I recently managed to get out and about in the Black Mountains for a quick overnighter to test the Unna and stretch my legs. The forecast wasnt hopeful but I decided to risk it and go anyway. I decided on a quick access and ascent and so plumped for Hatteral hill and ridge. I havent been up Hatteral Hill itself for a couple of years so it would make a pleasant change to the normal ridges.
As I drove past Abergavenny, the low cloud and intermittent drizzle didnt give me great confidence but with a reasonable prevailing wind I hoped that it wouldnt hang around. I parked at the foot of Hatteral Hill and made my way up the ridge with one eye on the weather. Hatteral hill and and ridgeline stretches off for miles running past Llanthony Priory and on to Hay Bluff and normally great views to the east and north abound. Even with the weather the views were still there and more drammatic for the low cloud and occaisional drizzle.
I walked around 7 miles along the ridge, all to myself, before unpacking the tent and settling down for the night. Unfortunately the camera died from a lack of power before pitching the tent and so I only managed a few photos of the trip. I found that the area I had chosen to camp at had shallow ground centered on rock. This meant repositioning the tent a few times before I was satisfied that I had enough anchorage as by now there was a fair wind whipping up. The Unna, pegging points aside, went up really quickly and easily and I was soon inside and cooking the evening noodles. I really liked the intuitive way in which the tent went up and the solidity that a full pitch achieved. Even with a stiff breeze to contend with, the pitching was a doddle. After eating, ablutions and a bit of ipod time, it was time for bed. The sound of the wind rising up the side of the ridge and over the tent created a soothing lullaby that found me drifting off quickly.
The morning started off grey but after cooking the morning porridge and packing the tent away, soon brightened up. As I was just doing a short walk and tent test, I decided to retrace my steps back along the ridge and back to the car. By the time I was peeling my shoes and socks off, the sun had broken through and the drive back home a pleasure.
Ok, a very short trip but I got to test the Unna and get some hill time. Wonderful