|On Table Mountain looking at the Sugar Loaf|
Pushing forward we went up a steep path towards Pen Cerrig-calch the ground was getting harder and more frozen as we went higher, the gradient eased and we were greeted by a group of wild ponies who just ignored us and continued to go about their business, after a further steady ascent we reached the trig point at 701m, at this height it was now pretty cold and the gloves came out the rucksack. Although having a trig point the summit was fairly featureless, the clouds now started to obscure the sun but thankfully not low enough to threaten the tops we continued on and made our way across the saddle heading for Pen Allt-mawr after a while I looked back towards Pen Cerrig-calch the clouds looking darker but with no threat of rain they created a very atmospheric picture with the sun trying hard to penetrate through.
|Atmospheric shot looking back to Pen Cerrig-calch|
It wasn’t long before we reached Pen Allt-mawr and our second trig point of the day at 719m; we could now see the remainder of our route stretching out in front of us up to Waun Fach and across the horizon. There was steep but short descent down, which I had to do twice, I’d dropped a glove obviously from when I was taking pictures. So having got back up to the trig point for the second time I eventually found the missing glove and descended again, the next section of the route was an enjoyable easy and steady walk across remote country never really gaining or losing any significant height. Passing minor tops Pen Twyn Glas and Mynydd Llysiau.
|From Pen Allt-mawr looking towards Waun Fach|
|Looking back to Pen Allt-mawr from near Pen Twyn Glas|
The final push up to Waun Fach could be seen but my pace was now slowing as I was in need of a rest and some refreshment, so with tired legs I gradually made my way to the day’s main target, Waun Fach at 810m the highest point of the Black Mountains. As we gained height the ground was now white with frost and although cold I would rather it be like this as it can be very wet and boggy up here. So finally reaching the remains of the summit cairn I sat down for a well earned rest. I shared the peak with 3 guys all from Colchester and these where the only people I saw all day. The cold was really starting bite now so out came the insulation jacket, I quickly set up the jet boil for a nice warming “Look what we found” sausage casserole and a hot chocolate. Megan was enjoying her dog biscuits and water, proof that is was cold was the water in the bottom of Megan’s bowl starting to freeze.
|A frosty Waun Fach summit|
|Warming up with a hot chocolate and lunch on Waun Fach|
The cloud came in for a brief period and feeling refreshed I took a bearing and set off for Pen y Gadair Fawr. It was a quick walk to the cairn at a height of 800m the cloud had cleared just as I reached the top and I could now see the next section of the walk along the top edge of the forest, this was a long and straight forward stretch keeping the forest to my left, I saw some fantastic looking icicles on the edge of a grassy bank.