The one that (nearly) got away

Today’s target was Aran Fawddwy, GW/NW-007. A point to note is that the car park in Cwm Cywarch has been moved from the west of the road at SH854185 about 400M along the road to an enclosed area to the east of the road at SH852187. There is a port-a-loo there, and parking is still free.

I took my usual route along the flank of Pen yr Allt Uchaf to the coll at SH875205, north onto Drysgol and east to the cairn at the end of the ridge. Initially following the fence about NW, crossing the style at SH861216, I headed roughly N on an faint path through the rocks to attain the summit ridge. A quick visit to the trig point then a little way back to set up the antenna. The weather was clear, but with a cool and brisk wind blowing.

80M was poor, with only G0RQL appearing in the log for 10 minutes calling. Despite 15 minutes calling I had no takers on 40M. Up to 20M and DF5WA replied after 8 minutes. Then followed an unsuccessfully attempt to work 9A7W, but success with HB9AGH. At this point I was wondering whether to bite the bullet and attempt cw on 30M, but S57GB came up and saved my bacon, followed by success with 9A7W.

Yes, I had qualified the summit, but was disappointed not to have given away more points. Perhaps it isn’t a good idea to activate during Wimbledon fortnight, HI.

73s de Dave, G(W)6DTN

In reply to M0DFA:

It wasn’t Wimbledon, Dave, it was lack of propagation: I listened for you on both 80 and 40, you were occasionally audible but never readable.


Brian G8ADD

Nice report Dave. Scraping it with 5 contacts? Wow, that takes us back to the “early days” hi!

It could be that CW is the answer, or it could be the tennis on the telly, both of which you suggested. I am certainly finding that activating on CW long before Murray and Federer et al are out of bed is generating me plenty of contacts. More likely to be none of those reasons, and you were just unlucky with condx!

I still haven’t done that one. Is it as nice as you make it sound? In fact I still haven’t done any of NW-002 through NW-010 would you believe? And not exactly many more in the series NW-014 through NW-041. Plenty of points and uniques just waiting for me and Jim!


In reply to M1EYP:

Good morning, Tom. In response to your suggestion that I post my reply to you on the reflector, here it is.

The route I described onto NW-007 is quite long. I can still just about beat Naysmith over all but the roughest ground, but it still took me 2 and a half hours to get to the top. The only points to note are that the coll at SH875205 can be very wet, but Thursday was OK. The route immediately beyond is quite steep and seems to go on for ever. There is a path which skirts to the south of Drysgol, but on a good day it’s worth going up on the ridge for the view of Fawddwy - take your camera. The ridge itself gets quite exposed towards the cairn at SH863213. Nothing like Striding Edge, but on a windy day… The route through the rocks is indistinct in places but not a real problem - it’s much easier to find on the way down, but finding the drop-off point, especially in cloud, can be difficult.

There is an alternative route down, which also opens up the possibility of a double.

From the summit area head initially SW along the S side of the fence. There are some slightly scrambly bits on the initial descent, but no real problems. Further along there are stretches with duck-boards. A little care is needed here as they can be very slippery and a heavily placed boot sometimes results in a fountain of peaty water that targets the ankle. The last bit, from about SH842201, can be very wet indeed, until you pick up a good path at SH841201. Here you have to make a choice.

The descent from here follows the path SE down the valley. It is quite steep and rocky in places, but the route is never in doubt. The only point to watch is the route past the farms just before you get to the road. I’ve never quite squared the route on the ground with what’s on the map.

I tend to take my time on summits with HF. It takes me 20 minutes or so to get the aerial up, allow an hour operating (I try to call on each band for 15 minutes or so - I’m not sure how long it takes for non-UK internet spots to appear) and 10 minutes to get everything packed away. It is therefore unusual for me to do a double. However, if your timing allows, you can get onto Glasgwm from SH841201, by following the fence (stay on the north side). The route is obvious and well-worn, but is steep in places and I find it a bit hard going with a pack. From the summit, the path goes to the E of Llyn y Fign and almost due S to a fence at about SH837189. Keep to the E of the fence all the way down to a track at SH841180. The last part of the descent is quite steep, but I’ve done it several times, so it isn’t that bad. Once you reach the track (which at one time would have been passable for (someone else’s) Landrover) head initially E down into Cwm Cywarch.

So here you have the possibility of a good circular walk with a possible extension to do a double.

Not far from Cwm Cywarch, back on the A470 at SH856150, is a lay-by which is a good start point for Maesglase. I walk along the road to SH848154 and turn W along a minor road, through a farm to a small monument at SH841152. From here a track continues SW, veering almost S to a long-disused small-scale mining area at SH837139. From here the track degenerates into a path which zig-zags up, quite steeply in places, to the coll at SH829136. The next section is quite indistict, but head a bit W of N (Now that’s precision for you) to pick up a path that follows the escarpment round to the summit. There are a couple of streams to cross, but I’ve never had wet feet as a result. From the summit, it is possible to follow the fence SW to a junction at SH817148, and follow the joining fence SE to the forest. Following the edge of the forest N of E, brings you back to the ascent route. From the summit there is a faint path which takes a steep (the steepest grass descent I’ve ever seen - almost suicidal in the wet) direct descent off initially NE, again following a fence until it veers NW to skirt Moel Cwm yr Eglwys and onward to become a track to a farmstead (Ty’n-y-celyn) where I was bitten by Border Collie. There is a direct track down to the road.

Hope this is of some use to you.

I have also activated Tarrenhendre recently, from Dolgoch, so could illuminate on that, if you wish.

My next outings are from the pimples near Bognor and honiton. Lets hope hf conditions are a bit better, or I may have to reach for the key.

73s, Dave