Archive for the ‘nant menasgin’ Tag

A Cold Day in Hell   10 comments

Well not exactly but I liked the title for the post. The rest of the family were otherwise engaged or just too lazy to make the effort so I went out alone to find some snow to walk on. The Brecon Beacons were calling and a ridge and approach I’d never done before. I set off from Llanfrynach (twice, having left my walking poles propped against a wall in the village) and headed up towards Gist Wen.

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The day started brightly but heaver showers rolled in as I climbed. Once clear of the trees I reached the first few patches of snow and the wind picked up

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There was a mix of stormy views and brighter skies but far too cold and windy to stop.

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By the time I reached the edge the snow was deep and crisp and even. Although there was a brutally cold wind I love walking in wild conditions so I was a happy chap

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There were a few fleeting views to keep my very brisk pace going. A proper wild wintry day to contrast the warm sunshine of our Xmas walks

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I stopped just below the summit of Fan y Big for a snack but it was way too cold to brew up. It was also a longer walk than I thought and time was pressing. I had to make a swift exit if I wasn’t to finish in the dark

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Whilst the day had been mostly cloudy, I struck lucky as that day drew to a close. The skies cleared enough to create some wonderful light effects and skies

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The illuminated clouds over the Black Mountains were especially fetching

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After dropping off the end of the Cefn Cyff ridge, I followed the paths across the fields and along the valley of  Nant Menasgin. Its a lovely quiet stretch along the river and meadows and back into Llanfrynach. I was weary and fulfilled as I reached the car in the fading light

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A different perspective on The Beacons   4 comments

Me and TJS had the day to ourselves. Being a lazy sort I couldn’t be bothered to make us breakfast so I treated us to the best of the Waitrose cafe in Abergavenny. I need to big up Waitrose here for introducing me to worlds best toast – sourdough bread – awesome.

Always on the look out for a new route we took a Brecon Beacons walk from Llanfrynach in the NE to bag one of a couple of ridges we’d yet to set foot on. Llanfrynach is a pretty place with the largest graveyard in the area and the only community run public toilets in Wales!

11 Miles

11 Miles

We were heading across to Cribyn and the Nant Sere valley to start with, more on that later

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

The first section takes you through woods by the side of the Nant Menasgin and its lovely, a mix of woodland, stream and grassy flower filled meadows. Interestingly they have diverted a tiny section of stream that runs parallel to the main stream before disappearing under a large farmhouse. The map shows a water feature behind the house so no idea whether it’s a private diversion or a water supply for the village. Interesting village is Llanfrynach

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

The route took us through grassy fields and quiet lanes before a somewhat tedious green lane, overgrown and oppressive with bracken, brambles and nettles delivered us to the lower slopes of Cribyn. Most people then head up the ridge as I’ve done many times but today I had a different agenda. After my swim the previous weekend I’ve become taken with the idea of wild swims on walks. As such I’ve the UK version of the well-known Wild Swimming series of books. Great read and some great new places to explore and get wet. Today I was off to explore the Nant Sere

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

Right on cue as we reached the water, the sun went in and the wind blew cold. Not to be deterred I went for a short and sharp swim in the pool below. Cold and refreshing but at least the water was clear rather than brown.

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Further up the waterfalls and swimming pools were even better, none especially large or deep but enough for nice dip on a warm day. Well worth coming back for a picnic some time if summer ever arrives

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

TJS wasn’t keen on all this wild stream bashing without a path even though I was in my element. Reluctantly we bashed up a few hundred feet of steep grass back to the path.

As we climbed I noticed some pony trekkers enjoying the surroundings. It too me back to a gloriously sunny day back in the 70’s (yes I’m that old) when we took a trip from school to go Pony Trekking in the Brecons and I’m pretty sure we went up this valley. I still remember it now as a great day out. Strange to think that over 30 years on these hills would become my local stomping ground

The weather had really taken a turn though. The summits vanished into the clouds and drizzle filled the air. The NE ridge of Cribyn is brutally steep so we decided we’d give it a miss this time.

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

We took the faint path that contours under Cribyn and then climbed up to Fan y Big. We’d planned on taking the fine path that skirts the edges that overlook Cwm Oergwm but the weather was cold windy and damp so just headed off down the NE ridge of Fan y Big as the weather was looking most unpromising. Right on cue as we descended the weather stuck two fingers up at us and the sun came out again, bloody typical.

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

llanfrynach, nant menasgin, nant sere, cribyn, fan y big, brecon beacons, wild swimming

Still, I’ve never descended this ridge before and it was fine and peaceful walk, delivering us back to our route in across fields and down by the river back to the village. Just as well we cut it short, it was already a long enough day at 11 miles for an old bloke with dodgy knees!

 

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