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Pen Pumlumon-Fawr

Cairn(s)

Fieldnotes

Pumlumon, seemingly one of Gladman's favourite places, I've never been up myself, I've only ever driven by en route to somewhere else, and there are plenty of other places to see, places that don't require a £5 parking fee or an eight mile round mountain walk. Doing the job that I do which necessitates vast amounts of walking I am well and truly turned off by walking, it is I feel massively overrated, so Pumlumon wasn't really in my targets, or on my list, I got over my mountain addiction in Snowdonia, it took some time, there was cold turkey for sure but I got over it in the end.
But once a site is on my list, then it's on my list, there is very little I can do about it, I have to go, I need to see it all. You cant just watch one Star Wars film, if you liked Encounter at Far point, you'll love All good things, you may not know what I mean, but in short I want to see all the places I want to see, and if I don't I'll be really disappointed, and there are still a few places round here I want to see, one of which is Carreg Wen, a lovely big pure white quartz standing stone, an albino menhir. It is not easy to get to, so I decide quite uncharacteristically, to walk over at least two mountains to get there, fortunately for me they are not bland "just another mountain" mountains, they've both got multiple cairns upon them, the rivers Severn and Wye both rise in the vicinity, and Gladman really seems to like it round here, so here I am, trying on the Cambrian mountains for size, and getting to a place I've longed after for ages.

There was a lot of traffic on the roads, everyone seemed to be making for the coast, it was a nice day, so hopefully i'll have the mountains more or less to myself. Getting to the car park I find that it is a privately owned car park and costs five pounds, in cash, and Ive only card a card, who carries cash nowadays. So I have to go back to Llangurig to look for a cash point, there isn't a hole in the wall, but guess who came to the rescue, the Post Office. Money attained, a quick drive back to Eisteddfa Gurig, car parked, old lady payed. I'm on my way, up.
It starts off quite easy, a gravelly track is followed all the way to the old mine, you'll know when youve got to the old mine, it rather sticks out. Just after the dirty git that is the old mine, the footpath veers off the gravelly track left heading straight for the summit of Pen Pumlumon-Fawr, though it is hidden from view for a while yet.
This is the part of the walk that I like least, it's not all that steep, it's just the uneven ground, it makes it all soooo much more taxing, I found myself wishing for one of those electric mountain bikes, I'd really like one of those.
But after not too much grumbling and staggering along like a drunkard I attain the summit, yippee I'm at the top, and as predicted, I am alone.

The big main central cairn is heavily eroded, sadly, by the hand of man, the trig point is erected on its northern side, and two wind breaks have been made out of the stones, one of which is quite far from the original structures position. I crumple into a heap, sat with my back against the trig point, and just sit staring at the views and the cairns all about me. Then I take food and drink, and sit for a while longer. Then I set about photographing. The southern cairn doesn't have a hollow interior, it is all quite together, which is a massively nice surprise. Right now three men also attain the summit, but they soon move on, do they not know they've just climbed this ranges tallest peak, they really don't hang round long at all, just two minutes and they've gone. With the wide summit ridge back to myself I wander slowly over to the third cairn, it is much smaller and lower than the other two. Something I was about to find mirrored in the sister hill across the way at Pen Pumlumon Arwystli. So, another mountain to climb, with cairns, until I can get to my true destination, Carreg Wen the Albino stone, off I go.
postman Posted by postman
2nd August 2020ce

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