All photo's are Copyright of Scott Swalling or the tagged Photographer. (Background photo Scott Swalling Photography).

About Me:

24Hr MTBike racer and general bike rider, climber and mountaineer. Good coffee drinker and cake eater (any cake, seriously, don't leave your cake laying around). Also, I like to try new things that challenge me.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Winter Round Up - South Wales

Now that spring seems to have arrived and is hanging around, it seems like the time for a quick round up of winter.  La Grave has been covered in detail, Christmas in Chamonix with Kath and Andy - check, but what about the UK?

This year I promised myself I would do more winter climbing around the UK and therefore weekend trips would be the answer.  Before any tree huggers get on my case, I recycle, give to various nature charities, have planted many trees in my time and even sponsored some trees and my company Mountain Goat Adventures has a very green ethos.

So with the van full on all trips we would head off.

First stop, Brecon Beacons, South Wales.

On the weekend of Feb 13th/14th Feb, Nik, Rachel, Daniel and myself headed to the Beacons.  The plan to climb one day and walk with Giles and his daughter Mossie.

We drove over on the Saturday morning and Daniel and I headed straight in to Torpantau Falls. As we walk in and we got a surreal view of the falls it was clear this was going to be fun little adventure and a good way to kick start Daniels winter climbing career.  Bloody Norwegians ski as if they are born with skis on their feet, but more often than not (according to Norwegians) don't winter climb.

While Nik and Rachel enjoyed Talybont-on-Usk, cake, coffee and relaxing, Daniel and I started up the lower part of the falls, the ice started with the consistency of a Slush Puppy and over the series of lower steps improved.  At the main sectors of climbing the ice was well formed and solid and made for excellent climbing.

Torpantau Falls in the distance (Photo: Daniel B)

You get a choice at the top of this route, a left easier option or the fanned ice that had formed to the right making for more interesting, technical climbing and harder climbing, we went this way of course.

Daniel, climbs the first series pitch of ice

Successfully climbed we ice bouldered our way up the remaining steps in the stream and headed back.  This was a great little route and it seemed to cheeky to pass up this climb when in South Wales.

The next day we headed off for a winter walk in the sun (after a cold nights sleep) with Giles and Mossie.  It was great to do some walking and see the Beacons in mild wintry conditions and Giles and I also practiced some navigation for our ML.

Some pictures below of the day on the Beacons.

L - R, Nik, Giles, Mossie, Rachel and Dan.

Below Left Bomber 1465 wreckage and below right Brecon Beacons

Nik and Mossie, weaving through the bogs.
(Photo: Daniel B)

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