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The Tundra - South Wales style

The Tundra - South Wales style


Postby davekermito » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:08 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Pen Allt-mawr, Pen Cerrig-calch, Twmpa

Date walked: 25/02/2018

Time taken: 5

Distance: 16.6 km

Ascent: 776m

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aka The Beast From the East vs The Pest From the West (Midlands)

I was looking at my South Wales remaining Hewitts and wondered which ones to do on a half day excursion in what promised to be rather 'Polar' conditions. MWIS promised windchill in excess of -20C so remembering the struggle I had in the bogs of the Waun Fach horseshoe and the fact I descended without completing the last two it would seem ideal conditions!

Throwing in a quick ascent of Twmpa from Gospel Pass on my way down from the Midlands made it seem like a worthwhile journey.

Part One - Half hour run up Twmpa and back.

Thanking myself lucky that whilst it was -6C - the Gospel Pass was remarkably ice free, this route was a simple case of following a very easy gradient obvious pass to the top. Sticking to the edge of the escarpment, it was pleasant despite the strengthening wind! Up and down in no time; and another one turned blue. And being a HMHB fan - no guesses to what song was going around my head all the time!

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Jake getting buffeted on top of Twmpa.


Part Two - Pen Allt-mawr and Pen Cerrig-calch


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Last time I was amongst the Waun Fach horseshoe, it rained consistently for 8 hours and most of the day was spent knee deep in black peaty sludge. As such, I bypassed the last two and had an long lasting bad memory of the place.

How different today was! Following a clear path from 'the bend in the road' heading towards Crug Hywel (aka Table Mountain) and then diverting to Pen Cerrig-calch, the rock hard ground was an absolute pleasure to follow up to the surprisingly rocky top. However the wind was getting stronger and stronger, and whilst the ground conditions were perfect it was getting tricky to stay on the feet! Super views through the haze to the main Brecon Beacons, ensured the drop down and 'climb' back up to Pen Allt-Mawr was a stroll.

The wind was now strong enough to blow me over a couple of times - and I'm not a lightweight, so I didn't hang about on the reasonably sharp descent of Pen Allt-Mawr. :lol:

Whilst the 1:25000 shows an obvious path back down to the valley, there is no sign of it on the ground so it was up to the minor top of Pen Twyn Glas (a Nuttall) and then follow the ridge back all the way to the car following the obvious signs through the farm land.

All in all 10 miles in the Black Mountains and my boots were as clean as they were at the start - result!

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The other side of the Waun Fach horseshoe

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Sugarloaf from the route up to Table Mountain. South Wales via Brazil and South Africa!

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Brecon Beacons from Pen Cerrig-calch

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Waun Fach and co.

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View from Pen Allt-Mawr

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Wondering how this tree could grow so big and strong in the conditions!
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davekermito
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 50
Munros:5   Corbetts:2
Hewitts:200
Wainwrights:72   
Joined: Nov 10, 2011
Location: The shadow of the mighty Clent Hills

Re: The Tundra - South Wales style

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:13 pm

Looks like superb weather - if a shade chilly!

I have these in mind as part of a multi-day route in summer...
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Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2587
Munros:167   Corbetts:28
Hewitts:195
Wainwrights:71   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: The Tundra - South Wales style

Postby davekermito » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:32 pm

Chuck the 'part 2' in as part of the Waun Fach horseshoe and (ground conditions notwithstanding) it's a nice simple way to stay above 2000 foot for 10+ miles!

Certainly refreshing today though! :lol:
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davekermito
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 50
Munros:5   Corbetts:2
Hewitts:200
Wainwrights:72   
Joined: Nov 10, 2011
Location: The shadow of the mighty Clent Hills

Re: The Tundra - South Wales style

Postby malky_c » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:00 pm

I have mixed memories of the Black Mountains, but there were definitely some good bits in there somewhere. I seem to remember Pen Allt-mawr and Pen Cerrig-calch being nice, then things got a bit grotty after Waun Fach. They look better there than when I visited though 8)
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malky_c
 
Posts: 5786
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:243   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:102   
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: The Tundra - South Wales style

Postby onsen » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:47 am

Thought the name rang a bell, had to dust off an old Black mountains map & check the winter route I took eons ago....still remember my tent being flattened, wildly flapping around while I just laid there warm & dry, being massage by the wind gusts throughout the night....it was a long night. :wink:
Enjoyable read & pics, thanks for triggering a distant memory. :thumbup:
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onsen
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
Location: The Great Southern Land, Australia

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