Expedition 9 - Christmas at the Brecon Beacons

Day 1: Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
Roger and David set a fast early pace while the Welsh contingent lags behind.
Allt yr Esgair
Bill, Roger and David look forward to the day's objective.
An Inquisitive Horse
Seeks attention as we walk past. The forested slopes of Craig Danywenallt can be seen in the background, just obscuring Tor y Foel.
Interesting Skies
Seen from the slopes of Allt yr Esgair, but there were no worthwhile pictures from the superb viewpoint atthe summit due to the drab weather.
Day 2: Initial Ascent
Phil, Martin, Fran & family trudge up through soggy, snowy fields toward Pen Cerrig Calch.
A remarkable tree
Catching the sun's rays.
The Same Tree
After crossing the wall, the easy path begins.
Crug Mawr 550m
A postcard like Christmas scene, looking across the valley to Crug Mawr.
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Striding Purposefully On Charlie, Fran and Phil look forward to the day ahead, while Pickle and Thomas busy themselves making snowballs. Christmas Trees
With the Sugar Loaf in the distance.
Martin Admires the View
In another badly composed people snap.
Mynydd Pen y Fal 596m
Better known as the Sugar Loaf, or according to Fran; "the pointy thing with snow on top".
Blaenau Isaf Farm
On the lower slopes of Disgwylfa 540m.
Crug Hywel 450m
First good view of Crug Hywel, better known as Table Mountain.
Cloud Bank
Phil, Pickle and Charlie struggle to keep up.
Village Idiots
Two badly prepared walkers (locals from Crickhowell probably) beat a hasty retreat from the windswept summit of Table Mountain.
Wind Blown Snow
Sweeps across Table Mountain with a ferocious wind chill. The photo doesn't do the visual effect justice.
Blizzard on Crug Hywel
Taken from within the blowing snow, some of our party try to use the recently built cairn as shelter.

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Shelter from the Wind
Finally we manage to find some shelter from the localised gale and grab a bite to eat.
It's all too much!
For poor Pickle and Thomas, potential hypothermia cases.
Reluctantly but sensibly, Fran and family left us to return to Crickhowell.
The White Peaks
Of Pen y Fan and Corn Du stand out tantalisingly in the distance. The objective for the next day, only reached by Martin.
Darren 530m
A crag on the southwest spur of Pen Cerrig-calch, one of the very few cliffs in the Black Mountains.
Last look down at Fran and family before they leave us. The blowing snow on Crug Hywel has myseriously abated.
First Look Back
To Table Mountain
Second Look Back
To Table Mountain.
Ysgyryd Fawr 486m
A surprisingly rugged outlier of the Black Mountains.
Mynydd Pen y Fal 596m
A better view of the Sugar Loaf.
Third Look Back
To Table Mountain, clearly showing the cairn that was built out of what was previously a far more useful summit shelter.
Rocky Snow Fields
Approaching the summit of Pen Cerrig-calch, with Ysgyryd Fawr and the Sugar Loaf in the background.
Pen Cerrig-calch 701m
The slow party, Phil, Paul and Martin pose for the official summit photgraph, taken from the trig point. Yes, it was that cold.
Picking up Speed
Phil and Martin race toward Pen Allt-mawr 719m.
Snowy Pool
Looking back toward Pen Cerrig-calch.
Pen Cerrig-calch 701m
From Pen Allt-mawr.
Mynydd Troed 609m
From Pen Allt-mawr.
Phil Cook
With Roger's walk in the background. On the horizon, from left to right, Pen Trumau, Waun Fach and Pen y Gadair Fawr.
Pen Allt-mawr 719m
The nicely frosted trig at the high point of the day's walk.
One last rest stop
At the summit shelter, Phil prepares to tuck into a "fat pie" while Martin enjoys a hot drink.
Mynydd Troed 609m
An outlying Marilyn.
Pen y Gadair Fawr 800m
The second highest summit in the Black Mountains, which really does look higher than Waun Fach.
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Pen Allt-mawr Sunset
The man in the hat does it again! Phil seems to have a habit of being in the right place at the right time.
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The Setting Sun
Starts to transform the snow-clad hills. Martin is eager to get a move on.
Martin Cooke
Stumbles around impatiently while he waits for me and Phil to finish taking photographs.
Pen Allt-mawr 719m
Turning purple in the setting sun's rays.
Full Moon Rising
Above Pen Twyn Glas 645m, as the sun sets.
The Twilight Wedge
A phrase coined by Galen Rowell, referring to the pink line in the sky with blue underneath. Pen y Gadair Fawr left, Pen Twyn Mawr 658m right.
Day 3: Fran Awakes
And discovers to her amazement that she's survived the weekend. Most of the snow had melted by morning, but there was more to come.
Not More Snow
Thinks Pickle, after surviving the previous day's ordeal.
Pencelli Camp Site
Phil Cook knows how to keep warm, while the rest fail to get motivated. Martin though, has already left and is on his way to Pen y Fan.

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