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Sunday, 12 July 2009

Brecon Bagging Bonanza






















In order to prevent repetition, and for space to move on to new things next week, I’ll just make the one posting about the little trip to the Brecon Beacons.
I must say, though, that in terms of the number of things ticked off the list and, generally, “things to be achieved”, this was quite a successful expedition.
It started out in the usual unpromising kind of way with a specially easy bag of the spectacularly unexceptional but not unapproachable but possibly underrated Long Mountain, somewhere quite close to Welshpool in the rain. I expect that if you live in Welshpool and have more time to explore, that this fine ridge would be just the thing when its not raining
Then, after putting up the tent and festering for an evening, the time came to bag a Hewitt. In view of the driech wetness and general clamminess all round, Carreg lwyd was chosen and this, in turn repaid the effort by being a bit dull. I bet it would be nice on a warm summers day in, say, early July. But not today.
And then came Corn Du, Pen y Fan , Y Cribyn and Fan y Big. Anybody visiting these parts should be minded to visit evil and unpleasant things (ribbet, Rachel!) on any person even thinking about suggesting that these hills ought to be or even could be missed out of a visit to the Brecon Beacons. They really do just have to be done. They’re great. Fantastic. The highlight of the week. I’ve only included one pic, just for illustration. They’re very popular, so I expect that vast swathes of the readership( hah!) will have already been up these, so you won’t miss a few photos. I might use some later on when an irrelevant picture about something or other is called for.
And one of them has a rude name, so even more reason to go up it. (Not Corn Du)
Fan Lia and Fan Fawr with a few other grassy things came next, and then Waun Fach and a little Dewey by the name of Brian or something, followed by a plunge through oakwoods due to a path disappearing when it shouldn’t have. Some people find this kind of thing a bit annoying. I quite enjoy the challenge. And a decisive approach gets things done, even if you turn out the other end just a bit scratched. There’s always a danger that you might get shouted at, though, by some irate farmer or the occupant of a bungalow who is just getting ready for his bath. Or something.
Lastly, I had a day Marilyn bagging near Abergavenny. Sugar Loaf was done in mist and a bit of rain, but through superb and spectacularly beautiful oakwoods, with quite a few “veteran” trees. I followed this with the diminutive but green and also beautiful Bryn Arw, with mewing buzzards, a man scything bracken in the old-fashioned way (with a scythe!) and showers queuing up along the valley.
Lastly was Ysgyryd Fawr (The skirrid), a steep lump which seems to be a volcanic plug, very similar to all of those Central Scottish plugs. Steep and wooded and brackeny with a bit of archaeology on the top in the form of “St Michaels Chapel” St Michael being the patron saint of ladies pants and had his chapel, apparently on the top of an older cairn. Two ladies were looking for this place and we had a nice chat. They remarked on the fact that the view was now from the Gower to Shropshire. I couldn’t confirm or deny this. I expect they were right.
These little border hills are just the thing for a jaded hill bagger, though the thigh-muscle wrecking properties of the steep little buggers shouldn’t be underestimated. Fab stuff. I’ll be back.
43 miles, 11000 feet of uphill , 10 Hewitts, 7 marilyns and 3 deweys bagged. + 1 lamb Balti and 1 fish and chips (apologies to the lass in the chippy who thought I asked for two fish and chips. Sorry, pet)

4 comments:

John J said...

Welshpool in the rain - is that near Much Binding in the Marsh?
It sounds like you a had a good, if slightly soggy, trip.
Nice one.
JJ

mike knipe said...

Welshpool was wet, John J, but its a wet name, though innit?. The middle bit of the week was fine, though.
The Balti was Salti. (I'm learning to live without salt)

Martin Rye said...

Damn they look good hills. I must go and visit them. Walking and a Currie Mike - good trip then.

mike knipe said...

They're certainly right up your street, I would have thought, Martin. The middle part of the Beacons is really impressive. I expect this is why its so crowded, thuogh (!)
Lots of soldiers running about too...
I'm sure you'd enjoy the place. Plenty of wild camping spots and good water too.