The weather looked good, and I had a free day, so the encouraging dawn at 8:00am saw me heading north up the A5 from Shrewsbury towards Llangollen. Turning right for the Horseshoe Pass, I lashed myself to the mast, and focussed my resolve. This allowed me to resist the Sirens at the Ponderosa Cafe with their seductive fried breakfast, and carry on to the car park between Moel Famau GW/NW-044 and Foel Fenlli GW/NW-051. The ticket machine demands a pound, which I didn’t have exactly. It will take a two pound coin, but doesn’t do change. I gritted my teeth and paid up. Walking back to the car past the notice warning of thieves in the area, and the small pile of un-toughened glass on the ground, I reflected on the irony of having my car done over having paid twice the going rate for the priviledge of parking there. Haha, I thought, or words to that effect. Happily, no such fate awaited me.
At around 10:00am I arrived at the summit of Moel Famau, where, as I fully expected, the wind was stronger, chillier and more gusty than I thought it would be! Even in the lea of the massive Victorian monument, there was turbulence flicking the logbook pages and snatching away anything that I put down. I donned my windproof jacket with all the grace of a galleon taken aback, and powered up the FT817 with it’s rubber duck antenna in place. Six contacts on 2m FM, and I was heading back down. My apologies to those I missed, but my frequency became un-useable, and I rounded off with an S2S with Dave, GW4NZN/P who was, of all places, on the adjacent summit!
A walk over to Foel Fenlli, and this time I put up the wire J pole antenna on 5m fishing pole. Less wind, and steadier too. A nifty nine contacts in eight minutes - thanks all - and I was on my way.
I arrived back at the Ponderosa at 1:00pm. Perfect timing for a welcome steak and kidney pie dinner, and a mug of tea. Onwards and upwards, with my constitution only complaining mildly at the multi-tasking demands of digestion and locomotion.
I put out a call from the summit of Moel y Gamelyn at 2:00pm, and straight back came Karen 2E0XYL for the second contact of the day. Thanks for the spot, eleven contacts followed in as many minutes, accompanied by exactly the same period of light rain. Maybe that cloud computer we keep hearing about reads the spots too :o)
By the time I had packed up, it was around 2:30pm, which meant that a daylight completion of the four summits was comfortably on the cards.
After an uneventful walk across to the summit of Cyrn y Brain, I was back on the air at 15:25pm. Six contacts followed in five minutes, and that was it, despite several more CQs. Mission accomplished, all bar the walk down.
On the way back down Cyrn y Brain, I noticed a large number of what looked like mole hills, but larger than any I have seen locally. Anyone know the culprits? If they are moles, I wouldn’t fancy facing off one of these critters over an earth worm, in a survival situation! Meerkats perhaps? Having left the insurance industry and retired to the country?
I was back at the car by 4:00pm, just as the sun was slipping down behind the hills.
Ninety two miles driven, and a great day out.
Thanks again to everyone who called me, and see you further down the log :o)