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HSX Weekend in Brecon (or the Black Mountains)

Our January training weekend took us to the Black Mountains & namely Ystradgynlais, a small town north of Swansea. For thos of you who went to Smudge’s Stag Do, it’s the same town.

Anyway, we travelled up on Friday night. 10 of us left from our various bases and we met at the Scout Hut in Ystradgynlais, where Richard Brimelow (event director) greeted us with Hot Cross buns… Yum!! Before myself & Chris Laws (Atacama veterans 🙂 ) gave the most amazing and educational lecture ever on nutrition. With the group all feeling very informed & educated we got our heads down for some sleep, which evaded some of us as we were battling with ‘first night camp excitement’.

On Saturday we split into two groups which were being lead by Steve Knaggs & Chris Slater as they are working towards their Mountain leader qualification. We agreed to rendezvous that evening at Llyn Y Fan Fach about 10km north of the town where we started for our overnight camp.

We set out carefully navigating our way through the town and across the road, which seemed to take for ever, before finally hitting some hills.. We then completed navigating legs, whilst also picking up some of the Black Mountains famous Air Craft crash sites…

Now either this was luck or perfect linked groups, but both teams arrived at the overnight camp at exactly the same time. It was at this point and we had been thinking it for a while, that we realised how blooming cold it was. So we wrapped up as warm as we could and put our tents up and had dinner. Luckily for us, there was a rescue hut there, so we did get to sit inside. when I say inside, it had walls, a roof & some benches.. Luxury in this instance.. Dinner was light weight obligatory Cous Cous, veg & Chorizo…

As some of the group headed to bed, Adrian, Steve, Chris & myself headed out for some night nav practice and with 100% success rate we headed back to our tents for a very very very cold night sleep… My 1 season sleeping bag, thermal top, jacket & gillet struggled to keep the cold at bay even whilst i was being sandwiched by Chris & Steve..

The next morning, we had breakfast (muesli cereal bombs) and headed back to the hut. Whilst walking back, we did get to enjoy the snow that started and then laid after we had left…

A great weekend with some great hill walking & wild camping… Thanks to Richard Brimelow for organising and thanks to all who came along..

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About Aljan

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