Summits on the Air Activation Report
Activation Date: Saturday 19th September, 2020.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX.
Summit: Ysgyryd Fawr, South Wales, Wales.
Summit ID: SOTA reference GW/SW-016 (1 point).
Summit Height: 486m elevation, 344m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 51.85907, -2.97261. Maidenhead Grid
Distance: 4.4km travelled with 313m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T1.(?)
Elapsed Time: 4hr 10m (including operating).
Weather: Feels like 15.0°C, 15 kph NE wind, 75% humidity.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FT891, Linked Dipole, Zippy 8400mAh 4S LiFePo4. Yaesu FTM100D, MFJ-1714. Yaesu VX6, Diamond SRH770S.
Contacts: 66 (40m SSB, 20m SSB, 2m FM, 70cm FM).
- Ysgyryd Fawr, also known as “The Skirrid,” is a distinctive hill in Monmouthshire, Wales, standing at 486 meters above sea level. It is renowned for its unique, “shattered” summit, providing panoramic views of the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains from its trails. With historical and cultural significance, it’s a popular hiking destination within the Brecon Beacons National Park, offering a blend of natural beauty and local folklore.
- I chose to hike up to the summit of The Skirrid for the 2020 European SOTA Activity Day, taking my HF radio equipment with me.
- I parked in the car park to the south on the B4521 road. This car park is a good size and is free to National Trust members.
- A good quality track winds its way north through some woodland and then on to the slopes of the mountain. A long gradual ascent along the ridge gains the summit at 486 metres after only about two kilometres of walking. This 1-point summit is well suited to walking and SOTA novices.
- Arriving at a relatively busy summit, I set up my HF dipole antenna mast off to one side of the path. First, I worked a number of local stations on 2-metres and 70-centimetres with my FTM100D and VX6 radios. I then proceeded to operate on the 20 and 40 metre bands with my FT891 radio at 100 watts. My first contact was my friend Steve
OH3SPNof m0spn.co.uk. I then proceeded to work a veritable bounty of summit-to-summit contacts over the next couple of hours.
- After my battery had given up the ghost, I retraced my steps back down the mountain to the car. The European SOTA Activity Day was certainly a success and it was a great opportunity to speak to lots of other SOTA enthusiasts. Ysgyryd Fawr was certainly a very pleasant small hill and one which I expect I will return to at some point in the future.
Below are some photographs taken during my activation of Ysgyryd Fawr on Saturday 19th September, 2020.
Walking Route for Ysgyryd Fawr
The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for Ysgyryd Fawr. The GW/SW-016 summit area is marked on the map with a blue pin icon.
You can download the route shown above as a GPX file suitable for use with most GPS devices. This file is provided for information only, to support your own walk planning and research (it may contain navigation errors, detours and/or safety hazards). The route downloads provided here are governed by the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.
I logged the following 66 amateur radio contacts operating as
MW1HAX/P from GW/SW-016 Ysgyryd Fawr on Saturday 19th September, 2020 (all times shown are UTC):
|09:24||M3TMX/P||2m||FM||Jordan, 5/3, S2S G/WB-010|
|10:10||GW4TQE/P||20m||SSB||John, 5/9, S2S GW/MW-026|
|10:18||M1CJE||2m||FM||Andrew, 5/9, S2S G/CE-001|
|10:23||SV2HJW/P||20m||SSB||Kostas, 5/9, S2S SV/MC-077|
|10:28||G6WRW/P||20m||SSB||Carolyn, 5/9, S2S G/WB-004|
|10:30||OE1VRB/P||20m||SSB||Roland, 5/5, S2S OE/NO-197|
|10:33||YO6SM/P||20m||SSB||Mihai, 5/7, S2S YO/EC-010|
|10:34||YO6YLJ/P||20m||SSB||Nicoleta, 5/7, S2S YO/EC-010|
|10:37||SP9TKW/P||20m||SSB||Marek, 5/9, S2S SP/BZ-057|
|10:51||ON4UP/P||40m||SSB||Peter, 5/9, S2S ON/ON-010|
|10:57||CT2GSN/P||40m||SSB||John, 5/7, S2S CT/DL-002|
|11:05||HB9GVW/P||40m||SSB||Martin, 5/7, S2S HB/SO-006|
|11:08||YO8AZQ/P||40m||SSB||Adrian, 4/2, S2S YO/EC-262|
|11:24||YO8SST/P||40m||SSB||Tatiana, 5/4, S2S YO/EC-262|
|11:26||DL/HB9BIN/P||40m||SSB||Juerg, 5/7, S2S DM/BW-105|
|11:30||YO8SFF/P||40m||SSB||Cataline, 5/1, S2S YO/EC-262|
|11:31||LA4CIA/P||40m||SSB||Lewi, 5/5, S2S LA/OS-001|
|11:39||GM4JXP/P||40m||SSB||Simon, 5/9, S2S GM/ES-053|
|11:41||PA2GB/P||40m||SSB||Geert, 5/7, S2S PA/PA-006|
|11:55||DL/HB9GUX/P||40m||SSB||HaWe, 5/5, S2S DM/BM-065|
|11:59||HB0/HB9CYX/P||40m||SSB||Fritz, 5/7, S2S HB0/LI-009|
In the notes field I will usually log the other operator’s name and the signal report they provided. In accordance with the Summits on the Air rules, I do not make a log entry where a complete exchange of callsigns and signal reports was unsuccessful.
The following resources may be helpful to walkers, mountaineers and SOTA activators interested in Ysgyryd Fawr:
- Sotl.as Summit Page for GW/SW-016 Ysgyryd Fawr.
- Hill Bagging UK Summit Page for Ysgyryd Fawr.
- Google Earth view of Ysgyryd Fawr.
- Wikipedia entry for Ysgyryd Fawr.
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