Thursday, 31 December 2015

Day Three - South Wales December 2015

The weather on our final day in Brecon was atrocious. Not to be beaten by it though we checked out of the Flag & Castle Guest House in Brecon and made our way to the parking place (SO 056176) for GW/SW-004 Waun Rydd, the last of the bigger summits we needed to climb in South Wales. If this one could be conquered it would leave us with just three easier summits to visit and activate to complete our activations of all 41 South Walian hills. 

GW/SW-004 Waun Rydd

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We followed the road on the west side of Talybont reservoir up to a free car park at Blaen y glyn - grid reference SO 056176. From here we walked up the Beacons Way leaving the main path for 400m to reach the summit - a small pile of stones. The path was excellent and easy to follow - distance walked 2.6 miles in 84 minutes with an ascent of 1350 feet from the car park. The views would have been excellent from the ridge but with rain and mist we could see nothing. The umbrella I was carrying came in useful on the summit and we were able to keep the radio dry during the activation. 
Geoff 2E0NON crossing a river on the Beacons Way around half distance from the summit

We were putting out good signals from the summit, with 13 contacts made in 15 minutes before dismantling the station. My North Ridge Go Outdoors boots failed me for the first time in a year - I think the rain ran down my overtrousers and into them resulting in wet feet. The main damage though was to my recently purchased Memory Map Platinum TX4 GPS / Android Phone. I had the unit in the inside pocket of my Berghaus Mera Peak jacket not worrying about it as the unit is supposedly engineered to IP68 and Military 810H standard. When I turned on the GPS screen at the summit to see if it had tracked our progress it flashed up and then died. Later on that day in a warm environment of a cafe in Talybont this is how it looked:
To their credit Memory Map refunded the £464 the unit cost in full...  I won't be buying another! 

When we reached the car we decided that this was no longer a three summit day in such terrible weather so we made for the cafe in Talybont for some tea and cake:
We decided to save Mynydd Llangorse GW/SW-015 for another day.  Instead we took a look at it from the summit of GW/SW-023 Allt yr Esgair:
Mynydd Llangorse behind Geoff who is on SW-023 Allt yr Esgair
GW/SW-023 Allt yr Esgair
We parked at the Village Hall SO122257. It was less than a mile to the summit from there and the rain had now stopped. 
This was a nice place with stone seating set into the wall and good views all round. We weren't so sure how we would do on VHF but we made 7 contacts each in a short time before packing up. 
Flooding in the Usk Valley below the summit
Three days, ten SOTA summits activated and 67 contacts. We were happy with that considering the weather....

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