Monday, 29 July 2013

61 - Chwarel y Fan - Monmouthshire - 3rd July 2013

It was time for another climb on this short camping trip away and I headed out of the campsite and back past Black mountain (the subject of yesterdays climb) and down the gospel path to the tiny village of Llantony. I parked in the car park next to an old yellow car and took a quick look around Llantony Priory, a partly ruined Augustine Priory. The Priory is now the sight of a small b&b and a campsite.

After the quick look around the priory I headed off through the village and down to the river where I had to find the bridge to cross over, I asked directions and found the little bridge to cross the river. The path went along the edge of the river for a short distance and then headed up a valley and over a few styles and through a few fields of sheep. Eventually the path left the fields and became steeper, it was totally surrounded by ferns and was a rea
lly pretty walk.

It was along this part of the path that I discovered a lady looking for her friend, he had gone wandering off to find the correct path and she had lost him, anyway, I said I would look out for him, about 20 mins later I eventually saw him, walking back down the path, he had no map and mobile phone, and he had not a lot of idea about where he was going but he was soon reunited with his friend. Its crazy to think how easy it is to get lost on the mountains with no maps or communication.

I carried on climbing up the mountain and eventually reached another path heading north/south along the tops of the mountains, there was a big pile of stones here but I still had a lot of walking to do. The route I took now headed north and I had another steep climb to do and eventually I made it to the top of Bal Mawr, it was now a fairly steady and lever walk of nearly 2 miles to the highest point.

After walking for about 40 mins along the tops of the mountains I eventually arrived at the highest point, at 679 meters (2228 feet) Chwarel y Fan is the highest point of Monmouthshire. There were rather amazing views from the top, to the north east was Black Mountain, the subject of my last high point and then to the west were the rest of the B
recon Beacons. I stayed on the top for about half an hour while I had a cup of tea and some lunch and then it was time to retrace my steps back down the mountain and back to the car park.

The walk back was rather uneventful, apart from passing 2 people climbing up the mountain I saw no one else for the walk back down and I was back at the car in around 90 mins. Chwarel y Fan was an awesome climb and the views were spectacular, with plenty of other mountains in the area it was a brilliant climb. Once I was back at the car I headed into Hay and Wye for a quick look around and then I was back to the tent for my last night of camping.

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