Black Mountains Winter Wild Camp (South Wales)
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You need to be a winter mountain walker with experience of using an ice axe and micro-spikes / micro-crampons; you also need to be an experienced wild camper to participate in this event.
You also need to be appropriately equipped (including micro-spikes or micro-crampons) and keen to participate in the event in challenging weather. If there is a risk of lightning or extreme winds, we may need to shelter for many hours or curtail the event.
All except the last 3 pictures were taken during a pre-walk of the event in December 2017, during which we had near perfect conditions. If we are very fortunate, we will get to hike and camp in snow; it’s rather more likely to be very wet and somewhat windy.
This will give you an idea of the environment https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-33506589
Following a chip shop supper in Crickhowell, it will be a 5 minute drive to the secluded layby where we will leave our cars at the hike start point. Then in darkness a steep ascent to the ramparts of the ancient Crug Hywel hill fort to get to the top of Table Mountain (451m). Another 340m of ascent will get us over Pen Cerrig-Calch (701m), to then find a place to sleep at an altitude of about 650m if the weather is kind. We’ll get up at 6:00am and then to the top of Pen Allt Mawr (719m), for an early morning panoramic view across all of the Black mountains; followed by Pen Twyn Glas (646m) and Mynydd Llysiau (663m) to get to the highest summit Waun Fach (810m). We then continue over Pen y Gadair Fawr before finding a suitable place to spend our second night high in the mountains. The next day we have Pen Twyn Mawr (658m), Disgwylfa (540m), Crug Mawr (550m) and Blaen-yr Henbant (498m) to contend with, before descending to go over the Upper Cwm Bridge over the Grwyne Fechan, past the ancient church (first recorded in 1060) and into the village of Llanbedr and on to our cars.
What to bring
Bring normal winter mountaineering and wild camping equipment, bearing in mind the following…….
You MUST have micro-spikes or micro-crampons and you MUST have sunglasses/goggles.
You need a robust, compact tent.
Consider including a few “blizzard” tent pegs.
I will use walking poles and may carry an ice axe.
Where we're likely to be camping, it's unlikely to get below minus 12 degrees, however, since we're likely to spend quite a lot of time in the tents, it's worth having a good sleeping bag, insulation from the ground and down jacket.
Carry a few pairs of gloves and socks.
Food & drink
Bring enough food to cover your needs for the duration of the event There is no possibility to obtain food once we have left Crickhowell. Once we have gained height, we will sometimes be able to obtain water by descending to springs (you will need to make your water safe to drink.).