Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Garth Hill & Coity Mountain, GB Marilyn 200

Walk summary
The lights of Blaina appear. A welcome sight coming over
the last ridge of Mynnyd James as dusk turns to night
Today will mark the completion of 200 Marilyns, my first was Pen-y-Ghentexactly 7 years 72 days ago on 08 October 2008, before I had even heard of a Marilyn or even a Nuttall.
Two hills scheduled for today so the first decision was to decide which one to do first.
I plumped for Garth Hill on the basis it was closer to my base at Cardiff Central YH and was a shorter route. Get the first of the day in the bag before going on to the main event. The last point turned out to be the only correct part of the rational.
This left Coity Mountain as the candidate for Marilyn 200, which was not a disappointment with it's longer route and it's status as being a Dewey as well as a Marilyn should make this a worthy candidate for the days occassion.
Well for once my rational was correct but for the wrong reasons. Garth Hill with it's summit being a trig point on top of a Bronze Age Barrow was the archetypal summit and would clearly have qualified for the days celebrations
On the other hand Coity Mountain is a nondescript patch of heather sticking up on an isolated rise in a sea of heather. Well at least there was the small rise to identify it.
The reason it was still the right decision however was because the walk was tougher than expected and if I had done this walk first I probably would not have had the energy or in deed the inclination to go up Garth Hill  which would have pushed the time elapsed since the first Marilyn back by at least one more day. Heaven forbid.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 12 January 2016
Walkers - Steve Smith

 -  YHA Cardif Central
Start Point - Various. See maps below

Finish Point Various. See maps below
Total Duration - 4hrs 52mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.890mph
Total Distance Walked - 11.31 miles
Total Height Ascended - 694.43 metres

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (254E - 443E&W)
Hewitts (179E - 316E&W)
Marilyns (158W - 1550E,W&S)
Garth Hill (39W - 199E,W&S)
Coity Mountain [Mynydd Coety] (40W - 200E,W&S)
Deweys (241W - 422E&W)
Cefn Coch (32W - 84E,W&S)
Coity Mountain [Mynydd Coety] (33W - 85E,W&S)
Gwastad (34E - 86E,W&S)
HuMPs (364W - 2975EW&S)
Garth Hill (49W - 276E,W&S)
Coity Mountain [Mynydd Coety] (50W - 277E,W&S)
Unitary Authority County Tops (22W - 133E,W&S)
Garth Hill (8W - 40E,W&S)
Coity Mountain [Mynydd Coety] (9W - 41E,W&S)
E: England 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
06th Ysgyryd Fawr, Sugar Loaf & Bryn Arw
07th Allt yr Esgair, Myarth & Graig Syfyrddin [Edmund's Tump]
08th Three Marilyns between Llangattock and Newport
10th Mynydds y Lan & Machen
11th Craig y Allt,Cefn Eglwysilan & Mynydd y Glyn 
12th Garth Hill & Coity Mountain, GB Marilyn 200
15th Mynydd Betws
16th Pumlumon Nuttalls 
17th Ffridd Cocyn & Gamallt  
18th Tarrenhendre & Tarren y Gesail 
19th Y Garn (The Rhinogs)

Garth Hill
The beautiful Taff Vale on the way up east end of Garth Hill
Click on photograph to view slide-show
GPX can be downloaded from
1.64 miles, 104.34m ascent,  Start Time 09:32am, Finish Time 10:30am, 0 hours 58 minutes, 1.70 mph
What a smashing hill for for an early morning aerobic warm up.
Purpose built parking just west of Soar hamlet, steep ascent up Ridgeway Walk, whaleback ridge into cold bracing wind, obvious summit with trig on bronze age barrow, clear skies and a similar descent route in the opposite direction that doubles back, creating the long sort after short circular 58 minute hill walk.

Coity Mountain [Mynydd Coety]
Sugar Loaf and Black Mountain to the north on the way to Cefn Coch
Click on photograph to view slide-show
GPX can be downloaded from
9.67 miles, 590.09m ascent, Start Time 12:32pm, Finish Time 17:31pm, 4 hours 59 minutes, 1.94 mph