Mynydd Carn-y-cefn

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Alan C, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. Alan C

    Alan C Guest

    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!
     
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  2. Alan C wrote:

    > 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.

    But you didn't invite me, you swine! ;-)

    I'm surprised you haven't been there before if you live right next to
    it.

    > I see the mountain (hill?) every day as my son's bedroom looks directly toward it from the
    > opposite side of the valley

    Technically, according to most summit lists, it's a hill not a mountain, but I disagree, see
    [1] below.

    > Quite a bit of snow around

    How deep was it on the top?

    > About 1/2 mile above the village of Cwm is Silent Valley.

    A local name for Cwm Merddog?

    > We turn north around the valley and head upwards in a moderate climb towards the top.

    So you went up Tarren y Trwyn? Rather than following the valley to the top?

    > Near the top we stand and face South and are greeted with some wonderful views

    As I can see from the virtual 3D mode in Anquet.

    > - I should be like Paul and take a camera with me! -.

    Indeed, I was hoping to see some shots. This was a good day for photos, wasn't it? Were there many
    clouds up there?

    > The snowy landscape somehow makes the definitions on the surrounding hills so prominent.

    Plus the wonderfully clear winter light.

    > Alan comments that the views are some of the best around here - I have to agree with him.

    Yep, they look good on the computer. Tell me, how "wild" are the hilltops there? Are they relatively
    untouched in spite of all the industrial spoilage below?

    > I have decided I should get out more regularly and make the most of the walks that I can make
    > without taking the car!

    Definitely! In spite of the urban sprawl, you do have some decent looking hills and ridges around
    you. The long ridges look like they'd make good walking if you could start at one end and arrange to
    be picked up at the other, or maybe catch a bus?

    I've tried to follow the route that you took using the "Walk Route" feature in Anquet's 3D mode (had
    to guess a lot of it) and it looked quite interesting. Anquet tells me that it was around 5 miles,
    is that right? You didn't record your walk with a GPS I don't suppose?

    [1] The traditionally accepted idea in England and Wales is that it has to be 2000ft high to
    qualify as a mountain (although in the well known film the criterion was only 1000ft). Much
    argument has taken place in this newsgroup about the issue, and something I've often pointed
    out is that Wales has many hills which are called "Mynydd" which are well below 2000ft. In
    fact, the South Wales valleys have more mynydds than anywhere else in Wales. So Wales is full
    of mountains, but many of them are "small" mountains. ;-)

    Anyway, this is an issue which there'll never be any real agreement on, but it may interest you that
    I've been working on a new list of Welsh summits (which I call Metric Mountains) which has the
    criterion that a summit must be at least 500m high with a drop all around of at least 50m to
    qualify. So by this definition, Mynydd Carn-y-cefn is indeed a mountain (a "metric" mountain), as is
    Y Domen Fawr, Mynydd Coity and Blorenge, which is why I expressed an interest in these four summits.
    In fact, all of them qualify as "A" class summits because they all have a drop of over 100m.

    Most summit lists tend to ignore the South Wales Coalfield, so my new list redresses the balance.
    There are eight "metric mountains" in the SWC, the other four are further west of you, namely Craig
    y Llyn, Werfa, Mynydd Caerau and Mynydd Ton (trig point surrounded by forestry unfortunately - looks
    a tricky one to get to).

    Anyway, thanks for the trip report, most interesting. I'll get up there one of these days.

    Paul
    --
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
    http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk
    http://www.photosig.com/go/users/userphotos?id=118749
     
  3. Alan Coles

    Alan Coles Guest

    "Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Alan C wrote:

    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. But you didn't invite me, you swine! ;-)

    My apologies - I didn't even know I was going to do it until about 30 mins before I did! My married
    situation does not allow me to plan so much that I can *forecast* what I will be doing in the next
    5 mins.......lol! j/k No seriously I thought about your want to do list and I am not experienced
    enough to give you advice on routes etc. Another reason for taking in the locals hills though would
    be for me to be able to offer some sort of route when you do visit. As far as I am aware there are
    no dedicated start/finish routes for these so they need some sussing out . Also what sort of
    distances do you normally make and are you happy enough to incorporate some road walking between
    the hills?

    I'm surprised you haven't been there before if you live right next to it.

    Probably not totally true because as a schoolkid I used to mooch off school and walk home to
    Abertillery via that route - but back then I did not make the most of my wonderful surroundings.!

    Quite a bit of snow around
    How deep was it on the top?

    5-6 inches mostly but drifting to a couple of feet in others - some paths though relatively clear

    About 1/2 mile above the village of Cwm is Silent Valley. - A local name for Cwm Merddog? I know on
    the map it goes by that name and as I am not a Welsh speaker I am unsure of the translation?

    We turn north around the valley and head upwards in a moderate climb towards the top. So you went up
    Tarren y Trwyn? Rather than following the valley to the top?

    We went around the side of Tarren y Trywyn looking at my OS - as I had not been this way prior I
    went on the advice of my colleague - we was not far from the top but he suggested going around it
    then moving up through the valley.

    Near the top we stand and face South and are greeted with some wonderful views As I can see from
    the virtual 3D mode in Anquet.

    Must get myself this thing it sounds wonderful.

    I should be like Paul and take a camera with me! -. Indeed, I was hoping to see some shots. This
    was a good day for photos, wasn't it? Were there many clouds up there?

    The sun shone for most of it but some darkish clouds worked themselves over from the east. Also I
    have only got an old 35mm Olympus camera - I am very seriously thinking of buying a point & shoot
    digital though.

    The snowy landscape somehow makes the definitions on the surrounding hills so prominent.

    Plus the wonderfully clear winter light. - yep, agreed

    Alan comments that the views are some of the best around here - I have to agree with him.

    Yep, they look good on the computer. Tell me, how "wild" are the hilltops there? Are they
    relatively untouched in spite of all the industrial spoilage below?

    As they are smallish hills/mountains (and not very wide) I can't think of them as *wild* - in
    comparison to say the Black Mountains but apart from some hill farms near the tops they are quiet.
    Saying that Y Domen Fawr can be reached by road to within 1/2 mile from the Oakdale side although it
    does not see the people *traffic* of say Pen Y Fan etc. The Sirhowy Valley Walk from Tredegar to
    Newport (26 miles) is along this ridge but if I ever do that I am unsure? I have seen it written
    about but not sure of the exact route after Oakdale?

    I have decided I should get out more regularly and make the most of the walks that I can make
    without taking the car! Definitely! In spite of the urban sprawl, you do have some decent looking
    hills and ridges around you. The long ridges look like they'd make good walking if you could start
    at one end and arrange to be picked up at the other, or maybe catch a bus?

    I have cycled from my home down to Oakdale and back via Y Domen Fawr which was quite good and ther
    is a possibility of doing a few of the ridges on a linear route with bus connections back to the
    start but as these are only a few miles away I would most likey get wifey to come and pick me up on
    reaching my destination!

    I've tried to follow the route that you took using the "Walk Route" feature in Anquet's 3D mode
    (had to guess a lot of it) and it looked quite interesting. Anquet tells me that it was around 5
    miles, is that right? You didn't record your walk with a GPS I don't suppose?

    GPS !!! My 1st posting on this newsgroup a week or so ago would have informed you that I am
    relatively new to walking - not a seasoned pro like yourself! Interestingly we reckoned it was
    between 5-6 miles. :eek:)

    Anyway, thanks for the trip report, most interesting. I'll get up there one of these days.

    Glad you found it interesting enough to comment on. - Thank you.
     
  4. Alan Coles wrote:

    > But you didn't invite me, you swine! ;-)
    >
    > My apologies - I didn't even know I was going to do it until about 30 mins before I did!

    No, just joking, I wouldn't have been able to make it anyway. I'm only just recovering from my
    latest cold (at least I hope I'm recovering).

    > No seriously I thought about your want to do list and I am not experienced enough to give you
    > advice on routes etc.

    I just thought you might be familiar with the area.

    > Another reason for taking in the locals hills though would be for me to be able to offer some sort
    > of route when you do visit.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    > As far as I am aware there are no dedicated start/finish routes for these so they need some
    > sussing out .

    I prefer that. I like map reading and planning. I don't like following popular routes much, they
    tend to get eroded into wide paths and have far too many people walking along them. Sussing out a
    route and trying to follow it is all part of the fun, especially when the paths on the ground don't
    match the map!

    > Also what sort of distances do you normally make

    I used to do a lot of 10-12 mile walks when I was younger but this has decreased a lot in recent
    years, mainly due to getting unfit (and stopping to take too many photographs). Given that I've been
    suffering with colds and flu for 8 weeks out of the last 10, my fitness has now dropped to rock
    bottom. I plan to rectify this situation as soon as possible (colds permitting), but for now I'd
    prefer a gentle stroll of just 5 or 6 miles, which seems ideal for the hills in your area.

    > and are you happy enough to incorporate some road walking between the hills?

    I'll be honest, I can't stand road walking. I go to great lengths to plan walks that don't
    incorporate any tarmac (part of the reason is that it wears your boot tread down much faster). I can
    put up with a bit of it if it's unavoidable, but I'd prefer to avoid it if possible.

    > As they are smallish hills/mountains (and not very wide) I can't think of them as *wild* - in
    > comparison to say the Black Mountains but apart from some hill farms near the tops they are quiet.

    I was thinking mainly of whether they are unspoilt or not. When I walked up Werfa with Bill and Fran
    there were piles of rubbish tipped at the side of the road and the whole hilltop was torn up with
    tracks from some vehicles or other.

    > The Sirhowy Valley Walk from Tredegar to Newport (26 miles) is along this ridge but if I ever do
    > that I am unsure? I have seen it written about but not sure of the exact route after Oakdale?

    The route is marked out in Anquet. It follows the river through Blackwood and Pontllanfrath and
    mostly stays in the valley after that.

    > I have cycled from my home down to Oakdale and back via Y Domen Fawr which was quite good

    Did you do the whole thing on a bike? How good are the paths up on the ridges for mountain biking?

    > GPS !!!

    :)

    > Glad you found it interesting enough to comment on. - Thank you.

    No problem, I look forward to seeing it for myself.

    Paul
    --
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
    http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk
    http://www.photosig.com/go/users/userphotos?id=118749
     
  5. W. D. Grey

    W. D. Grey Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Paul Saunders <[email protected]> writes
    >I was thinking mainly of whether they are unspoilt or not. When I walked up Werfa with Bill and
    >Fran there were piles of rubbish tipped at the side of the road and the whole hilltop was torn up
    >with tracks from some vehicles or other.

    I must say I was sickened by the absolute destruction of the area by mindless vandals. It a terrible
    shame. I've never seen so many dumped tyres in any one location before, it was dodgy even to walk in
    the area because of the steel wall wires that were lying around in abundance.

    It was a concern that the car would be still kin one piece when we got back.
    --
    Bill Grey http://www.billboy.co.uk
     
  6. Fran

    Fran Guest

    [email protected] said...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Paul Saunders <[email protected]> writes
    > >I was thinking mainly of whether they are unspoilt or not. When I walked up Werfa with Bill and
    > >Fran there were piles of rubbish tipped at the side of the road and the whole hilltop was torn up
    > >with tracks from some vehicles or other.
    >
    > I must say I was sickened by the absolute destruction of the area by mindless vandals. It a
    > terrible shame. I've never seen so many dumped tyres in any one location before, it was dodgy even
    > to walk in the area because of the steel wall wires that were lying around in abundance.

    And somewhere up there, above Treorchy apparently, is the last resting place of one of my own cars,
    a Vauxhall Cavalier estate. A jolly good workhorse, she was. I was told that the fire brigade had
    done their best, but...

    > It was a concern that the car would be still kin one piece when we got back.

    Aye. What really amazes me is the lengths people go to just to dump rubbish, when there's a
    perfectly good corporation dump in Treorchy and another one in Gelli.
    --
    Fran If you need my email address please ask.
     
  7. Rj Webb

    Rj Webb Guest

    >And somewhere up there, above Treorchy apparently, is the last resting place of one of my own cars,
    >a Vauxhall Cavalier estate. A jolly good workhorse, she was. I was told that the fire brigade had
    >done their best, but...

    Many of us consider South Wales the crux of marilyn bagging. The only place I have ever seen to
    match it for burnt out cars is West Belfast.

    I got away with just £200 of ned related damage, when two waste of oxygens made a very poor attempt
    at forcing my doorlock at Garth Hill.

    Richard Webb
     
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