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If you are wondering what its like on your first event, Mark gives an insight to a walk in Wales last year.

“My first OutdoorLads event as a walk in South Wales going along the Taff Trail and up to to Caerphilly Mountain, via Castell Coch.

I was the first person to arrive at Radyr station on the Sunday morning and the first person I met on was a total stranger. Slowly but surely the others arrived and I was struck by how welcoming everyone was; some people knew each other with others meeting for the first time.

We set off up the Taff Trail, with Craig’s dog Fab going for the occasional swim in the River Taff and then kindly soaking us. We continued up towards Taff’s Well and took in the amazing and partially hidden Castell Coch, the so called “fairytale castle”. We took a wander into and around the forest, making our way to the base of Caerphilly Mountain where we started up the steep meandering path that lead to the ridge at the top. It wasn’t until we reached the top that we realised quite how much the mountain side had been shielding against the wind chill, it was freezing! The views were fantastic though, from where we were (and in spite of the weather), we could see for miles around us up to the valleys and down into Caerphilly.

Once we had made way across and down the ridge, we had Sunday lunch at the “Black Cock Inn” (titters occurred), we walked back the way we came along the Taff Trail and back to Radyr station.

I thoroughly enjoyed the walk, it was freezing and wet at points but it was good fun (and par for the course in South Wales). I think that part of my enjoyment came from the diversity of the members as well, in terms of age and in terms of where they were from and what they did for a living. There was rarely a dull moment.”

Don’t forget that very few of our leaders are qualified to take walks into snow covered mountains. However if you are a qualified leader with us you might be able to  gain temporary approval to lead a walk that you think might involve being in winter mountain conditions. Just contact John Cornley to discus your proposed route just before the event and, if appropriate, he can sign you off.

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