Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Bache Hill, Black Mixen & Great Rhos

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 25 February 2012
Walkers - +Steve Smith,
Accommodation - Danywenallt National Park Study Centre
Start Point - New Radnor, village boundary on B4372 (SO 21422 61080)
Start Time - 11:16
Finish Point - New Radnor, village boundary on B4372 (SO 21422 61080)
Finish Time - 17:00
Duration - 5hrs 44mins
Average pace - 2.09mph
Distance Walked - 11.98miles
Height Ascended - 849.81metres

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (190W - 444E&W)
Bache Hill (35W - 288E &W)
Black Mixen (36W - 289E &W)
Great Rhos (37W - 290E &W)
Hewitts (138W - 317E)
Bache Hill (25W - 204E &W)
Black Mixen (26W - 205E &W)
Great Rhos (27W - 206E &W)
Marilyns (158W - 1550E,W&S)
Great Rhos (13W - 83E &W)
Deweys (241W - 427EW&S)
Whimble (13W - 58E &W)
Fron-wen (14W - 59E &W)
HuMPs (364W - 2977EW&S)
Great Rhos (19W - 136E &W)
W: Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
19th Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, Fans Frynych, Llia & Fawr
20th HuMPing and TuMPing around Llandovery
21st Fan Hir to Waun Lefrith
22nd Garregs Lwyd & Las
24th Cefn yr Ystrad
25th Bache Hill, Black Mixen & Great Rhos

Other walks in Central Wales
Click on map to access these routes and accommodation available

Walk Summary
As a result of setting off a day early and using only one of the two scheduled rest days on the trip plan I begin the day by driving the 40 miles to New Radnor to start the last planned walk of phase II two days early. The first trip objective to visit all remaining Nuttalls in Brecon Beacons has been achieved and todays walk should set me on the path of completing the 2nd objective; to visit all 11 Nuttalls in the first of the 3 separate areas of Central Wales.
However for some reason my resolve seems to be weakening. Not sure why though, 
  • maybe it was the heavy rain showers that had accompanied me on the drive up from Brecon and persisted after my arrival delaying walk start, 
  • or maybe I should have taken that planned rest day and thereby avoided feeling so tired
  • or could it be after 9 days away I was starting to feel just a little homesick
  • but definitely I should have used the rest day I did take to do exactly that. Just rest rather than going off and bagging a couple of extra HuMPs around Llandovery
A bit of all of the above really, but also on the drive up and as the hills of Central Wales became more evident it occurred to me that maybe I should save the remaining Nuttalls for a later trip and spend more time in this beautiful area.

Lessons learned from the English Nuttalls had definitely been carried forward in to Wales in as much I am completing one area before I move on to the next, however if I am not careful there is a danger I move on to the next area missing lots of what I have found as well as more new places to discover.

So it is fitting that this was the trip I realised once and for all I am really a Peak Bagger rather than a Nuttall Bagger. In particular on the ex Nuttall, Great Creigau. Other than its status as just that, there is no other reason to go to this god forsaken place unless you have a craving for uneven ground with no obvious summit, smothered in heather and large tufts of grass for which I am sure have a proper name but to me and many others are known as "babies heads".

The obvious benefit for this of course is that once the Nuttalls are completed there are loads of other reasons (excuses if you ever need any) in the form of Marilyns, HuMPs and Deweys to return for. Who knows because some of these are not so high and exposed may even tempt the wife more often to join me on many of the lower HuMPs. 

The only other thing of note to happen was a marked change in the weather as I emerged out of the Radnor Forest on to the upper plateau of Great Rhos. I had already taken a significant detour to pick up the Dewey Fron-wen after Black Mixen. Adding about 3 miles to the route as well as 150m of descent and nearly 100m of reascent but at this time the weather was good with warm sunshine and white fluffy clouds. The detour delayed lunch until about 2:30 when large flakes of snow started to fall through the forest canopy giving a real Xmas feel. However emerging out of the forest at about the 630m contour on to the open moorland north of Great Rhos summit presented it self more as a blizzard than a view from a christmas card. So any idea of bagging Nyth-grug on the way back from Great Rhos was firmly dispatched and with Berghaus hood pulled down to protect my eyes I set off following the fence line and then the muddy track through heather for the trig point and remaining Nuttall of the day.

The snow had turned to rain by the time I reached the trig point along with low cloud cover and associated poor visibility. Not a problem I thought as there was an obvious path to follow in the direction I wanted to go. But as had been the case for most of this trip the path tended to disappear It was fine up to the confidence giving fence due south of the summit, but after that it just faded in to sheep tracks that clearly headed off in the wrong direction.

A bit of compass work and navigation by "deliberate error" on a due south easterly bearing which again picked up a path heading due south followed by a bit more compass work on a due easterly bearing eventually found the path around the danger area boundary.

The rain did not ease and by the time I had returned to the van 1½ hours after leaving Great Rhos I had had my third soaking of the trip. With the weather forecast promising more of the same for the rest of the week I confirmed my earlier decision and decided to head for home the following day leaving the remaining 8 Nuttalls of Central Wales and many more Marilyns/HuMPS and deweys for subsequent trips.

Walk Description
Walk start point at village boundary on B4372
 1.) E
More Photographs
Watch out for antipodean wildlife along Murton Dingle.
Click on photograph to view slide-show