From the top of Garn Wen on Christmas Day I could see not only a cap of snow on the top of the Sugar Loaf Mountain near Abergavenny but also to the north west a snow covered ridge in the core of the Brecon Beacons.
That was my target for Boxing Day. Recent rain and low temperatures may not have brought snow to 425-metre Garn Wen near the house but in the core of the Beacons, more than 300 metres higher, the additional 2oC drop in temperature would have meant that the precipitation fell as snow.
It had. The sun was shining and not surprisingly the car parks in the col were full to overflowing. As is usual at any time of year most people were heading up the main path to Corn Du and Pen y Fan though with snow right down to road level not a few, mainly young families, were staying on the slopes close to the car park with sledges.
Though my inclination is always to go up the highest peaks I decided against it because of the numbers trudging up the 2-metre wide path, because the two main peaks were in cloud, and because with the sun in the west the better photographs would be taken looking east towards them.
To the west of the road the 734 metre (2,408 ft) Fan Fawr (Pronounced ‘Van Vowr’ and meaning Big Peak) looked a good option. Once past the tobogganists by the car park I saw only one person in the next 3 hours as I climbed to the top in snow varying between 6 inches and a foot.
Walking in snow is heavy going compared with walking the barren mountains in Greece but I loved it and it was an easy introduction to the skiing and trekking I plan to be doing in the Canadian Rockies in less than three weeks time.