Wet and Windy on Black Hill   10 comments

And rain it did. We had a day of solid rain and after another morning of it I was going stir crazy. 1pm it stopped and I reckoned I had enough time for a very quick blast into the Black Mountains. The nearest spot is Black Hill at the end of the Cats Back ridge so the plan formed itself as I only had a couple of hours daylight. I’ve done this walk and it’s derivatives many times before in many seasons so you can read about previous visits in May 2011, January 2012, July 2012, May 2013

This time I decided to walk up the road to the path at the head of the Olchon Valley and return along the ridge in the hope that the clearing weather would be at it’s best just as it was getting dark. It was dark stormy and very windy when I set off.

Olchon Valley, Black Hill, Cats Back

Olchon Valley, Black Hill, Cats Back

Now for reasons that escape me I had decided that trail shoes would be ideal for these conditions. Within 5 minutes I had reached a flood that filled the road completely. Being something of an agile sort I fashioned a technical route around by hanging onto a fence above the water. Being something of a clumsy sort I promptly fell off into the water. No need to worry about how waterproof my trail shoes were as the water was shin deep.

Olchon Valley, Black Hill, Cats Back

I squelched on safe in the knowledge that I had the answer to a question I’d posed myself as to what trail shoes are like in winter when your feet are wet. Answer = wet (and cold).

Olchon Valley, Black Hill, Cats Back

There were a few hardy souls out but in essence I had the mountains to myself. The streams were roaring to compete with the howling wind.

Olchon Valley, Black Hill, Cats Back

The photos show I hope the flavour of the afternoon, essentially very dark with the threat of storms in all directions

Olchon Valley, Black Hill, Cats Back

Olchon Valley, Black Hill, Cats Back

Olchon Valley, Black Hill, Cats Back

Olchon Valley, Black Hill, Cats Back

Still, after a couple of days indoors I enjoyed the bracing air and the sense of challenge from walking in wild conditions with light fading. I was back at the car before dark, glad to get my soaking trail shoes off and head home for the warm comforts and couch potato fulfilling activities that I’m best known for


10 responses to “Wet and Windy on Black Hill

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  1. I have to say Andy, that that did look rather squelchy.

    I thought you were talking about the Black Hill near us to start with, and was wondering why you hadn’t told us you were coming up this way……….


  2. Great set of photos. The second from the top is quite similar than in Lapland.


  3. You made the most of an opportunity – and got your feet wet in an entertaining way for your bloggy fans. Had me scratching my head with the music – I knew it, but couldn’t think who it was.



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