The late May UK Bank Holiday took us to Snowdonia, North Wales for the attempted activation of Glyder Fawr, Tryfan, and Y Garn. Glyder Fawr is the highest peak in the Glyderau range.
Sunday 26th May
Members of the club (M0NJX, G0WJZ, 2E0MXA and M0VVA) travelled to North Wales on 26th May and set up camp in Llandudno, immediately stretching our legs by a walk the length of the Promenade and then regrouped for strategy discussions over hand-made pizza.
Monday 27th May – GW/NW-004 Y Garn
An early start, with a quick stop at the local supermarket to stock up on supplies, took us to the edge of Llyn Ogwen for the start of the ascent. The weather was grim, a Northerly wind had picked up bringing an unexpected sharp edge to the temperature, wind speed was around 18 knots with gusts forecast up to 40 knots.
The climb up Y Garn is steep, pretty much like climbing the Empire State Building via the stairs. Being City folk, none of us were prepared – some of us had visited “Devil’s Kitchen” before and taken the easy route around the small lake but the ascent of Y Garn was something else. This was compounded by the wind. On numerous occasions there were whoops of joy that we were just about to hit the summit – only to be fooled by yet another steep hike! It was hard but fun too.
We finally reached the summit to a complete white-out, not quite what we had anticipated when planning this earlier in the month. After a quick photo opportunity we set up our stations and started calling. G0WCZ was operating CW with his Elecraft KX2 with home made EFHW aerial – contacts were made on 20m which were augmented with some VHF FM to make up the 4 required for activation. The other members rapidly gained their 4 contacts on VHF FM before packing away due to the cold wind and deteriorating conditions.
We made the sensible decision that we should “call it a day” and head back down to the car park rather than attempt Glyder Fawr and Tryfan – both summits were in the cloud and the wind was picking up.
Tuesday 28th May – GW/NW-070 Great Orme
Tuesday was our departure day but we decided to make a quick stop at the Great Orme to get one additional summit in and some more points in the log. GW/NW-070 is no challenge to get to at all – literally around the corner from our hotel in Llandudno. G0WCZ set up his home-brew EFHW against a fence and the activation began. Both G0WCZ and 2E0MXA gained the required contacts on either VHF FM, 20m CW or 20m SSB.
We all agreed, despite the weather, it was a lot of fun and some great exercise. We learned that even with the best planning conditions in the mountains can change quickly and we need to be prepared for all eventualities, including making the right decision to abandon plans for safety’s sake. We were encouraged to plan for future events of which Brecon Beacons and the Lake District were candidates.