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Minor Epic on a Minor Summit!


#1

Yesterday I activated GW/NW-047, Mwdwl-eithin, in lovely warm sunshine with a grand panorama of Snowdonian summits projecting above a broken cloud layer, a view so mesmerising that I had to position myself in the summit shelter so that I couldn’t stare at it! Mwdwl-eithin is a slightly larger summit in a sea of brown heather-clad hills much more like the Pennines than Snowdonia, it is only a few hundred feet higher than the quarry on the A543 that is the starting point. Getting to it is a 40 minute tramp avoiding as many fences as possible and dodging bogs, there is no path. So, the activation - lightweight, 2 metre FM only, and the band was pretty quiet so I felt lucky to get ten contacts.

As the last few callers went into the log the summit was suddenly covered in cloud, I thought it was nothing to worry about, just a passing drift of cumulus, so I had a cup of tea and a Penguin, packed up and started down. The cloud was deeper and more extensive than I had initially thought, it showed no sign of clearing - on the contrary, it was thickening and the glow in the direction of the sun was fading. No panic, I got out my trusty Silva compass, and started to try and follow a bearing. Naturally, that bearing kept trying to guide me into bogland, and into fences - which for some strange reason were electrified. Navigation became a running nightmare of keeping reckoning of diversions and trying to maintain an average course back to the car. All in all, I was glad to get back to the road with visibility less than 50 metres. The trouble now was, which way to go to find the car? Pauline won’t carry a mobile phone so I couldn’t ask her to cruise about until she spotted me, so it came down to pick a direction and hope - I tossed a coin! I trudged for a quarter of an hour until the road started to go downhill, which was wrong as the quarry is by the highest point of the road, so I trudged back and then trudged on the other way, and after twenty minutes the car came into sight. Panic over - my wife’s, that is!

The fog lasted almost until we reached Llangollen, odd how it descended so suddenly and completely over such a wide area, but that’s the mountains for you!

73

Brian G8ADD


#2

In reply to G8ADD:

Brian

The normal technique in such circumstances is to bear off the required bearing to one side or the other so that when you reach the linear feature you are aiming for (the road in this case), you know which way to turn.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#3

In reply to G8ADD:
Hi Brian,sorry for jumping onto your frequency yesterday,I had just arrived on Fair snape fell,just setup,broke bottom section of MFD,made cardinal sin of not checking if all was clear.
Again my apologies
Bob G6ODU
73`s SAFE DESCENTS


#4

In reply to G3CWI:

In reply to G8ADD:

Brian

The normal technique in such circumstances is to bear off the required
bearing to one side or the other so that when you reach the linear
feature you are aiming for (the road in this case), you know which way
to turn.

73

Richard
G3CWI

This is true, Richard, and I attempted to do so but there were a good many changes of course forced on me, not least by an active electric fence! It looks as if a great deal of money has been spent on the area in recent years with miles of shiny new fences replacing old rusty wobbly efforts, yet the only livestock I have seen was the remains of a sheep, otherwise just skylarks, crows and a couple of red kites. A fine place if you have a taste for solitude.

73

Brian G8ADD

PS No problem, Bob, I called you a couple of times to give you an S2S but couldn’t get through the pile-up you generated!


#5

In reply to G8ADD:

A
fine place if you have a taste for solitude.

One of my favourites!

73

Richard
G3CWI

PS I did suspect that you knew how to navigate despite your problems!


#6

In reply to G3CWI:

I like it, too!

The one mistake that I will cheerfully own up to is that in lovely warm sunny weather after a dry spell I elected to do it in walking shoes. Boots and gaiters would have been more sensible. Like most of us I have twenty twenty hindsight!

73

Brian G8ADD


#7

A fine place if you have a taste for solitude.

More like a fine place if you like the taste of midges! Unless there’s a stiff breeze you hardly get solitude up there.

NW-047 without boots - yuck! Shocking piece of judgement from an experienced hillsman such as yourself Brian!

Richard - time for some outings into NW in the Spring don’t you think? Sadly no uniques left for you, but plenty for me and Jim. But would be nice to do some 3 x MG outings!

Tom M1EYP