Friday, September 28, 2012

Sugar Loaf (Mynydd Pen-y-Fal)

 The Sugar Loaf from the Bracken 

 The narrow top of the Sugar Loaf 

 The author savours his triumph 

The Sugar Loaf was going to be easy. My sister had sent me a picture of her striking a pose on the trig point a few weeks ago. As a small detour on my way back to Bristol from Brecon, I scarcely took it seriously.

Actually, it's possible to make the Sugar Loaf hard. First show complete ignorance on the terrain (so be unaware of the broad 'green road' to the summit). Secondly, take the most direct route even if it involves an initial steep descent into a slippery gully, followed by a steep climb out through a forest of waist-high bracken. Then take the resulting back-breaking - and interminable - trudge to the top via a steep and rocky section.

The top of the Sugar Loaf is long and quite narrow (see picture above). I sat in the mist against the concrete obelisk and took a self-portrait: I was rather tired. The most difficult part of the mission, strangely, is the drive to and from the adjacent car park. It's a steep, single-tracked road with very few passing places. Even as I was climbing my thoughts were returning to the nightmare of a contested drive back down to Abergavenny.