A quick Black Mountain Bimble

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

About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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12 Responses to A quick Black Mountain Bimble

  1. Dave, how does the Unna compare with the Soulo in the cooking and storage stakes without a porch ? Do you miss the porch at all ?

  2. backpackbrewer says:

    Hi Mark,

    difficult to say at the moment. I dont miss the porch much as I pull back the groundsheet to cook and then replace back before bed. The only issue will be when it really chucks it down and I have to store wet gear “in” the inner

    I may try the Unna soon without an inner but using a bivvy bag both to lighten the weight and to create a massive internal porch! 🙂

  3. -maria- says:

    Thanks for sharing your views on the Unna! The simplicity and reliability make the Unna very interesting. So keep on coming your experiences with the tent, I’m eagerly waiting for a very-rainy-weather review! (Hmm, is it fair to wish you a downpour…?)

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Thanks Maria, not sure it is entirely fair to wish a downpour on me but I am also interested to find out how the Unna fares in really poor conditions!
      The Unna is very simple because it is only two external poles and they slot into the fly very quickly and easily. The leading pole ends fit into two receiving sections on the fly and then the finishing ends slot into the pole “cups” at the other. Tighten the retaining straps on the pole cups and its done!
      Simples 🙂

  4. backpackingbongos says:

    A nice spot in the Black Mountains – the sky looks nice and broody in the photos that you took.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      it was that weekend but then thats the Black Mountains all over. Once minute its fine and the next, clag and rain pound you. Always an interesting trip there

  5. Ben says:

    Sounds like a nice little trip. Always enjoy trips like that, but then I like being in tents!

  6. backpackbrewer says:

    Hi Ben,

    I see you visited the Arans recently, that looked a good trip too

  7. Ben says:

    Yes it was a great trip. I could have done with a solid tent like your new one rather than a badly pitched laser comp.

  8. backpackbrewer says:

    nowt wrong with a Laser Comp but it really does help to pitch it well! 🙂

  9. Walked the Hatteral Ridge back in April last year, but sadly with low cloud so there were no views. Great to see what we missed out on!

  10. backpackbrewer says:

    Hatteral Ridge is really great on a good day. The views are superb if the visibility is ok and the Honddu Valley is a hidden gem.

    I never get two trips alike there and it always feels like coming home

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