A Breakfast Walk   12 comments

On a cold clear winters day the best time to be out is early morning. Having convinced TJS into an early start we settled on a route around Cwn Banw in the Black Mountains, one of my favorites. We were walking at just after 8am and it was a glorious albeit chilly morning at -5C



The silhouettes of the trees are always something that fascinates me and this morning at the early hour was a great time to capture them


The low morning sun also lights up the bracken and heather to very dramatic effect. It seems to glow with a warm deep brown contrasting to the frosty cold air




The plan was to breakfast on Table Mountain (this allows the early start and is also a rather fine thing to do). Even though the air was cold even in winter the sun has a little warmth. What we hadn’t banked on was the surprisingly strong wind that turned the chilly air into an a more arctic feel



Luckily Table Mountain has a terrace below its sloping flat top and we found a great spot in the sun but sheltered by the wind and overlooking the Usk Valley and the Brecon Beacons


Is there a finer way to spend a winters morning than a freshly cooked bacon sandwich and cup of tea overlooking the mountains under a deep blue sky? Answers on a postcard please


The pimple of the Sugar Loaf prominent in these parts as always


We ambled back over the grassland of Table Mountain and then onwards towards the higher summits




It really was most extraordinarily cold in the very strong wind. I would love one of those portable Kestrel weather stations but I estimated that with an air temperature a few degrees below freezing and the strong wind, the windchill must have been around -15C. We certainly didn’t stop!


We summited Pen Cerrig Calch from where the views were equally magnificent


Our goal of Pen Allt Mawr visible in the distance


A long and bracing walk along the edges above Cwm Banw brought us to the summit where we found a little shelter to admire the views once more



The views over Mynydd Troed and Mynydd Llangorse were especially fine from here


A pretty decent sunburst shot with some vapor trails to add interest


From here its always tempting to make a long round and include the main summits of the Black Mountains themselves. My knees aren’t really up for that at the moment and forecast was for increasing cloud through the day. No sense spoiling a great day so we plodded down the very fine and very frozen ridge of Tal Trwynau, pausing at the end for a final stop and snack in the sunshine


These two photos show what its like to go hiking with a 21st Century teenager. Head always looking down at their phone, lest they miss a vital social media message.


Over the fields and back to the car to finish a superb day out



12 responses to “A Breakfast Walk

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  1. Maybe TJS was just singing the blues along with your photo music!! I guess it takes age to appreciate what is around you, rather than look at a screen.


  2. Nice looking mountains and it always amazes me the drop in temperature when you lose the sun or the wind picks up in winter. I was much the same as a youngster as I used to take a portable music player(mixed tapes) up the hills as even though I liked the outdoors I still liked gadgets with me and sonic howling at full volume in remote places when no-one else was around to hear or complain about the noise.


    Blue Sky Scotland
    • Not something I’ve ever done. I didn’t really hit the hills till I was at University and my formative years were always walking with friends. I’ve only gone out solo in the past 15 years or so and I like the peace and quiet of my own thoughts (or inane mental ramblings!) 🙂
      I guess the look he’s perfected here is one I’ll have to get used to!


  3. Love the wide open views! Early morning is always to best time to be outside, especially on a clear day.


  4. Cold but glorious views. At first I thought that TJS was just hunkering down from the cold. Fantastic that he accompanies you, with or without the phone.
    I don’t always have time to click on the slide show of photos. So glad I did today. The full screen images are incredible.


    • He’s always been a keen walker although he’s finding it tough to find the energy and time while he’s working so hard at college and has his own circle of friends. I like our days out as its always something we’ve done together and I’ve always tried to expose him to the simple pleasures of the outdoors as a contrast to his love of technology
      The slideshows I do for my own benefit (we watch them on the big screen TV at home) but as its easy and free to upload to YouTube and link on the blog I always add them in – glad you enjoyed this one 🙂


  5. Particularly inspired by the all-action shots of TJS – dynamism personified.
    I shall be sending you a postcard with advice about winter mornings. It’s a good job I live near a tacky seaside resort, I know exactly where to get just the right sort of postcard. (There was more, but I’ve decided to delete it in the interests of taste and public decency. I don’t know when that started to bother me?)


    • Smutty postcards do seem to still be around albeit in a more modern form from what I saw in France and Tenerife. Dynamism and TJS don’t really go together although at least he does go outside from time to time. You’ve just crossed the border into the dark world “Teenage” – with two more to follow……


  6. A fry up on the tops for breakfast sound good!


    • Means carry a fair bit of extra stuff around (Trangia, fuel, plates etc) but well worth it. Glad we found a sheltered spot though. We’d have been rescue cases if we’d sat in the wind for than a few minutes. Great feeling though to sit on a peaceful hillside, views over mountains with a bacon sarnie in hand


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