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Winter Nordic Walking Weekend ~ Brecon Beacons ~ January 2018

Mid-January saw us gather once again for our annual weekend of Winter Nordic Waking. Staying in the heart of the Sawdde Valley, we were suitably sited for easy access to the fells and tops of the Black Mountain.

With a dozen folk arriving from as far away as Sunderland, as well as Bucks, Bristol and the Malmesbury area, it was good to see that the snow held its arrival and everyone arrived safely on Friday evening in time for a hearty feast and relax in front of the open fire ably stocked and stoked thanks to Kevin (Bartlett), David (Wood), and Dave (Myers) ~ its always good to have a retired firemen on hand!

Our walking weekend started in very poor conditions with rain, gusting winds (>45mph) and limited visibility, so plan B was implemented to avoid the higher exposed slopes. We took a route from the car park at Blaenau up the track to Llyn y Fan Fach then traversed the lower slopes in the lee of the biting cold wind before descending back to our starting point.

Under Steve’s watchful eye, Pip (Sanders) was able to practice her navigation in ever-decreasing visibility and lead our group for an hour or so. It’s always good to practice your nav whenever the opportunity arises, and even more so in the hostile conditions that we were facing; needless to say, Pip did a fine job.

Always time for a quick break and shelter from the wind...

We made it back to the warmth of our accommodation around lunchtime for tea & cake ~ many thanks Jane (Hurdle), Martin (Ainscow), Helen (Evans), Alison (Wilson) for amazing treats; after our 12km exertions. With another plan to head out again to explore the immediate terrain, lanes and tracks; we had a super 5km Nordic Walk ending up in the beautiful Llanddeusant church shortly before dusk.

Following our evening feast, Mel (Mackintosh) introduced us to a fabulous after-dinner game. Much hilarity was had and not surprisingly things got hugely competitive…didn’t they Julie (Barnett) and Mandy (Wiltshire)?

Sunday was an all-together different weather day, we enjoyed clear skies for much of the day and only encountered cloud when we walked onto the summits; that said the icy wind was biting and not too much faffing was observed!

Once again we started at Blaenau and took the direct route onto Fan Brycheiniog with some great shots as we head into the clouds. After a brief stop for butties and a hot drink, we headed over the tops taking in Picws Du before heading down to the hut at Llyn y Fan Fach, and down the fish track back to our vehicles.

Sadly for everyone views were not great from the tops; but it was still a great achievement and Marcus (Easterling) was able to bag his next 3 tops taking his total mountains climbed to around 4, and he got some super photos and selfies.

We had a super weekend of views, Nordic Walking in often challenging conditions; superb company and a lot of laughs.

Our next UK weekend trip will be to the fabulous Peak District on 20-22 April 2018.

For more information of this and other treks please contact us at nordic@geminioutdoor.com or call/text 07752567959

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