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A Welsh Doublet - GW/NW-044 & NW-051 Activatio


A Welsh Doublet - GW/NW-044 & GW-NW-051 - 13 November 2011 - GW4OOE/P

The xyl and I were visiting family in Chester so I took the opportunity to activate Moel Famau and Foel Fenlli in the Clwydian Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. After about a 30 miles journey, I arrived at a suitable parking spot (SJ 264607) at 0813. The weather was somewhat disappointing as it was very damp and misty. I followed the well defined footpath to the Jubilee Tower arriving at 0915. After briefly exploring the tower (built in 1810 to celebrate 50 years reign of King George III) and finding the trig point, I set up by a fence utilising the posts to support my mast and walking poles. At 0952 I was active on 7030-cw working many G stations on the short skip and a few Europeans. I was getting a bit concerned about the dampness and once the pile up had finished I quickly packed away the FT-857 and switched to working 145-fm with my 2m handheld. Weather conditions had deteriorated and I left the summit at 1105 arriving back at the car at 1145. After changing my battery and brief refreshment I headed off to Foel Fenlli, the footpath sign said 1/4 of a mile but I know I walked much further than that along quite a steep path, part way along Offa’s Dyke Footpath and then ascending a steep stone stair case to the summit arriving at 1230. The weather here was very different, the visibility was much better but the wind was horrendous and there was only a small pile of stones at the summit. It took me quite a while to get my fibre glass pole guyed and I was on 7032-cw at 1308. This time most of my contacts were European with only six but very strong UK stations. After a while I again switched to 145-fm and I closed down at 1350. The walk back to the car was very pleasant, I could at last see some of the great views across to Foel Famau where I had been in the morning. I arrived back at the car at 1444. I really enjoyed activating these two summits. The car park is situated in between summits, so very handy for a between activation refreshment break and battery change at the car. A good 4 points or even better 10 points if you can do them in the Winter! I would like to thank G4SSH and anyone else that spotted me and thanks of course to all that worked me. It was a great thrill to get such a positive response to my CQ SOTA call!


FT-857D - 20 watts - 40m dipole supported by fibre glass pole and two walking poles.
2 x 7Ah sealed lead acid batteries (1 on each summit)

TH-79E - 5 watts - 2m SOTA dipole

Activity - GW/NW-044
7030-cw - DL, F, G, HA, OK, ON, S5 - 22
145-fm - G - 8
Total - 30

Activity - GW/NW-051
7032-cw - DL, EA, F, G, GM, HA, HB9, I, OE, ON - 21
145-fm - G, GW - 9
Total - 30

Nick G4OOE


In reply to G4OOE:
I agree, a nice pair of summits to activate as a double. I hope to get there during the winter bonus period as they are not too far from my home QTH (SY4).
Please would you let me know the price of the car park now, as it is a couple of years now since I’ve been there.

Many thanks, Dave, G6DTN


In reply to M0DFA:

The first car park in the forest was closed but the sign said L1 per day and the second one by the cattle grid had tape around the parking machines as there was construction work, I wasn’t sure whether or not it was open, so along with others I parked in a lay by a few hundred yards down the road towards Mold. I think that I was just early because the cattle grid car park was pretty full when I walked back so I reckon that it must be free just now!

I am hoping to go back again in the New Year.

Nick G4OOE


In reply to M0DFA:

It was £1 last October. The 1st time in 5 visits the machine has been working so I didn’t mind paying as it works out at 20p/visit.



In reply to G4OOE:
Hi Nick,
Thanks for the information on these two as I have done no walking in this area. These both look to have steep approaches on the map so they wouldn’t be push-overs so well done on the two in the shortening days. Noticed you used a different VHF radio. This short skip on 40m is lasting and lasting along with good condx on the higher bands. 80m may take a bit of work to activate from now on. See U on .4,
73, John.


In reply to G4YSS:
Thanks John, I used the TH-79E that I bought in 1995 and I alternate with the VX-7R - you know me belt and braces - hi hi!


In reply to G4YSS:

These both look to have steep approaches on the map so they wouldn’t be >push-overs

No, no, no! Moel Famau is a 40min stroll and Foel Fenlli can be done in under 20min if you are determined. 50mins and 25mins if you take it easy.

80m may take a bit of work to activate from now on

I think you’re right there John. I’ve removed the 80m antenna from the bag. 60m is down and I may just do 40m SSB next time. The compensation is the fun on the higher bands you can have.



In reply to MM0FMF:
Thanks for the info, Andy.
£1 for the best part of a day, 2 summits with the potential of 10 points I can accept.

Compare that with £4 for the main parking areas for Cadair Idris which seems a bit steep, even if they have PCs. That is why I will be investigating an approach from what looks like a free parking area at SH753136 on a path that appears to ascend the ridge from about SH537139. Not shown on the 1:25k map, but I have seen people on it when I’ve driven past, and it is mentioned, in somewhat derisive terms in Peter Hermon’s ‘Hillwalking in Wales’.

73s, Dave, G6DTN