Destress Beacon 2: Bannau Sir Gaer sunset
by litljortindan » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:05 am
Hewitts included on this walk: Bannau Sir Gaer - Picws Du, Fan Brycheiniog
Date walked: 09/09/2014
Time taken: 6.5
Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 500m1 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).
Hmm, the first anniversary of back problems when hillwalking! Well at least things have got a bit better and I've been able to do this walk -surprisingly, one of the longest of the year if not the biggest ascent.
I had no idea of the existence of this hill until I scoured WH looking for a second walk for day two of the conference I was at in Cardiff. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Ok, not too much effort involved but a beautiful landscape and dramatic views over the loch, Llyn y Fan Fach. And if, like me, you are looking for something easyish then this is an ideal choice.
Set off along the more southern of the two approaches from the east that are marked on the OS map. In fact though, I crossed the stream at the earliest obvious point and I found the way up from there very easy if a little boggy in places. Looks a bit of a slog to the beallach Bwlch Giadd but I hardly noticed the climb and after fifty minutes I was on the solid stone of the Brecon Beacons way and, after another 150m hike up the long zig zag I was pretty much on the escarpment edge leaving only a few minutes leisurely walk up to the first top, Fan Brycheiniog during which I could marvel at the mountainside agility of the sheep. The path then just follows the cliff edge northwards past two more tops before swinging south west and downwards to another beallach below Bannau Sir Gaer. From the middle of this descent I did a mental recalculation of my likely arrival at the car and realised I was a bit behind schedule, wary of too late a return after so little sleep in the past 48 hours. It looked an awful long way out to the next couple of tops but the objective evidence of the map gave me encouragement to continue. After all, there would be little actual descent and ascent despite appearances and I knew I could still cover the flat ground fairly quickly plus the walk in from the east had been easier than anticipated. Once I'd got past my doubts I really started to enjoy the rest of the walk, particularly once the loch came into view. From there on there are tremendous views from the cliff edge down to the water and very easy walking. Hadn't intended going all the way to the 677m top but I felt I was going to manage fine so I just kept going. Got there still feeling energetic and with enough time to get to a good spot for the sunset.
A lot of the sheep seemed to be admiring the sunset too and I got lots of lit up sheep eyes following my progress past them on the way back. Met one other person near the final beallach and they seemed to be out for a moonlight walk as they were headed onwards, not down.
Had a bit of night time mis-navigation and followed a stream just south of the correct one which left me with a fifteen minute walk on the road at the end but that had still been a very easy descent.
out of focus but shows the route west (stream on right), my descent route (stream on left) and the distinctive top of Fan Foel
an earlier stream crossing than the one marked on the OS map and WH route -turned out fine
spotted by the look-out sheep
get off my land
Long version of video:
by litljortindan » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:36 pm
by ala_fred » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:51 am
by litljortindan » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:52 pm
ala_fred wrote:Great walk I am thinking of doing this the 1st weekend in November where did you start and how long did it take . If possible could you upload the route as there are 3 ways of doing it
From the east. Took me 6.5 hours but I am quite slow.
by malky_c » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:01 pm
by litljortindan » Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:31 pm
malky_c wrote:That was my favourite of the South Wales hills - looks even better in the sunset
I'm not surprised. Glad too that I didn't think to look in my copy of Poucher's Welsh Peaks before I went down there as he doesn't cover this hill. The walk along the Bannau Sir Gaer cliff tops looking down on the loch was great.