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Blackie’s Top Ten Welsh Hill Walks

January 5, 2012

I asked Half Man Half Biscuit’s chief custard cream, Nigel if he’d care to provide Swine with his Top 10 Moels and whilst this doesn’t exactly stick to the brief, nevertheless it’s a great start to Swine’s 2012. Next up, Jonathan Richman’s Guide To The Brecon Beacons.

In no order at all- Cnicht- ask a five year old to draw a mountain and they’ll draw Cnicht-the Welsh Matterhorn- moody mine workings and a ‘none more convenient’ cafe in Croesor at walk’s end.

Moel Siabod- The Local’s Mountain-best view of the Snowdon Horseshoe without having to chat shite to couples in love. East Ridge scramble preferable ascent.

Foel Fenlli- oneupmanship after the Famau descent-as in “we may as well do that one there while we’re here, I’ve heard there’s a spring” – good recce for the cycling HELL that is Bwlch Pen Barras also. Mad mad gradient at the hairpin.

Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa-gets criticism for the crowds but that’s not ‘it’s’ fault and yes it may well be that people flock there because it’s the highest but it’s also MASSIVELY IMPRESSIVE. I’ll plump for either the PYG track or the Watkin Path. I also feel slightly alone in not actually having an opinion on the cafe or the train.

Y Lliwedd-simply because it’s where Mallory climbed back up to an almost impossible to achieve precipice in order to retrieve his pipe. One can dwell on this on the PYG track up Snowdon of course.

Pen yr ole Wen- a slog straight from the off but again not many people about and a sight of Tryfan which cannot be bettered.

Tryfan- no explanation required really. “I’m by no means the biggest but just fucking look at me!”
Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr- these were my first encounters in the hills and coupled with a mini scramble over Castell Y Gwynt followed by a descent of the Devil’s Kitchen path it’s difficult to think of a better day out. Devil’s Kitchen remains the most foreboding place I’ve been in. Can generate a truly evil atmosphere in the right (wrong) conditions-it doesn’t even need the ghost that’s attached to it. Very Joy Division. Menlove Edwards put up a few routes here and look what happened there….

Special mention for Wirral’s own Colin Kirkus in this area. Also while I think on, I’m sure Archer Thompson copped for it hereabouts too. I’ll move on.

The hill on which the Church of Llangelynin stands (Tal-y-Fan/Conway Mountain?)-because it’s just a BIG DAFT BASTARD of a place. The sign above the door is magnificent. Brilliantly wild in rough weather I imagine. Head constantly bothered for days after with the thought ‘Who/What worships there, and what is it they worship?’ Has M.R. James written all over it.

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