Saturday, March 17, 2012

Over The Hills And Far Away

I was up pre-six and on the road by twenty past. I met Pat in Llanfrynach and we set off at about ten past eight. Today's run was going to be a tester and as seems the case of late the first hour was disconcerting. My legs never seem to want to move first thing that and the fact I had a 6kg pack loaded up with all my emergency gear, extra layers, gloves, first aid kit... the list goes on.

The forecast was for terrible weather and I wanted to be prepared for what ever it threw down. As it turned out the weather was the best its been for a couple of weeks and so I didn't half the kit I took. The strong winds never blew into town. The heavy rain and thunder amounted to nothing more than a few drops of rain. I sometimes wonder if the MET office's massive computer is really just a random number generator picking the forecast from a big long list. Today's conditions were as far from the forecast as any I've ever witnessed. Chocolate and Teapot spring to mind. That said, carrying the extra weight will help me prepare for the Saunders Mountain Marathon where you have to carry you kit including camping gear for the overnight stop.

So from Llanfrynach we headed up to Waun Rydd and over Allt Llywd. Then we dropped down and back up and over to Ystrad - the first recce of the season for that one. Looping round from there we came back on ourselves and that's were Pat and I parted company - amicably. I really enjoyed the first part of the run. It's always nice to have some company.

From there I covered some new ground down through the forest towards the Pentwyn reservoir - for a bit of reservoir spotting of course. Then it was back onto one of my more normal routes across to Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn and finally Fan y Big. It was a relief to reach Fan y Big because it was quite literally, all down hill from there...

I eventually arrived back at Vera at just gone two o'clock. So all in all it was a very reasonable 43km with 7,400 feet of ascent clocked up in just about six hours. A little shorter than planned but I reasoned that as I was actually attempting somewhere in the region of an extra 3,000 feet of ascent on this one over and above the ascent in previous runs I needed to be smart. As it was, I'm glad I knocked off those couple of kilometres because the ascent of Cribyn and Fan y Big were slow going and sapping. If I'd added another couple km's I might still be there...