Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Cadair Berwyn Disappointment

Cadair Berwyn GW/NW-012 2nd April 2010:

This one had been planned for some weeks,even to the level of an overnight stay at the Premier Inn Oswestry. This would allow for a nice fresh start closer to the hill,instead of driving from home.

It was suppose to be a duel activation with Ian 2E0EDX,who was going to drive down from Blackpool. Ian had the common sense to monitor the WX reports and the idea of driving all that way only to be disappointed.so he cancelled,( Im glad he decided not to do it now with hindsight he made the right decision).

We travelled down on the Thursday after work and settled in to our room had a meal in the pub attached(for tom & Geralds benefit ,Elaine had Sirloin Steak and I had Chilli Con Carne).

Friday morning arrived damp but not raining and a hint of blue sky just breaking through the clouds in places. After a Full plate breakfast we set off for the park spot I had planned alongside Blaen Y Cwm.This was a different route up that looked less distance and not as steep until final section.
Arriving here in damp but not raining conditions we set off up the road before a well defined track started the ascent.After coming out of the woods,the track was now more exposed and the weather had began its usual decline.Passing a very muddy sheep feeding station and then passing through the gate the track had turned left to go back in to the woods which protected us from the chill of the wind and the low cloud that had descended.from here the steepness increased slightly but both of us agreed we were over halfway up and found it relatively easy going.Halfway through these woods we came across a disused mine shaft,which Elaine took a photo of with some ugly guy standing by it. Up to this point we were really enjoying the trip up,but little did we know what was come further in.

The woods on the map gave us a rough idea that we were not too far away from the Trig when we came out of them,but by now the WX had got a bit more ferocious. On the way up we could see that there was snow around and once out of the woods we were then in 10inch deep stuff. We decided to give it a go although we could no longer see the top of Cadair Berwyn.The path once we went through the final gate became indistinct and I used the Etrex to keep us going in the general direction of the summit.WX had got bitterly cold with the wind chill making it worse. Because the snows on top had begun to melt we had to dodge some large streams of water.we reached around 700 meters and the steep climb had begun,slipping and sliding in the snowdrifts was no fun,then the heavens opened up with terrential rain! Defeated by the sudden WX we had no option but to abandon the Activation and seek shelter ASAP! this was to be the old mine shaft workings we had photographed earlier,but that was 25 mins back across the ever increasing streams area and into the wood.we managed it with only a couple of slip ups and by now all four layers of clothing were damp or wet.

We sheletered here and I managed to get on GB3MP with Bill’s (G4USW) net and let him know what had happened he kindly put a spot on letting the chasers know.We told him we were safe but were going to wait for WX to improve as there was at least one spot on the way down that was exposed.

The positives of the trip were 1)we had a nice stay over in the hotel 2)the walk in was a really good walk in the country,3)we lived to fight another day.

The negative was 1)no 8 pointsto make my total 150

The positives outweigh the negatives.

And a Lesson learned!

Best 73


P.S I will post some photos on Flicker when I have time later today

In reply to 2E0LAE:
Glad to be of service Tony and Elaine… could tell by the tonal qualities how upset you were to have had to abandon that sota… but another day another attempt, which im sure, you will feel doubly satisfied with.
Lessons remembered are Lessons Learnt… im sure YOU will both remember this
best 73s 88s Elaine our ISWL XX

In reply to 2E0LAE:

Hi Tony,

I’m very sorry to hear that you had to abandon your activation yesterday, but you did the right thing in those conditions. I took my 6m dipole with me up Longrdge Fell in the hope of working you S2S, but there will be other times I’m sure :slight_smile:

Glad you & Elaine got back home safely.


Mark G0VOF

In reply to 2E0LAE:

Sorry to hear of the abandoned activation of your favourite summit Tony. Well done for knowing when to turn back.

< … a disused mine shaft, which Elaine took a photo of with some ugly guy standing by it.

Seems like you did not cross the palm of the weather troll with silver!

73, Gerald

P.S. On the plus side, I give the choice of food the thumbs up. Tom is no doubt interested to know whether you had soup as a starter. :slight_smile:

In reply to G0VOF:

Hi Mark,sorry I missed you on S2S plans!

Yes we will try again no doubt

Just still a bit fed up today aswell,but as you say at least we safe



In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald, Yes once again the Weather not being nice to us, we discussed last night that most of our activations last year even in summer were wet.

We can count on one hand the summits we had dry weather on!!

The troll was definetly annoyed with us I certainly would have crossed his palm with silver if it meant we could have made it.

No Soup for evening meal but did forget to mention we had our Indian buffet under cover of the Mine shaft(consisting of Pakoras,Bhaji’s and Samosa’s with a sweet chilli dip and a Raita) washed down with Beef Oxo.

Thanks to all for their nice comments of support



PS Photos on Flicker now under Cadair Berwyn cancelled folder

In reply to 2E0LAE:

Yes once again the Weather not being nice to us, we discussed last night that
most of our activations last year even in summer were wet.

We can count on one hand the summits we had dry weather on!!

So it’s you that’s broken the weather Tony! Before you started SOTA I had a run of 40 activations which were dry. Then you start SOTA and it’s been rain or snow, or rain and snow, or floodwater or rain and snow and floodwater. And wind. I think you owe us all an apology! :slight_smile:

WX yesterday was good but I couldn’t get out. WX was meant to be horrible today but it wasn’t too bad. I ended up having a day of culture and retail therapy in the Athens of the North. The streets sounded like the Tower of Babel with all the tourists. Still the National Gallery was tranquil. I’ve decided I need a Cezanne in the shack so I’m starting a collection as funds chez FMF don’t run to one yet. About £250k from each SOTAist should do!

Anyway, I know now what it’s like to turn back after I had to abort Stronend. Calculated risks are fine but there’s no point being reckless especially when the hills are going anywhere. Better luck next time. Now can you do something about the WX since you broke it! :wink:


In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy,

I think its both of us thats cursed to be always wet up there!

When I chase others from the shack most of the time they report reasonable WX ??

So Maybe as Gerald says we need to cross the WX Troll palm with silver,so forget the Cezanne and set up a Troll palm silver Fund instead!!??



I’ve walked the Berwyn Ridge in Snow in May, so there are a few more opportunities for bad WX before the “summer” !

73 mark, M0DEV

In reply to M0DEV:

I’ve walked the Berwyn Ridge in Snow in May, so there are a few more
opportunities for bad WX before the “summer” !

73 mark, M0DEV

And I’ve stood at the summit in a heavy snow shower in June! Mind you, when it passed over and the sun came out the snow on the ground had gone in ten minutes!

Incidentally you used to be able to push your way through bushes and stand on a little rock platform right above the waterfall, a stunning viewpoint for photography.


Brian G8ADD