Allt yr Esgair on a stormy day.

16th July 2017
Known locally as the ‘Allt’, Allt yr Esgair is a hill roughly about 390 metres high. It is easily found on the outskirts of the village of Bwlch, seven miles south of Brecon. Translated into English as something like ‘The Wooded Ridge’ it has become popular with walkers and unfortunately mountain bikers, (who I think shouldn’t be allowed up there). The path leading up and across to the summit reaches a Roman hill fort and is part of an old Roman way between the towns of Abergavenny and Brecon and the views from the top are quite panoramic overlooking two separate valleys. Yesterday Susan and I walked up to the top, we live nearby and it only takes about forty five minutes to reach the summit. We walked up the path under leaden skies and at the summit the wind was quite blustery and a few squally rain showers swept through albeit briefly. I carried my landscape kit in a photographic rucksack just in case there was an opportunity for a few shots, however, I was not hopeful. On reaching the top we had to shelter briefly as one of these squalls whipped through but afterwards the weather was reasonable and we were able to enjoy some nice view of the Usk valley and Llangors Lake. We didn’t see many people and had the summit to ourselves for some time which is always nice. This is a rare thing these days in the Brecon Beacons where outdoor pursuits has exploded and areas like Pen y Fan are to be avoided at all costs. I often think back and remember a pioneering mountain man who lived in Merthyr Tydfil his name was Hadyn Thomas and he introduced me to mountain walking forty years ago when it was considered very unfashionable, unlike today. If Hadyn was alive today he would be a hundred but sadly he passed away some time ago. He was a proper walker he didn’t drive his car to a convenient parking place and then walk the mountains, he always walked from home, saying if you’re walking you’re walking - no car! I can’t imagine what he would have thought about the amount of people walking the Beacons today.

A view of Llangors Lake, the largest natural lake in South Wales.Taken from Allt yr Esgair. Mynydd Troed in the background.

The River Usk meandering beneath storm clouds near the village of Scethrog. Taken from the rocks near the summit of Allt yr Esgair.

Storm clouds over Craig Dan y Wenallt near the popular village of Talybont on Usk. It’s easy to get caught out by these fast moving storms and many ill - prepared people are these days.

Usk Valley panorama taken fron Allt yr Esgair.