After the long day and late night, there was to be no early wake-up call on
Friday 28th August 2009. But when we did arise, we knew where we were going.
Following the traditional NQT ("newly qualified teacher") motto of "Take the
biggest and hit him", we aimed for Waun Fach GW/SW-002, which we assessed to be
the most difficult of the summits on our agenda.
First, after crossing the bridge, we followed the riverside path to the edge
of the forest. Then we turned left (west) and climbed steeply on the path
following the northern boundary of the Mynydd Du Forest. This was quite hard
work, and a little tricky for me as the path skirted frequently close to a deep
steep drop to my immediate right!
Craig and Jimmy pulled well ahead of Liam and I, and MW3EYP/M called me on
the radio to report that they were passing over Pen y Gadair Fawr. When Liam and
I reached that point, we chose to pass to the right of the subsidiary summit
rather than top it. We then had the long boring plod over the squelchy 753m
saddle before finally climbing the boggy lump of porridge that is Waun Fach.
It was drizzling and there was a cold wind. And Waun Fach has got to be be
one of the most "shelterless" summits ever! We got stuck into the pasties bought
from the campsite shop that morning, and set up the 40m dipole and 2m SOTA Beam.
Jimmy managed 7 QSOs on 2m FM, but only eventually, after enduring 80 minutes of
silence between his 1st and 2nd contacts. Things were much more straightforward
for me on 40m CW, although I too made only 7 QSOs! At least they came one after
the other though in a 12 minute spell!
What appeared to be an unmapped trig point appeared just before the
reservoir, but it didn't have the bracket or number. The waters of the reservoir
were being whipped up by the wind and crashing violently into the dam wall. We
walked across the dam and marvelled at the height of it, and the very deep drop
to the right of us. At the other side of the dam was another trig-shaped stone
pillar, so we assumed that they were something to do with the dam or reservoir.
The walk and expedition had taken all day, so I instructed the JimNav to take
me directly into Talgarth, and the Bell Inn. We were delighted to find that the
pub was still being run by Sydna, who by my reckoning must be 68 years of age
now, and exactly as kind and welcoming as she was four years ago.
Thanks to all the following stations worked by us on this activation: