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Carreg Goch Loop
by Daveyf » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:35 pm
Date walked: 26/06/2019
Time taken: 4.5
Distance: 13.5 km
Ascent: 515m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Having parked in the overflow car park for the Brecon Beacons Campsite off the A4067 the first thing that greets my eyes are the dozens of huge boulders in the fields next to the car park. They seem to be arranged in some kind of mock druid circles, lines and patterns which I’m sure have some significance to somebody but is totally lost on me.
Heading north I turned left just before the camp site where a sign post indicates the Brecon Mountain Railway, I assume this was originally part of the route of a pre Beeching railway that would have been axed back in the ‘60s. Heading up this path luckily there were no trains or tracks to negotiate.
The path zig zags a little but is fairly obvious which is just as well as the clouds loomed and before long visibility dropped to approx. 100 metres.
After about a mile and a half after leaving the car it was time to leave the track and turn off right and north along a very feint track of broken grass up towards where I hoped would be the top of Twynwalter. Relying heavily on my planned GPS route I eventually found myself at the top of Twynwalter at 1647ft. Still shrouded in clag there is no obvious summit or cairn to confirm this by eyesight, a few stones here and there are apparently the summit. I waited a short while to see if the cloud would lift at all and it did fleetingly revealing another seemingly higher point approx. 70-80 yards to the west, so I headed towards this, looked back to where I originally was and decided it was higher back there! Funny how the mind plays these tricks with optical illusions.
Time now to leave Twynwalter, heading off the hill in roughly a southerly direction I was soon back on the path and followed it west. After approx. 600 yards it was time again to leave the main track taking a slight turn to the left and following a fairly direct route to the top of Disgwylfa, pronunciation of which I can only stab at!
Seems to me there are two summits here, two rocky outcrops approx. 100 yards apart and I for one could not decide which was the higher, so lets call it a draw and say they are both 1783 ft. The cloud to the west started to lift ever so slightly and I could make out a ridge maybe ¾ of a mile away. Unfortunately the cloud to the south still sulked and hugged the hill tops.
Heading south through more clag, I had intended to head up to the summit of Carreg Goch and then try and locate the wreckage of the fallen Wellington, however I appeared to have drifted off course slightly west and decided it would probably be a shorter route to try and locate the wreckage first. I wasn’t very optimistic about locating the site, I had read that’s it can be difficult to see as the twisted metal remains blended perfectly with the rocks, so with the current climate being quite gloomy all I could do was keep my fingers crossed and head for the co-ordinates I had. Before long I could see something that looked out of place, a glimpse of red in the distance so headed straight for it. As I neared it was clear even in the mist that it was the remains of a Canadian flag fluttering in the breeze.
The Wellington crash site
The wreckage is curiously ‘together’ covering a very small area perhaps only measuring some 70-80 sq yards. Is that how it initially crashed or has the wreckage been ceremoniously re-united after the accident? It was a heavy enough impact to have killed all 6 Canadian airmen on board so I would have expected the wreckage to have been strewn over a fairly wide area, perhaps it is, obviously I cannot say if all the components are here, however the bulk of it seems to be. Either way a sombre place indeed, a few birds tweeting and the sound of a slight breeze whistling across the rocks and through the grass are all that can be heard. A poignant moment of reflection.
The summit of Carreg Goch awaits behind me, so I bid my farewells to the downed crew from 1944 and head on up the hill back into the cloud eastwards towards the summit. The wind has now picked up considerably at the top and as the clouds were still gathering around my feet it was again one of those pick a boulder moments and guess which one is higher. There’s no identifiable cairn (that I saw), there are at least 3 rocky outcrops all within a 100 yards of each other, anyone of which could have been higher than the other. At 1832ft this was the highest point of this morning’s bimble. Having wandered over all of the tops and still not being blessed with any views over 150 yards I decided to leave Carreg Goch and head south.
With no path and lousy visibility and unable to pick out a distant point to aim for it really was a case of heading off south / south east and checking my GPS every 10 minutes or so. Although I do always carry a map and compass with me, it is so much easier to just check my phone and adjusting my path accordingly. Heading across the wilderness it’s not hard to see how inhospitable this place can be. Clouds whizzing across in front of me, no water sources of any note and miles of emptiness in all directions, not that I could see much of it! This was the end of June, and although there was a cool stiff breeze and gloomy skies, thankfully there was no rain and certainly no snow or freezing temperatures to contend with. In those conditions a pleasant stroll can easily turn into an ordeal.
After approx. 2 ¼ miles of trudging across grass, heather and rock the large shadow Of Cribarth appeared rising up from the ground in the distance
Approaching from the north it’s a fairly easy pull up to the top, and once there I wasn’t at all surprised to see another summit further south which looked higher so headed off to that one as well. The second summit also bares a trig point and a large cairn offering some protection from the wind. Although visibility had improved a little, at 1404ft Cribarth today was still in the clouds, so still no far reaching views to take in.
Heading north west a fairly distinct path heads off the hill and after approx. 750 yards a slight deviation left heads down to a gate and through a wall. Now out of the clouds the A4067 can be seen heading off towards Sennybridge. The way back to the road is obvious, just follow the path loosing height, keep right at the horses field then turn left and follow the A4067 back to the campsite.
Overall a good walk, good firm ground (in June). Can be extended by taking in Pen Bwlch y Ddeuwynt and Tyle Garw but that’s even more hill name to get your tongue around! Would have been even better if I wasn’t in the clouds, hey ho!
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