As is now traditional, a few of us from the Cambridge University Wireless Society headed away from the flatlands of East Anglia for a spot of SOTA this weekend.
We ended up as a group of five, Jonathan GW2HFR, Dom M0BLF, William M0ZXA, myself M0VFC and first-time SOTA activator Nige M0HZR.
CUWS chair Dan M0WUT was hoping to join us, but a rowing race got in the way - we’re pretty confident we had the better weekend though! He did still offer to find a campsite, with the usual criteria of “must have a pub”. This resulted in the Snowdonia Parc campsite, which not only had a fine pub, but also a microbrewery and heritage steam railway attached! Very fine indeed.
Shortly after arriving, we also managed a few QSOs via the SO-50 satellite from the pub car park to give away IO73.
Saturday morning brought excellent weather, and we headed up Y Garn (GW/NW-004) via Idwal Cottage / Devil’s Kitchen. The path is very good, if steep, and there’s plenty of space just below the true summit to set up HF antennas. The views across to Glyder Fawr and Snowdon were incredible - not a cloud in sight. A far cry from the last time I did it!
Jonathan started on 17m SSB, then Dom and I added 30m CW, and Nige 2m FM. We swapped 17m for 80m SSB, then some 60m AM, making for a nice relaxed activation of the summit including a bit of a snowball fight.
Back to the pub, dinner, and further quality assurance of the output of the microbrewery…
Sunday morning required an interesting arrangement of inverters, battery chargers, and bodged cables to recharge a flat car battery (names withheld to protect the guilty), but didn’t stop the bacon rolls.
After that, we headed just around the corner to Moel Ellio (GW/NW-022), and took a similar approach. Jonathan and Will started on 17m SSB, Dom and I on 30m CW, and Nige on 2m FM before moving to 17 to get the fourth QSO needed to qualify the summit.
All in all, an excellent weekend, with outstanding weather, a couple of lovely hills, and good company.
Thanks to everyone for the QSOs, sorry for any confusion because of changing callsigns while we swapped around, and look forward to catching you on the air again soon!