Thanks everyone for the QSOs over the last couple of days!
With a few weeks off work, and a slightly tantalising 168 points to go to Mountain Goat (thanks, Cambridge, for being so flat…), the start of a plan formed.
After driving over on Sunday afternoon to the lovely Dolgam campsite, I had the full day on Monday to play with.
Starting up Devil’s Kitchen towards Glyder Fawr, I found what seemed to be a slightly better track than I’ve managed previously - going up from Llyn y Cwn felt easier, and I only managed one slip, and zero broken toenails on the way back down - I think a personal best. It was a touch windy on top, but the cloud cleared while I was up there for a view down the valley. 30m did nicely, but no dice on 2m - I suspect I was sheltered the wrong side of the very top for most usable VHF paths.
Heading over to Y Garn next, the clouds stayed away giving their usual lovely views, and the wind abated. Both 30m and 2m did well, and it was nice to have the space to set up in relative comfort.
Completing the triple with Elider Fawr, the wind returned, and the rocky ridge isn’t the most conducive to HF dipoles - lots of clambering around as the wire gets hooked under every rock except the ones you want it to! But again, a decent number of QSOs, with only one 2m one interrupted by the fibreglass pole deciding to telescope down mid-over!
Of course, if you park at Idwal Cottage, you end up having to summit Y Garn again on the way back, but I did take the more western route (Pinnacle Crag?) back to Llyn Idwal - it’s not one I’d tried before, but despite some slippery early seconds (slip number two of the day…), it soon turns into a well-engineered set of steps.
Tuesday was looking like another bright day, and the Daear Ddu ridge up Moel Siabod was too good an opportunity to pass up. My navigation wasn’t entirely perfect, and I joined a little higher up the ridge than planned, but still enjoyed some gentle scrambling that’s just right for my taste. At the top, the QSOs didn’t seem to stop, with 50 minutes between the first and the last, but all very pleasant.
I’d intended to pop to the outdoor shops before leaving early tomorrow morning, so getting back to the car, I hurridly looked for something small I could squeeze in and still get back in time. A 1.5km, 228m of ascent track up GW/NW-056 looked ideal! Up in about an hour, quick activation, 45 minutes back to the car, and I’d be in time!
Except… rookie error. In my haste, I didn’t read the description or actually check the track before sending it to my watch, beyond a quick sense check of the starting position. As I approached the checkered flag, feeling slightly smug about my timing estimate, it became increasingly clear that the summit… wasn’t there, but another 1.2km and 190m of ascent further on. Whoops.
Deciding that a new waterproof was less exciting than a new summit, I carried on, finding a sniff of 4G to update my activation time. Without the deadline, it was a more relaxed walk, and activation. Just as well, as 30m was in poor shape, with only 5 QSOs in the log. Nonetheless, a pleasant summit, and a new one for me, to round off the day.
35 points down, 133 to go.
So, tomorrow morning, it’s on the ferry from Holyhead, and over to EI land. I’m planning a day-ish in the Wicklow Mountains, before heading further west to Tralee for a couple of days around the Dingle peninsula.
And then… somewhere else? I should probably book a ferry home at some point, but that can wait, for now…