GW/SW-008 Cefn yr Ystrad

Does anyone have knowledge about the gates on the Trefil Road?
Are they closed at the weekends?
Is the road private beyond the gates?
Street view doesn’t show any restriction signs.




It seems that it is almost 3 years since I went there and I don’t recall any signs that showed if/when it was closed.

I drove all the way to about 0.6Km NE of the summit but by then decided that it was getting a bit late to walk to the summit and complete an activation.

I see on street view a Red sign as you leave the village that say ‘Road Ahead Closed 100yds’

As I recall we me several vehicles going in both directions and even saw some camper style vehicles parked up as if they were going to be staying for a while.

Stewart G0LGS

In reply to G0LGS:
I remember reading something on the Aberdare SOTA blog

Google search the above, I would put a link on but I am typing using a phone!!!

Matt G8XYJ

In reply to G4ISJ:

The road is private. The gate is often open but there appears to be no guarantee that it will not be locked at any time.

The quarries are often made available for events; last time I was there ( a few weeks back) it looked like filming, with big trailer homes, floodlights and generators.

I walk in from the end of the tarmac half-way up Tor-y-Foel. Long but easy. Probably in snow at present, so not so easy :frowning:


In reply to M0JLA:

In reply to G4ISJ:

The road is private. The gate is often open but there appears to be
no guarantee that it will not be locked at any time.

Thanks for all the info (both here and via PM).

I’m undecided!
I might end up just doing a couple of 1 pointers and wait for the snow to clear.
Summer is just around the corner :slight_smile:


In reply to G4ISJ:

GW/SW-008 and -004 are the only high pointer I haven’t activated in GW/SW myself. Last XMAS after activating SW-005 I visited the SW-008 gate in question and the sign says: “This is a private road and bridleway. The barrier will be closed and locked between 17:00 / 08:00 and at weekends. Anyone using an unauthorised motor vehicle on this road or land may be liable to have it confiscated by the police. CCTV in operation. Anyone inadvertently locked in contact 01633 …” The number belongs to Gwent Police.
Through Google I search for a “better” way to access SW-008 and most people start from the West at Pontsticill and park at the Reservoir. I also read that the private road mentioned above is only a few 100m long along Trefil and should turn into a public road again after that. No idea how to get there because the only road goes through that gate. Furthermore, I read about car crime in the area …
Access from the North as described by Rod, M0JLA, might be an option.

I’ll send you the picture to your e-Mail address mentioned on

73 de Dominik, HB9CZF
PS: it is snowing again in HB9 …

In reply to G4ISJ:

Last time I was there in March 2011 the sign was up but the gates were open. Did post a comment on the reflector about it.


In reply to HB9CZF:

I’ll send you the picture to your e-Mail address mentioned on

Dominik (and everyone else)
Thanks for all the info on this one.
The best bet, I think, is to approach from the NW, so I might make a long walk out of it and activate both it and Tor y Foel by starting at their interconnecting col. It’s about 10 miles round trip.

I found some more info about the problems on the Tredgar Forum
and although that was a couple of years ago, it seems like the issues are ongoing.

Anyhow looking at the Brecon Beacons from a distance yesterday, I suspect that the road was closed anyway because it would have been well above the snowline!

Now looking forward to summer, as I’m not getting any bonus points for freezing my b**t off anymore…



Is there any update regarding the situation of the gate on the Trefil quarry road. Looking at the OS Map it appears that a small section of this is a private road, but then becomes public after and the whole private section is available on Google Street View. Do any of you whether or not it is now possible to drive on this road again without any risk of being locked in or your car getting clamped?

We are planning to do some SOTA activations in the GW/SW area this summer and this is one of the possible summits that we may activate.

Jimmy M0HGY

In reply to M0HGY:
Hi Jimmy,

I looked at all options for my GW/SW-008 activation back in April. Cefn yr Ystrad was on my list for a long time and now I have all GW/SW with >= 2 points activated. I read about car crime (especially importatant if you have a Swiss number plate) near the gate and near Pontsticill reservoir. My last option was to start near the GW/SW-013 car park. Both times I was driving up to the Tor y Foil car park I had a chat with the local farmer and when I walked back from GW/SW-008 the farmer’s son asked for help if I’ve seen his cattle. Which ever approach you take it’s a 2x 5km walk and quite interesting to navigate.

Dominik, MW/HB9CZF/p (in GW for 2 days and then back to G)

Hi Dominik,

I have also had a look at the route near to the parking spot for GW/SW-013 and this maybe a possibility if you are still not allowed to drive up to the quarry.

Jimmy M0HGY

In reply to M0HGY:
I parked at Pontsticill water treatment works (SO060114), the footpath is directly across the road. 5.7 miles return and three and half hours including the radio. Paths/good sheep paths until the last quarter mile. A pleasant walk that way.

Mike G0HIO

Hi Mike,

Thank you for letting me know this route. However I understand that there has been reports of car crime in this area.

Jimmy M0HGY

Hi Jimmy

Last year Steve MW0BBU and I used the same approach as Mike G0HIO. Long walk but no problems. Keep to the paths as there are loads of new and old sink holes on the high ground. Get in touch with Mal GW6OVD for further information.

73 Allan GW4VPX

Hi Allan,

Thank you for letting me know this. I will get in touch with Mal and other Aberdare SOTA when we know what dates we will be in GW/SW.

Jimmy M0HGY

I’ve done this one from both the Trefil road and the Pontsticill water works.

Whilst I believe that you’d have no issues driving up the the quarry, I still wouldn’t like to be locked in if the gates really do get closed!
From the barrier (easy parking) it’s a good 7.5 - 8 miles hike to the summit.
The road bit is easy although not terribly interesting :slight_smile:
The fun starts when you peel off the road. There is no track to the summit and it’s not visible until you almost stumble upon it. In poor visibility you need to be very careful. There are numerous quarry workings with high vertical cliffs, which would take no prisoners if you were to fall over one!
I walked in visibility of about 250 metres and relied on my GPS to find the summit. I had a spare GPS with me as backup. Luckily the low cloud cleared so the walk back was easier to navigate.
Walk in was approx 1:30 hour.

From the other side the route is just over 5 miles so quite a bit shorter.

You can park at the Pontsticill water works and if anything I’m sure this would be more secure than the Trefil road.
You join a steep bridlepath right at the entrance to the water works and quickly gain height with nice views over the reservoir and over towards SW-001.
Once you loose the Bridleway there’s a path which contours along the hill.
At some stage you’ll have to break away form it and head for the summit. Again there are only animal tracks and you need to watch out for sinkholes and some ankle breaking limestone hidden in the bracken. Again the summit is not really visible until you’re almost upon it. Walk in was just over 1 hour.

Hi Pete,

Thank you for letting me know these 2 routes. It looks like me and my Dad Tom M1EYP will need to have a look at all these routes in detail seeing as we best not driving up to the quarry on the Trefil Road.

Jimmy M0HGY

In reply to G4ISJ:

I still wouldn’t like to be locked in if the gates really do get closed!

I always carry a hacksaw and pack of fresh blades in the car in case that happens.


In reply to MM0FMF:
Under Scottish Law Criminal Damage must not be an offence then like it is in England Andy :wink:

In reply to MM0FMF:

I always carry a hacksaw and pack of fresh blades in the car in case
that happens.

I’ve used a generator and angle grinder before now, but that can attract too much attention (we had armed police turn up when we did that at one of our repeater sites).

Stewart G0LGS