The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Carn Blorenge

Round Cairn

Fieldnotes

After aborting a visit in rain and mist last year, which would have been via the easier approach from the south (see Gladman's fieldnotes), some winter sun and a good dusting of snow tempted me to try again. Getting off the train at Abergavenny, Blorenge fills the view to the south, a huge flat-topped bulk. The approach, via Llanfoist, starts at about 50m above sea level and then involves a steeply climbing footpath, under the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal, to Cwm Craf. The snow line started here today (20.2.2010). From here footpaths encircle the mountain in a few directions, and I took the bridleway west around the northern shoulder. Here you are at about 350m, and an amazing vista opens out with every step. Behind is the distinctive Skirrid, to the right the Sugar Loaf, with the highest Black Mountains peak behind it, while over to the west the Brecons start to unfold. This is spectacular countryside. The summit itself remains invisible until you are practically up on it. The massive cairn sits on the top of a fairly flat plateau, with the gentler ground sloping away to the south. Next to it are a trig point and an unsightly walker's cairn, no doubt robbed from the monument itself.

The views are terrific. Only the top of the Skirrid is now visible, the Sugar Loaf looks to be on a level with this cairn (it's actually a bit higher), to the west the white peaks of Pen-y-Fan and the Brecons Horsehoe are visible. To the south you can see the cairns of Carn y Defaid and to the south-west Coety Mountain. A light aircraft flew past below me. An amazing spot on such a cold, clear day. And I've finally stood on top of my first Black Mountain (it's taken me long enough).

Leaving to the south, it's a relatively short walk to Blaenavon over much more gradual slopes. Woo-hoo!
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
22nd February 2010ce
Edited 13th September 2016ce

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