Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here. The previous two days had been dominated by Storm Arwen. Devastation and cold temperatures were the orders of the day. We awoke on Sunday morning to cold but still conditions. So, after a quick breakfast, I gave my human the look! The look that says ‘are you taking me out, or what?’ He said to me ‘do you want to go for a W-A-L-K in the hills Little Man?’ I hate being called that but I heard the words ‘walk’ and ‘hills’ and that was enough for me to go zoomies! The big feller packed the rucksack with hot drinks and snacks before he quickly grabbed a map to peruse. Local mountains were the choice. The weather forecast was for wintery conditions especially on the tops so I was shoved into my waterproof fleece while he put his boots and waterproofs on.
Esclusham Mountain is a high point on the Ruabon Moors in North Wales. It is only a small bump on the landscape, but it commands a prominent viewpoint from the trig point. Themountainguide.com rates it as the 7079th highest peak in the British Isles and the 737th tallest in Wales. So, its might is not so impressive, but it part of a beautiful part of the country. Well, me and my human love it anyway!
From the parking spot on the unnamed road leading up from Minera Lead Mines, it is only a short, yet steepish, climb onto the tops of the hills and out onto the moorland. The views were amazing across to the snow covered Pennines and to Snowdonia. The forests of the Llandegla area were covered in a black menacing cloud. Wrexham was being rained on in the valley. The wind chill was a factor and the big feller complained that his pinkies were cold while he was taking photos. Why he didn’t leave his camera in his pocket I don’t know. He could have joined me running around the heather and gorse. I was keeping myself warm.
After we had spent five minutes or so at the trig point, we headed off across the moors toward Nant y Cwm-Mawr, a steep sided valley running the Cae-llwyd Reservior. The track consisted of frozen mud with plenty of ice covered puddles. I loved running through them, but the big dope could have warned me that the ice wouldn’t always take my weight. I got a soaking as one icy patch gave way. My human found this very amusing, but he complained that he hadn’t managed to capture a photo of the incident. Now, if it had been him falling through the ice, i would have loved a photo of that too!
The Kronospan works in Chirk could be seen in the valley, spewing out steam as ever. We dropped down the hillside toward Fron-deg before we headed north to Minera Mountain. This ‘mountain’ is even lower than Esclusham, but still commands some fine views. We disturbed a couple of grouse as we walked. They made an almighty racket at they took off from their hiding place. I was on the lead at the time so I couldn’t chase them. I would never catch one anyway. I have learned that over many many failed attempts. Note to self, must take flying lessons!
We looped around the Fron-deg Flat before returning to the trig point on Esclusham Mountain. The black clouds were gathering ahead and heading in our direction. So, we headed downhill to the car parking spot, just before the heavens opened.
As we headed back towards Minera we passed Hafod Farm on the side of the road. The storm had battered it the previous night, lifting barn roofs off and flinging them all around the area. It was sad to see how violent Mother Nature can be in stark contrast to the beauty of the area. My human contemplated taking photographs, but decided against it. We had enjoyed our winter walk in the hills, but I was filthy, as usual, so I had to be showered as soon as we returned home. My man-servant would take care of that! Till next time!