Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

A foretaste of spring followed by a reminder of winter

8th February 2010

On Saturday, I was walking towards the top of a Welsh hill dressed in a manner more appropriate to a day in April. Since then, it has not been possible to put away the down jackets just yet and that is set to stay for the course of the week by the appearance of things. It was if I got a sneak preview of spring before it became established and it added to the pleasure of reaching the top of Diffwys after having it in mind for a few years. Looking at the two proper hill country outings that I have enjoyed so far this year, a pattern of picking a hill and heading towards its top seems to be falling into place.

In that vein, the idea of mounting nearby Y Llethr has entered my head and I suppose that there is something to the practice of using hills as fulcrums about which to lever myself out into those places that allow time and space for recharging of the spirit. Could this be a defining feature of 2010? That isn't a question that I can answer yet but it might put a stop to all sorts of floundering and give sense of purpose to my endeavours. Saying that, I am not about to engage in soul-less hill bagging because that isn't why I gravitate towards hills. After all, it's experiences like the eerie silence that I met on the summit of Diffwys and the sight of sunlight dancing on the surrounding hillsides that do it for me. They may be all that endures when a favoured summit remains out of bounds on the day.

Once a certain life event is out of the way, I must get to saying more about last Saturday's Welsh wander and the previous weekend's exertions in Cumbria too. On both occasions, I came away with pleasing photos so time needs to be set aside to pick the best to share on here with you. It's not the easiest of tasks but good fortune can be met only with gratitude and never with grumbling. That you don't always meet the hills in the best of conditions only adds to the enjoyment when you do.

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