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Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn & Fan y Big Horseshoe

Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn & Fan y Big Horseshoe


Postby pic4186 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:05 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Cribyn, Pen y Fan

Date walked: 11/06/2009

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Here are a few photos I took whilst walking in the Brecon Beacons last Sunday (7th June).

This is my first post and I'm not usually one for sharing this sort of thing but it was such an unexpected pleasure I thought - why not. We'd originally planned to spend the weekend in the Lakes but the weather was such a wash-out that we ducked out - then on Sunday morning I took the opportunity of a break in the weather to do a day trip to the Brecon Beacons ... and this is the result.

The route I took was to start at the resevoir just north of Pontsticill, heading out east to climb the ridge then north to Corn Du, followed by a circuit to the west of Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Fan y Big before heading south back to base. You'll find the route in the John & Anne Nuttall book.

First thing to comment on is the weather - I think the gods must have been with me. The worst of the weather had broken by the time I started walking although the tops were all in cloud. Even then I thought I was due to get damp - but as I approached the cloud parted and disappeared into a beautiful warm (ish) afternoon.

The first picture shows the clouds breaking over the ridge up to Corn Du
IMG_0587 low cloud on approch to corndu edited.JPG


The walk in was a real treat.

No long march along the valley floor. This was a swift, although slightly damp and slippery clamber onto the ridge, followed by a couple of miles of high walking up to Corn Du. Here is a picture from the approach
IMG_0598 Cloud clearing on corndu.JPG


Following Corn Du the fall and rise to Pen y Fan (the highest point of my walk at 2900ft) was pretty straightforward.

At this point the walk had been pleasant rather than exhilarating. These hills are quite close to civilisation north and south and the paths are well walked - there were a few people (but not too many) around and the walking had been fairly easy - so I didn't get a real feeling of wilderness

This was all about to change.

The next peak was Cribyn. A beautiful triangular mountain that had been centre frame ever since I stepped onto the ridge several hours before. This is a view from the top of Pen y Fan
IMG_0624 cribyn.JPG


As I started the descent west of Pen y Fan the crowds disappeared and from here on in I was pretty much alone - call me a grumpy old man but this is just the way I like it.

Then the next surprise - rather than easing down and up along a gentle ridge the descent from Pen y Fan kept on going - it seemed right down to the valley floor. This was of course followed a sharp ascent to Cribyn summit.

It was during this ascent of Cribyn that I got my best view of Pen y Fan
IMG_0631 penyfan from cribyn approach.JPG


By now I was completely alone and felt like I'd done some proper work and I was well into the walk.

It kept on getting better. The final peak was Fan y Big - the baby of the day. Another attractive mountain, it too was characterised by a long descent and subsequent ascent. Not quite such a surprise this time!

Here is a view of Fan y Big from the Cribyn decent - check out that table-top summit
IMG_0645 fanybig.JPG


Here at the top of Fan y Big, late in the afternoon and by now feeling like I'd done a proper days work, I finally got my little bit of wilderness for the day. This does feel like an isolated spot and a great place to reflect on the journey travelled. Looking back the 1st three peaks are all lined up in frame
IMG_0666 corndu penyfan & cribyn from fanybig.JPG


The return to base was something of an improvised affair. I continued south along the ridge from Fan y Big, and picking my moment, walked downhill across country to join the path back to the resevoir.

I really enjoyed my day in the Brecon Beacans - and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a fairly compact middle-level hike with an excellent mix of challenge, a beautiful setting, and just a little bit of wilderness.

Ian
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Re: Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn & Fan y Big Horseshoe

Postby GarryH » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:39 am

Nice one pic4186?? Not to familiar with the Brecons but did Pen-y Fan and Cribyn some years back and enjoyed the
area very much.I remember there were alot of men jogging up these hills with massive rucsacs, is this an army
training area?
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Re: Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn & Fan y Big Horseshoe

Postby 37lumleyst » Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:59 pm

pic4186 wrote:I'm not usually one for sharing this sort of thing but it was such an unexpected pleasure I thought - why not.


Its a shame you don’t submit more reports - this one is cracking. I especially like the relief you have captured on Cribyn.

GarryH wrote:I remember there were alot of men jogging up these hills with massive rucsacs, is this an army
training area?


This is one of the main training area's for the British Army - many a 'squady' will wax lyrical about survival W/E's spent in the Brecon’s. I must admit, its a good training ground for the lads and lasses of the British Army, although the thought of running up and down the mountains is less appealing to me than a gentle stroll :lol:
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Re: Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn & Fan y Big Horseshoe

Postby Paul Webster » Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:16 pm

Thanks for a great report. I've never been down to the Brecky Beaks but they are always instantly recognisable with those escarpments and strata.
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Re: Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn & Fan y Big Horseshoe

Postby GarryH » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:01 pm

37lumleyst wrote:
GarryH wrote:I remember there were alot of men jogging up these hills with massive rucsacs, is this an army
training area?


This is one of the main training area's for the British Army - many a 'squady' will wax lyrical about survival W/E's spent in the Brecon’s. I must admit, its a good training ground for the lads and lasses of the British Army, although the thought of running up and down the mountains is less appealing to me than a gentle stroll :lol:

Thanks 37lumleyst I to prefer the strolling option I was done in watching them.
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Re: Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn & Fan y Big Horseshoe

Postby pic4186 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:41 pm

Thanks for the kind comments. Cool site by the way - a friend recommended it to me for the maps - which are a great way of plotting your progress and planning future expeditions. I've also enjoyed the Walk Talk - feels like quite a nice community.
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Re: Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn & Fan y Big Horseshoe

Postby mountain coward » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:34 am

Great to see the Brecons again - many years since I've been there (and probably many more before I ever get back). They make for superb walking don't they. I've always wondered what it's like going down that sharp ridge down the nose of Cribyn...
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