Thursday, 31 December 2015

Day Two - South Wales December 2015

We left our guest house, the Flag & Castle in Brecon after breakfast at 8.30am and drove west along the A40, turning south to join the A4067 to park in the layby at grid reference SN 871196. This was the nearest place to GW/SW-006. Day one of this short tour had been easy on the walking and hard on the driving (185 miles), so today we did the opposite staying more local to Brecon with a view to climbing two more substantial summits and one easy one, which would be tackled at dusk.
GW/SW-006 Fan Gyhirych

The initial climb from the layby was steep and then the moorland walking became easier. Due to the weather conditions we couldn't see much.... There was no path to speak of only sheep tracks until we came across a path on the final stretch leading to the eroded area around the trig point. 50 minutes up (slow going in mist and rain) and 30 minutes down.
Contacts made from SW-006 using FT-1500M on 145 MHz FM with  40 watts output to a dipole 4m AGL
The start point for SW-003 was only around 4 miles away so after our "elevenses" we made our way there. 

GW/SW-003 Fan Brycheniog

Despite the intermittent rain and mist our walk up Fan Brycheniog was a lot more interesting than Fan Gyhirych was. We parked up next to the River Tawe at SN 853203. Our first obstacle was to cross the river which Geoff 2E0NON managed to do in style both ways. Here he is on our way back across after completing the activation:

From the river the path can be clearly seen heading up past several waterfalls until the Llyn y Fan Fawr lake is reached (45 mins). Here we join the Beacons Way long distance path which is stepped in places and well maintained. 

Summit shelter on GW/SW-003
It took another 25 minutes to reach the shelter from the lake and in the shelter we were joined by four army guys in civilian walking clothes undertaking some sort of training exercise.  To be honest they had picked a vile weather day for it. We wouldn't have chosen it ourselves but having paid for our accommodation and fuel to get to this remote part of Wales we had no choice but to go for it or the money would have been wasted.... We stayed 30 minutes and were pleased with the 12 contacts on 2m FM which included a summit to summit with Mal GW6OVD on GW/MW-011 Foel Cwmcerwyn:
On our way down - car can just be seen. GW/SW-006 visited earlier is still under cloud cover
GW/SW-022 Trichrug

Looking for unique summits we hadn't visited before Trichrug was the only obvious remaining summit in the area. The road got progressively rougher as we approached a known parking area so we parked Geoff's car at SN 693221 in a gateway and walked the rest of the way. 

Darkness seemed to fall very quickly - there was a couple of easy fences to climb and we set up the station on the 415m high summit in twilight behind a wall for shelter from the wind:

We got the necessary contacts and set off back to our Brecon B&B... 

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