24 January 2011
I parked in the deserted car park next to Idwal cottage and made my way up to Llyn Idwal, then right up the path along Pinnacle Crag up into the low cloud shrouding Y Garn.
Towards the summit, the path was strewn with boulder bags waiting to be laid. Quite a few more cairns have appeared since my last trip here making navigation in the mist easier.
I set up my KX1 and 25’ wire on a short fishing pole and tuned up on 30m. To my dismay something appeared to be wrong with the receiver. Power output seemed OK but there was very little audio except a rhythmic buzzing and a few distant CW signals. I have had the KX1 zapped with static due to hail a few years ago so not wanting to take any chances with the radio I abandoned HF for the rest of the day.
On 2m FM I found Mike 2E0YYY/P on SP-013. Mike kindly let me use his frequency with him, so I qualified the summit pretty quickly whilst using low power to conserve battery life, thanks Mike!
I then QSY’d briefly and worked a few other stations including Neil 2W0TDX/P on NW-044.
After a quick rest for a snack at Llyn y Cwn it was a straight forward slog up the frozen slope to Glyder Fawr.
With a handful of contacts in the log on 2m FM it was getting pretty cold and very windy and the fishing pole was encased in ice so time to move on to the final summit of the day, Tryfan.
At Castell-y-Gwynt in freezing fog I veered off course despite a map and compass (looking on APRS I have a short zig zag which added considerably to the time spent getting to Tryfan) thus when I got to Bwlch Tryfan sheltering behind the wall looking up at Tryfan hidden in cloud and with daylight failing, I thought I’d head back to the car. (A bit disappointing, I have always managed previously to complete these three summits in one day but it did not seem safe enough and also a good part of my enjoyment in the mountains is seeing the views from the summits.)
I only saw seven people all day, quite unusual for such a popular part of Snowdonia, despite the poor conditions.
The following day I tested my AA battery pack and KX1 and all worked fine. I can only assume that the freezing conditions were too much for the KX1 that day.
Many thanks to all those who called me.