Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pen-y-Fan (gales; sleet)

I have unfinished business with Pen-y-Fan, the highest mountain in southern Britain. Twenty years ago Clare, myself and the two boys were beaten back down by torrential winds driving horizontal sleet like scattershot, abrading our faces and pummelling our waterproofs.

Today I got a lot further - almost all the height. As I reached the switchback on the steepest section, just before it levels out on top of the crags, the wind strengthened and I was hanging onto a rock jutting out from the side unable to move up or down for fear of take-off.

I rather felt for those ahead of me, on the very exposed top, but today was not a day for paragliding without a chute. I came down via smaller footpaths (not the 'motorway') and passed this very attractive waterfall (below).

I have a few hours before the hostel opens and will shortly brave the rain and wind to stroll on the hill opposite the Storey Arms (pictured: I am now in a coffee shop in Brecon).