I had been suffering from a poorly knee of late. I believe that I am suffering from a condition known as ‘runner’s knee’. This is essentially a precursor to chondromalacia and caused by a disbalance between strength of hamstrings and quadriceps. Seeing as though my quads have wasted I’m currently trying to rebuild them! However, when Andy asked if I wanted to accompany him on another marilyn bagging day in his attempt to complete Dawson’s list, I couldn’t resist, although today was a tad more strenuous than I had banked on.
The first hill of the day was Moel y Golfa above Middletown. We parked near a house at Garreg Bank, the path actually commences from their driveway by a sign instructing you not to block their access route. We ascended very steeply through trees to gain a lovely ridge with a rather large memorial on the summit. We descended by the same route, although it was pretty steep, and I wouldn’t particular enjoy it in the wet.
The second top of the day was Beacon Ring on Long Mountain. This was a short walk in from where we parked the car near Short Cross. We followed an access track to the foot of the radio masts. Finding the trig point was somewhat more problematic as it was buried in the forest.
We proceeded next to Caeliber Isaf, battling our way through barbed fencing from near White Hall Farm. The bull beyond the summit didn’t appreciate my bright red Berghaus base layer, and so we made a rather quick retreat back over the fence.
Stingwern Hill was particularly nice, if somewhat short. We parked up in a gateway north east of Llidiardu, and took a short walk through sheep filled fields to the trigpoint, returning the same way.
If Stingwern Hill was easy, Upper Park was more of a slog. Parking up near Trefnant Hall in a layby, we headed up a very obvious track into the forest and out to the open hillside above. Heading back into the forest to find the summit I seem to recall avoiding an area of gorse. The summit area is actually in the field adjacent to the forest, and we returned via the fields, not re-entering the forest, and coming out at the start point.
Y Golfa was more challenging, certainly the ferns were higher than me! Parking up on the A458 after a junction with a local road, we headed on up the path and then battered our way through the ferns on the way from it to the summit from where we observed some people attempting to play golf with little success!
We parked rather cheekily in a farmyard near Grwnamlwg to ascend Allt y Main via a forest track to a walk up the ridge, and descended via the same route. The forest track was irritating and seemed to drag with lots of recently conducted felling works.
We parked at the end of a local road for Rhailgwn. We walked along the landrover track, and ascended to the eastern edge of the trees. The cloud had dropped considerably, and I had left my coat in the car! Attempting to descend through the fire break we discovered it to be full of gorse, and had to enter and descend through the forest. We dropped out almost opposite where we had parked!
Mynydd y-briw was even more embarrasing. At the end of the road there is a house with no lay bys on the road. Not fancing the extra 100m of ascent we turned aroung in their driveway, parked on a ramp on the garden, and walked from there, took about 5 minutes in total to the top and back!