Activation of a Welsh Summit with a nod to German style

I have enjoyed reading the reports and photographs of Chris, @DL1CR and Uwe, @DK8OA activating from comfortable summit top shelters, and then drinking beer and eating plum cake, and thought that I would attempt a Welsh version.

My goal was to activate my local 1 point summit, GW/SW-034, Garth Hill - Mynydd y Garth, walking from my house in Cardiff to my daughters house in TonTeg, taking in the delights of the river Taff, and enjoying a pub lunch on the way.

© Crown copyright and database rights 2023 Ordnance Survey (100025252)

Cardiff, Caerdydd, the capital city of Wales, and my adopted home, was built on the export of Coal from the South Wales Valleys, and the Steelworks which brought me to the City. East Moors Steelworks closed in 1978 with the loss of 3,000 jobs and the remaining South Wales pits closed by the mid 1990. Cardiff is now a bright and vibrant city that is well worth a visit.

My route took me through Queens Street to Cardiff castle.

I have to wonder what Aneurin Bevan (statue), the champion of the working man and woman, thought of the opulence of Marquess of Bute’s vanity castle, and the immensely wealthy that he accrued from the South Wales collieries, while the miners were living in abject poverty.

A stroll through Bute park took my to my first scheduled stop of the day.

Coffee and a Welshcake

Next was the Industrial Hinterland, with railways, canals, and the remnants of an industrial past. Perhaps some similarities to Saarbrücken in the Rhine valley?

Castell Coch a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle built by The Marquees of Bute, framed by a riveted steel lattice bridge

The Taff trails consists of very well made paths and I found myself ahead of schedule and at risk of reaching the pub before opening time. Fortunately, Pugh’s garden Centre Café presented a solution and an opportunity to photograph some cakes, even if I didn’t eat one. It was at this point that I received a WhatsApp message with @GW4BML, Ben’s progress on GM/SI-012, Clisham, a very different undertaking.

A short stroll from the café took me to The Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn for lunch.

Gwaelod-y-Garth looking up at the Garth

The Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn, Welsh Real Ale pub of the year

Glamorgan sausages, mash and gravy

On my route up the hill I met a young amateur mycologist. The hill is legendary for the prevalence of liberty cap mushrooms, Psilocybe semilanceata. It is good to see young folks keeping the old ways alive.

The Garth, as it is known locally, is a popular spot, in part due to ‘The Englishman who Went up a Hill but Came down a Mountain’, and the main summit is best avoided for SOTA activations. I tucked myself out of the wind behind one of the Bronze Age burial mounds and setup camp.

Looking South to Cardiff, the Bristol Channel, and North Devon.

Looking East towards GW/SW-037, Craig yr Allt

The bands were in great shape and my chaser friends were out in force. I spent a most enjoyable hour and half working the pile up on 40m SSB. Thank you to the 14 stations who worked me on 40m CW. I am still learning and got rather confused when a strong station parked 300 Hz from my frequency. I spent 10 minutes trying to work him until I realised what was happening and how to adjust my filters, every day is a school day. I worked 6 local stations on 2m FM. Sadly I was out of time and failed to activate 20m.

I packed up my station and made my way to my daughters house in TonTeg for a cuppa and a proper valleys welcome.

I didn’t manage Chris and Uwe’s: summit, beer, cake sequence, but it was a perfect day.

73, Kevin, MW0KXN


Nice to work you on 40m SSB and 2m FM from the Ft-818 walkie-talkie style. Also on the key from the main station. Looks like a very civilised activation and a glorious day out. Well done.

Best 73

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Oh my word, that brings back memories! :mushroom: :star_struck:

So too do your very fine text and pictures - I lived 6 years in Cardiff some 30 years ago, and have fond memories of many walks there. I particularly miss the parks, Bute park among them, where I cut my bird- and tree-identification teeth. The municipal parks department in Cardiff has long had an enlightened policy of planting exemplars of rare trees from around the world in their parks, and in stocking some of the lakes with many uncommon species of ducks and geese, all for the edification of the visitors. Such a great resource for lovers of nature…

Thanks for a great report!

Cheers, Rob


Nice write-up of the day Kevin and some really nice imaginary and historical backdrop accompanying your report allowing us to sample bits of the day with you.

Surprised you were still able to walk after consuming the tea, cake, coffee, sausages and beer. I guess that’s why there is no return route plotted on your map. :grinning:

Whilst SOTA has taken me to places I would otherwise never have experienced, often we forget what is around us and instead focus on areas further afield.
Unfortunately, a trip on foot to my nearest SOTA summit would take me at least 12 hours. A possibility, but unlikely as it would be along quite busy roads.

A special thank-you to you as well, as our contact on 40m allowed me to mark the GW/SW South Wales region as SOTA Complete, having activated all 41 summits previously, now also all chased successfully.

Looking forward to reading about your next adventure.

73, Robert


Thanks for a brilliant write-up and photos of what looked like a very civilised SOTA activation. Great stuff!


Congratulations Robert!


Hi Kev

Great report and photos. Good to get you in my log and a nice but brief qso. It’s not that long ago we were up there on a joint activation…tempus fugit if my Latin is correct😁.

73 Allan


Nice write up and photos Kevin, brought back childhood memories. Thanks for the contact, your CW is certainly improving, the other station close by had me fooled too :wink:



I can’t spot the german-style wooden picnic table on the summit. It seems, next time you have to bring your own. :upside_down_face:

Tnx fer rprt.


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What a super outing with all the right ingredients, food and drink included. I would probably have been late getting up the hill after the pub visit. For me such visits have been strictly after the activation, not before it!

Many thanks for the very interesting report with the excellent photos and also the contact on SSB. Unfortunately I had to go out for a short while which was when you were on CW, otherwise I’d have given you a call.

73, Gerald


I really enjoyed reading that report @MW0KXN Kevin, I know you’ve been wanting to do this route for some time - well done for executing it in style :ok_hand: great photos, I can picture you with a huge smile on top of the Garth after completion! Sorry I missed the S2S with you, I had a ferry to catch, but saying that, looking at your local bakery and pub lunch, I’m not sure would I have made it to the summit at all :rofl: looking forward to our next joint adventure with plenty of Welsh cakes - it’s long overdue!!

73, Ben


Great report & pics, Kevin. Nearly fell of the chair laughing at your note about the ‘young mycologist’…73 John


Indeed ! Many New Age types may be found doing the same around the Black Mountains at this time of year, sometimes camping out to get first dibs !



Nice report Kevin!

Great way to activate.



Thank you Kevin for such an excellent and copiously illustrated report. Almost as good as being with you on the activation. Great to make contact on 40m SSB. If there was a SOTA Ambassador-at-large award, you’d qualify for it.

73 Robert