My classic local walk   12 comments

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I have a handful of walks that I would say are classics of South Wales and this is one of them. The Black Mountain has all the grandeur of the Beacons yet sees almost none of its busy summits. On this day we saw probably no more than 10 people for the whole walk on a wild, windy and spectacular day. I’m claiming this walk as my own as I’ve never seen this walk in a guide-book or anyone even mention the path under the edges. I found it, therefore its my walk! 🙂

I devised this walk by accident (albeit in the other direction) not long after I moved down here. I was on a supposedly short walk to one of the lakes looking for a wild camp and I just carried on across the tops, discovering the paths below the cliffs on my way back

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As with the previous walk it was a laze in bed late start and as before a gloomy start developed into a cracker of day.

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I think my iPhone camera had moved itself into some kind of vivid mode for these first couple of shots as we headed up to Llyn y Fan Fawr

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As we climbed the dark clouds started to dissipate and the views to the east opened out to the sky

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The clouds were still shrouding the summits but I was confident it would clear. Thinking it might take an hour or so I decided to follow the lower route under the edges first to give it some time. Not a day for dallying. It was bitterly cold and there had been some light snow cover the past couple of days

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It’s a beautiful lake and one of my favourites

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There were dark clouds and storms all around but we seemed to miss them all

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The walk under the cliffs is always a delight but on a winter’s day under brooding clouds its pretty dark for decent photos

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We found a sheltered spot behind a wall by Llyn y Fan Fach for some lunch before pushing on.

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It’s quite a long walk for a short winter day with a late start but the going is so easy and the views so superb that you cover the ground swiftly

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Once up on the edges the wind was ferocious but the sky and the air stunningly clear. Pin sharp clarity

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I was in my element, an even better day than the last outing. Much colder and windier but that’s no bad thing

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The sun was perfect for catching the edges

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Looking east

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And West

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The sun was already low and we still had a way to go but at least the wind was behind us, another good reason to walk this way around

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On top of Bannau sir Gaer we decided not to risk coming down the last boggy slopes to the car in the dark and cut the corner off direct to Fan Brycheiniog. It misses a couple of airy summits but saves a couple of miles

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Time to head down and another of those afternoons where its hard to drag yourself away. The views were immense and once you drop down you know that’s the end of the sunshine for the day

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We lingered as long as we dared and could stand the cold before leaving this lonely wonderland behind

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The skies then took over as the centre of attention.

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Pale blues and sheets and streaks of pink as the sun receded and night drew in

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After the last outing and its dark end this one was perfectly planned and we finished in the last of the afternoon light

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Black Mountain

8 miles and 2,400 feet of ascent and pure wind-blown, sun-soaked joy

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12 responses to “My classic local walk

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  1. That is a lovely area. it has been a few years now since I last wandered that way. Fantastic open vistas, rolling hills, you capture them beautifully in your photos.

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    Brenda-Dawn Linney
  2. Look at that blue sky again! Either you are getting very lucky or are tricking us and photoshopping Barcelona blue skies on to these pics!!!

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  3. Always feels good a big semi level walk like that along a grassy ridge line escarpment. Much better than a hard slog straight up the side of something then right back down again. When I was collecting Munros the ridge walks between peaks were always the really enjoyable bits.

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    Blue Sky Scotland
    • My local mountains in Wales are characterised by these long walks along high edges and I love them. We don’t have much in the way of ridges, most of those are miles wide and tend to be bog and heather so these are the next best thing. This range is quite a way from any urban areas so they are little known, quiet and they feel more remote than they really are. Makes for a great day out when the weather is set fair

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  4. Wow! Incredible wide open views! I can see why this is one of your favorites.

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  5. Totally enjoyed your Europen travels but it is wonderful to be back on trail with you. I too love the pale blues and pinks of sunset.

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    • Been a few good walks of late coming up on the blog. Its gone all white and wintry at home – we have almost a foot of snow in the garden.
      Hope you had a good trip to see your new Grandson!

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      • My time with Ben and family has been joyous beyond belief. Amazing that such a small bundle can fill a day with so much love. Then you step outside and you are surrounded by snow capped mountains.
        The scene would normally be a white wonderland, but it seems you, London, NY and Texas have stolen all the snow!

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