW-026

Bryn Arw - 384m, 1 point
Association: Wales  Region: South Wales
Latitude: 51 52 46 N, Longitude: 3 1 0 W
Grid Reference: SO 301206, QTH Locator: IO81LV

A good day forecast, so I planned  a run down to south Wales to tick off a few one pointers.
First up was Bryn Arw, a delightful little hill to the north of Abergavenny.

The hike

A nice walk up from the usual parking spot took 40 minutes for the 1.5 miles and 715' of ascent.
It was a warm sunny morning and getting hotter all the time. The track was well overgrown with high ferns meaning it was necessary to keep to one of the many animal tracks (plenty of sheep up here).

I set up on the non descript summit in a clearing between gorse bushes.

Conditions were typically "summer" meaning the bands were not in particularly good shape!
26 QSO's in all with S2S with HB9BCB/p on HB/BE-017, HB9AFI/p on HB/VS-109, YO/PB2T/p on YO/EC-001 and YO2BP/p on YO/MC-052.


By 1300L I  was back at my car and making my way to the second summit of the day, GW/SW-016.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

SOTA - Cleeve Hill - G/CE-001

Cleeve Hill - 330m, 1 point

Association: England Region: Central England
Latitude: 51 55 11 N, Longitude: 2 0 21 W
Grid Reference: SO 996245, QTH Locator: IO81XW

A quick run up the hill again today to try out 10 and 6 Metres.
Conditions on 6m had been good all morning, so I quickly grabbed the KX3 and made my way to the usual spot in the gorse bushes.

As luck would have it, the opening had more or less died by the time I got setup so was confined to some fruitless calling and chasing.
I did manage 2 QSOs on 6m with ES6DO and OH2G.
On 10 metres I managed 5 more contacts one a S2S with Roger, F5LKW on F/AM-613.
Reverting to the "low bands" brought in a second S2S with Victor, GI4ONL/p on GI/SM-015.