On a very cold day, no less than 27 people climbed Mynydd Machen, a 1,188 feet hill lying between the town of Risca and the village of Machen in Caerphilly County Borough. Initially, we followed a strenuous ascent along tracks and through woodland up the hill. The route then plateaued out, somewhat, and we walked past old spoil tips and areas of previous industry on a easier climb up to the trig point. We had great views on the walk up, but unfortunately, the lovely sunny weather we had seen all week deserted us, and it was quite bleak on the top with only minimal misty views. We then descended, steeply in places, and then through forest back to the start. Despite the bleak weather, it was great to get out again with so many friends.