Moel Eilio GW/NW-022, yesterday

Its getting like the recurrent jokes on the old Brian Rix farces, every time I go out something goes wrong!

Saturday was a no show day, no let up in the rain and an occasional burst of hail got mixed in when we drove up to the parking place, so just down again for a low level walk and a (very expensive) pint in the local homebrew pub (I don’t expect bargains, but £3:40 a pint is steeper than Y Garn!)

Yesterday started wet, but just before we set off for a wander around the local slate quarries (a real mark of desperation!) a brightening of the sky towards Caernarfon suggested that another try was in order, so back to Waun Fawr and up the track to be elated by a beautiful band of blue sky heading our way. Pauline opted to stay with the dog, the car and a good book, being a pessimist with bad knees, so I set off for the summit at my usual supercharged snails pace. The summit was well wrapped in cloud so the well-built shelter suddenly loomed out of the mist, and guess what? The entrance faced right into a cold north wind! Disappointed, I set up on the south side out of the wind, balancing the gear on various protruding rocks and anchoring the pole in a collapsed shelter just to the west. Nowadays I don’t have the gazelle touch for bounding around on wet greasy boulders so it all took longer than I expected, but eventually I turned on the rig, set it to 5 megs, selected AM (for a lower powered carrier) and keyed the mike. Huge swr and the tuner had no effect. After faffing about for several minutes I realised that the problem was inside the tuner, so I opened it up with the Phillips screwdriver on my Swiss army knife (where would I be without it - probably toothless from biting off crown caps!), and there the problem was, the lead to the output socket had come adrift. Muttering my usual virulent mantra about useless b****y lead-free solder I used the knife to remove some more insulation and managed to wrap the bare wire a few turns around the pin on the socket. Instant success! I opened the batting with a couple of S2S contacts with the Scottish contingent, GM4COX/P and GM7PKT/P, enjoying the chance to pay back Barry and Robin a few points for all the many they have given me, then I looked for a clear channel…golly it was busy, some channels three deep and where had those LAs come from? (Yes, I know, Norway!) I found myself ending up marooned on the unfashionable end of the band, 5.2585 MHz! After a few fruitless CQs I was found by an alert Richard G3ZGP, and then the pile-up began. Suddenly there was one of those Hallelujia! moments that account for the life-long hold that hill walking has had on me; the cloud swept away as if a celestial stage manager had opened the curtains, and I found myself looking down on the coastal plain and Anglesea, with Caernarfon Castle picked out brilliantly by a shaft of sunlight. Awesome! I tell you, I nearly stopped talking! This lasted about ten minutes then the view started to come and go as a succession of smaller clouds swept over the summit, and this coincided with a sudden change on the radio: as each cloud swept across strong static blanketted the band, it seemed that the clouds were now carrying a static charge and the last contact was very difficult to complete. After a couple of QRZs got no reply that I could hear through the frying bacon, I decided to call it quits after only 14 contacts, packed up, and warmed myself up by hurrying off down the hill back to the XYL, the dog, the car, and a thermos of tea that I had unaccountably failed to pick up before starting up the hill. Good job my neck bolts are cross-threaded!

My next definate outing will be at the end of the year, the Mercians have booked a hut for their New Year Meet in the Coppermines Valley near Coniston, conveniently handy for the OMC, G/LD-013…I wonder what will go wrong this time?


Brian G8ADD

Nice report Brian. At least you made the summit and got the activation. I remember that a succession of your earlier “farces” resulted in you failing to qualify, failing to activate or even failing to summit! Looks like you’re heading in the right direction to me.

I have never done Moel Eilio, but like the look of the walk on the map. I was thinking of a route up the Snowdon Ranger Path, first activating Moel Cynghorion NW-030 and then going across to NW-022.

I hope to get a view because I imagine that the view off Eilio is possibly even better than Snowdon itself.


In reply to M1EYP:

That’s cheered me up!

I remember one meet in the late 70s we started from the hut at Ceunant (the old Marconi telegraphy school) and walked up Moel Eilio then followed the ridge to Moel Cynghorion, paused for lunch then walked back, and it is a really fine ridge walk, even a bit airy in places. If you walk down to Waun Fawr after doing Moel Eilio you can catch a bus or a train back to Snowdon Ranger. It can also be done from Rhyd Ddu with little increase in distance but good parking facilities at Rhyd Ddu station and a longer train ride to finish. The timetables for the Welsh Highland Railway are on the net. The “hut” I was staying at this last weekend is Tan y’r Wyddfa, a lovely four-bedroomed house owned by the Oread MC, right by the station, but only ballast trains were running, double headed, most spectacular to watch, but no chance of a ride this month!

The view from M. Eilio is phenomenal, though unfortunately including some huge slate quarries!


Brian G8ADD