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Hazy Black Mountain Wanderings

Hazy Black Mountain Wanderings


Postby stevesey » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:19 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Mynydd Llysiau, Pen Allt-mawr, Pen Cerrig-calch, Pen y Gadair Fawr, Waun Fach

Date walked: 25/08/2013

Time taken: 8

Distance: 30 km

Ascent: 1588m

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Having read clivegif's http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=17153 and AJNicholls's http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=17153 reports I thought it was time to venture to the Black Mountains (rather than the Beacons). Also wanted to push myself a bit as my max is normally 20k/1200m in one day (3 peaks aside).

Parking seems to be at a premium and as it was a Bank Holiday weekend so I opted for the safe option of Mydydd Du forest card park. This added an extra ascent/descent compared to parking at the small lay by near Neuadd-Fawr (near the phone symbol on the map), although if I had taken the option of turning left at Waun Fach and coming back via the reservoir or the Rhos Dirion ridge it wouldn't have been "extra"


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Mynydd Du Car Park -> Pen y Gadair Fawr, Pen Twyn Mawr, Table Mountian, Pen Cerrig-calch, Pen Allt-Mawr, Pen Twyn Glas, Mynydd Llysiau, Pen Trumau, Waun Fach and back to Pen y Gadair Fawr and down to the car.

From the car park you head up the road (to find additional road side parking!) once you reach the gate that marks the end of public access, hop over the fence cross the stream(s) and head up the right of the stream that runs down the side of the forest (the path stays up on the hillside not down by the steam). It's a steady pull then up to Pen y Gadair Fawr (surprisingly windy up there), then a left turn to Pen Twyn Mawr and beyond were to come to a cairn that marks the "path" to descend. You then pick your way down the sheep tracks to the forest, where some yellow arrows guide you through and then you follow a wall almost down to the road. The path is not well walked and the bracken has grown well recently - at times I was wading through waist high (higher up I had bumped into people doing the horseshoe the other way round - not much evidence of them here - but according to GPS I was on the correct path).

Once down a short road section before starting the climb back up - an un-mapped permitted path from the lay-by @ Neuadd Fawr saves a short loop through Ty Croes Farm. Then it's along to Table Mountain for lunch - before heading up the the multiple false summits of Pen Cerrig-calch (and back into the wind). Once up I realised quite how much I still had left to walk. Sadly views were limited as there was a haze over all the tops. Anyway from there it was just a case of following the ridge around Pen Allt-Mawr, Pen Twyn Glas, Mynydd Llysiau, Pen Trumau and finally Waun Fach. Waun Fach was surprisingly solid under foot, just a couple of boggy bits - one of which grabbed the "bucket" end of my pole and ripped the bottom section off (leaving the mechanism inside the second section - but pushing back in I was able to get enough purchase to unscrew, disassemble, and push the force-fit parts back together).

It was now 4pm and I'd given myself a 3pm target if I wanted to turn left and descend via Rhos Dirion, also my legs were telling me that Waun Fach was far enough, even if it is all downhill whichever route you take. So I turned right and headed back to the start, contouring around the summit of Pen y Gadair Fawr along a promising sheep track that, as they do, vanished half way around! But I soon crossed the path I'd been up earlier in the day and headed back down.

Photos here: https://plus.google.com/photos/106459429880001195754/albums/5916442384560319713

A good walk, would have been great walk without the haze and the somewhat annoying wind (stronger than the Brecons high level forecast!). The longest I've done in one hit and at a quicker than Naismith pace.
stevesey
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Re: Hazy Black Mountain Wanderings

Postby ChrisW » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:52 pm

Congrats on the new personal best Steve, shame about the haze killing some of the views but you captured some good stuff with the mobile :wink: I've been contemplating a bit of an epic wander myself.....but contemplating it is as far as I've got up to now :lol: :lol:
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ChrisW
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Re: Hazy Black Mountain Wanderings

Postby Phil the Hill » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:47 pm

Looks a good route. I was walking the Hatterrall Ridge just to the East that day. It was a bit hazy, but at least the summits were cloud free. I didn't find the wind too bad, but (unusually for me) I did keep the fleece on all day!
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Phil the Hill
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Re: Hazy Black Mountain Wanderings

Postby stevesey » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:38 pm

ChrisW wrote:Congrats on the new personal best Steve, shame about the haze killing some of the views but you captured some good stuff with the mobile :wink: I've been contemplating a bit of an epic wander myself.....but contemplating it is as far as I've got up to now :lol: :lol:

Only a few on the phone, the darker ones, rest a simple point and shoot.

Phil the Hill wrote:Looks a good route. I was walking the Hatterrall Ridge just to the East that day. It was a bit hazy, but at least the summits were cloud free. I didn't find the wind too bad, but (unusually for me) I did keep the fleece on all day!

That'll be part two at some point - circuit Llanthony Prior -> Gospell Pass up one ridge and down the other side looks good 28km/1000m ;-)

Yes was glad the tops were cloud free, haze and wind were just annoying rather than problematical.
stevesey
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Posts: 398
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Hewitts:115
Wainwrights:205   
Joined: Mar 9, 2012

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