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A gentle stroll in the Brecon Beacons

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:25 pm
by Beam
The rote

So 3 weeks after returning from my Scottish adventure I figured it was time to tackle another mountain. Not knowing how my knee was going to fare, and having done no exercise since my return, I opted for a nice easy stroll which didn’t involve a steep descent. The only criteria: for it to be Hewitt that I had not yet tackled.
Waterfalls climbing out of the car park

A quick look on the Hewitt map (I wish I hadn’t found this as I’m now going to feel obliged to climb them all!!) suggested I only had one peak remaining in the main Brecon Beacon range: Waun Rydd; so without any further research other than my map I decided that that would be Sunday’s walk. The plan: park at the Waterfalls in Torpantau and proceed up Craig y Fan Ddu and Craig Fan Las to reach Waun Rydd and then follow the cliffs over to Fan y Big (hehe) before descending the nice gentle Tor Glas old military road.
Initial 300 metres out the way all there is to do now is enjoy the cliff top stroll

The sit and stay and look thoughtful training starts

Looking back at Craig y Fan Ddu from Craig Fan Las

The problem? Far too easy and boring. From the car park by the waterfalls there is a quick sharp climb (300 metres) which was over and done with within 25 minutes. After that a very gentle walk along a very well defined path along the cliffs until I reached the rather boring Waun Rydd. Although a beautifully clear day the views weren’t particular impressive and you could only just about make out it’s more impressive neighbours in the back ground.
Summit of Waun Rydd with Corn Du and Pen y Fan in the background

I had read somewhere that there was a trigger point south west from the summit and there was a faint path leading roughly that way to something prominent so I decided to follow it only to discover it was just a cairn marking 762 metres (why it’s there I’m not sure). Turns out I was mixing this information up with a different mountain so realising my pointless mistake we set off east towards the cliffs that would eventually lead me to Fan y Big.
The cairn marking 762 metres

Having had the entire mountain to myself up until reaching Craig Cwareli it was a rather large shock to the system to encounter a 40 strong group heading my way!! There was so many they scared my dog who I had to go and retrieve from half way across the moor!
Corn Du and Pen y Fan in the distance. Walking along Craig Cwareli on route to Fan y Big

Looking back at Craig Cwareli from Craig Cwmoergwm

Another effortless walk saw us reaching the summit of Fan y Big within 2 hours. Again, the entire summit to ourselves; not a cloud in the sky and a beautiful location from which to see its bigger brothers and sistes: Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du. I wish there had been somewhere up there so I could have had a nice photo of me and the dog sat on the protruding ledge, instead, I spent 5 minutes trying to get the dog to sit and stay long enough for me to walk around and position myself to be able to take the shot. It was worth it though!!
Suki on the summit of Fan y Big with Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du in the background

Photos taken we went down the very short (but steep) descent. At this point I was very tempted to keep going and complete Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du to then return down Craig Gwaun Taf and Graig Fan Ddu, something I had done before, however, the thought that I still had a house to clean and a presentation to prepare for Monday meant that sense got the better of me (for once) so I set off as intended back down Tor Glas with the empty reservoir on my right.

Once at the bottom of Tor Glass I picked up the Taf Trail that brought me out on the little country lane that would eventually lead me back to my car.
Taff Trail

Final stretch to the car

All in all a lovely walk but missing one key factor: sense of achievement. It was just far too easy and I’m not one to enjoy easy. However, there were some positives: the sun was out so I now have even more tan lines (7 over my shoulders alone to be precise); I didn’t feel at all guilty at scoffing down a lovely BBQ when I got home; and we got lots of sit and stay practice with the dog!

If you want a nice easy walk, then I’d recommend it (but don’t bother with Waun Rydd). If you want something a bit more challenging, then plan your day so that you can do all 5 peaks in one. Now that would have been a lot more fun! 

Re: A gentle stroll in the Brecon Beacons

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:25 pm
by simon-b
It looks a nice walk, Beam, even if you did find it too easy - 350 metres does seem a small amount of ascent to get two Hewitts! This is an area I haven't visited yet; maybe one day. Perhaps it is worth bagging all the Welsh Hewitts, but I'm not sure that's true about all the English ones.

Re: A gentle stroll in the Brecon Beacons

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:31 pm
by Beam
Hi Simon

In fairness it's the Munros I've set my sights on more than anything, but they are just too far to go up often enough. I'll be 100 by the time I manage to do them all, hence why I'm focusing on those closer to home.

The Brecon Beacons are a lovely part of the world but I don't think I would necessarily make a special trip to visit them all the way from Yorkshire (they just happen to be my closest). On a nice day the views are good, but nothing in comparison with the more dramatic ones you'll find in North Wales or Scotland.

Or maybe I just haven't found the hidden gem in the Brecon Beacons just yet. :-)

Re: A gentle stroll in the Brecon Beacons

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:27 pm
by stevesey
All 4 is a regular day out for me - sometimes 5 with Waun Rydd (does give a nice view of the Black Mountains).

Loving the Dog on summit photos - esp on the diving board (I always try to grab a photo there).