Tuesday, January 20, 2009
New Year Freeze
New Years Day was cold. Very cold. However, a hazy sun was making a valiant attempt to break though the cloud and through a little warmth our way so we decided to go for a walk. We settled on climbing up the Sugar Loaf Mountain near Abergavenny in Wales and so off we set. The Sugar Loaf isn't particularly big, being a mere 598 metrs high but is a popular destination for hill walkers.
As we neared Abergavenny the sun became fainter and we noticed that the frost was thicker on the ground and the freezing fog grew thicker. Unperturbed we carried on as we had stout hiking boots, thick warm sock, warm coats, hats and gloves and so we set off from the car.
The Sugarloaf is a gentle walk at first, starting out flat and rising in 2 stages. The first two being more gentle than the last rocky ascent to the summit. We thought we might see few other people but there were quite a few folks as mad as us, out for a climb and to wear away the excesses of Christmas. It wasn't long before our cheeks and noses started to go numb and I was glad of our warm gear. When we reached the top, the view was simply fog and the rocky hillside that sloped away from us into foggy nothingness. By now my hair had frozen and my jacket was also covered in frost. I didn't care though. I was thrilled to have reached the top but didn't linger long before starting to descend. It was too cold!
Everywhere around me was frozen and beautiful and as it wasn't snow, everything still kept it's form. I had my mobile phone with me and couldn't resist taking a few photos. As we descended it got colder as the sun (out there somewhere) started to finish it's own trek across the sky and the light became weaker. We got back to the car park in good time and never, have I been more in need of a hot drink. I literally needed to defrost! We went home pleased with our days exertions where I made hot chocolate and appreciated the comfy sofa more than ever.