A hot but fabulous day of SOTA on GW/SW-002 & 004

A commitment free weekend gave me the chance to take advantage of the current spell of hot and sunny weather and travel to Wales for some SOTA action.

My first of an intended two days of activating, saw me tackling Waun Fach, GW/SW-002 and Waun Rydd, GW/SW-004. As expected, the heat was exceptional for early September. Both summits require long walks to get to the top, no matter which route is taken, and with the heat I found it tough going at times. Put it this way, I definitely lost a few pounds! I almost gave up on the way GW/SW-004, but thankfully found a second wind from somewhere!

The slogs were worth it though, because on both summits I was rewarded with superb views and reasonably cool conditions. The radio side of things went well too, with 22 QSOs (including 5 S2S) on GW/SW-002 and 20 QSOs (with a nice DX contact with VE1WT) on GW/SW-004. Thanks chasers for being there to work me after some very hot walking conditions.

After a very good night’s sleep, I woke up to see cloudier views. I had a look at my phone, and it seemed that there was a possibility for thunderstorms. This left me in a bit of quandary as to whether I should get back on the hills or not. As I was staying in the area I decided to drive off to Pontsticill for the start of the walk to Cefn yr Ystrad, GW/SW-008.

I still felt a bit undecided, but thought I would at least start the walk and get a feel for what the weather was doing. I got about a quarter of the way along the walk before deciding to stop and turn back. There wasn’t much rain about, but the air was humid and heavy and there were plenty of dark clouds around. Although I couldn’t hear any thunder, it did feel like the kind of weather where storms could brew up at anytime. I hadn’t alerted for this summit, and in the end thought it was better not to take the risk.

Thanks again to all the chasers worked yesterday, and I will finish now by posting some photos below.

From Waun Fach, GW/SW-002

From Waun Rydd, GW/SW-004

Until next time!

73, Matthew M(W)0JSB


Hi Matthew

Thanks for the report, photos and summits. Difficult ones for me but we made it👍

73 Allan

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Thanks Allan. It was great to work you from both summits yesterday. Even if our signal reports were on the low side, we made the contact, and that’s all that matters!

Thanks again and look forward to working you again soon.

Just curious… What was the daytime max temp?

Andrew VK1AD

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Has been hovering around the low 30Cs at my home QTH in South East England. Exceptional for September in this part of the world.

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Thanks Matthew

In VK I draw a line at 10 am on days where the ambient temp is expected to be 35 - 36 degrees and on days where we have a declared Total Fire Ban (TFB), I don’t wonder around in the VK scrub. Far too dangerous and wise to stay home.

73 Andrew VK1AD



Great write-up and pictures to accompany it.

Very little on either summit in terms of summit markers; but I do enjoy walk up to Waun Rydd with its winding path after the initial relatively steep part.

Growing up in NL, I was made aware of the dangers of a thunderstorm, as in NL, you are always the ‘high ground’.
Last year in France there was some thunder very far away judging by the rumbles every now and then which appeared not to get any closer; until a huge thunder clap nearby made me seek lower ground at record speed!

Better safe than sorry.

73, Robert


Thanks Robert. The conditions felt to me as though the above could happen at any moment, so as you say, better safe than sorry!

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Good call Matthew.

I had never experienced this before, the speed in which the thunder was suddenly above me.
It was a real wake-up call for me. Last week I spotted many trees seemingly affected by this. Split trees, burnt bark, snapped top; not noticed this before.Now, when I hear a rumble, I pack up.