2014 Started with a bang in The Beacons   14 comments

My mate GM has recently moved south to Worcester and I’d been keen to show off some more of the local mountains. He came down for a weekend just after New Year and the Saturday coincided with decent forecast so together with trusty sidekick, TJS we headed for a day on the high peaks of the Brecon Beacons. Me and TJS had done a similar route about a year ago in snow so a repeat was in order. You can read about that trip here.

There were clouds hugging the summits when we set off in a cold wind but plenty of blue sky filled gaps and our hopes were high. The morning views were grand.

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

We cut the corner off to hit the edge as direct as we could and although we avoided the bog the slope was lung-bustingly steep. Advantage was that we were quickly up high and to see the summits and sky clearing. It was turning into a cracker.

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

We made swift progress along the ridge towards Corn Du where we saw the gathering masses. both Corn Du and Pen y Fan were smothered with people but it was far too good a day to be worried about crowds and when you have a 360 blue sky panorama on a crystal sharp day, they seem to melt into the background.

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

We had a lovely sheltered lunch on the slopes of Pen y Fan, playing plane spotting with my phone app to pass the time

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

We avoided the crowds on the climb to Cribyn by hugging the northern edge. There is a fine grassy shelf about halfway up that just begs a wild camp (NB, bring water!). The views just got better and clearer as we crested Cribyn and strolled along the edge.

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Our plan had been to head down from there, but the weather was so stupendous that we just carried on up to Fan y Big.

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

As we sat for a snack on the summit we discussed the possible chance that the Northern Lights were supposed to be visible that night. Almost on a whim we decided to stay up high for as long as we could.

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

We wandered around on the summit and watched the sun turn the whole landscape a mixture of glorious golden reds and browns as it set. The Moon was big in the sky and I managed to get some pretty decent shots including some aircraft shots, not too shabby seeing as I didn’t have a tripod and these were hand-taken.

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

It was absolutely magnificent. An hour rushed by and I reeled of loads of photos of hills and sunset alike. No sign of the Northern Lights but to be honest they would have had to have been pretty special to beat the light show we were looking at now.

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

Eventually the cold and ensuing darkness forced us to head down – that and the fact there was a roast dinner waiting for us. The bright moonlight made walking in the dark an easy process although TJS wasn’t all that keen. I kept telling him it was good practice but he didn’t seem to get it 🙂

Brecon Beacons, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Fan y Big

We were back at the car in total darkness, tired but massively fulfilled after a terrific day. We watched for the Northern Lights all the way home and from the garden through the evening but never saw them. To be honest they weren’t missed!

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14 responses to “2014 Started with a bang in The Beacons

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  1. Wow! And again: wow!
    One in a million by the looks of it. Great photos. One of them even gives the impression that GM might have hair (I think it’s his glasses?).
    Who was preparing the roast dinner? (You’ve got me puzzled.)
    TBH currently has two friends around for a dinner party. (They have birthdays on three consecutive days and always celebrate together – bit late this year). One of them asked (as she tucked into the meal I had prepared, but which TBH was clearly taking credit for): “Did you feed Mark and the boys too? Have you been fed Mark?” “Oh yes!” TBH chimed. Harumph!

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    beatingthebounds
    • It was rather special, flipping cold though when the sun went down. The “hair” is most definitely an illusion. 🙂
      I’m afraid the meal incident is just the sort of cross that we husbands have to bear. Keep ’em happy!

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  2. Beautiful sunset pictures! Love the colors of the grass and hillsides in the late afternoon sun. It’s always extra special when you get a spectacular day for a hike!

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  3. Wow! Particularly love that 7th photo, and the one with the plane, and the sunset ones, and………..

    Must be good wild camping around there.

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    • The plane/moon photo I was well chuffed with considering I was at full 250x zoom hand-held. The colours of the grass were just amazing as the sun went down. It would be a good spot for a wild camp if you don’t mind a bit of trek to get some water

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  4. Once I’ve set the tent up, I like to go and filter about 4 litres of water (I’ve got 2x 2litre platypuses) and then I’m totally set up for the evening, breakfast and the start of the next day’s walk.

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  5. Wonderful photos with warm color. The photo number 1939 and 2019 were impressive. Great work.

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