Sunday, 19 August 2012

No.2 Climb A Mountain (Without falling off this time)

It has been a little while since I last post progress of my list.  I really need to crack on and get a few more things crossed off.  So without more procrastination I decided to head up a mountain (not the biggest one in the world, but still a very enjoyable one!).

The mountain selected was Pen Y Fan.  Pen Y Fan is the highest mountain in South Wales and Southern Britain (the highest peak in Great Britain, south of the Snowdonia mountain range).

There are a few different routes up the mountain, so I chose a moderate one as, unfortunately the day I had chosen to do the walk, the weather was behaving unpredictably.  I love walking, and get a thrill out of challenges, but will not put myself (or anybody else) at risk.

I sat in my car for a short while, hoping that the weather would break a little, but alas it was staying for the duration.  So I put on my boots, zipped up my jacket, slipped on my rucksack and headed off.

The start point was at the car park opposite the "Storey Arms - Outdoor Activity/Education Centre" on the A470 road (Zip/Postcode: LD3 8NL).

Opposite the car park is a red telephone box.  From here I walked through the gate and saw the footpath that took me on to the first part of the ascent. 

Unfortunately the weather was very wet, windy and misty so I was appreciative of the pathway, as making my way over rough ground would have been much more challenging (and even though I had a compass and ordinance survey map, it would have been hard to judge exactly where to go).

The path ran up the hillside, leaving the plantation behind and crossing open moorland that makes up the southern flanks of Y Gyrn.  After a heft ascent, I came upon the broad ridge and climbed an old style and made my way towards the very infant Taf Fawr river. 

The man made track was still visible and I continued on my ascent, heading directly up the hillside.  As I made my ascent, the mist was thick, the rain continued its deluge and the wind became ever stronger. 

In theory, you are supposed to see that you are on a deeply gouged valley of Cwm Llwch, with the lake of Llyn y Cwm llwch below and the steep crags of Corn Du above.  Instead, my view was the local ferns and brakens, babbling brooks and lots of mist.

The next stage was the steep climb up to the rocky ramparts that guard the summit of Corn Du.  The table-topped summit was crowned with a sprawling cairn.

After gathering my breath for a short while, I carried on forward, dropping into the shallow notch that separates the two peaks of Corn Du and Pen y Fan and then climbed onto the highest point in southern Britain.

At last, I was here.  Not the view that I had expected, but in some ways equally magical.  And it leaves me with the desire to retrace my steps in a few weeks time, when the weather is less unpredictable and see the summit in sunshine.

Another thing crossed off my list, another achievement!

1 comment:

  1. Well done!:)

    I managed to climb Ben Nevis last year for charity (though that was before I drew up my list so it's not on it).

    Best of luck for your further list items! :)


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