GW/SW and MW in Jan 2023 -the sites/sights

During the search for some Winter Bonus points I activated 13 summits during January in varying weather conditions in GW/SW and MW. Sometimes I remembered the camera and could take off my gloves for long enough to record the scenes. These are in a mixed order and locals are invited to recognise the venues - but give others time to think!


1 It suddenly appeared amongst much laughter


2 Just the right height to sit on with a foam mat!

3 Part of a procession of about 6 unusual ‘quads’

4 Easy to spot I’m in Wales!


5 It had moved a few yards since our last visit - and lost the explanatory notice!

6 I’m glad to say we didn’t need it! Not sure why it had a temperature sensor outside.

7 No red dragons on this one! (only a rather sinister black ‘beetle’)

8 It had a lot of visitors while we were there as you can see from the footprints!


9 A very sad sight and always covered with toys. The inscription is in Welsh underneath - available on request but might be difficult to read in a small picture.

10 The wind was so strong that I chose the small path which goes down below the little rocky ridge. I call it the ‘horse path’ because of the hoof prints, but it starts with 5 man-made stone steps (which I don’t think they use).

A further instalment to follow.
Viki M6BWA.


Thank You Vicky for all your Great SOTA activations. it is always a pleasure to hear you. always a good clear signal from you. Many thanks,. I look forward to the next instalment
73, Paul. M0CQE.

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Here is a further instalment of GW/SW and MW in January 2023:


11 Holly berries still on the tree in January?? All the other nearby trees had been stripped - didn’t these taste nice? (No, I didn’t sample one - and neither did the local birds!).

12 Who had crossed our track some time earlier?

13 We waited for them to cross the bog and go to join the hounds - and then follow the trail which had already been laid on the next hill.

14 A farmer on his quad (who didn’t offer me a lift when he passed…) and his dog had persuaded the sheep to come down into the valley where there might be some grass

and it didn’t take long for some of them to take the hint and seek some shelter in the trees from the prevailing wind.

15 Quite often glimpsed when I’m ascending a Sota summit - but usually some distance ahead. This year with new red winter plumage!

Not many more but no time now , then I hope that the locations of my sites/sights will be identified. (all guesses welcomed). I’ve now put numbers against the images to help identification.

Viki M6BWA


Thank You Vicky for this the 2nd. instalment. Excellent Photography, I look forward to viewing the next instalment. 73, de Paul. M0CQE.

Thank you Paul. I am very impressed that you can reach me on some of these hills which are quite a long way away. Sorry we didn’t make it on Waun Rydd but I an not used to enormous pile-ups on 2m fm and eventually I had to flee to 70cm where I got 10 contacts on the trot which was good going. I then went back to 2m and called on 145.500 for quite some time with almost no response so it is worth listening out again after 10 mins or so if you really don’t have anything better to do! All being well we shall be on quite a big one tomorrow - but possibly not staying for too long as the wind is forecast to be higher than I would like. Living where we do in Hereford City we are very constrained by the local traffic jams for work/schools and Colleges hence we will probably leave after 9am which means a late activation time.
73 Viki M6BWA

Hello Vicky. Thank you for your very nice reply. I will certainly listen for you tomorrow. My QTH is quite high about 850 to 900 feet, ASL. and very “open”, to the south and west. that is probably how I manage to contact excellent Activators as yourself Vicky. Your diligence and persistence in making a contact with a weak station is the sign of a true SOTA Activator. and very much appreciated, certainly by me.
73 de Paul. M0CQE.

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The third and final instalment of GW/SW and MW in January 2023:


16 (11) Can you spot GW4VPX/P? He was on his way up (reluctantly but the hairpin road up to Fan Nedd was too icy to attempt) and had to put on crampons fairly soon.

17 (12) A very tall visitor…

18 (13) Not sure what made this trail.

19 (14) …unless it was the local yeti who apparently visits about once a year!

20 (15) The way ahead

21 (16) It’ll have to wait til after 15 March!

22 (17) A local sculpture park

which made a stunning end to the day.

That’s it! Where was I during January? NB Numbers now changed as I can’t count above 11 it seems Sorry.
Viki M6BWA15


Yes, definitely not a road to attempt in the ice. I feel scared just thinking about it! :grimacing::grimacing:

Mmm, I should know quite a few of those, though I am aware that you have visited more MW and SW summits than I have.

I’m fairly sure that 4 is Myndd Troed GW/SW-009, distinctive craters to shelter in.
7 could be Sugar Loaf GW/SW-011 (as it says on the plaque). Its trig is on rock, with a steep drop behind, but I don’t recall seeing the plaque there, so maybe that’s a false lead!
14 I’m sure I recognise those sheep…
15 is reminiscent of Mynydd LLangorse GW/SW-015, though in my head it has more nibbled grass and less bracken…

Lovely photos, anyway, and set me thinking, thank you!

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Congrats Adrian - you are doing well and the only person who has been brave enough to reply so far (where are my fellow local activators who are actually nearer these hills than you, Adrian - in Hereford, Nelson, Lampeter …?)

I hadn’t spotted the plaque on 7 mentions the name of the hill (Sugar Loaf) but was more taken by the name stencilled underneath which I hadn’t noticed before. A few of the other photos around come from the same walk but you might not recognise them if you always park in the main car park (we don’t). Similarly No 4 is indeed Mynydd Troed and there are quite a few pictures from that day. Ah those sheep - some of them finally found a good spot in some trees which I don’t usually notice.

There is rather too much bracken on Troed (it is a SSSI I believe) and they have mown some of it this year which might be why they had difficulty finding shelter…! Once again you are right with Mynydd Llangorse for 15 (and it is GW/SW-015 - hadn’t spotted that!) but again there is one more photo from there.
How about ideas for the snowy animal/bird tracks No 13 - I’d love to know what walked over the icy pond (which used to have a hide beside it but this has totally disintegrated now)? Keep on thinking and looking!
73 Viki.


No 13 - Gwaunceste Hill GW/MW-010 has a pond with a hide, though I don’t recall it being in quite such open country as that (I’ve only used the route that passes it once, in one direction!)
The animal tracks look more like a “hopper” than a “walker”, so I’d guess rabbit or perhaps hare as the hops are quite long.
I saw a hare on my way to Fan Nedd last week, but probably not the same one!


You are right again Adrian No 13 is Gwaunceste (GW/MW-010) in cold conditions (a hint for whichever pictures were from the same hill - perhaps including the Yeti!). The hide is now long gone having lingered, ever decreasingly, for some years.

This picture was taken on the way up and high magnification reveals that the animal tracks were there at that time so the ?hare/rabbit didn’t lollop across while we were activating. I feel you were lucky to see a hare on Fan Nedd (or to see anything up there as the cloud rolled in on me before I reached the top last week). We saw them in NI-land quite a lot but avery rare sighting round here.

I am still hoping for some more local responses - I think the ‘sculpture park’ is fairly distinctive (but not usually with a rosy red background nor completely silent). Answers probably at the end of the month and possibly a February instalment - if anyone shows any enthusiasm!
73 Viki


I have now got my log up for January :sweat: which makes identifying a bit easier if you want to have a go.

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Thank You Vicki for an excellent article. Very entertaining and with superb photography. Sorry I could not join in the spirit of competition as it is a very long time since I was in that part of the country. If possible please produce something similar from your February Adventures, that would be great. Many thanks for all the contacts that I have had with you from SOTA Summits. Best Wishes, to both You and Rod. 73. de Paul, M0CQE.

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@M6BWA Hi Viki.

Finally putting my head on the block otherwise you probably won’t speak to me again :grinning:

Nice photos and thought provoking. The problem is that you and Rod sometimes don’t take the same routes as I do so much head scratching involved in trying to work out some of them :thinking:

I first suggest the animal that may have made those tracks is a fox. A fox’s track is usually in line but the holes are rather large so was there a thaw in progress? I do have another suggestion but I’ll hold that one back for a while :grinning:

Well photo No 2 is Craig y Llyn up by the memorial to the little boy (also 8 & 9)…I used it as a seat this year but with a suitable foam covering…I just didn’t want to sit by the trig as the sun was shining :grinning:

The test equipment is something I haven’t seen before so is this another of your exotic routes to a summit and as I don’t take exactly the same route as you I will hazard a guess at Fan Nedd.

It’s the hunt photo that intrigues me as it is possibly Gwaunceste or Beacon Hill with a hint of a track showing in one of them?

Were you on Fan Fawr when I was on Pen y Fan…think that’s right and the Army was keeping you company…the mist in the distance prevents me from seeing the line of distant mountains behind the Army tent …still can’t spot myself on PyF in your photo as I can’t see PyF :grinning:

Was the Ambulance down at the carpark below Beacons Reservoir for the South approach to Fan Fawr…just can’t convince myself that it is part of Fan Fawr in the background and the road behind the vehicles is a bit high :thinking:

The lovely photo in the wind farm suggests Pegwn Mawr?

I now give up and be shot down in flames :rofl:

88 Allan GW4VPX


Thanks Allan GW4VPX for adding to the identifications, most of which are right. As you say, we use different routes sometimes as we tend to approach from the east.
In summary:
GW/SW-011 Sugar Loaf 1, 5 (measuring fuel pollution I believe) , 7, 11, 17 with 21 over to the Skirrid GW/SW-016
GW/SW - 010 Craig y LLyn 2, 9 and 22 (the sunset on a very still day so the the sails were completely stationary.(and blissfully quiet)
GW/MW-009 Beacon Hill 3, 13 (the local hunt on horseback suddenly arrived along a bridle path alongside our car and then we found them crossing th bog - preceded by a swarm of quads but we never saw the pack of hounds just the odd one or two)
GW/SW-009 M Troed 4, 10, 14 (sheep gathering)
GW/SW-005 Fan Fawr 6,8 (the army were out in force and the RAF ambulance was in the car park - possibly because the civilian ones were on strike or??), 16 ( view towards GW/SW-001 which is hidden behind the ridge, GW4VPX is somewhere there…)
GW/MW-010 Gwaunceste 12, 15, 18, 19, (oh dear I can’t count and repeated the same numbers…doh! I’ve now changed them)
GW/SW-015 M Llangorse 20 (our car is just off to the right of the picture as you park between the 2 summits which is very convenient but the road up is getting rougher…)

I’ve just altered the numbers - in case anyone does actually go and look. If I get round to some pictures for Feb/March I’ll try to learn to count first!
73 Viki