After Activation Report (AAR) for Carnedd Llewelyn, GW/NW-002.
Well, the WX report had it as heavy snow fall in the morning and the clearing in the afternoon, wrong! It was glorious all day! I felt almost over-dressed when the sun was out, with only a thin top under the Paramo Velez jacket, I was getting hot. But it was cold in the shade and when the wind did blow the cold cut in hard, but that seldom an issue on this day.
I was with my non-ham pal Ed, who is normally patient for about 45 mins of stationary summit time, but he had his drone with him today, which meant as much time spent doing the route, I spent waiting for him to finish with his drone, can’t complain though as he has suffered many a cold summit waiting for me in the past, I’d like to say without moaning, but I’d be lying!
We’d set out early, so were breaking trail to the first ridge line between Carnedd Llewelyn and Pen yr Helgi Du, before heading up to the left through Penywaun Wen, and this is where is got interesting. It’s usually an easy scramble here, so much so I didn’t think much about it in planning for this route. However, when we got to the foot of the scramble it was completely banked out with thigh deep snow, and what is normally a couple of minutes scramble turned into a 45-minute epic “lets dig out a scramble route”, it was quite the “sketchy” part of the trip, with a few discussions of could we down climb this on the route back!
I decided, that as this part of route is south facing, and if we saw people coming up this way later then the snow on this scramble should be sufficiently cleared and melted for our return trip.
We’d used up so much time at this point that Ben GW4BML was doing a welfare check on us! Thanks Ben, again! lol. The window of opportunity of the second summit I decided had past, so I suggested that we now take our time and Ed could get some drone footage. Unfortunately, the footage is not available at the time of this report, as Ed’s work commitments have him jetting off somewhere warmer than the UK!
I heard John MHF on his summit and mentioned that I was on route to mind. John asked what my eta might be, and I told him we would be about 45 mins. An hour and 45 mins later we reached the Summit and John was on his second one by then! haha I blame Ed, his drone and knee-deep snow for our lateness.
I set up in the summit Cairn as there was not a soul about, the views were spectacular, with a little wind, but it was bitterly cold in that wind, so out came the warm kit.
Operating conditions for the activation, was the FT 817, Steve SAW EFHW special, Carbon 6 and FT5D with the RH770 whip. I never guy my poles as a rule and today was no different. I stuck the carbon 6 into an ice ball, via a fibre glass spike and then used the antenna wire as a guy, the end of which was wrapped around another ice feature.
Had a good run on 20 and 40m, with a quick go on 2m FM to finish off. About 60 ITL and the summit was starting to get busy with dogs, skiers, snowboarders and helmeted hill walkers!
We headed back down the same way as we had ascended, with plenty of drone action on route, including watching of the rescue of a young lad who had become cragfast on Tryfan after ascending and then descending to realise that he was not sufficiently equipped for the conditions.
Getting back to Penywaun Wen scramble, what a difference 2 hours made. It was pretty much clear of snow to the point we wondered what all the fuss had been able earlier lol
A couple of times a year you get some magical day’s in the mountain’s and this was one of them, a great day with great company.