An Autumnal Activation GW/MW-027(Upper Park - the Prequel)

A somewhat belated report as I didn’t want to publish it before the Upper Park mass activation organised by Ben and then it got rather lost after a short holiday.

Having followed just how difficult it is to activate Upper Park when Ben organised a second group to activate the summit I thought I’d better add my name to the list as it seemed likely that it might be some time before the opportunity presented itself again, after all why start with the difficult scrambly 10 pointers when an inaccessible one pointer is available… ( I did offer to swop with anyone who was after that last, difficult hill….)

My last visit to Wales was an attempt at off-grid camping, which was brilliant in the field Ben organised for the Welsh SOTA weekend, but frankly rubbish in my roadside location ready for the ascent of Maesglase where every boy racer flew past in the middle of the night, so this time I’m parked in a caravan park, just at the foot of Moel-Y-Gofa. (It is adequate, the advertised pub is 5 minutes walk and 3 years time travel away ….)

The journey down was wet and slow and I must admit as I looked out through the rain and wind as Storm Antoni met Wales I wasn’t really looking forward to the walk. I was also dogless, Ben advised no dogs, and the thought of taking two spaniels into an area used for breeding pheasants would probably have the same effect as letting various members of this group loose with a pile of used vapes…., but I actually really enjoyed the walk. Climbing through a broadleaf woodland is not something that happens much in the North Pennines!

The route I followed was from the South near Middletown. I had read the earlier report “Slippery when Wet” and decided that I was just the sort of walker who could safely walk up a really remote Scottish hillside, but would be quite likely to break his leg crossing a stile next to a main road…. So I went up the “easy” way from Middletown. There was footpath all the way up, even if at times it wasn’t entirely obvious where it was.

On my earlier posts I often featured the essential item forgotten, along with the non-essential item taken, so I made a careful point of checking the small rucksack I was going to use for a 2m only activation, obviously keeping the 1 litre bottle of water (really useful at 10 Celcius in the belting rain) but cunningly neglecting to reattach the small 4m mast now not strapped to the side of the rucksack.

At the summit, in the rain for the first four contacts I just used the Helical on the rig, but after that I tried supporting the J Pole with a (dead) branch from underneath a nearby tree. I am not convinced about the effectiveness of this arrangement, and frankly it did make logging a bit difficult as standing with a HH in one hand and a lump of tree with a ladderline antenna hanging from it in the other didn’t make logging easy… On this occasion I was quite pleased to be alone at the summit.

Anyway six contacts later, my second Welsh hill and another complete added I went back down the hill. Thanks to all the chasers, particularly those where I had to memorise the callsign while I put the antenna down to retrieve the log.

The Summit

A bit like Tom I have rather neglected writing about the most recent activations (spoiler alert best to put the mug down now) but I’ll do my best to rectify this situation, after all there are probably some insomniacs suffering the lack of drivel…
73. Paut