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¡Fan Fawr falta fotos!

¡Fan Fawr falta fotos!


Postby Riverman » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:30 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, Fan Fawr, Fan Frynych

Date walked: 30/01/2016

Time taken: 4.5

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 811m

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Following route 13.4 from the Welsh Nuttalls book. My first peak bagging trip of 2016 and sod's law that I forgot to bring my camera along on what turned out to be a largely bright, clear day - albeit very windy and with the occasional hail shower. I should have captured some of the beautiful views of the Beacons I enjoyed. I guess I'll always keep the memories though. One game I like to play sometimes is looking over my Hewitt and Munro lists, picking a mountain already climbed and seeing if I can summon a visual memory of the summit or some point on the walk. It's pleasant brain exercise.

At the start of this route you enjoy fine views of the corrie beneath Craig Cerrig-gleisiad. On reaching the first summit (Fan Frynych) I had to hastily throw on some layers. I had pushed my mantra of "Be bold, start cold" just a little bit too far this morning. Thin gloves and a thermal base layer was really not enough protection against the wind so on came my warm jacket and shell as I sat down to tuck into a sandwich. There were three other walkers at the top - engaged in heated political debate - Brexit seemed to be the talk of the trig. Lord - I climb the hills to get away from worldly cares and all of a sudden I feel like I've walked into the Newsnight studio or something. So ensconced in conversation were these guys that I didn't want to interrupt them with even a "Hello, nice weather eh?" so just sat in silence munching on my sandwich trying to focus on the views and the sound of the wind. It was an odd encounter as normally I find that when meeting other walkers (especially at the top) pleasantries are exchanged at the very least but these guys were so into their debate that my presence was not even acknowledged.

Anyhow, they wandered off and I followed shortly after. The path to Craig Cerrig-gleisiad follows the corrie rim although the summit itself is just off the path slightly to the south west. This summit is exactly the same height as Fan Frynych and I was surprised it makes it into the Hewitt list as it doesn't feel like much of a drop and re-ascent from Frynych. Later in the day I realised that Craig Cerrig-gleisiad had actually been my fiftieth Welsh Nuttall. I'm really only going for the Welsh Hewitts at the moment and will probably leave a few of the scattered non Hewitt Nuttalls to climb in my dotage. It will provide a nice excuse to revisit some corners of Wales.

Continuing south to Fan Fawr I had great views of the western Beacons and of Pen y Fan to my east. The route I followed across to Fan Fawr was pathless and pretty rough (though you can follow the Beacons Way for some of the distance if you want to). This tussocky moon-grass is the stuff of SAS recruits' nightmares - it's almost like nature designed it to sprain ankles. Goodness knows how those guys haul enormous loads and kit over this terrain at the speed they do. Incredible. The ascent to Fan Fawr is steep and I found it surprisingly tiring. I had time for another sandwich at this, the high point of the walk, before descending to the Storey Arms Centre.

Although I'm not really fussed about bagging all the Welsh Nuttalls for now I decided I would tag on Y Gyrn as well today as I had plenty of time and the conditions were so decent. I joined the solid path running up beside the plantation from the telephone box. I knew that I would have to peel off to the left soon after the plantation in order to reach Y Gyrn. However, as you'll see from my GPS track, the pull of that solid path up to Corn Du is pretty irresistible. I did try to find the footpath marked by the green hatched line on the OS map but was damned if I could see anything except more menacing moon-grass. "Bugger this" I thought and just stuck to the paved motorway until the fence running north to south was in view. I then used that as a guide to carry me north to the summit. It's strange that the "foot paths" marked in bold green hatched line on the OS 1:25k map can be much less solid than the thin, black dotted "paths" which can be veritable motorways like the one running north from the Storey Arms.

While the summit of Y Gyrn is not much to write home about it does afford impressive views back over to Fan Fawr. The descent was also pretty exciting. The Nuttall book shows a descent to the south of the crag that appears on the OS map. Instead, I found myself descending to its north. The way down was very steep at first and I had to be careful with my foot placement. This little section was certainly the remotest of the entire day. Alone on this steep slope I felt very content indeed. I hadn't encountered anyone else since leaving the stone path and was glad I'd decided to add Y Gyrn. Lower down the gradient eased a bit but there was still plenty of moon grass and thick bracken to contend with before finally reaching farmers' fields near the road.

Soon I was back at the car. Driving home I was happy to have climbed my first Hewitts of the year. For anyone confined to the flatlands of the south, the Brecon Beacons are really the ideal place to escape to with minimal planning and logistical fuss. I'm really looking forward to climbing the other western Beacons later in the year.
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Riverman
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Posts: 263
Munros:60   Corbetts:5
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:77
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Location: Belgium

Re: ¡Fan Fawr falta fotos!

Postby ChrisW » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:04 pm

It's a real shame you forgot the camera Riverman, sounds like it would have been a great day for photos (barring the occasional hailstorm) ...I wouldn't feel too bad about it, I once forgot my boots...in winter...with 2 feet of standing snow and freezing temps, now that's forgetting :lol:

but these guys were so into their debate that my presence was not even acknowledged.

Very odd behaviour, no matter how deep in conversation you are it's just plain bloody ignorant to not even acknowledge another person arriving at a summit, particularly when you are alone and they are the only other folks around :roll:
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ChrisW
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Re: ¡Fan Fawr falta fotos!

Postby Riverman » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:39 pm

Cheers Chris. Never forgotten my boots before but back in '14 when recovering from knee injury I drove from Tyndrum to the Glencoe ski centre before realising I'd left my knee brace in Tyndrum. Drove all the way back to get it!
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Riverman
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 263
Munros:60   Corbetts:5
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:77
Wainwrights:4   Islands:4
Joined: Dec 31, 2013
Location: Belgium

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