Gaulfest - Monday 30th December 2019

A recently resurrected SOTA tradition is to have a festive multi-activation event in the Shropshire/Mid Wales area in the week between Christmas and New Year. Afterwards we meet at 4pm at Mr Bun the Baker, Church Stretton for coffee / cake / social. (Or elsewhere if Sunday wins the vote!)

If you fancy taking part, please indicate which days best suit your availability (you can vote for up to all 4 days), and nearer the time we’ll make a decision based on this, and on latest weather forecast information.

Jimmy @M0HGY and I are hoping for a trip to GW/MW-001.

  • Friday 27th December 2019
  • Saturday 28th December 2019
  • Sunday 29th December 2019
  • Monday 30th December 2019

0 voters


Time to really start adding your votes to this one folks. A mass concentration of activators in G/WB & GW/MW followed by a social between Christmas and New Year is an excellent SOTA tradition. Let’s make it happen.

I’m hoping to be out on the 27th, but I suspect I won’t have time to socialise

So when is it?

Looking at the poll and the Met Office forecast I’d suggest it’s looking like Monday 30th.


OK, I’m calling it!

Monday 30th December 2019 it is.

Activate the G/WB or GW/MW summits of your choice, then meet for a SOTA social in Mr Bun The Bakers, Church Stretton at 3.30pm.

Please join in if you can, this event is a lot of fun - and of course, the more the merrier! Post your alerts…

Two alerts posted already! :wink:

Get your summits “booked” folks!

Er still only two alerts on for Gaulfest… Used to be a well-attended event this. Anyone?

Done! ETA to Church Stratton should be 4pm all being well.

Jordan M3TMX

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I am pleased that you are able to take part in the Gaulfest Jordon and also meet up afterwards as I know that will be the same day as your 25th Birthday. I wasn’t sure if you already had Birthday plans which could have prevented you from taking part in Gaulfest and meeting up afterwards. I look forward to working you summit to summit on Monday and meet up afterwards.

Jimmy M0HGY


I concur with Jimmy - great that you will be taking part again Jordan @M3TMX

No doubt catch you on 2FM for some S2S then see you in the cafe later.

So now we have 4 of us confirmed to take part in Gaulfest 2019, but some more participants would be good. Some excellent and convenient summits remain unalerted - G/WB-002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 010, 012, 014, 015, 018, GW/MW-006, 009, 013, 026, 027, 030, GW/NW-058, 061 etc.

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I’ve had to miss this event in the past, but this time I should be able to fit it in - good choice of day!

Alert posted for Gwaunceste GW/MW-010 which I have not activated for a couple of years, and which has the advantage of Mr Bun the Baker’s in Church Stretton being on my way home :smile:

Adrian G4AZS

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Great news Adrian. We look forward to working you S2S and socialising over coffee, cake and chat later!

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Will be at Mr Bun The Baker ETA 3:50pm

QRV now /M on 145.500fm

Jimmy M0HGY

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See you soon then, just arrived at Mr Bun :grin:


Great day.

Plynlimon GW/MW-001 is lovely - can’t believe I’ve done 17 years of SOTA without doing this hill that is (just about) in daytrippable range.

We started walking in the clag but succeeded in poking through to the sunshine and blue sky to reveal the cloud inversion!

Every QRG on 2m FM was busy including a very loud French QSO on S20!

Great to catch up with Jordan @M3TMX and Adrian @G4AZS in the bakery afterwards. We’re all hoping participation levels can increase again for Gaulfest 2020!


Hi guys I headed up The North Pennines today to try to work you fellows but unfortunately due to the force of the wind at my normal perch it was impossible to mount my antennas. I headed down hill to try again but the wind was still too strong. Not to worry I’ll try again next time.
Cheers guys and HNY

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Gwaunceste gw/mw-010 was swathed in cloud during the walk up, but was not quite high enough to look down on the cloud from the summit. I spent about an hour by the trig point, and the cloud steadily thinned during that time, leaving me bathed in wintery sunshine.

The trig point on arrival:

Much nicer on the way down:

Two metres was wide open for me too, though I only managed six leisurely FM QSOs before feeling chilly and deciding to pack up. Best DX EI4CN.

A grand day out, and nice to meet up with Tom, Jimmy and Jordan afterwards - I’ll certainly try to join in next year.



It was next to meet you earlier today Adrian and pleased that you had a great activation. We had a great activation too and was nice also to meet up with Jordan M3TMX and celebrate his 25th Birthday with him.

Jimmy M0HGY

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What. A. Day.

Gaulfest for me last year was a cold 4 hours on top of The Wrekin (G/WB-010), so it was nice to mix it up this year with a long overdue visit to Cadair Berwyn (GW/NW-012), followed by a quick trip to Rhialgwm (GW/NW-046) - one I had done on my birthday last year.

Cadair Berwyn:
Having done the “straight through the valley” walk last time out, I opted to climb Moel Sych using the south side path, before joining the main track for the final ascent to Cadair Berwyn. This route gave great views of the Berwyn range and gave me the chance to go “bog-hopping”. Upon reaching Moel Sych, it was a straightforward walk up to the top, where I visited both the true summit and the trig point, before settling down in the shelter away from the strong winds.


Having set up the antenna, I opened up a few family birthday cards whilst admiring the views, then set about finding a frequency to activate from. I knew conditions were going to be good, but I wasn’t expecting EVERY frequency to be so busy! 22 QSOs were made over 1 hour and 10 minutes, included S2Ss with GW4TQE/P (John), 2E0IXM/P (David) and Tom and Jimmy as I was leaving the summit. I also made my first 2m contacts into Belgium and The Netherlands, which was a pleasant surprise!

To complete my circular walk, I took a small path towards Moel yr Ewig, before turning right towards the lake and joining the main path into the valley. I didn’t have time to visit the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall last time out, so took a small diversion to see it before returning the car.


After a half hour drive, I parked the car at the end of the track, where I would start the walk. This summit has become one of my favourite places to play radio, but the climb isn’t easy. The first bit along the track is straightforward, but once I turned off, I found myself navigating numerous fallen trees to the col and then fighting through heather as I made the final approach. Nevertheless, the views were picturesque as I set up the radio gear at the summit.


There was no shelter on this one, so I took to the trig itself to be my windshield. Rhialgwm has been a rather quiet summit, with only a few local dog walkers visiting the trig point during my activations here, so I knew I wouldn’t be causing any trouble. Besides, I would need this cover for the 55 minutes I would be activating, completing 17 QSOs including 5 S2Ss with GW0MHF/P (John), G0MFR/P (Gareth), 2W0OVW/P (Gillian) and M3ZCB/P & M1MAJ/P (Caroline & Martyn). I could still hear many EU stations across the band from this summit, but I wasn’t able to work them. By this point, I was running behind schedule, so I quickly packed down and made my way off the hill, using the track at the bottom as a good jogging opportunity to get back on schedule.

It took me just over an hour to reach Church Stretton to meet up with the Gaulfest guys, which I always enjoy, as I get to put faces to voices! Jimmy even revealed a birthday card for me, which was a pleasant surprise too.

Cadair Berywn (Ascent) - 656m climbed over 5km, 1hr 27.
Cadair Berywn (Descent) - 24m climbed over 4.5km, 48 minutes.
Rhialgwm - 283m climbed over 2.6km, 40 minutes (25 min descent).
39 contacts total, all on 2m FM (Yaesu VX-170 into 3 element SOTABeam)
Pictures taken on iPhone SE (Please forgive my shadows!)

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable Gaulfest, with plenty of contacts and evidence that 2m is very much alive and well! Thanks to all stations worked throughout 2019 and here’s to a fabulous 2020!


Jordan M3TMX