Monday, 29 February 2016

SOTA - Pen y Fan - GW/SW-001

Pen y Fan - 886m, 8 points

Association: Wales  Region: South Wales
Latitude: 51 53 2 N, Longitude: 3 26 12 W
Grid Reference: SO 012216, QTH Locator: IO81GV

A very cold start to the day and the summit was hidden in clouds as I ascended from the Storey Inn carpark. That didn't stop any of the hundreds of people here heading upwards into the clouds either!

This is probably the busiest summit in south Wales, and today was no exception. As I was departing the carpark, two 16 seat minibuses parked up, and the 32 people on board set off up the trail behind me. There were similar parties up ahead in the distance.

Arriving at the summit there was nothing to see other than cloud!

At the summit
 Without further ado, I set up the tarp and got ready to operate.
The ground was frozen solid and temperatures were well below zero.

The view once the clouds lifted.
The shack
 I was so busy operating that I didn't notice that the clouds had lifted and the surrounding countryside was now visible! With 41 QSOs in the log it was time to move on. The only disappointment was that I'd not made any S2S contacts. Network reception was extremely variable and only occasionally had I been able to receive any recent spots.

With my backpack on I looked out at the view for one last time before the descent.

View towards Cribyn
It was then that my phone beeped with a new spot from SOTAwatch. Glyn, GW4CFS/p had just been spotted on Tor y Foel, GW/SW-013, only a few miles to the east of me. Although the spot was on 7Mhz SSB, I knew that he also had 2 metres available. I grabbed my 2 metre handheld and put out a call on 145.500. A few seconds later Gly came back giving me a welcome S2S and some extra points. No sooner had I signed off  when Adrian, GW4AZS/p also called me. He was a huge signal and was astounded o hear he was on GW/NW-049 a good 70 miles to the north. It sounded like he was standing next to me. A super signal from his FT-817 at 5W to a Jpole antenna.

View towards Pen y Fan from Corn Du


With the S2Ss in the log I beat a hasty retreat to get back down and start the ascent of Fan Fawr. The wx forecast was for deterirating conditions later with rain and strong winds moving in during the afternoon. I rather hoped to be off the tops before then.

On the descent

Descending to the car, Fan Fawr loomed ahead in the distance.

Fan Fawr ahead

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