New Year in the Black Mountains (pic heavy)

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BushrangerCZ

Nomad
Dec 23, 2010
258
0
in the woods
What about martens, foxes, rabbits, squirrels? Woodland with only one type of tree, all same age, is very due to suffer from parasites and bad weather, especially if spruce is not native there. Also, absolutely no bush and plant floor in this type of wood. I wonder why woodland does not grow on that hills, because I always thought it´s because of too much deer, foraging on anything what appears. Soil apparantly still can support trees. Oh I got it... sheeps??
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
4
52
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
Okay, Joonsy, yes you can walk across the dam.
6629727951_fa63fc2c9f_z.jpg

There is a good path on the other side of the dam that leads to the high peaks. Alternatively you can follow the railway track onwards where it just becomes a hiking path, and it ends up on the Hay bluff.

Bushranger, unfortunately most of the native upland woodland was cut down in the mid 20th century and replaced with commercial spruce forestry. There are grey squirrels, and probably foxes etc, but the wildlife is generally rather poor. Martens do occur but I'm not sure if the can be found in that area.
 

R3XXY

Settler
Jul 24, 2009
670
0
Crewe
"Cunningly pitched on sodden mossy ground, on a slope, for maximum discomfort." :lmao:

Great pics Harvestman, don't think your wife would agree that that ledge is safe though, hope she doesn't see this thread ;)
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
4
52
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
"Cunningly pitched on sodden mossy ground, on a slope, for maximum discomfort." :lmao:

Great pics Harvestman, don't think your wife would agree that that ledge is safe though, hope she doesn't see this thread ;)

I blame the rain.

Wife saw the pics before I posted. She knew I was mad before she married me. Seriously, there was a good six feet more out of shot, and then a big birch tree between me and a bouncing descent to the waters below.
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
4
52
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
Oh yes, I was going to post a kit list for the trip, in case anyone was interested.

Clothing:
Mountain Equipment Ogre XCR jacket in bright red (I believe in being seen in the hills in bad weather)
Cheap fleece jacket - mistake - it behaved like a sponge.
Wool bush shirt as made by BilmoP5 - brilliant
Norgie clone
Aldi technical base layer top
Mountain Equipment Paclite waterproof trousers - very good
Mountain Warehouse winter trousers - nice and warm
Aldi thermal base layer long pants
Assorted thick warm socks
2 hankerchiefs
Mountainlife Extreme boots - cheapish from Mountain Warehouse in a sale - not as waterproof as they claim, but not bad
Cheap nylon gaiters - they do a job
Silk glove liners
Thermalite gloves
Camo goretex waterproof mittens

Kit:
Karrimor panther 75 rucksack - had it for years. Bombproof
DD XL tarp
Backpackinglight solo tarp
Bivvy bag - horizontal zip so a bugger to get into but I can close it up almost completely when cold
Field & trek 5 season down sleeping bag - now 20 years old
Nato sleeping bag liner - a quid at a car boot - first use, and very handy it was too, but nearly not quite long enough
Neck pillow - I prefer it to a normal one
Gelert Extreme Lite 3/4 mat
Bushbuddy stove
MSR Pocket Rocket stove & off the shelf gas canister (not full)
Folding windshield
Army surplus haversack full of apple wood for the Bushbuddy
Firelighting kit - cheap firesteel, turboflame lighter (which I mainly used), various tinders and kindling
MSR titan kettle
Folding frying pan from Millets
Wooden plate made from hornbeam - self made
Plastic folding plate - now with hole in it after a big ember landed on it. Previously used as a chopping board
Home made sit mat courtesy of my wife
Folding baby-change mat - very useful as a work surface or kneeling mat
Plastic sheet - ditto
US army water bottle clone, and pouch
Millbanks bag
First aid kit - unused, thankfully
Laplander saw - unused, the only thing I didn't use that I carried
Fiskars small axe - used briefly for chopping firewood - the bushbuddy needs wood in small pieces
Loo kit - Backpackinglight again
Pouch containing wooden spoon, bone fork and blow poker (great bit of kit)
Crazy river hunting knife - cheap, but it cuts and is stainless so I don't have to worry about it
Alpkit Gamma headtorch
Bag of various lengths of paracord, all labelled by length and in individual pouches - very handy when you need it
4 Clingons
Monocular
Pocket camera
Mobile phone - no signal and the cold killed the battery within 24 hours anyway
Pedometer - used as a back-up clock so I wouldn't run the mobile battery down, but the cold killed it on the second night - must get a watch!

I forgot:
My walking stick - left it behind in the house

I didn't take:
Map, compass or GPS - because I know the area very well and wasn't going off-piste. Couldn't get lost there if I tried.
 
Last edited:

Joonsy

Native
Jul 24, 2008
1,483
0
UK
Hi Harvestman, thanks for reply & photo regarding dam, i have walked all the tops there by various approaches, i have seen the reservoir from the head of the grwyne valley but not actually been down to it so plan on walking that area in the future and your info will help on planning that, thanks.
 

dave53

On a new journey
Jan 30, 2010
2,993
10
67
wales
hi mike thanks for the photos yes you are mad but i like you( pun) you will have to go up there again and drag me with you lol regards dave:You_Rock_
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
4
52
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
Looks like a great time, how much, roughly did all your kit weigh?

Not the faintest idea mate. A lot more once it was wet though. To be honest it was quite light by my standards until I added the food. I always pack too much food, especially for solo trips, in case I need one more night than planned. The other thing was that I knew I wasn't going far (2 miles from start to furthest point, give or take a bit) so weight wasn't really an issue. It wasn't a struggle though, and I didn't think it was an especially heavy pack. Once on, I didn't notice it.
 

bushcraftbob

Settler
Jun 1, 2007
845
0
38
Oxfordshire
Great post and pics - I have camped quite a few times in this area - the last time i went it was crawling with hippies as there was a rave in the nearby Mynydd Du Forest.

The weather was exactly like that the last time i went, wind driven mist and drizel, but thankfully i was in a tent and not tarp so stayed quite dry.

Have you been to the Banner Sir Gauer area?? Stunning place!
 

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