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Cefn yr Ystrad

Cefn yr Ystrad


Postby CLYoung » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:55 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Cefn yr Ystrad

Date walked: 29/12/2015

Time taken: 3.5

Distance: 10.8 km

Ascent: 430m

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We took advantage of the break in the weather today to make our final trip of 2015 to the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Cefn yr Ystrad is the sort of mountain I'd never have found out about if I hadn't wondered how many mountains there were in the National Park and set myself the challenge of climbing them. I planned that the four of us (me, husband and two sons) would tackle it from the Pontsticill Reservoir as a circular route, but after my husband had to duck out having left his waterproof coat at home I made it a quicker up and back walk. Aside, that is, from some meandering about on top, dodging sink holes and wondering why the summit wasn't getting any nearer :wink:

We parked on the road at the south-east corner of the reservoir and headed down the road to pick up a bridle way under the railway line. The going was muddy but not too steep at this stage but with dirt bikes buzzing around it was hardly a peaceful experience. After a brief shower, the clouds gradually lifted and visibility was good.

With a few diversions, we followed a bridleway to where the map said there was an inscribed stone. Sadly we didn't find it. At this point we headed off up the steep slope towards the summit. The boys cheered up at the sight of rocks to climb over.

As the ground levelled off a bit, I thought the job was nearly done, but somehow we managed to circle round without getting any nearer to the peak. There was no excuse with such good visibility. I definitely wouldn't want to be up there in the mist.

Having dodged innumerable shake holes, we finally reached the cairns and trig point on the summit. Going from the map, I thought the trig point was the summit, it appears it might have been one of the cairns. I'm no peak bagging purist, after all we were never sure we'd found the exact summit of Black Mountain or Black Mountain South. As far as I am concerned we bagged this one and I am in no rush to return!

Cefn-yr-Ystrad-A6000-017.JPG
View south from near the summit


Cefn-yr-Ystrad-D610-059.JPG
Pen y Fan and others across the quarry


Although it was still unseasonably warm, it was very windy on the summit, making it feel much colder. I was also keen not to keep my husband hanging around waiting for us to return for too long. Rather than retrace our steps, we managed to find a path and then a track that took us to the fence round the edge of the quarry. This made navigation much easier, we followed that to the end and then headed back downhill to the bridleway. Given this was our 13th Hewitt, it was a strange coincidence to find a rusty metal flag with a number 13 on it as we descended.

The sun was out as we headed back down the lower slopes of the mountain. Pen y Fan and its neighbours were now very clear to the north. The main problem was the slippery mud, not even my usually careful eldest son avoided slipping up.

Cefn-yr-Ystrad-A6000-046.JPG
Sunny views of the central Beacons on the way back


As we descended towards the road, we caught a glimpse of one of the Brecon Mountain Railway steam trains steaming along below us. It hadn't been the walk I'd planned and I can't pretend this is my favourite peak. Perhaps it would be better approached from the other side? Its main plus point is the excellent views to the north, so if you're going to do it, choose a clear day.
CLYoung
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Posts: 7
Hewitts:48
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Oct 28, 2015

Re: Cefn yr Ystrad

Postby Riverman » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:55 pm

I was on the very same hill later that afternoon. I was parked up near the waterworks and saw a few people coming off the path as I set out so might have even seen you as you finished your walk! I know what you mean about navigation up there. In adverse conditions and poor visibility finding the summit and avoiding shake holes on ascent / descent would be a total nightmare.
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Re: Cefn yr Ystrad

Postby CLYoung » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:39 pm

Riverman wrote:I was on the very same hill later that afternoon. I was parked up near the waterworks and saw a few people coming off the path as I set out so might have even seen you as you finished your walk! I know what you mean about navigation up there. In adverse conditions and poor visibility finding the summit and avoiding shake holes on ascent / descent would be a total nightmare.


Think we got back about 10 to 3. We were very much heads down, let's get back knowing my husband was waiting for us, which probably didn't help our enjoyment of the walk.
CLYoung
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Posts: 7
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Joined: Oct 28, 2015

Re: Cefn yr Ystrad

Postby ChrisW » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:50 pm

It's always nice to see a family out on the hills (even if dad dodges it on occasion...was there a pub nearby?) :lol: I suspect the knowledge that he was waiting back at the car would have had an adverse effect on enjoyment as you say, it just adds a subconscious pressure. Anyway, at least you got out there, had a day in the hills and ticked one off the list I like your shot of the central Beacons on the way back, it's almost a replica of one on Rivermans report :clap:
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Re: Cefn yr Ystrad

Postby CLYoung » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:56 pm

ChrisW wrote:It's always nice to see a family out on the hills (even if dad dodges it on occasion...was there a pub nearby?) :lol: I suspect the knowledge that he was waiting back at the car would have had an adverse effect on enjoyment as you say, it just adds a subconscious pressure. Anyway, at least you got out there, had a day in the hills and ticked one off the list I like your shot of the central Beacons on the way back, it's almost a replica of one on Rivermans report :clap:


As far as I know he had nothing stronger than the cup of tea he brewed while he was waiting :wink:
CLYoung
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Posts: 7
Hewitts:48
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