Archive for the ‘kington’ Tag

Down a Few Degrees on Hergest Ridge   14 comments

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A week after summer seem to have arrived, all warm weather, shorts and clear blue skies we took a stroll on Hergest Ridge. A nice easy Sunday afternoon wander. What the photos don’t show was just how bitterly cold it was. In this maddest of weather years so far temperatures fell from the low 20’s to cold enough for snow in less than a week.

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We wrapped up warm, winter clothing on and walked briskly from one end of the ridge at Kington to the other at Gladestry

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The mountains were dark and gloomy and we had several spots of rain that threatened a burst of heavier stuff but it stayed dry

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I liked these moody looking clouds

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Just before we reached the car and seemingly from nowhere (no more than 15 minutes after the moody cloud shot) we were treated to a sudden and expansive patch of blue sky and sunshine

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It was actually quite warm in the sun – more weather madness

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We didn’t stop for any of the 6 mile walk – it was far too cold other than this short spell

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Out and back from the car in less than two hours for for a dose of warm/cold winter/spring/summer weather. Hard to know what season we are in at times

Hergest Ridge

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Posted May 15, 2018 by surfnslide in Mid Wales, Wales, Walking

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Solo traverse of Hergest Ridge North Face and Hanter Hill South Ridge   4 comments

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Well I had to do something to make these hills sound exciting.

Seriously a very fine stroll indeed when faced with a solo walk. TBF was in London watching the Piano Man himself, TJF was at a friends and TJS too lazy to come out, struggling as the was with his first week of early starts at college.

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It was early September (I think!) and the first flush of Autumn colours were out. The forecast was pretty ordinary but it turned out to be a rather splendid day of powerful sunny intervals and dark brooding clouds

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My target was Hanter Hill, a small subsidiary top to the north of the main Hergest Ridge massif. Thinking I was being clever, I thought I could traverse around to the col. Anyone who knows my local hills also knows that they are cloaked in the deepest bracken at this time of year. It was tedious wet and slippery and I cursed my way across the slopes for a good half hour on the faintest of paths

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Thankfully I survived the jungle and arrived at the col under blue skies and swiftly climbed to the top of Hanter Hill

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The views were impressive over the various ranges of heather cloaked hills and green valleys of this little known corner of mid-Wales

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I even got an aerial view of the huge Gore quarry that seems to be completely devouring Old Radnor Hill

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After a brief rest I headed down and back up over the main summit of Hergest Ridge, joining the many families enjoying some autumnal sunshine

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Only a couple of hours but a nice walk if you stay on paths on don’t head off-piste into the wastelands of bracken!

Memories of Snow – Sledging and Skiing in Herefordshire   4 comments

Sitting here on a cold and very wet Sunday, my thoughts drift back 3 weeks to a time when the white stuff was all around and there was fun to be had. After a heavy dump of snow on the Friday it was only right and proper that we took the kids out for some sledging.

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

I live in a pretty much countour-less world around my village but a short 20 minute drive takes us to Ewyas Harold on the Welsh border where there is a top-notch sledging site that you can park at the bottom of. Perfectly sculpted, the slope is steep and long enough for some pretty fast rides with a decent run off at the bottom so you don’t come an unfortunate cropper if you run out of control (other than a strategically placed metal water trough for the sheep and cows but that’s by the by). It’s local popularity ensured that the slopes were well polished by the time we got there ensuring some very swift descents

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

Needless to say the kids had a great time and so did the adults.

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

A few photos and a nifty little  video below courtesy of my HD Headcam to get the vibe.

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

Alas the camera wasn’t able to capture the highlight of the afternoon. TBF took a ride and headed straight for a ramp that the braver kids had made. She hit it at maximum velocity and bounced a good couple of feet into the air before landing in a most undignified manner in the snow. It was the funniest thing I’d seen in a while and the kids were in hysterics, mainly due to the fact it was so unexpected. She survived the incident without major injury I should add. If only I’d had the camera on.

Ewyas Harold, Sledging

The next day it was time to try some skiing. The weather was pretty dreary and my previous experience of skiing in the Brecon Beacons wasn’t great. Loose unconsolidated snow on heather and tussocks does not make for great downhill skiing. What I needed was close-cropped grass and Hergest Hill possesses plenty so it was off to Kington. You can drive pretty much to the top but I figured the road would be undriveable so I parked up in town with a view to walking or skiing up (I have touring skis and skins to climb hills). Have to admit I felt somewhat conspicuous walking through the town in ski boots with skis strapped to my pack, gathering curious looks as I went. Luckily there was enough snow on the side and middle of the road to ski on so I was able to get the skis off my pack and skin up the narrow road, gaining more quizzical looks as I went. Once on the open hillside  I was in proper touring mode and apart from a few brave sledging souls (the weather was pretty grey and grim) I had Hergest Hill to myself.

Hergest Ridge, Ski Touring, Kington, Gladestry

Passing the usual Monkey Puzzle tree markers on the summit I decided to try and ski down the other side of the long ridge to Gladestry.

Hergest Ridge, Ski Touring, Kington, Gladestry

It was at this point I was reminded that what feels like a hill on foot is not quite the same as a hill on skis. The slopes down to Gladestry were nothing like steep enough for any white knuckle adrenaline and I just gently cruised down, barely putting a turn in. Someone else had been up here on skis and I followed their tracks down. After a brief pause above the village (the final slopes are steep and covered in gorse) I simply retraced my steps back over the top, another gentle and unexciting trundle although it was good to be out on skis.

Hergest Ridge, Ski Touring, Kington, Gladestry

The top section of the road was steep enough for a few turns and little more excitement but there were cars skating around on the lower slopes so I cut across the fields back to Kington. There were some pretty decent little runs across the fields, although the right of way traversed far too many stiles for my liking (I haven’t yet worked out a technique to ski over a stile). Trying to ski down a narrow rutted farm track was an interesting sensation! The last run of the day was the best, a steep private driveway that no-one had cleared gave a nice few turns in some decent powder to finish. In truth there was enough snow on the pavement on Kington to ski on, but I figured trying ski down a narrow pavement next to a busy road probably wasn’t all that smart. Not exactly ski-mountaineering but a fun afternoon out in the snow. Good practice for my proper skiing trip to France the following week

Winding down for Xmas – A short stroll on Hergest Ridge   8 comments

A few photos and musical compilation from a little walk with my parents before Xmas.

Hergest Ridge

Hergest Ridge

We’d invited them down for a quiet couple of days prior to the Xmas madness and despite some pretty awful weather we got a slight window on the Sunday and headed out for some fresh air. After some flood related detours we finally made it to Kington

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3 generations of the Jones Family

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My parents

Hergest Ridge near Kington is perfect for a stroll with the old folks. You can drive high up and the walk is grassy and easy angled but with a nice feeling of climbing to the top of something with pretty good views.

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Stormy skies

The weather was much better than the previous few days onslaught of rain although it was pretty windy. We caught sight of the floods in the Wye Valley and passed the usual milestones of the Monkey Puzzle Trees, the Whetstone and the small tarn on the summit.

Hergest Ridge, Monkey Puzzle Trees

Monkey Puzzle Trees on the summit

Hergest Ridge

The Summit Tarn

I’ve walked up here many times so you can look at of my alternative posts, here and here.

Hergest Ridge

Heading Home

Suitably refreshed and re-invigorated we headed home for a hearty meal and lay the groundwork for the Xmas festivities.

Posted January 11, 2013 by surfnslide in Family Trips, Local Walks, Walking

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Hergest Ridge – Compare and Contrast   14 comments

A brief little post-ette. I posted a few weeks before xmas about a little stroll up one of our local hills, Hergest Ridge near Kington. It was a thoroughly dreary day and we spent the whole time enveloped in cold claggy mist with only the Monkey Puzzle trees and a few fungi to highlight the day.

We made a return trip in the xmas break and this time the weather was a little kinder albeit windier and colder. For those of you interested in what it really looks like here are few choice photos and Flickr slide show to get into the Hergest vibe

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Jane and kids on the way up

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Winter trees

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D approaches the Monkey Puzzle trees

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Out of place trees

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Looking to the Radnor Hills

Posted January 14, 2012 by surfnslide in Local Walks, Walking

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