As Paul mentioned this one the other day and I had not been to the very top (explanation later) I thought I would give it a walk today. I see the mountain (hill?) every day as my son's bedroom looks directly toward it from the opposite side of the valley - the mountain (hill?) looked great this morning as the sun created an orange glow along it's ridge. A few hours spent surfing the net, playing on line chess - one of my hobbies, and then arrange to meet my mate Alan for the walk. Quite a bit of snow around and my right knee has been playing up so I decide to take a walking pole with me - 1st time I had used one and must say it certainly helped me on my way. The other reason for getting out today was to try out my new jacket (Lowe Alpine Borah) delivered yesterday! Well pleased as the biting wind was kept well at bay - no rain thank goodness, my least fave bit of walking is getting wet. One of the beauties of today was no need to take ther car to a *starting point*. The northern end of Ebbw Valley has for many years been dominated by the local steelworks but since it's closure 18 months ago the buildings are slowly being demolished. It was here that my companion Alan and I worked for many years and although the valley will hopefully become a better looking place it is still sad to see so much industrial hertitage disappearing. A 10 minute walk down past the back of town and we pass the General offices - http://www.blaenau- gwent.gov.uk/News/Older%20Press%20Releases/2002/February% 202002/large_steelworks.htm were we both worked. It is a listed building so cannot be demolished thankfully. For myself it will be reminder of some great times and people that I have met. We then take the road opposite towards our destination, along the way stopping to observe the change taking place in the valley. We are off the road now but on a good walking track heading southwards towards the village of Cwm. The 502m peak of Y Domen Fawr is to our right overlooking the Festival Shopping Centre. Beneath this houses now occupy the site of the Garden Festival of the early nineties. Who would have thought that this part of the valley was once covered in a red dust of industrial times from Coke ovens etc. About 1/2 mile above the village of Cwm is Silent Valley. This place is quite unusual as not only is it the landfill site for local rubbish but the south end of this small valley is also home to one of the Wildlife trust Reserves! - one rather ugly thing and one of outstanding beauty. http://www.wildlifetrust.org.uk/gwent/SilentValley.htm To be honest although we are standing close to the landfill site there is no obvious evidence of this. We turn north around the valley and head upwards in a moderate climb towards the top. I spot a common buzzard heading towards the beechwood trees across from where we stand. The wind picks up and it gets quite cold on the face as well as finding deeper snow. I prod my pole every now and then to make sure there are no hidden crevasses. Near the top we stand and face South and are greeted with some wonderful views - I should be like Paul and take a camera with me! -. The snowy landscape somehow makes the definitions on the surrounding hills so prominent. A glint of thin light catches my eye in the distance and my companion confirms with his binoculars that it is indeed the channel. Getting our bearings and we agree this is most likely somewhere between Barry and Bridgend as I point out the windfarm towards Bridgend to the right and the Wenvoe mast towards the left. We can even see the shadows of the hills on the other side of the coast. Further on we reach a track that heads north to south and just to the side of this we look down into the next valley at the town of Blaina. Rising above this is the mountain of Mynydd James and further back Coitey Mountain. We leave the track and head inwards towards the trig point. From here we can see views of Sugar Loaf, Blorenge and the Black Mountains to our right and north west of us Pen Y Fan & Corn Ddu. Alan comments that the views are some of the best around here - I have to agree with him. I curse myself for not getting to the top of here before. Thing is for many years I played golf at West Monmouthshire Golf Club which members will proudly inform you is the highest 18 hole course in Britain!. The 14th tee from recollection is about 1500ft and affords some magnificent views towards the Beacons highest peaks. What I failed to realise until today are the views south from the extra couple of 100ft to the top. We cross the snowy drifts of the golf course on our downward journey and I tell Alan about the last time I played the course (about 2 weeks ago) recalling my birdie at the par 5 13th. Not bad I say as this was my 1st game in over 10 months! He's less impressed I think not having ever played. It takes about another 20 minutes to get back to the town and then a short stroll up the hill to home. I have decided I should get out more regularly and make the most of the walks that I can make without taking the car!