GW/MW-032 - Upper Park - A different kind of activation!

My interest in this summit was piqued a few months ago by the following activation report by Gerald G4OIG:

As Gerald says in his introduction, this summit has been very difficult to activate in the past as it is on private land, and the Estate have not been keen to grant access to members of the public. So when Ben GW4BML put a post on the reflector saying that he had been able to arrange access for another SOTA group for possibly the last time for the foreseeable future, I couldn’t resist putting my name forward! At the end of the activation, Ben asked if anyone would be willing to write a report on behalf of the group, and I volunteered for the job. So, here goes!

Sunday 6th August 2023
After a period of unsettled weather, it was a relief to see blue skies and sunshine as we gathered in the parking area for an 8.45 start. There were 12 of us in total, and we all were all there in good time. After handshakes and exchanges of callsigns, we were on our way to the summit!

The walk up was a straightforward one along a forestry track. I guess for the majority of us, most of our SOTA activations our undertaken alone, or sometimes with friends and partners who might not be radio enthusiasts, so it made a nice change to be in a group of like-minded people and to be able to chat about our SOTA experiences. It certainly was great to not have to explain why we we had fishing poles sticking out of our rucksacks! After around 40 minutes we were on the summit, and ready to play some radio!

Once we had all made it to the summit, four of us descended down a slope until we were outside of the activation zone. We then acted as chasers for the rest of the operators. This cunning plan was devised by Ben, and meant that everyone had the chance to activate the summit in fairly quick order.

Here are Ben, Ian @2W0IWM, Matt MW0KAX (plus myself behind the camera), getting ready to chase the rest of the group on the summit.

Would we manage to work these guys? :laughing:

Thankfully the propagation was on our side, and everyone was easy copy! Once the first three activators had qualified, they descended down the slope to replace Matt, Ian and myself so we could head back up and qualify the summit for ourselves.

We then had an hour or so of free time for those who wanted to try some other bands and modes. The activation zone on Upper Park is fairly large, so there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out and do their thing. There was a good mix of hf and vhf activity, and from a personal point of view I found it interesting to see the different antennas and radios in use. Here are some pictures from Ben showing most of us in action.

Ben GW4BML, Ian 2W0IWM & Matt MW0KAX

Robert @M0RWX

Adrian @G4AZS

Simon @G7WKX

Stuart @G1ZAR

Pete @MW0PJE

Ian 2W0IWM

Myself, Matthew M0JSB, feeling like a bit of a lightweight with my handheld and rubber duck!

Philip @G4HQB

Ian 2W0IWM & Matt MW0KAX

Paul @G4IPB & Rick @M5RJC

Not featured in the above photos was Richard @M1HAX who had departed for other summits before Ben had the chance to take a photo of him!

The hour seemed to pass quickly, and before long we were being rounded up by Ben, ready for the trek back to the car park. We were all thankful that this rain storm stayed away from us during our joint activation!

An easy walk down with nice conversation, and then it was time to say our goodbyes once we got back to the parking area. Most of us then went our separate ways, though I’m glad to see that Ben, Ian and Matt managed to celebrate the morning in suitable style!

And so there we have it. A different and most enjoyable activation. It was lovely to put faces to many names that I have spoken to on the air and seen on the reflector. I’m sure all of us want to say a big thank you to Ben for all of his hard work in liaising with the estate to make this activation possible for all us. As to the future for Upper Park activations: Ben says that the current outlook is probably no more activations possible for the next two years, but hopefully at some point another one will be able to take place. I guess announcements will be made if the outlook becomes more positive!

I hope I have managed to capture at least some of the flavour of our outing. I’m sure in true amateur radio fashion, my fellow activators will be quick to correct me on any glaring omissions or inaccuracies!

Just to finish, here’s a group shot of us all on our way up to the summit.
73 all!
Matthew M0JSB


Thank You Matthew, for an excellent SOTA Report. very well done. Thanks also of course to Ben GW4BML for the great photography. And for the organization needed to make the activation possible. Well Done Indeed, Ben. Paul de M0CQE.


Thanks Paul. Yes, Ben must take the credit for making this activation possible. Although we didn’t work this time, I’m pretty sure I heard you call Ben using cw, so I did think of you!


Thanks for the report Mathew, it was good to meet you and the other activators.

I chose to work on 80m just because we needed to spread out, and Upper Park hadn’t been activated on that band. Daytime in summer is not the best time for 80m, so I took my little Xiegu 20W amplifier for its first outing. It seemed to work well, though the LED display is impossible to read in sunlight.
I managed four contacts on SSB, but no takers on CW, surprisingly. I heard Brian G8ADD on sideband, and Paul M0CQE on CW, but seemingly neither could hear my reply - thank you for trying, though, and sorry we didn’t make it.

Thanks again to Ben for organising such a sucessful event.



Thanks Matthew. Yes I did have CW QSO with Ben also SSB.QSO with Robert MW0RWX/P, both on 40Mtr. I Thank You All for allowing me the opportunity to Chase GW/MW-032. Adrian, So sorry that I didn’t make a QSO with You. My fault not yours. I have a great problem reading CW. by the time I had worked out your call it was too late Paul de M0CQE.


I’d be interested in what Pete MW0PJE was using to support what looks like a 70cm and 23cm beam.

Im on the lookout for a reasonable mast for either a 10 ele for 2m or 17 ele for 70cm. Theres a few options but the ones ive found only collapse down to about 5 foot minimum which means carting them any distance is impractical.


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That was Stuart @G1ZAR

I had a Decathlon pole with a 23cm biquad and a 6m flowerpot.

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Isn’t your 23cms antenna polarisation sub-optimal ?


Great to meet up and again on Stingwern later in the day
First time I’ve seen anyone using an IC-9700 as a portable rig !



Yup, but it worked.
I was going to flip it round but got distracted.

My whole setup was suboptimal to be honest, usually is :slight_smile:


Hi Matthew

Great report, thanks and an excellent day out with the weather playing ball for once.
Thanks once again of course to Ben @GW4BML for organizing this



Sounds like most of my activations! :rofl:

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Thanks Rick. You’ve appeared in my log many times, so it was good to meet you in person!


I have a high noise level on 80m, S8 that day. I could tell you were there but there was a couple of bursts where you became readable, I called after the first one of these but you had gone below the noise again when I finished my call. The second was so brief that I didn’t try. I’m glad that you qualified without my help.

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Thanks to Ben for organising this successful day, and to the participants, both activators and chasers that made a great day.
Special mention to MW0PJE who stayed on the summit while I dashed down out of the AZ for a 23cm complete for the summit.
@G7ADF I was using a 3 section aluminium painters pole as the antenna support. Quite by chance, the top section is the same diameter as plumbing overflow pipe, so I have used this to fashion quickly interchangeable supports for my 23cm and 13cm beams. The set-up for Sunday was a 15 ele 70cm beam, 16 ele 23cm beam and the painters pole, all of which break down easily to rest across the rear car seat.

73 Stuart


Thanks for the report Matthew and thanks to Ben for organising the trip.
Most of the activators I had met before and it was good to meet some for the first time - finally putting a face to the voice & call-sign.

I had been here in April to activate the summit, but I felt bad, since - albeit valid - I only made contact with the group of activators at the summit that time.

So I contacted Ben a couple of weeks before the activation and asked if there were any spaces left; and if so, to be put on the waiting list and would happily stand aside in case someone put their name forward in the meantime. The size of the group was below the maximum planned, so I was pleased I was able to join the group on the day.

Whoever ordered the weather did a fantastic job; it was dry, no wind and not too hot!

This time I made the obligatory 4 contacts with those who dropped outside the activation zone, before making some ‘proper’ contacts on 2m FM and 40m SSB.

Till the next time.
73, Robert


Robert M0RWX. Thank You for the QSO on 40Mtr. SSB. I am very happy to be a “proper” contact, LOL. Great reports from the Activators. A Super activation from you all. Good to hear that you all enjoyed the day. 73 de Paul M0CQE.


For domestic reasons I was late on parade in the shack and so failed to hear any of you to get the Complete. Anyway, maybe next time Ben manages to get up the summit with a group he will probably drop a big hint that I should give time in the shack priority. :grinning:


Interesting to see that after this year’s two events Upper Park is now not the least activated Welsh summit

GW/NW-078 Rhinog Fach 26
GW/MW-020 Esgair Ddu 32
GW/SW-035 Myarth 36
GW/MW-021 Crugiau Merched 37
GW/SW-017 Hirfynydd 39
GW/MW-036 Pen-crug-melyn 40
GW/SW-021 Mynydd Marchywel 40
GW/SW-022 Trichrug 40
GW/SW-032 Mynydd Allt-y-grug 41
GW/NW-065 Gamallt 43
GW/MW-032 Upper Park 43
GW/MW-040 Carn Gafallt 43