Back to Winter   12 comments


Well, that’s enough of city breaks for 2017. Time to get back to main feature of the blog namely out and about in the mountains. The weekend after our Barcelona trip and a decent Sunday forecast had us out in the Black Mountains. I’m always looking for a different take or a new route having explored the area extensively since I’ve lived in Herefordshire. I’d done both of today’s summits many times before but never on the same walk.


A late start, possibly because I saw that the forecast was improving, more likely I just stayed in bed too long


It was a cold and windy day with showers scudding over some of the tops. As ever though, sunshine and showers delivers crystal clear clarity to the air and the views



The Sugar Loaf is a fine mountain I’ve been up many times but this is only the second time I’ve been up from the east side



The views from the way up and the top were superb



Not a day for dallying on the summit in an icy wind that I’m sure would have dropped as snow if we’d been caught in a shower



We pushed on down with several mountain bikers on their way up. Too steep for me and a bike I have to say. We had a few drops of rain but nothing much and the skies cleared magnificently afterwards



The last few leaves were still clinging to the trees as Autumn faded away



The steep roads onto the open hillside of Crug Mawr warmed us up sufficiently to take in a short stop for a cuppa and a bite to eat. A grand view along the Grwyne Fechan valley to enjoy



We didn’t linger long as it was pretty cold and we still had long way to walk and the sun was going down




As we approached the summit of Crug Mawr the sun was turning the mountains a deep golden brown


It’s the best time to be on the mountains, late in the day as the sun sets. No-one around but clear skies and gorgeous contrasts picked out by the low angled sun



We briefly enjoyed the summit panoramas before heading off into the approaching darkness


The price to pay for these views was a long walk back along the lanes to the car. TJS was not best pleased by this turn of events and castigated me for my poor planning in having to walk in the dark. I tried to inform him that hiking is not an exact science, that we were well off the hills before it got dark and our reward were some stunning views. He wasn’t placated by this and stomped off to the car. If he’s going to carry on hiking with his old man he better get used to this as I often linger on hills in winter to make the most of  day and end up coming down in darkness

Sugar Loaf & Crug Mawr

A long walk in the end of almost 12 miles but a good one for the future. Most of the road walking could be avoided on valley paths but not a great idea trying to find stiles and gates in the dark. Winter was back, sunny cities a thing of the past. I love my city trips but my heart will always belong to the mountains



Posted December 5, 2017 by surfnslide in Black Mountains, Wales, Walking

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12 responses to “Back to Winter

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  1. Pretty jealous of those blue skies in your photos. Can’t seem to shift the cloud from Dartmoor at the moment, even if the weatherman says its going to be good it tends to not mean the higher ground


    • We did well this day, excellent views and walk. Paid for it this weekend just gone with really dreary day in the Peak District. I’m afraid to say I did have a rather splendid sunny day in Dartmoor a couple of weeks back :😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My, that is one lovely walk, splendid views all around and clear skies, ideal.


    Brenda-Dawn Linney
  3. Nice golden light! I’ll bet it’s great to be back hiking in your homeland.


  4. Lovely views. I’m amazed that TJF is not used to winter finishes in the dark. Personally, I’m all for it – it’s one of the features of the turn of the seasons.


  5. Nice area and photos. On a day like that winter can often beat the summer for good dry conditions.


    Blue Sky Scotland
    • My favourite day is always a winter one, preferably with some snow underfoot. The light especially at the start and finish of the day is always better (hence finishing in the dark)


  6. That first summit had a bit of a likeness to Win Hill in the Peak District!


    • That’s the Sugar Loaf, most well known of the Black Mountains. It stands apart from the rest of the range and, like Win Hill in fact, has a very distinct flat topped summit ridge. Its an excellent little mountain, one I often do as a short walk on my way home from work as you can park halfway up it


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