Wednesday, 24 February 2016

SOTA - Waun Fach - GW/SW-002

Waun Fach - 811m, 8 points
Association: Wales Region: South Wales
Latitude: 51 57 46 N, Longitude: 3 8 38 W
Grid Reference: SO 215300, QTH Locator: IO81KX

After the early morning mist lifted, I arrived at the starting point in glorious sunshine and a clear blue cloudless sky. A magnificent morning, but temperatures hovering just around the freezing level. The path was crunchy underfoot with ice, as I ascended to the Grwyne Fawr Reservoir to cross over the valley.

Grwyne Fawr reservoir
I always forget how energy sapping this ascent is. There is no path or track to the summit making it hard going! Luckily the ground was frozen solid and so the boggy bits at least were easier to negotiate. The summit plateau is itself just one huge bog and virtually impossible to traverse when the ground is not frozen, This was one of the main reasons I'd picked today to be up here :-)

At the summit
There is quite a bit of work going on to try and lay a path across the summit, and one solitary chap in a small digger was working away moving sand gravel. I pitched my tarp next to one of the many rolls of dried bracken which is being laid on top off the peat bog to help support the aggregate.

 Comfortably out of the freezing wind, I set about making some contacts.

The shack
Just like the weather, HF conditions were pretty good too! Nice to grab a few stateside contacts alongside three S2Ss with F6HBI/p on F/AM-432, DL/HB9AGO/p on DM/BW-157 and on 2 metres a quick chat with Allan, GW4VPX/p on the adjacent summit of GW/SW-015 just across the valley.
I even had a quick venture onto 60m using the antenna, as usual lieing on the ground. This netted just the one contact with G3VNC in Chester.
A longer than usual activation but it was such a beautiful day it would have been a shame to rush away.



To complete the day, I took a circular route back to the start via Pen y Gadair Fawr. This took in some of the newly laid pathway across the summit plateau. It certainly made for quite an easy walk in comparison to the usual bog trotting. I just wonder how long the path will last before nature takes it back!

The new pathway towards Pen y Gadair Fawr

At the summit of Pen y Gadair Fawr

View towards Sugar Loaf,  yesterday's summit

A fantastic day out. A strenuous 8 mile hike in beautiful weather  and good radio conditions to boot. They don't come much better than this.

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