#111 – A soggy day in the hills of Mid-Wales

Mid-Wales.  The small red rectangle is map view 2

Mid-Wales. The small red rectangle is map view 2

Map view 2 – Our Route around Esgair Penygarreg

If you wanted to describe Wales in one word, you wouldn’t go far wrong with “hilly”!  What’s more, hills are usually a good excuse for a walk, so when we visited friends at Llandrindod in Powys over Christmas, the rucksacks took up more car room than the Christmas presents!  The plan was to follow a circular walk around Esgair Penygarreg above the reservoirs of the Elan Valley.  I hadn’t realised, however, that the road to the start point passed by Niagara Falls!

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Posted in 6. Mid and South Wales | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

#110 – Happy New Year!

Have a ‘magical’ New Year in 2013 – best wishes from Paul, Chris and Border Collie ‘Mist’.

Happy New Year from Paul, Chris and 'Mist'

Happy New Year from Paul, Chris and ‘Mist’

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

p.s. The above image was taken just before Christmas, on a walk in the Elen Valley in Powys, Mid-Wales – read all about it next week.  Off now to find the right magic spell to get me ‘missus’ back to full size – or perhaps I’ll leave her like that!

Posted in 1. Scotland, 2. Lake District, 3. Yorkshire Dales, 4. Northern England, 5. North Wales, 6. Mid and South Wales, 7. Everywhere Else! | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

#109 – Have a good (and safe) Christmas!!

What’s all this then?  Shouldn’t you be doing something Christmasey instead of reading this?  Well, seeing as you’re here, here’s a repeat of a blog I did a couple of years ago when I lived in Yorkshire – I’ve told this story before, but the message is still relevant.  Enjoy – I’m off, Christmas stuff to do………….

Oh, have a good one – Christmas, that is!!

*  *  *  

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Posted in 2. Lake District, 5. North Wales, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

#108 – Pen yr Ole Wen. A promising start to the winter season in the mountains of North Wales

Pen yr Ole Wen in summer, seen from Llyn Idwal near Ogwen

Pen yr Ole Wen in summer, seen from Llyn Idwal near Ogwen

(L to R) Tryfan, the Glyderau and Y Garn, seen from near Pen yr Ole Wen  (JB)

(L to R) Tryfan, the Glyderau and Y Garn, seen from near Pen yr Ole Wen (JB)

Pen yr Ole Wen isn’t exactly what I would describe as one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ of Snowdonia.  It’s a lump of a hill, almost literally sitting in the shadow of Tryfan, despite the fact that it is 63 metres higher.  It’s Tryfan and the hills of the Glyderau that have the drama and the soaring ridges,  but Pen yr Ole Wen is a great vantage point from which to view Tryfan and the Glyderau – it’s also an ideal springboard to the hills of the Carneddau.

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Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

#107 – Training ‘Search and Rescue’ Dogs – The story continues ….

Looking north down the Nant Ffrancon valley at Ogwen

Looking north down the Nant Ffrancon valley at Ogwen

The Search and Rescue Dog Association of Wales (SARDA Cymru) holds two assessment weekends every year, where novice dogs demonstrate their searching abilities, and qualified dogs progress to a higher level.  Originally intended to search for lost or injured people in the mountains, the members of the association are now just as likely to be searching for a lost child or a confused pensioner.  Whatever the task, the training starts here in the hills and mountains of North Wales.

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Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

#106 – ” …. Sack it to me ….!”

'Mist'

My wife doesn’t understand me (as the saying goes).  Is it so difficult to understand that an outdoors chap needs more than one rucksack?  Well, this one does anyway.  I’m also a ‘label’ man – I tend to stick with brand names that have proved reliable in the past on my hill trips, and when it comes to rucksacks, Berghaus is the brand I’ve come to trust.

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Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , , , | 25 Comments

#105 – Lost in the Clwydian Hills

On the slopes of Foel Fenlli, with bad weather closing in

My local hills, the Clwydian Range, are not the highest hills in Wales by a long way, though it’s the first high ground you drive through as you enter North Wales from England.  The highest summit is Moel Famau (see post #79) at 554 metres, and most of the other summits of the ridge line are only between 400 – 500 metres in altitude (see post #99).  They are exposed little hills though, and can prove ‘interesting’ in bad weather.

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Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments