It was an unpromising start to the walk which had high hopes of seeing the sun sublimely set over the Brecon Beacons National Park and these hopes were dashed by the failure of the weather to play ball.
Within a few hundred metres we were in the cloud and that's where we stayed. At the Bwlch the wind was whipping up a frenzy but Huw marked this spot so that group members stayed on track and didn't disappear into the ether...
You can view the photos from this walk HERE!
Well done everyone for attending and making it to the summit of the highest point in Southern Britain and well done again for being such fun and maintaining hope where none existed ;)
All taking part enjoyed this evening ramble and that's what this is about, exercise and chatting and making new friends.
Come along for an introduction to Boulders and some basic climbing training next Monday, the 22nd October. On average it takes two sessions to gain proficiency with knots, harnesses and belaying technique and then you can take the Boulders exam and sign yourself in and join the 'experienced' climbers.
We charge an up front £20 fee and work with two learners once a month over two evenings. You will still need to pay for shoe hire and your Boulders entry fee. The first session has a date and we will negotiate with you and the other learner on that first evening to plan in a second before the month is up, usually the next week or a fortnight after. Go get climbing!
Well, it rained on us most of the day, well, we say rain but actually it was a drizzle that kept on coming, at least for the morning and late afternoon. But it was light and in fact did not dampen spirits.
The group of walkers from Adventure Activity South Wales had a fine time walking the Eight waterfalls with Andy, Huw and Suma.
You can view all of the images from this walk HERE!
The feedback for this day was once again effusive, positive and glowing. We certainly seem to be doing something right! Most of the group were back at the start point a little earlier than is usual, at about 3.50pm with Andy bringing up the rear and arriving back at about 4.40pm.
No one went for a swim on this day but some balancing was done quite successfully at Sgwd yr Eira :)
We deliver this walk a few times a month and currently are sold out until Christmas but we are looking to add a few more spots to each day in the near future so do look out for those :)
While Andy was waterfall walking Graham was foraging!
And he will be doing the same this coming Sunday - it's not too late to book a place! RSVP HERE!
This was a day with the choice of walks and both were very well attended. Graham is a knowledgable local guide and he knows his stuff regarding edible plants. Most went home with a box of free food.
You can view the photos from this walk HERE!
These are some of the comments made after the walk:
'A fascinating and beautiful walk. Thanks Graham!'
'Thank you Graham, and all for a great walk and fab company'
'Thanks everyone for being a brilliant group'
'Had the best day. Went in my own. Everyone was so friendly and Graham's knowledge is awesome. Think we were shown approx 50 different foods from flowers,leaves,mushrooms,roots,berries and stems. Thankyou .. will be back each season to enjoy more!'
Lilly, an occasional walking leader, has been away all summer so Andy thought it would be a good idea to get away for a night to his favourite place in the UK... Lynton.
The Valley of the Rocks is an amazing camper van park up, quiet, stunning and with loos and a cafe and great phone connectivity. Perfect for a get away and chill or work few days. On this occasion work wasn't on the agenda but an exploration of the valley and gazing at the sunset and star watching (lots of shooting stars and satellites) was.
You can see all of the images from this trip HERE!
On the Thursday a walk to Watersmeet and a trip on the Cliff Railway completed the mini break. Well, after a cream tea of course :)
Andy will be organising a camping and walking trip here in 2019...
For very many years, Andy Lamb, the owner of Wales Outdoors, has been banging his head against a very hard wall with regards to attempting to alter the behaviour of the majority of adventure activity groups in South Wales.
From attempting to build community, to improve pay and conditions for instructors, to improve environmental sustainability and to work to an increasing level of best practice rather than work to minimum standards required or allowed, it seems to Andy that he has lost the battle and the larger, corporate adventure activity providers, have won, destroying what was a fine professionally led and delivered industry.
There are a few activity business' working in South Wales that deliver adventure activities to a high standard but these professionals are 'swamped' in activity locations by the larger, vicarious pleasure, party groups that are delivered by business' set up to profit the owners/directors. This is achieved by piling as many clients through each weekend as possible.
This approach impacts upon the environment, the locals and the other users of these sites. Furthermore, the activity delivered is often poor, with large groups queuing for a particular activity and with little regard to client care with a poor range of footwear on show.
This 'swamping' of one particular location has led to Wales Outdoors being 'bullied' away from the site and so no longer professionally delivers this fine activity. Due to the numbers there has been an ongoing attempt to pacify the locals and now the landowners, Natural Resources Wales, have demanded payment for the use which is administered through the South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group. Wales Outdoors stand firmly against all access to the countryside charges.
This group, envisioned by Andy Lamb over 25 years ago and finally formed 8 years ago has become an apologist for these larger business'. The concordat for the use of the Sychryd Gorge, for example, is well worded but many providers work outside of the rules and there is no mechanism to police these errant business'. Andy has demanded action on many occasions, to no effect.
We now have received this from SWOAPG:
'Some of you may have noticed fencing being erected along the lane leading from Pontneddfechan Community Centre towards the gunpowder works & Loonies' Leap and we are expecting the lane to be gated-off completely in the next few days.
This is not connected with the gunpowder works conservation activity, but is an action being taken by the owner of the lane due to her increasing frustration that the lane's permissive access is being misused both by vehicles and walkers. One reason she has cited is that gorge-walking groups have refused to move out of the way and been verbally abusive to drivers accessing the cottage along the lane. We were very disappointed to hear about groups behaving in this way and trust that our Members will continue to make every effort to ensure that their clients show due respect to local residents and communities.'
We are not members of this group anymore, choosing to go our own way and not be part of the wider South Wales adventure activity community. It would seem that this was a fine decision.
What we see here is a complete disregard for the local residents who in their frustration, following years of disruption, have closed off an access route into the Waterfalls Area of the Brecon Beacons National Park which is a loss to all users and which ought to be of concern to all who value and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
This was another fine day for a walk and with a good amount of people and three leaders - Andy, Huw and Bharti - we got round safely and in a rather excellent time.
Most were back at The Angel earlier than any other group to date, 3.30pm, with Andy bringing up the rear and getting back for his advertised time of 4pm - ish.
You can view all of the images from this walk HERE!
The weather was fine, in fact perfect temperature for a day out on the hill and warm enough to encourage two to go for a dip, one male and one female for balance. And talking about balance, have you seen Andy showing off his 'I can balance a female' pose?
The youngest members of the group on this walk were two 10 year olds. Good on them for smiling all the way round :)
It was back to the Waterfalls area of the Brecon Beacons National Park for Andy and the Wales Outdoors team for another weekend.
These images are from the sunny Saturday walk which had temperatures hovering around 23 degrees and so of course at the final waterfall, Sgwd yr Eira, a few decided to go for a dip.
As autumn progresses expect to see more fungi to add to the nuts and berries that this year are filling the hedgerows to bursting. Certainly a bumper crop for foragers.
This was another lovely group of mostly new to Adventure Activity South Wales walkers who managed to stay within the proposed timings for the day and be back at The Angel Inn for some refreshment at 4pm. We will be adding more space to waterfalls events as the year progresses so do...
All attending will get an extra 10% off of their Go Outdoors discount card price!
It's a meetup over a cuppa to chat about what kit to buy for your budget and for your intended use. we will then look at a range of kit on offer at Go Outdoors and this will include:
Bits and Bobs
I am asking Go Outdoors for a group discount but this is a possible not a probable. However, they are just about the cheapest on many items and the guarantee to price match.
If you're considering going for your first walk or upgrading your kit do pick Andy's brains and make the right choices.
Andy will have his recommended head torches and his designed and packaged mountain first aid kits for sale but you can also buy these now in the facebook shop -