Effort & View
Black Mountain Ridge sweeps down
to quiet Olchon valley –
dead end, springing to life!
‘Our path’s up there.’ “Oh!
maybe we’ll have lunch half way up?’”
‘Or at the top!’
“I think I’ll need many stops on the way up there!”
Our walking cadence differs.
He finds it more tiring to plod.
I plod (especially at present). He hives off a bit
and then stops, sometimes taking photos, ’til
I catch up. (I frequently stop to take pictures, too –
and to look back at the increasingly staggering view)
Suddenly, sure enough, we are near the top
(not the top-top – many Welsh hills
and mountains have these false summits –
like seeing a mirage,
the real summit slopes away more gently)
but here before the more gentle upward curve
to the ridge path,
the views down into the valley
and across back into Herefordshire can be seen,
and on the convenient table boulders we sit for lunch.
with a feeling of achievement,
and relief at no more climbing for the day.
Then up to the path, and on a little
on the slight downward curve of the plateau
until views westward open up,
and a little of the Ewyas valley,
though its floor still invisible
without venturing quite a bit further down –
not for us today –
it would mean climbing back again,
we’re well satisfied with what we’ve experienced,
and ready for the downhill return into
the valley floor dropping away from us,
with the blue misty distance –
some satellite dishes far off on the plain,
and the southward hills.
Then dodgem-drive around the lovely remote valley
whose little road is even more full of potholes than our local ones.
https://www.abctales.com/story/rhiannonw/along-cats-back refers to climbing up the Cat's Back ridge to the east of the Olchon Valley and then down into it.