Frozen Tent In The Black Mountains

This year is all about gaining qualifications in the Outdoor Adventure Industry in order to set us up for life after Dynamic Adventures. One of the main qualifications we are trying to obtain is our Mountain Leader award, where we have to accumulate well over 40 days of walking. We must spend an awful lot of time in mountainous terrain, hence, plenty of trips away! Here is what happened on our trip to the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons.

Most people are probably not fond of camping at the best of times, let alone in the middle of November. But when you are strapped for cash and in a job where you camp most weekends throughout the year, it is the only choice! So, we planned our routes, found a campsite that was still open and after a full day of navigation training on Dartmoor we set off for the Brecons, however, nobody informed us of the extensive charge for a van to cross the Severn Bridge. That was two round of beers gone!

Arriving in the dark, in our trusty van, we decided not to bother with a tent, we have a van, let’s spend a night sleeping in it.

This is something we probably shouldn’t have tried for the first time in the middle of November, in freezing conditions! It was absolutely baltic in there! Icy cold noses, condensation dripping from the roof and walls and waking up to see your breath inside the van! Not an ideal first experience! First task for #projectvan: insulation!!! We learnt from that lesson and pitched the tent for the remaining night, however, this is the first time we can say we have woken up to a frozen tent! Anyway, with that little drama over and after a warming breakfast, we set off for the first of our two walks, it was a lovely, sunny day with a slight nip in the air.
It was our first time in the Brecons and we were very lucky with the weather all weekend. Self planning the routes meant that we weren’t 100% sure what we had in store, but that’s the fun of it! We had steep ascents from the the town of Crickhowell to the top of table mountain, stunning views across the valleys, ridge line walks to the summits of 4 peaks, a maze of tracks to get confused in Mynydd forest and plenty of fresh air! All weekend the clouds were brewing but our views remained, the wind whipped and whistled around us but all in good nature as it was the wind keeping the rain clouds at bay! Our weekend was topped off by attending the local football clubs bonfire night, watching the fireworks and keeping warm with a hip flask full of blackberry vodka! The Brecons was truly a peaceful place and we enjoyed every minute exploring its valleys, we will definitely be back again to bag some more peaks!

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