Took a jaunt up to the Brecon Beacons today to have a run up Pen Y Fan again. Closest we get to mountains in South Wales. I took a different route this time from the south . I parked up, got changed and headed off with a pack full of food, water and actual safety items such as a whistle and foil blanket. I knew the weather was supposed to turn early afternoon so this was an up and downer fairly rapidly.
The best laid plans and all that. My navigational skills are sketchy at best and the thing about the brecon beacons is that eveything looks the same, no wonder the SAS die out here in training.
After a false start and sinking up to my calves in mud in a forest I found the route to the mountains – in the cloud somewhere. So I had a minds eye picture of where I was and where everything else was but it was meaningless if everything else was shrouded in mist.
Ok I think its that way ————>
Following the sheep tracks was fun up the side of a mountain. Ocassionally my brain would say “ummm you dont know where you’re going” but I shut it off and ran a bit more. I figure there are two important directions on a mountain – up and down. So I followed what I could make out as a ridgeline upwards.
The wind was really picking up now and I packed on some more layers and kept going up and up and up. And then …. The summit! Only it definitely wasn’t Pen Y Fan – I’d have recognised that even in fog but it was somewhere I’ve never been before.
The view was …… well
I had a choice now to either follow a path off the top but this would mean I was getting really, really lost now instead of just lost and I knew the weather would worsen so I took the sensible option of coming back down the way I came.
Once down in the visibility zone as I shall now call it I followed the tracks wherever they went as long as they headed in the vague direction of the car. Which took me past the skunk sheep!
And then to a fantastic waterfall where I stopped to eat something. The whole run was only around 8 miles but I brought food so I was damn well eating it.
And looking back on a great morning getting cold, wet, lost and tired. I may not have found the mountain I was looking for but I found what I wanted in the end.