The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 19 August 2016

Tal y Fan and Mynydd y Cwm

Thursday 18 August

Tal y Fan (SH729726; 610m)


My decision to approach Tal y Fan from the nearest road required a few miles of tiny little lanes to be driven. Colin gets taken along little lanes quite often in my pursuit of Marilyn summits, but this one was particularly ‘interesting’ as Colin is 6’6” wide (without his wing mirrors) but, with the summer growth on the hedgerows, this lane was about 6’5” wide. Thus, it was impossible to drive without dragging one side or the other against the hedges (always the passenger side – there’s only one plastic window on that side and it was already very scratched when we bought Colin!). It certainly wasn’t a lane where you would want to meet an oncoming vehicle, and thus it was down for either a late evening or an early morning.

Ordinarily, it would have been tackled late in the evening, with the night being spent at the lane end, but given the desire for a BBC TV signal for the Olympics this week, an early start was had on Thursday morning. It was half past six when Mick dropped me at the point where the footpath hits the road, before he continued on to the road-end car park and I marched off up the hill.

It was a rather pleasant early morning walk, initially on easy grassy paths then with a little bit of boulderiness towards the top, and it wasn’t long before I was standing by the unusual trig point (not that you can see the detail of it in this snap):


The plan had been that I was going to get myself to the road end by going over the adjacent top, Foel Lwyd, but in the interests of getting back off the tiny lanes before anyone else was likely to be up and about, I decided that the much faster option would be to return the way I’d come, mainly because the path that way was so nice that it seemed eminently suitable for running down.

Unfortunately, Mick didn’t have a phone signal where he was parked, so having reached the road I had no option but to then trundle another 0.7 of a mile along the tarmac to find him. I still finished the outing well within the hour, with 2.6 miles covered and 800(ish)’ of ascent.

Mynydd y Cwm (SJ073767; 305m)


Mynydd y Cwm gave a ridiculously easy (and relatively uninteresting) tick, within a mile of the A55 trunk road and within spitting distance of Offa’s Dyke Path (although we omitted it from our walk of that Path back in April).

Mick joined me on this one and it took us a whole 11 minutes to cover the 0.5 of a mile (with 150’ of ascent) to the top, where there sits a memorial to a Halifax which crashed on the hill in 1947. It took us seven minutes to get back down.

And then we went home, as this was forecast to be the last good weather day of the latest dry spell. Call me a fair weather walker, but thanks to a combination of luck and good planning, my current tally of British hills for 2016 stands at 108, and all bar 5 have been completed in dry weather! I fear that record may become eroded over the next few weeks :-(.

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