Walking up “a bit of a hill”!

I told my friend Maria that I wanted to get fitter through this summer. She said to me that they were going for a walk today up, and I quote, “a bit of a hill”. She reckoned that we would be up and back in about an hour. So I accepted her offer to go with them, thinking that an hour of hill walking would probably be quite a good way to kick-start my fitness campaign.

And then we got to Abergavenny and I saw this;

Blorenge from Abergavenny

The Blorenge.

At first, I just glanced at it and paid it no attention. Then, Maria said, “there it is!” and the sudden hollow realisation struck me that I was expected to climb, with no fitness level other that the ability to walk to the car and back, the beast of a mountain that dominates the sky over Abergavenny. I think I was probably quite quiet for a while.

It took a long, long time to get up, but I managed to reach the summit (559 metres) and was both extremely proud of myself and extremely hot! I was so glad that we’d not tried to do the walk yesterday, when it was very hot here in South Wales. I undoubtedly would have passed out, and been one of those stupid people that the air ambulance have to rescue because they are foolish enough to attempt a climb far beyond their capabilities. However, I digress.

Once we all got to the top, and I had regulated my heart rate a little, the views were stunning.

Me up the Blorenge

This is the proof that I made it; look how far away the flat ground behind me looks! Don’t look at my t-shirt; it was an incredibly stupid, non-breathing, non-stretching, now shapeless top which I plan to discard at the first opportunity now that I’ve seen photos of it on me. That is Abergavenny in the background. Apparently there is a lovely market there, which I have been told to visit, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I shall have to remember that!

Starting the descent

This is my friend Maria (nearest the camera) beginning the descent. I think that the skyline gives a good indication of just how high we were!

Steep slope on Blorenge

There were sheep all over the Blorenge, and lots of lambs as well. Mainly they ran away from us, seemingly mocking us with their ability to run up the side of the mountain as if they were powered by Duracell batteries, but this mother and lamb sat quite still, as if drinking in the view themselves, as we went closer to them than to any other of the sheep. This photo also gives a good indication as to the steepness of the incline on the side of the Blorenge that we climbed. Apparently (so I learned when we reached the summit), there is a much easier walk to the summit that you can do, from a nearby car park. But we had to come up the hard way!

punchbowl

We visited this pond on the way down the mountain, taking a quick diversion to do so. It was created by a glacier, and is a very peaceful, calm place to be. The water was teeming with tadpoles, near to where we were sitting, and we definitely spotted a couple of fish break the surface of the pond. We stayed here for a few minutes before heading off back down the mountain and thence to Abergavenny where we had a pub lunch to build our energy reserves back up again. Maria on Blorenge

And finally, here is my friend Maria towards the end of the ascent. Yes, I know my pictures are all out of order, but I climbed a bloody mountain today, for crying out loud, and I’m tired! Our other friends who climbed as well can just be seen on the horizon. Maria and I lagged behind somewhat, although I’m sure her lagging was more to keep me company and make sure that there was someone around to perform CPR than because of any lack of fitness on her part.

All in all, I’m really glad I went, even if it seemed like I would never reach the summit whilst I was actually climbing. Oh, and the part where my legs turned to jelly on the way down and nearly gave out was fun, as well as having to walk around in the sweaty clothes for the next few hours! But I can now say that I have climbed that particular mountain, which I’m sure can only be said (truthfully) by a minority of the locak population, so I’m proud of my(very very unfit)self for managing it. I can see why people get addicted and entraced by this, and try to climb as many peaks as possible. I don’t think I’d get that excited about it, but I’d certainly be up for trying a couple of other (preferably gentler) slopes this summer.

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9 Responses

  1. that ALL looks pretty incredible
    —dS

  2. Yeah, nice scenery, but we want to take more care for this journey.

  3. Hee hee, and you were only joking about it being a “mountain” when you text me on Sunday night. Ah, if only you’d known…. you would never experienced those glorious views.

  4. It looks stunning, and WELL DONE!! I would have had a cardiac arrest for sure! 😀 The views are stunning- can you actually take a 4 wheel drive up there??

  5. Well done! That looks lovely, might give that a go one weekend. Is it a clearly marked path?

  6. That is really beautiful! And I’m proud of you for climbing it. I like the sheep, too 😛 I want to do some hill climbing now.

  7. Yay! That’s where I live – not actually on The Blorenge of course 🙂 but nearby! You could have popped in for a cuppa! Well done for making it to the top – I know how steep it is in places but the views certainly make it worth the effort. I can vouch for the market too – it’s great (although it’s split on two sites at the moment due to refurbishment). The Farmers Market on the 4th Thursday of the month is my favourite – lots of yummy goodies on offer plus there’s the food festival in September which is seriously wonderful.

  8. @Danyel – it was amazing, and I’m very tempted to give some of the nearby climbs a go now (when I’m a little fitter though!)
    @BMS – I knew before I started that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, and I still went. So ner ner nee ner ner to you, missy!
    @Suzy – you think you joke, but there is in fact a car park (approached from the other side) which is very much nearer the top than where I started from! That would be the way I’d go if I were to take the kids, I think!
    @WPT – not very clear, I’m afraid. More of a sheep track. We had a lady called Carol who guided us, as she’s climbed it many times before. The weather can turn very quickly, I understand, so I don’t think it would be recommended without a guide or a bloody good map!
    @spamwarrior – I didn’t think I’d ever say it, but the pain of climbing was worth the gain of the views at the top. On the one hand I would have liked it to have been a nicer day so that we could have stayed at the top for longer, but on the other hand I would have baked alive on the ascent if it had been sunny. Never happy, me!
    @Rebecca – there was a little old shepherd’s hut going spare on the side of the mountain, if you’d be interested! The Farmers’ market sounds good to me too – are the goods reasonably priced? And my husband will definitely be extremely interested in the food festival!

  9. good info

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