Friday, 8 April 2016

Two days activating in Wales - April 2016 - Carn Gafallt GW/MW-040

After leaving Cefn Cenarth nature reserve car park near MW-039 we drove back through Rhayader. In a half hour we were in the Elan Valley driving on an unfenced road to the parking place for Carn Gafallt GW/MW-040.  This was on a bend by a barn at Pen y Castell, where a track heads uphill following the edge of a wood on the left side. 
My GPX track for Carn Gafallt can be downloaded from the SOTA Mapping Project

Once you leave the track the more eastward wider sweeping track on the map is the better one to follow as the heather is short and less dense on there. There is one trouser ripping barbed wire fence to climb out of the wood, or if you prefer, go further east on the track and avoid climbing it as we did on our way up.  Fortunate for me as I walked ahead of Geoff 2E0NON I got a good view of a Marsh Harrier for the first time in my life. The rare species bird was on the ground and took up to flight around 30m from me as I approached it. After qualifying the summit on 2m FM using 50 watts power I set up on 40m CW, however that only produced five contacts before we packed up and left.  The picture below taken by Geoff on Carn Gafallt shows what you need for a successful SOTA Tour in Mid-Wales. Belt and Braces... Here we deployed a Yaesu FT-817 transceiver with 5 watts output on HF to a link dipole, and a Yaesu FT-1500M transceiver with 50 watts output to a vertical dipole on 2m FM. Both aerials are mounted on a 5m travel pole: 

The walk to the summit due to the very deep heather, was awkward to put it mildly - we will not be returning here again.  It was almost 3.00pm when we returned to the car, so there was sufficient time left to drive the six miles to the parking place for the climb to our fourth summit of the day. This was Gwastedyn Hill GW/MW-019. 

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