Back to where it all began – Mynydd Llangorse and Mynydd Troed, Black Mountains   12 comments

Our New Year weather luck seemed to be holding and we had a reasonable forecast for the 30th so we planned another day out with me, GM and D while TBF and L stayed at home. We pored over the maps of the local hills and GM picked out Mynydd Llangorse and Mynydd Troed as being off the beaten track and therefore worth a visit. We picked a route to combine both with a round of Cwm Sorgwm. The plan was set, the sandwiches made (more turkey) and we were off.

Mynydd Troed, Mynydd Llangorse

The effects of the wet weather were immediately apparent. The stile from the road onto the fields was a running stream that gave an interesting little start to the day.

Mynydd Llangorse

“Now I like paths, but I also like streams. But which one is best? There’s only one way to find out…”

Mynydd Llangorse

Mynydd Llangorse lower slopes

We were heading up to the path that skirts the eastern slopes of Mynydd Llangorse to pick up the south ridge. It started promisingly as it weaved amongst the bracken and then promptly vanished. It was an easy decision from there, a mile or so of traversing through deep bracken and brambles or straight up to the top? Straight up it was, D was completely thrown by the steepness and the battle through the undergrowth.

Mynydd Llangorse

Welcome to the jungle

Mynydd Llangorse

A breather and a drink

I just told him this was all part of the mountain experience. It was only a few hundred feet in reality and soon over.

Mynydd Llangorse

Nearly over

Mynydd Llangorse

A face that says “are you sure that’s it!”

Once up on the plateau-like summit area of Pen Tir we picked up a succession of sheep tracks that led past a couple of nice tarns onto one of the more substantial paths that criss-cross the fairly vast upland mountain.

Mynydd Llangorse, Pen Tir, Mynydd Troed

Mynydd Troed from Pen Tir

Mynydd Llangorse, Pen Tir, Mynydd Troed

Tarn on Pen Tir

I walked up the northern part of the mountain several years ago but don’t have fond memory of it. I think I picked a poor route down through deep heather and I was carrying L on my back. Today the broad green paths made for great walking in the strong winds. We stopped for a snack by a natural spring and took a drink from the fresh clear waters which excited D immensely.

Mynydd Llangorse

Fresh Water

The top can be one of several spots depending on your inclination and we pressed on for a sheltered spot for lunch. We found a perfect one at the top of the north ridge and took a long look at our second target for the day, Mynydd Troed. From our lunch spot the north ridge (named on the map as Cockit Hill) down to the col was excellent, relatively narrow and airy.

Mynydd Llangorse,  Mynydd Troed, Cockit Hill

Cockit Hill and Mynydd Troed

Mynydd Llangorse,  Cockit Hill

Mynydd Llangorse and Cockit Hill

Mynydd Llangorse,  Mynydd Troed, Cockit Hill

Mynydd Llangorse and Cockit Hill

The climb to the top of Mynydd Troed was exceptionally steep and D was feeling the pace a little as GM left us behind. The wind was ferocious as we arrived on the top for an interesting father and son moment. Mynydd Troed was my very first mountain back in 1977 when I was a mere 10 years old and this was my first time back. 35 years on it was nice for D to be able to share this little private reverie of mine.

Mynydd Troed

Father and Son on Mynydd Troed

Not the kind of weather to be hanging around so we pressed on down the summit ridge, a really pleasant high level stroll and completely deserted. The skies were darkening, no doubt the poor weather forecast for New Years Eve on it’s way.

Mynydd Troed

D and GM on Mynydd Troed

 Mynydd Troed

GM descends Mynydd Troed

We found a succession of thin paths down through the bracken on the south slopes to reach the access path. D was relieved as he had no wish to descend a similar slope to the one we’d climbed in the morning – to be honest neither was I! A simple stroll back down the lane and main road completed a fine day. Like a few routes I’ve discovered it doesn’t seem to appear in any guidebooks but other than a little road walking (and some bracken bashing) it’s an excellent route

Mynydd Troed

At the end of the day

A trip back to where it all began for me. Back in 1977, it was a truly atrocious day from what I recall, heavy rain and no views. The summit moments were enlivened by my teachers assertion that it was a volcano and the slight depression in which sits the summit cairn was it’s crater – needless to say we all believed him. Teachers eh! We spent the rest of the day in a tent in Talgarth, soaked through. I absolutely loved it. Funny to think that mountain climbing would be at the core of my life since then and that 35 years on I’d be standing on the same summit reliving the memory with my son. I hope he keeps his enthusiasm and that perhaps he too will return to the summit here with his own kids and pass the story on.

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12 responses to “Back to where it all began – Mynydd Llangorse and Mynydd Troed, Black Mountains

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  1. You do have some nice looking hills around your way! Must get down there sometime…

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  2. “In 1977 when I was 10”?
    And I thought you were good at sums.
    Revisionist history aside, another cracking post about what looks to be another cracking walk. And one of my all time favourite tunes of all time to boot.

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    beatingthebounds
    • That will teach me to multitask and try to write a blog and edit video at the same time – should be 1976 and I would have been 10 or 11 depending on whether the trip was before or after my birthday in May – I think it was before.
      Considering the appalling New Year weather we did ok and had another good day on New Years Day (post coming soon). I thought you’d like the tune, my favourite RS track of al time

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  3. Tune! Great route as always by the looks of it and yes every now and again you happen across a path-stream hybrid! So jealous of looking at walks just now as snow stopped play this weekend.

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    • Thanks Roxy, real shame that the weather ruined your weekend. Looks the snow will be around for a few weeks by the sound of it so at least you’ll have some winter conditions to walk in when you do get out. The whole of my local area was a stream/bog before the snow – boy will it be wet when it all melts 🙂

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  4. I love the patchwork designs of the green fields below. Looks like a quilt!

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    • I love the patchwork look as well, quintessentially British! My local Hills are all on the border of pastoral land so you always get this view to some degree. Mind you it was a patchwork of white today, loads of snow in the UK at the moment.

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  5. Fine walking in those hills, a good circuit. The climbs to Mynydd Troed and Pen Tir sure are steep, mind you, nearly all of them are now to us!. I remember finding a couple of springs in unexpected places there, southern hills near the border tend to be very dry.

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    • They were a couple of calf-burning lung-busters those climbs but a couple of splendid mountains that served some attention. Finding water is one of the perennial problems of trying to find a sneaky wild campsite in the BMs – that and flat spot not smothered in sheep poo!

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