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.

15 comments:

Roxie, Sammy and Andy said...

We haven't had quite that amount of freezing but we have had some fog that makes us feel like we are the only ones in the world because the world ends a few feet away. Very quiet, very calming, very soothing ... but a little eerie too.

Roxie, Sammy & Andy

Dianne said...

that is beautiful! I love fog to begin with and this fog, along with the freezing is stunning!

nature's lace

kenju said...

It is so beautiful to look at, but you would not catch me out in it. We have about 4" of snow today.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This is a remarkable place and these are REMARKABLE Pictures, Dear B-K....I don't know how you were able to withstand that terrible cold plus frost! You turned into a living icicle...lol!
Glad you got back to your warm cozy sofa and a delicious cup of Hot Chocolate....But that is one mysterious looking place in the Winter Cold & Fog.

rashbre said...

Some of the picture make it look like Narnia.

David said...

hey! wow! My namesake...
so glad you had some outside time.
today I paddled my kayak for 2 hours on the recently defrosted lake. It was glorious. Tmo I get a massage for my sore muscles.... Life is good

no pics, as it was raining at the start - so I left the camera in the car

Michael Manning said...

Glad I'm in Arizona...wishing you all good things for 2009!

Melody said...

Fabulous photos. Everything looks so crisp, literally!

Niall said...

Simply wonderful photos....I have walked the Derbyshire hills often in similar icy enshroudments...it's a loneliness and bleakness which is so beautiful.

Raul (hummingbird604) said...

It's SO freaking cold in Vancouver, but at least we are done with Snowmaggedon!

NetChick sent me :)

moon said...

I love the frost on the individual blades of grass...looks so cool...the hazy hill top looks so cool also!

colleen said...

In Florida where I was on vacation everyone was covering their flowers and trees while we were watching The Day After movie, which was about a poleshift that froze everything in the north on the spot. Netchicking.

Mr. Althouse said...

Beautiful shots. I love extreme weather almost as much as I like it when it's nice out. There's something to be said above braving the elements...

Tanya sent me this time.

Mike

mw said...

What a great story of an outing, and I love the frosty pictures too. It sounds like a nice time - makes me want to go for a hike...

Thanks for the post!

Indulging in a bit of netchickory...

Shephard said...

You sincerely have such an eye... these are magnificent shots.. I just love the "frozen movement" of the first one esp. Just wow. YOU should be making people calendars.
~S