Boys' Brigade Winter Venture

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Boys on Sugar Loaf
In the Bunkhouse

Eight members of 2nd Alton were joined by three from 4th Woking for our winter hill-walking break in the Brecon Beacons. The weather couldn't deter the group as they rose to the challenge of their own "Three Peaks" programme, conquering over 2000 metres of summit in the three days!

Sugar Loaf on Day One was wet, windy and misty, but with lots of excitement. Almost everyone slipped — some quite spectacularly — while descending the wet grassy slopes. Then there was the Nant Iago stream to ford — no-one arrived on the far bank dry-shod! Thank goodness the bunkhouse had excellent drying facilities.

Day Two was very windy and heavily overcast. A walk round, then over, a hill called Blorenge, sometimes called "The Iron Mountain", was chosen. There were many places where the old industrial past could be seen — Robert Bentley (a railway enthusiast!) was in his element when he found stone sleepers from an 1820 tramway.

But the third day — windy again — saw the group tackle the highest peak south of Snowdonia. They reached the summit of Pen y Fan after a steep stony scramble, to find the wind incredibly strong. Robert was blown over twice as they made their way round Corn Du before dropping down to a small lake in the shelter of the cwm.

The bunkhouse was extremely welcoming — a welcoming kitchen/dining area with Christmas decorations, and comfortable beds, hot showers and underfloor heating! A highlight of our stay was the cooking, with the Boys making everything "from scratch", including garlic doughballs, sweet and sour chicken, and chocolate puddle pudding! A mammoth game of "Risk" filled some of the evening hours — and, perhaps surprisingly, they were all on speaking terms at the end!
The photos show the group on top of Sugar Loaf in the mist and rain and sitting in the comfort of the bunkhouse
All in all, a memorable Venture, despite the mixed weather.
David Allan.

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