After a short interruption around midnight to move the food I'd left on the table, into the rafters after hearing lots of rodent noise, I woke around 05h30 after some relatively good sleep. Couple of cold points but very impressed with the Rab bag, and some confidence in what a 400g sleeping bag can do for the trip.
Packing up, noticed the couple of slices of fruit loaf had completely disappeared from the rafters, bag and all. The log book entries on a resident mouse might have under estimated the size of our furry friend(s). Packed pretty quickly and decided to get walking rather than having breakfast straight away. I'd not brought the stove, with the expediency of weight and still pondering if this makes sense for the main trip.
Stiff climb up to the Grywne Fawr track from the Bothy got the muscles working and blisters/feet not to bad from the previous days, though my cough was still around, and working as an intruder alarm, it might have been a factor on why only the fruit loaf had gone. Cold morning at 06h00 and crackled through some icy puddles as I headed back up to the main ridge, before heading left (and south) towards Waun Fach. Strong wind on the ridge and and had to put on an extra layer and went round above Y Grib, looking across the clouds lying below over Bwlch, Llangyndir and towards the Beacons. Had to stow the walking poles so I could shove my hands in pockets to get them warm (do I really to need to take gloves for this trip ?)
Some good memories and knowledge of this ridge and didn't need to use the maps today. A couple of years before, we did an afternoon walk from Pen Genffordd with some work colleagues, all the way back into Crickhowell. I'd said it was 12km, but it was more like 12 miles. Really nice June day though and everyone made it, with some great memories. Sophie and I had also walked up Mynydd Llysiau a few years ago, a couple of days after a 1000km cycle tour of Belgium, Northern France and Holland. After going across Mynnyd Llangorse and Mynnyd Moen we'd then gone along to Pen Allt Mawr but headed back to Bwlch, insteading of heading for the bus in Crickhowell. We'd gone straight to the New Inn for food as I knew if we'd gone to the house, we'd not get back up the hill to the pub. After food, we'd stayed on and won the pub quiz. Memorable day.
I crept past some still cocooned army bivvy bags on the ridge as I headed down to the cairn on the track that crosses over to Grywne Fechan, where I went behind some stones from breakfast. 08h15 and 8km already done. Found that the rodent had made a few holes in the bag with the powdered milk, which made pouring it into the bowl for muesli a bit easier. I'd selected the full fat Nestle Nido milk and was pretty impressed. A bit cold for hanging around and I set off for Pen Twyn Glas, and then the sharp climb up to Pen Allt-Mawr. On most previous trips, I'd taken the right hand path around to view point looking over the Usk Valley, but the expediency of the day meant I stuck to the left and the direct route to Pen Cerrig-calch. Another army orienteering marker on the trig and it was 10h15 so making good time and optimistic of the 12h20 bus back to Bwlch.
Even managed a short stop in the sun out of the wind as I came down past Table Mountain and was in Crickhowell by 11h40. Saw the runner I'd seen the previous afternoon on Bal Mawr, who according to the staff in Crickhowell Adventure gear had been in to get a sleeping map after a cold night during his attempt to run the Beacons Way.
Went into the Latte Da Cafe next to the bus stop whilst waiting for the bus. Excellent coffee, though I managed to leave my walking poles behind. Good news was that Lyn and Greg (the owners) and my neighbours in Bwlch, brought them round the following morning, which was good as I'd not missed them.
Distance : 21km / 13 miles (according to the eTrex)
Walking Time : 04h51
Stopping Time : 0h46
Not the longest of toughest day proved a lot with a full load. Just need to get rid of the cough and all will be good.