One down, four to go. We (My wife Julie, my local pastor, his wife and I) arrived at Pont Ar Daf car park at the base of Pen Y Fan knowing it was going to rain. The clouds were low and menacing. Rain in the Brecon Beacons can be vicious. We were to find out that on Pen Y Fan it can almost be vindictive!
The first ten yards of the walk were fine as they were downhill. You then cross a small stream and everything from then on until you reach the top is up, very up.
It started to rain just as we started climbing and got progressively heavier.
It was not long before the goretex and the over trousers were on.
After a few metres climbing it was fairly obvious that we were not from any mountainous region of Wales. Red faced and breathing hard, each pace was an effort and was only about half a metre long. After an hour climbing we reached the first ridge line at 800 metres.
As we crested the ridge the wind really struck. A wind from any direction toward Pen Y Fan is funnelled by a valley, all of which converge on the ridge. Winds from the South East are funnelled up a particularly long valley starting at The Pentwyn reservoir and are therefore much stronger as the funnel narrows and they are then forced up the slope of the hill.
By this time the goretex was failing and the wind (gusting to 90 mph) was driving the rain at us. There was no view as we had been in clouds from about 600m.
When we arrived at the cairn marking the summit it was obvious there would be no picnic and that I would not be able to get out the Regimental flag loaned to me by HHQ for photo opportunities as I risked it being blown from my hands or worse, I risked taking up paragliding.
Next, Slieve Donnard in Ireland on the 14th of June. I am hoping several Old Comrades will join me.
If you wish to support this fundraising effort for the Museum you can make donations by BACS transfer to the following account:
Sort Code: 30-11-75.
If you wish to join me on any of the climbs ( Slieve Donnard 14 June, Snowdon 15 August, Ben Nevis 14 September, Scafell Pike 28 September) let me know or HHQ and they will inform me.
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