Saturday, 1 December 2012

Brecon Beacons - Black Mountain SW-041 from Stone Circle Car Park

The summit of Black Mountain is 2306 feet high and it lies on the English / Welsh border above the Stone Circle car park which is at 1550 feet above sea level in the Brecon Beacons. 

Walk track from the car park to the summit
The summit is worth six point for Summits On The Air (SOTA) or nine points if the winter bonus is included. 

Geoff M6PYG and myself paid an early morning visit here on the last day of a long weekend staying near Malvern. We drove through Hay-on-Wye and then headed south on the mountain road to the Black Mountain car park.  

100s of sheep await some feed near the Black Mountain parking spot
A slant path with one switch back takes you up to trig point, which I understand to be a few metres below the activation zone of 25m distance from the summit top. It transpires that most SOTA operators set up on the ridge at SO 255356, which provides a good take off. We proceeded on to the highest point on the plateau at SO 256350 and made four contacts to qualify the summit.  We then walked back to the ridge mentioned above and made four more contacts, before we proceeded back to the trig point for a photograph.  

The writer on the sunken trig point close to the summit level of Black Mountain
The wind was strong on the day but the weather was fine, however on reaching the top of the switchback we noticed suddenly how strong the gusts of wind were, almost blowing us off our feet. The wind abated as we proceeded just below the ridge. We had experienced this phenomenon before on ridges in the Lake District. This is caused by wind hitting the face of the mountain causing turbulence and increasing the strength of the wind over the ridge. It pays to be extra cautious in windy conditions in this situation. 

These contacts brought my long weekend in Malvern with Geoff M6PYG to a close. We had many radio contacts from the summits and in particular we contacted the station of Richard G4ERP in Kidderminster on all eight summits. We cannot count the ninth summit of Mynydd Llangorse in our totals for SOTA as no stations were worked from there. 

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