Springtime has a habit of bringing out the explorer in even the most dedicated sofa slouch,
Suddenly the idea of pitting legs and lungs against towering piles of rock and heather doesn’t seem such a bad idea. Clear blue skies and balmy temperatures conspire to make the challenge a tempting possibility.
And with the booming popularity of outdoor pursuits, it’s hardly any surprise that the kind of lonely cloud wanderings we all long for are in such short supply on the well-beaten tracks of Britain’s mountain honey pots. Sometimes the biggest test of mettle comes in the last ten metres as you jostle for a spot at the top and try to find a few quiet minutes to reflect on the journey that brought you there.
That is frequently the scene on well-known peaks like Snowdon when good weather can see a line of walkers snaking down from the summit cairn, each one eager for their brief moment on top of the world – and the rare opportunity to bag a snap of the normally cloud-obscured view.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. Stop following the crowds and try following your nose instead. Pick a spot on a map and go check it out. Discover paths less trodden and you’ll find summits seldom visited.
We specialise in the long-distance national paths criss-crossing Wales and organise tailor-made packages lasting as little as two nights or as long as two weeks. You can browse them here.
But for a quick walking fix, here’s our top pick of Welsh summits you won’t have to queue for.
They may not take you to the same dizzy heights as Snowdon, but their solitude has a transformative magic all of its own!
go to link 1. Pen Pumlumon Fawr
At 752 metres, Pen Pumlumon Pumlumon Fawr (or Plynlimon in English) is the highest point in the Cambrian mountains of mid-Wales. The summit is part of the Pumlumon massif, where you’re more likely to have red kites and buzzards than other walkers for company. Don’t expect the way-marked tracks of the more popular peaks – Pumlumon has a true wilderness feel. It may be time to refresh those rusty map and compass skills!
http://careermastery.net.au/?pero=Tastylia-(Tadalafil)-Buy-20-MG 2. Twmpa
A stone’s-throw from Offa’s Dyke Path and the border with England, Twmpa in south Wales is the poor cousin of neighbouring (but smaller) Hay Bluff, and forms part of the imposing, north-west scarp of the Black Mountains looming above the river Wye. It’s only a short walk to the top and spectacular views across to the Brecon Beacons National Park – but treat the summit cairn as just the starting point for miles of wild walking along the escarpment, or south to Llanthony and its ancient priory, and you can’t go wrong.
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The highest point (802m) of the Carmarthen Fans – or Bannau Sir Gaer – in the far west of the Brecon Beacons towers over remote mountain moor and bog steeped in folklore and legend. Its scarred, rocky cliffs are largely overlooked in favour of the more popular Pen y Fan to the East, but they’re even more dramatic and can provide some testing technical lines under winter conditions. Teetering on the edge of the escarpment, this section of the Beacons Way forms one of the best ridge walks in South Wales.
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A notoriously well-armoured peak in Snowdonia, Rhinog Fawr’s 702m summit is usually reached by the inaccurately-named Roman Steps, which are actually part of a medieval packhorse route. The surrounding steep flanks of broken granite slabs give the mountain its hard nut reputation and a glance at OS map confirms a mass of seemingly impenetrable crags – enough to put off the most battle-hardened scrambler. The great thing is, despite the remote feel you’re never far from civilization and some great B&Bs around the Mawddach estuary. Stick with the climb you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views in north Wales.
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Another option for escaping the hordes on Pen y Fan. Tor y Foel – rising above the eastern shore of Talybont reservoir – is a middling 551m high, and sandwiched between the Black Mountains and central Brecon Beacons, affording fantastic views over to both. It makes an interesting little departure from the Usk Valley long distance trail. Great pubs abound in nearby Talybont and Bwlch.