Walking: The Hillwalkers
|Ceridwen Coulson||07912 849079||Chris Stott 01291 621546|
We will resume the usual program of walks as soon as the situation allows. Hillwalkers will use the Activity Risk Assessment Checklist, as found under Chepstow U3A: New Normal: Group Risk Assessments: Activity Groups. This Checklist has been emailed to all Hillwalker members. Everyone coming on a Hillwalk must have read this document. See here for the latest version. Risk Assessment Walking Groups
Meanwhile, note we are meeting virtually, using Zoom.
Our first "get-together" was for a quiz on an evening in April. This was much enjoyed by participants.
Chris organised a route planning session, looking at particularly OS mapping tools, on 21 April.
We had another intellectual challenge with a second quiz on 1 May. Our third, with lots of photos and recorded birdsong, took place on 22 May; fourth on 5 June, another relaxed but very informative evening.
Our fifth quiz gave participants an interesting evening on Friday 26 June.
On 16 July, Colin entertained us talking about The History of Tea.
On 30 July Geoff talked about four of our Hillwalkers walking the Haute Route, linking the Swiss and French Alps.
In the near future Derek will put together a collation regarding the Cambrian Way, some background, and lots of memories for those who walked along its route. May inspire a few more to try it....!
We may organise another quiz too so - Watch this space.
For forthcoming event details check Dates for your Diary below.
As the name suggests, this group is keen on walking in the hills. We walk every Wednesday, usually in the Brecon Beacons or the Black Mountains, but we sometimes venture further west, or out of Wales to the Malverns, Cotswolds, Mendips etc. In the summer we may go further afield to, for example, the Gower, the Shropshire Hills, or the North Devon/Somerset coast.
We try to have walks planned for a few weeks ahead. The walks are not usually recced in advance; they can be a bit experimental and, occasionally, we just go where the mood takes us (with some regard for the weather!). They average 11 miles but can range from 8/9 miles in the winter up to, occasionally, 16/17 miles in the summer. Because we are usually in the hills, the walks are strenuous and only suitable for strong walkers.
Members of the Group take it in turn to suggest and lead the walks and everyone is encouraged to participate and develop their navigation and leadership skills.
We meet at Chepstow Leisure Centre, leaving at 8.30am. For general information about joining the Hillwalkers, where we meet etc., see: Hillwalkers: General information
To see a basic translation of elements of Welsh place names into English, see: Hillwalkers: General Information
For highlights and summary of the Hillwalkers year on the hills in 2019, see 2019 Hillwalkers Highlights
To see how to pay for Trips and Christmas Meal click on Payment Options
The Group has completed several long-distance trails:
- The Beacons Way in 2012, and then again in 2018, from May to September. We tackled it over 9 days, including 3 days from a base at Llanddeusant YH. The Beacons Way is a long and challenging route through the most beautiful and wild areas of the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is almost 100 miles, beginning at Ysgyryd Fawr (Holy Mountain) and ending in Bethlehem.
In May 2019 we completed Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk (first section in September 2017, two sections in 2018)- 190 miles of beautiful, varied landscape from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire, crossing the mountains of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorks Moors.
- The Cambrian Way - the "Mountain Connoisseur’s walk" - February 2013 to September 2016 - 440 kilometres from Cardiff Castle to Conwy Castle, across most of the major Welsh hills.
- Glyndwr's Way in 2012.
In early September 2019 a group of the Hillwalkers had a very successful (though very windy) week in Snowdonia, based in Caernarfon. Several mountains were climbed including Cnicht, the Carneddau, Foel Grach, Drosgl, Snowdon (by various routes), Crimpiau, Elidir Fawr, Carnedd y Filiast, Foel-goch, Y Garn and Glyder Fawr. Other highlights were walking around Cwm Bochlwyd & Cwm Idwal, through the Aberglaslyn Pass & the Nantmor valley, by Llyn Crafnant, visiting the now disused Hafna Mine, and exploring the Newborough area of Anglesey.
See Snowdonia 2019 Photo Gallery for a few photos
We have postponed plans to start walking Wainwright's Pennine Journey, a challenging circular walk of 247miles. This would be walked in stages over the next 2-3 years.
Plan currently to start Spring 2021.
Chris has set up a WhatsApp group for Chepstow U3A Hillwalkers. This is a fun, very informal way of keeping in touch. If you would like to join please contact Chris.
See Hillwalkers: Trips and Projects for more information.
See Hillwalkers Cambrian Way for photos and information on this.
See Hillwalkers Coast-to-Coast Walk for photos and information on this.
See Hillwalkers Beacons Way 2018 - Archive for photos
Click here to see the Video Montage: Hillwalkers 2017
Click here to visit the Hillwalkers Past Photos (2016) - Archive
Click here to visit the Hillwalkers Past Photos (2017) - Archive
Click here to visit the Hillwalkers Past Photos (2018) - Archive
Click here to visit the Hillwalkers Past Photos (2019) - Archive
Recent Walks & Events
|When||Where||Distance||Leader||Nos on walk or at event|
|July 30||An illustrated talk about the demanding and beautiful Haute Route, extended to a high mountain hut at either end, about 140miles over two weeks, linking the French Alps above Chamonix with the Swiss Alps above Zermatt. This was walked by Geoff, Derek, Stephen and Dave A in September 2013||Photos & anecdotes||Geoff||lots|
|July 16||Fascinating talk about The History of Tea, from its first tasting in China, harvested with the help of monkeys, through the rise of empire and nations, international espionage, the East India Company, women's suffrage, the tea clippers, and are we "tea first" or "second"?||2 halves with tea break||Colin||several|
|June 26||Quiz, set by a very experienced questioner, some picture questions preset, then topics including Music (TV and Film), Long-distance walking, lots of Geography, Famous Mountaineers, some rather difficult History (Trojan Wars, Hazel's idea!), First lines of well known books. 8 households participating, some good scores from the usual suspects, Brian & Kay M top marks again||Excellent cross-section of questions||Geoff (with input from Hazel too)||12|
|June 5||Quiz, 9 households using Zoom for questions regarding Wales, Yorkshire, Science & Nature, Cooking and General Knowledge. Excellent fair quizmasters; winners were Brian & Kay M (again!), Geoff close second, successful evening for all||Available score 90||Dave A & Dorothy||16|
|May 22||Quiz, 10 households met for another intellectual exercise, preset questions on map-reading in the Western Beacons and identifying birdsongs, then testing our knowledge of Mountains of the World, the Lake District and a miscellany about Wales, geology, avalanche blasters, etc.. More hard work appreciated from the question devisers, winners were Brian & Kay (becoming a habit!)||Loads||Neil and Stewart||14|
|May 1||Quiz using Zoom, 11 households wrestled over preset map reading problems, then questions on the evening regarding Snowdonia, Nature, Mountains of the World and Castles, thank you to the question devisers, Neil declared winner, Stewart close second, well done all||10 preset, 31 on the evening||Brian & Kay, Pam & Tony||13-15|
|April 21||Demonstration of OS online mapping tools, use of such things as "Preferences", "Places" and "snap" for example, planning and saving a route, downloading to GPX file, Flythrough and printing a route||Zoom demo||Chris||7|
|April 10||Virtual Quiz using Zoom, Hillwalkers from 9 households met for a Hillwalkers Quiz, testing map skills and knowledge of the Brecon Beacons National Park||10 questions prior, 30 on the evening||Chris, plus Geoff and Ceridwen||11|
|March 11||Twmpa, Twyn Talycefn, Blacksmith's Anvil, Capel-y-ffin, Offa's Dyke, Hay Bluff, back to Gospel Pass (very windy)||13 miles (746m ascent)||Martin & Tanya||10|
|March 4||Clawdd Coch, Cefn y Bryn, Rhiw Bwlch y Ddwyallt, Waun Rydd, Carn Pica, Aber, Taff Trail and Canal back to Pencelli (driving snow and snow on the ground above about 550m)||11.2 miles (720m ascent)||Dave L||8|
Other CHEPSTOW U3A WALKING Options
See Walking Summary
Other local WALKING Options and relevant sites
Chepstow Hill Walking Club
Brecon Beacons Weather Forecast
Wales Coast Path - general information on this long distance path, including short walk options.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.