Ascent of Bache Hill on 2018-01-27

Climber: David Howells

Date:Saturday, January 27, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bache Hill
    Elevation:2001 ft / 609 m

Ascent Trip Report

Bache Hill (610m), Black Mixen (650m) and Great Rhos (660m)
This was a foray into mid Wales to the quaint town that is New Radnor where there was three Nuttalls to be picked up. Unfortunately I picked a typical Welsh day. Yes, you can imagine, low cloud, a constant drizzle and quite a bit of wind. Being mid winter as well of course there was the typical boggy stuff to contend with.

To start I must say that the village of New Radnor is a stunning village just off the A44. I like the place very much. To start with there was the ample car parking outside the local village school and then there was the shopkeeper who actually let me use her toilet with no fuss at all…it was all just quaint. Then there was the local hiker who I spoke to who suggested that I go anti clockwise instead of my intended clockwise route. All in all the people were fab!

So I started. I headed out of the village due north, anticlockwise of course, as per my route log and instead of going round the left of the forest due north of New Radnor I went to the right of it on well signposted paths and trails. The trails were a bit boggy but it is winter and after coming out of the forest I took a bit of a dog leg and made my first Nuttall, Bache Hill about 4km’s and an hour (steady uphill) from the start. By now of course I couldn’t see a damn thing, the drizzle/rain was constant, it was cold and windy…aka Welsh!

Off I went NE this time for a k before hitting the edge of another forest and then kept heading NE along a track wide enough for a vehicle. At a point here you see the route leaving this track and heading due N to intercept another track. This is only a 500m leg but across very tussocky and wet terrain that is quite hard going. If I was going to do it again I would follow the track further until level with the trig point and do a short dog leg to it and back…easier. Anyway, I didn’t do that and muddled my way across to the other track and turned West to the summit, where a radio mast awaited me and the trig point was just beyond. From Bache Hill to Black Mixen is about 2.5km.

Leaving here I headed NE again for Great Rhos and after about a kilometer I picked up yet another forestry (I am still seeing nothing by the way!) and turned South, followed the forest for about a K and then took a bearing for the trig point which was about another K away. This leg is again tussocky and boggy and there was no path at all apart from the last 200m but I got there eventually…and of course not seeing nothing bar cloud still! From Black Mixen to Great Rhos is about 3km.

Coming off Great Rhos on the south side is easier as there is a foot path for 300m and this joins another one heading due South. After about 2 ks the path becomes wide enough for a vehicle again and after about 2kms from the summit you are on a major pathway/bridleway that takes you around the military muntions testing facility that is Hareley’s Dingle. The path is now heading SE. By the time I had got to the DANGER SIGN (you will see it) I was out of the weather now and even had some views. Keeping on this bridleway for another 1.5kms I came to a footbridge at the egress point of the range onto a road. There is an unmarked road down the valley that is not on the map at this point (gate) and there is a bridleway on your left (SE) that skirts the forest. Make sure you hit the bridleway heading for Harley Gorse and after a short while you turn the corner heading now NE and not long after you drop down back into New Radnor to finish.

Parking and Access: Plenty of parking on the weekend at the village school. This was when I got there at 9am. When I came back it was nearly full. Enough room for about 15 vehicles. No other obvious car park for weekday parking.
Route Summary: Steady anti clockwise ascent on boggy paths and trails, not to difficult. Tussock grass and wet ground in places (Black Mixen and Great Rhos) but otherwise trails are well marked. Trails are not that obvious in some places. Open barren landscape with forestry in places. 14.15 km with 603m of ascent gained done in 3hr 37m (moving time of 2hr 58m)

Trip Summary: This was a wonderful day...except for the parking ticket!! Anyway we started the walk at British Camp car park and walked north keeping to the summit line on the out leg (5km) via Pinnacle Hill, Worcestershire Beacon and then onwards to Sugar Loaf Hill and North Hill. On the way back we skirted the ridge keeping west of it so to keep the better view on the return leg and to keep out of the wind and sleet (not much) which was by now very cold. Not that the eastern side views are poor but the western views are a bit lumpier and more scenic towards the Sugarloaf near Abergavenny. The outward leg is simply stunning, the old adage of you don't have to go high to get beauty, is quite true. The Malverns are simply stunning in my view and I loved the views, the lumpy ridgeline and the fact you have a toilet stop and a pub (if needed) half way at Upper Wyche or 'Wyche's cut' a little pass in the middle of the ridgeline. After a miserable day the day before doing boggy Mynydd Marchywel in South Wales this was a beautiful reversal of fortune. The weather was a blue sky day at the start and finished off being very cold and blustery but by then we had got the best out of the day and were well satisfied. The views were simply great.

Parking and Access: There is a substantial car park at British Camp car park. The machine was not working so I put a note on the windscreen and still received a ticket (which will not be paid. The fee is £4 for all day parking. This is a private car park owned by the NT. They will receive the parking fee as I am a strong supporter of the NT but they can put the ticket where the sun does not shine...

Route Stats: 13.7km, 653m of ascent in 3hr 10min.

For fuller details, photographs and other parking information see my blog or wikiloc account.
Click on the links below and put a search in for the appropriate hill or mountain.
My blog - mountain nomad
My wikiloc - David Howells
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:Moderate hike
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Raining, Cold, Windy, Low Clouds
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by David Howells
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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