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#1

I did my first ever SOTA activations back on the 2nd October 2005 which were Tal y Fan GW/NW-040 and Great Orme GW/NW-070 and when doing my SOTA activation on Great Orme GW/NW-070 my grandad Roger drove up there on his motorbike to see me do my SOTA activation, but sadly passed away later that month.

This means my first ever SOTA activations were in the GW/NW region and to date both myself and my dad Tom M1EYP haven’t completed this region even though we’ve activated the entire G, GI, GD, GJ and GU associations as well as the GW/SW region and also SOTA activations in GM/SS, GM/CS, GM/ES, GM/WS, GM/NS, EI/IE, EI/IN, EA8/TF and EA8/LA. However hopefully this should all change in 2 weeks time when we away in 2 weeks in Snowdonia from Sunday 2nd June and Friday 7th June. We will be staying at Ty Seram B&B in Dolgellau and planing to activate the 4 remaining GW/NW SOTA summits along with some GW/MW uniques and also activating GW/NW-034 for the first time under it’s new name Foel Cedig and its new summit position. I have posted alerts on SOTAwatch, but here are the activations plans below.

Sunday 2nd June - Carnedd Wen GW/MW-012 and Esgair Ddu GW/MW-020

Monday 3rd June - Glasgwm GW/NW-015 and Aran Fawddwy GW/NW-007

Tuesday 4th June - Bryn Amlwg GW/MW-015, Garreg-hir GW/MW-017 and Bryn y Fan GW/MW-018

Wednesday 5th June - Y Llethr GW/NW-017

Thursday 6th June - Y Garn (final GW/NW unique) GW/NW-037

Friday 7th June - Foel Cedig (previously Cyrniau Nod) GW/NW-034

I am planning to these these SOTA activations on 2m FM and my dad Tom M1EYP will do these activations on 20m CW with the exception of the activations of lasgwm GW/NW-015, Aran Fawddwy GW/NW-007 and Y Llethr GW/NW-017 where we will be planning to activate these on 2m FM with just hand held and rubber duck and the only back up being an MFD mounted on a walking pole, so please listen out for the calling from these summits especially the ones we are planning to activate on just hand held and rubber duck and call us if you hear us.

Also anyone’s welcome to join us for either a joint SOTA activation, meal or drink.

Jimmy M0HGY


#2

HI Jimmy

I should be active in Mid Wales on Weds 5th June unless the weather is atrocious. We should link up somewhere along the line. I plan to activate GW/MW-004 Pen y Garn and GW/MW-038 Disgwylfa Fawr. I’ll be monitoring S20 squelched when driving and walking.

73 Phil G4OBK


#3

Hi Phil,

Thank you for letting me know this, hopefully work you summit to summit from Y Llethr GW/NW-017 on 2m FM on this day unless weather is bad that day. We will be in Dolgellau that evening, so maybe meet up for a meal or drink that evening if you are in that area then.

Jimmy M0HGY


#4

Sunday 2nd June 2019 - Carnedd Wen GW/MW-012

We dispensed with the typical 5am “early start” from Macc for a SOTA trip. Given my Lincoln gig the previous night, we agreed on a 7am get-up.

Jimmy spotted a transport cafe called The Lazy Kettle near Oswestry, so we pulled in there for a late breakfast. I had the pancakes with maple syrup, bacon and scrambled eggs, and it was magnificent! A huge platter on a 14” plate including two proper pan-sized, made-to-order pancakes! Recommended.

Conversation along the A458 naturally involved Upper Park GW/MW-032 and Y Golfa GW/NW-061. We parked in a wide gateway / track entrance further down the A458. The track first dropped to an apparently sometimes problematic ford. We negotiated it by walking carefully through it on our heels, aided by our trekking poles.

We now faced a long uphill, but very graded track into the forested area, then another long walk along the road tracks through the forest. Finally we had to get across a treacherous section of thick spongy grass, concealing many deep ditches, to the trig point.

Jimmy made just one QSO on 2m FM, to M1MLM/P who was activating The Roaches for HEMA. Jimmy explained that he is banned and blocked from HEMA for reasons that have yet to be communicated to him.

I qualified quickly on 20m CW, then switched over to SSB, anticipating that Jimmy would need to use a little HF. We both worked a couple of S2S on 20m SSB, then Jimmy took over and worked a string of stations.

The return walk whizzed by, mainly because I was nattering with my mum on the phone for most of it. At the car, we got the flask out of my rucksack and had a late lunch of Wild Mushroom and Tarragon soup.

We decided to sack off the second alert of the day and have a relaxed check in at the B&B instead. Realistically, there wasn’t enough time left for the summit originally planned.

Not many places were serving food on a Sunday evening in Dolgellau, but we settled on the Royal Ship Inn and were more than satisfied with the food and beer. My Sunday roast beef dinner was top class.

We’ll now grab another beer or two and shoot some pool before getting a good night’s sleep ahead of tomorrow’s significant expedition.


#5

Monday 3rd June 2019 - Glasgwm GW/NW-015 & Aran Fawddwy GW/NW-007

Amazing day. Outstanding route. Spectacular views.

We went light for this long walk, minimising the weight of our packs by carrying only VHF handhelds for our radio needs. I think this proved to be a very sensible idea.

We zigzagged up a steep track to attain the ridge to Glasgwm. This was a gorgeous summit, with a very lofty tarn (can) right beside the highest point. I presume this is how the summit gets its name?

We each made enough contacts before setting off for Aran Fawddwy GW/NW-007.

From Glasgwm GW/NW-015, it looked a long and arduous walk, but in fact it was good going and most enjoyable. On Aran Fawddry we again qualified with our handhelds, and both made S2S with John G4YSS operating GX0OOO/P on Stony Cove Pike G/LD-018.

The descent route completed a circular walk - and was spectacular. After a briefly narrow ridge, the views opened out over a remarkable glacial valley and Jimmy was very busy taking photographs.

Great walk. Now about to go for dinner in a local pub - great!

And don’t forget Late Night Liam on Canalside Radio 102.8 FM tonight, from around 2215 BST. We’ll be listening using the online stream - https://canalsideradio.net/player/index.htm


#6

Great show on the wireless (literally) last night from Liam. Great breakfast this morning at the lovely Ty Seren B&B this morning. Landlord Nick was showing us his Aran Fawddry photos from when he went up with his dog in the snow.

Not so great weather forecast for today, but the forecast has certainly improved from the dismal outlook it was yesterday. As such, we will shortly head south into GW/MW as planned.

It is unlikely we will get all three alerted summits done, as shower-dodging will still be a key focus. If we get one activation/new unique done, it will be a win. Two would be a bonus.

However it turns out, I’m really enjoying some R&R time after working intensively with hardly a day off in the last month!


#7

I’ve often thought Glasgwm must be one of the few - or perhaps only - summits that could be activated from a boat… A new challenge, maybe? :smile:


#8

Well done gents.

Back in Cal our regions have so many peaks it’s hard to imagine a completion. Maybe Dan NA6MG will pull one off.

However, I now have my sights set on a very modest and achievable completion of Scottish Borders!!


#9

No Tuesday fun night? What’s wrong with you? :laughing:


#10

Just in case you hadn’t spotted this page…

Go here http://www.sotadata.org.uk/MyActivatorRegions.aspx and you should get asked to log in. It will show you how far your activating has to go to complete the various regions.

For chasing there is this page: http://www.sotadata.org.uk/MyChaserRegions.aspx


#11

Hi Pom,

We are in holiday at the moment and there are no suitable SOTA summits here to do the 2m contest and we’d rather be at the pub in the evening rather than a SOTA summit anyway.

Jimmy M0HGY


#12

Tuesday 4th June 2019 - Bryn Amlwg GW/MW-015

In fact the Tuesday fun evening did come into play. But more of that later.

We had breakfast relatively late at 0815 BST, then headed south. We parked up close to the Carno Wind Farm and waited for the rain to stop. And waited. And waited.

To be fair this was exactly as forecast, but I hoped for a break in the rain that would allow us to pounce and conduct a rapid activation of this straightforward summit.

I bided my time while compiling a bandscan of the long wave and medium wave bands on my car radio. 49 logs were recorded, with 549 Spirit Radio - Ireland, 1170 Swansea Sound, 648 Radio Caroline, 1296 Radio XL - Birmingham, 1368 Manx Radio, 801 BBC Radio Devon and 1026 Downtown Radio - Belfast amongst the most interesting.

Lunch was taken in the car - Baxter’s Lobster Bisque - still my all-time favourite.

As the afternoon wore on, there was no let up in the rain, so we gave up and went to look for a pub. The Aleppo Merchant Inn was excellent, with a very good pool table and delicious Monty IPA. It was noted for future reference that they did reasonably priced bar snacks and rooms.

By 6pm it had stopped raining, so we returned up the hill, parked again and this time set off walking to the summit. It was an easy walk along wind farm roads with only about 100m of ascent, but a bit of horizontal distance requiring around 35 minutes each way.

Shortly after setting up, the midges came down. Shortly after that, the rain came down. Both of us operated in our both bags. I limped to four QSOs on 20m CW. Jimmy got to three on 2m FM, but it was now after 7pm, so the Tuesday night FMAC was underway. So a couple of contesters were worked for a srtress-free qualification.

By the time we’d descended, it was 8.30pm BST, so unlikely we’d be back in Dolgellau in time for food. Instead, we returned to the Aleppo and availed ourselves of the bar snacks menu. The chilli, chips and onion rings was a simple but enjoyable supper.


#13

Thanks for the surprise contact in the FMAC Jimmy @M0HGY. The day’s rain had saved itself for the contest - not for the first time.

73 Helen


#14

Thanks Helen, was great to work you also. Was caught out in the rain whike activating which wasn’t very pleasant, but most of the ascent and descent was dry.

Jimmy M0HGY


#15

Hey, look, I’ve completed 9V/SG! :smiley:


#16

I activated my first GW SOTA over 16 years ago in 2003 - Cyrn-y-Brain GW/NW-043. Jimmy, as he explains above, kicked his own record off with Tal y Fan GW/NW-040 in 2005.

Tomorrow we should activate our 77th and final GW/NW SOTA summit. Today we ticked off #76

Wednesday 5th June 2019 - Y Llethr GW/NW-017

It was another late start. After another excellent Ty Seren Welsh breakfast, we headed out for the parking spot, miles down narrow country lanes in Cwm Nantcol. It’s exactly the same parking spot as for Moelfre GW/NW-041, and the reason these two are often done together. We’d intended this last year, but ran short of time and energy! They are both substantial climbs from the saddle.

So we sat in the car, again, waiting for the rain to stop. Again, the rain took its time. When it did stop, we decided to go for it. By the time we reached the gate at the first wall, it was raining heavily. We agreed to return to the car and be more patient.

The parking spot had a bit of take off in a westerly direction, To kill some time, I decided to do an FM car radio bandscan to complement the MW one I’d done the previous day!

78 logs were made, the most interesting including the Irish stations Spirit Radio, Dublin Classic Hits, South East Radio (Wexford), East Coast FM, 98FM (Dublin), Radio Nova, Beat Radio, Q102 (Dublin), Spin South West, Dublin City FM, SPIN1038, FM104, Newstalk, Raidio Na Life and Sunshine 106.8.

We took lunch in the car again - Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Seafood Chowder.

After 15 dry minutes, we decided to try again. Skies were clearing to the west and all the available weather forecasts suggested we would now be fairly clear of rain.

Well we didn’t escape it completely, but only suffered three very short (seconds) spells of very light rain. After a bit of a slog to the saddle (which we actually made in very good time), we then turned left and aimed for the wall corner. We then walked along a quad bike trail in the grass, parallel to the gently ascending wall.

This was actually a surprisingly pleasant walk which we enjoyed. Eventually, we reached a wooden ladder stole over the wall, leaving just the final 50m of height to gain. This was the only steep part of the route, and we accomplished it powered by biscuits raided from our B&B bedrooms.

Going light certainly assisted our pace and energy levels. It wasn’t immediate that we gathered our four contacts to qualify, but certainly within around 20 minutes, so not at all bad.

It was a surprise and a pleasure to hear from Barry 2W0PXW/P on Shell Island. Barry used to be a regular voice in SOTA, but it had been years since our last QSO. The mainstay of this trip so far has been Allan GW4VPX who has worked one or both of us on all but one activation so far.

The forecast had predicted heavy rain to coincide with our descent, but it couldn’t have been more wrong. We were treated to stunning views as we headed back down to the col. Moelfre GW/NW-041 stood tall and imposing before us, with the Irish Sea, and the SOTA summit-adorned Lleyn Peninsular in the background.

So, just one GW/NW summit remains to be activated by EYP and HGY. We’ll look forward to that over a nice dinner and a few beers in Dolgellau tonight!


#17

After 16 years and 3 months for my dad Tom M1EYP and 13 years and 8 months for myself, we have finally activated and qualified all the GW/NW SOTA summits. Currently on our final SOTA summit Y Garn GW/NW-037 drinking Snowdonia Ale.

Jimmy M0HGY


#18

Congratulations!
73,
Rod


#19

Congrats Jimmy and Tom. Glad you chose a Welsh brew to celebrate :grin:

Allan


#20

Congratulations both of you and pleased to work you on the final summit of your achievement.
73 Don G0RQL.