Find a Challenge! Something both exciting and utterly terrifying
The Black Dragon Challenge,
When you (and a group of willing mates) decide to find a new challenge and sign up for a crazy, daunting adventure back in September and the day finally comes around 6 months later…
2019 is my year of ‘the challenge’. Some big, some small, but all testing in a different way. The Black Dragon Challenge was an achievement to be proud of – 26 miles, 7000 feet of ascent (that’s a lot of peaks!) and a long day walking through snow, bog, wind, and sunshine all set in the beautiful Welsh Black Mountains.
We were all anxious, nervous, and pretty damned terrified before we set off from beautiful Crickhowell at 8am on a cloudy Saturday, (I had barely slept for a week… !) Everyone around us looked really fit, like they did these sort of things on a daily basis. We didn’t. A group of 6 mums out on a bit of a jolly. No-one had walked this sort of distance before – let alone up and down a load of mountains! But with a great deal of determination, gritted teeth, pain management (blisters, cramping, sore knees) and a whole lot of humour – I laughed A LOT – we did it! We made every check point just in time to avoid being forced to retire. We finally swooped home in a limping, blaze of glory after 11.5 hours.
And to sooth aching legs, we celebrated with another new challenge…a swim in the river Usk the next morning! It was April and it was cold!!
We’re just normal folk doing one of the things you see other people doing.
The Black Mountains
This mountain range, close to the Brecon Beacons, is absolutely beautiful. Whether you’re doing a crazy challenge or just looking for a lovely walk, it’s an amazing place to explore. Crickhowell is a great place to start from as you can walk in any direction! We stayed at the lovely Bear Hotel if you can make it into a weekend trip.
Special thanks to Tim Haynes from Adventurous Spirit for being a wonderful mountain guide in our two practice walks. With his guidance, we went from being complete novices to comfortably navigating (with map and compass) a challenging 26 mile mountain hike. If you fancy doing something similar but would like guidance, check out Tim’s website here. He was calm, patient, and incredibly helpful. Also thanks to Brecon Mountain Rescue Team for a brilliant day – we were welcomed to every check point with big smiles and encouragement. A great team to support.
Find yourself a challenge
For our little raggedy bunch of friends, we managed to find and complete a new challenge and the buzz was awesome. I highly recommend finding something really out of your comfort zone. If it’s booked well in advance you can almost pretend like it’s not going to happen…. until it finally comes round!
This is the stuff you remember forever.
If you want to join us for a mini-challenge visit our events page to see what’s happening…
Or how about a wild camping challenge? Spend the night under the stars… find out more here