I was in Bristol again in early December and arranged to spend 3 days activating SOTA in Wales with my friend Geoff 2E0NON who lives in Malvern. For the third time this year I spent £6.50 crossing the Severn Bridge for a SOTA Tour of Wales, meeting up with Geoff at the Flag & Castle B&B in Brecon at 7.45am on 8th December.
It was midweek and heavy showers were forecast all day. As usual Geoff was the driver and we made our way north to the Eppynt Army Ranges for our first activation of five summits I had earmarked for that day. This was to be a day with much driving and a little easy walking.
GW/SW-018 Mynydd Eppynt
The well used B4519 road runs across the army ranges and we parked at the viewpoint, grid reference SN964466. I'd last been here in 1982 when I was taking part in a car rally and recalled cooking bacon on a primus stove on a cold and frosty morning at the viewpoint before the event started. After the 30 minute drive from Brecon we walked for a short distance down an asphalt track to the OP9 observation post marked on the OS map and set up inside the open doorway. We scraped by on 2m FM qualifying the activation with just 5 contacts - enough to tick this one off, enabling us to shut down and make our way to the next summit. 40 watts was used with an home made omni directional vertical dipole at 4m AGL. Not one I will revisit again I'm sure, but as a SOTA Completer and activator of "uniques" these days even the most of mundane summits need to be visited....
GM/MW-021 Crugiau Merched (English = Two Sisters)
We walked from Allt Goch, parking in a wide section on the C Class Road. We walked past the chapel and met the friendly lady at the cottage with such a beautiful garden there. She directed us to the gate to left of her cottage which takes around the back and then on to a well defined quad track winding steeply up the hill on to the moorland. The chapel and cottage are seen here from above on the quad track:
This was a very pleasant and enjoyable walk to the two piles of stones on the summit (The two sisters). There had been a heavy shower before we started out and we were able to complete a dry activation with the minimum 4 stations logged to qualify the summit before departing.
|The writer at the trig point of Crugiau Merched|
From MW-021 Geoff drove us south west to a parking place north of Llandeilo for our next summit.
GW/MW-034 Mynydd Cynros
We walked up the shortest (but steepest) access route from the farm Cilyllynfawr, where we parked beside a large barn (pictured). A public right of way leads from SN 624335. Unfortunately one of the field boundaries had been fenced across, so we had to climb a barned wire fence. Other fence crossing points were either stiled or gated. This obstruction was reported to Carmarthen County Council. A 30 minute climb took us into access land and directly to the trig point which had no centre in it. It was raining hard when we arrived so rather than operate at the trig we got behind an earth bank and used a golf umbrella to keep the rain off the transceiver and battery, and to some extent ourselves. This was another 4 contacts only activation - we didn't stay longer than necessary as this was only the third summit of five we had planned to visit in the day.
|Open trig point mount on MW-034 Mynydd Cynros|