Archive for the ‘Neuadd reservoir’ Tag

Winter At Last!   6 comments

Finally, clear blue skies, sunshine and frost! Well back in late January anyway.

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A chance to head to the mountains for a proper day of winter walking in the Brecon Beacons. I thought I’d set off early enough for a spot in the car park in the Neuadd Valley but apparently not. I had to park on the lower car park and rather than walk along the road I followed what I hoped was a nice forest track through the woods. The views were great but the track was, like every track and path this winter, a slick mess of mud, bog and water. Again I was glad of waterproof socks – they really have been essential this winter.

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Back on the steep climb to the edge of Graig Fan Ddu, water was replaced by ice and the rocky steps were a little slippery but fast progress was made despite avoiding a guy who thought it would be a good idea to cycle down an icy, rocky staircase with lots of people on it.

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The views opened out and all was glorious. With the steep section done its a wonderful high level stroll on the edges towards the high summits.

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I love the section where it “narrows” (these things are relative in South Wales) on the ridge of Craig Gwaun Taf.

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Approaching Corn Du and Pen y Fan the crowds from the Storey Arms started to mass. Something you have to get used to up here on a sunny day.

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There was a light dusting of snow on Corn Du lending the mountains more of a wintery feel and setting off the views to even better effect.

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Looking back the way I’d come.

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On Pen y Fan I began to realise why the car park was full. There was yet another challenge walk of some kind in progress. I have to say I really don’t get the recent obsession with these things. To me, the mountains are there to be savoured and enjoyed, an escape from the pressures of life and work.

It seems that these walks simply replace one kind of stress with another. Looking at all these people climbing to the summit, almost every one looked unhappy and simply trudging on, not stopping on the summit to enjoy the panorama on a wonderful day. You hear increasing stories of problems both on the walk and around the start/end points. People not understanding the rigours and discipline required to undertake these walks and how to thrive and survive. And they fill up my car park spot! 🙂

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I also noted the route they were taking wasn’t going over Cribyn. Another failing of such walks is they often miss the best bits. Cribyn is one of the highlights of the Brecon Beacons and a far better summit than Pen y Fan. Its just not the highest point you see. Their loss and my gain as there was only a handful of people on the summit which I chose for a long stop and a brew.

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It was such a fine day that it was an easy decision to climb Fan y Big as well. Another high quality summit that sees a a fraction of the people that Pen y Fan does.

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The wander along its southern ridge in winter is a delight as the low angle picks out the features and small patches of water.

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The classic view along the northern escarpment of the Beacons.

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The continuation of that escarpment is one of the best sections but I was running short on time so I cut the corner off back towards the edge of Craig y Fan Ddu.

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Its a soggy section but there is small rocky outcrop in the middle with super views to the South. Time for another sit down and take in the late afternoon ambience.

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Edges with deep valleys beneath is the order of the day in the Beacons and swapping north for south gives another perspective. This edge and valley of Caerfanell is one of my favourites as well.

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This section of path perched above a steep drop is sensational and on this late evening a simple joy.

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Its a steep drop down to the road and I thought I’d save myself a bit of that by cutting the corner off across to the road.

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Its a horrid, lumpy and soggy path so I have no idea why I did it again. It was worse than before, even wetter and with the sun so low that my head was staring straight into it while my feet were in dark shadow. I lurched and cursed my way back to the road. Thank goodness it saved me 3-4 minutes of walking!

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A magnificent day and so good to finally see and feel something of a winter vibe.

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Brecon Beacons Farewell   6 comments

The last weekend at home before TJS went back to University and chance for a last walk together for a while. He’d been keen to try the Snowdon Horseshoe but when I told him the time we’d have to get up, his keen-ness diminished. Given the choice he opted for a Brecon Beacons classic.

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The route up from the car park above the Talybont Reservoir, along the edges above the Caerfanell valley, round to Fan y Big and Cribyn and back down the Roman Road.

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A route we’ve done many times and the long walk perched along the edges above deep valleys is perfect for a blustery late summer day

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We got caught up amongst a large group other walkers who set off while we were halfway through their party who then proceeded to walk along without stepping aside and letting us past. Is it just me that thinks that’s a breach of hiker etiquette.

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Still, can’t let it spoil a great day.

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Turning westwards the views change to vistas across most of mid-Wales as far as Pumlumon and Cadair Idris.

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And of course the summit of South Wales, Pen y Fan.

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We stopped for lunch in sheltered spot on the slopes of Fan y Big before the steep climb and perfect edge along to the summit of Cribyn, one of the Beacons finest peaks.

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Returning to the col, its the long walk along the old road past the Neuadd Reservoirs although the larger one has been dry for many years now, such that it’s pretty much back to how it must have looked before its creation.

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As we passed the lower lake, the path was closed and lots of building and engineering work in evidence. Perhaps there is something wrong with the dams and they are repairing them. Remains to be seen whether that’s true and whether it’s better to see the valley in its natural state or with the dams and reservoirs restored. Having spent many of younger years exploring the Elan valley, I have a fondness for these dams and the landscape they create. There is something elegant about these Victorian constructions.

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Back along the Taff trail and along the road to finish the day. Next weekend the prodigal son returned to University and his own life as we faced the dwindling summer and a long winter that seems exceptionally long after two back to back weekends of dreary grey skies and rain.

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“They’re Friends from Work”   12 comments

The fact that I like to hike in the hills seems a source of constant humour for my work colleagues with me the butt of the jokes. I was surprised to find that secretly some of them actually hankered for a hike in the hills so I said I’d lead them out on one my favourite south Wales hikes in the Brecon Beacons.

A little gang of four assembled at the cafe in Talybont on Usk for a fry up before heading for the mountains. (The title of the blog is in reference to one of my favourite lines from the Marvel movies – very topical at this time)

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A round of the Neuadd Reservoirs taking in the highest summits of the Beacons range. We were all rather caught out by just how cold it was.

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Here is the first of our little band posing for a photo. She decided to tone down the colours for this hike!

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Its a short and very steep climb up on to the edges that had is puffing hard. Luckily the sweat was soon removed by the ferocious and icy wind that was blasting at us across the valley.

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The photos don’t really do justice to just how cold and windy it was, enough to blow one our team clean off her feet a few times.

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Whilst the sun disappeared for the rest of the day, the cloud base was high and it stayed dry, which is a much as you can ask for on day planned a long way in advance.

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I had inform my new comrades that a key objective of any hike is make regular and lengthy stops to brew up and eat lots of food. They seemed quite keen on the idea despite the chilly wind, especially when I produced home-made cake that TBF had lovingly prepared.

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We reached the top of Pen y Fan – together with a few dozen other people and posed for a team photo for me on south Wales highest peak.

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Despite blisters and foot problems (this is quite a tough walk by south Wales standards) they agreed to continue the summit bagging and we took in Cribyn as well.

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And another couple of happy looking group shots.

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Including one with yours truly in it, demonstrating an odd pose and leg angle that says very clearly why I try and avoid being photographed in the first place.

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After another brew and scoff stop I convinced them that we could bag one more summit. The fact that my work colleagues share a distinctly smutty sense of humour and that the summit was called Fan y Big had nothing to do with it.

One last summit photo on the rock outcrop on the summit. They look happy that I’ve dragged them out on a bitterly cold day to wander about in the hills when they could have been home watching TV and doing domestic chores.

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And then it was time to head down across grassy slopes and bog and return to the real world.

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I normally walk either on my own or with the family down here so walks can be a little repetitive. I really enjoyed this day immensely for a variety of reasons. It was great to share my passion for both hiking (or should I say mountaineering) and for the Brecon Beacons with new companions. It was equally good to see them really enjoying the day as much as I was (well they said they did anyway) and I have to admit I enjoyed showing off a bit. They have all been out in the mountains before but never as regular thing and seemed to relish the challenge and chance to enjoy the outdoors. This is what keeps me sane through the drudgery of modern life and I really hope they went home with the same feeling of spirits lifted. We certainly laughed a lot on this hike as we always do at work. We are close knit bunch and my working life would likely be intolerable if they weren’t around to make me smile and keep me grounded.

I really hope we can do this more often and hopefully persuade some of my other work friends to join us. Who can’t love a hike!

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The Beast from the East meets the Brecon Beacons   16 comments

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Nicking a blog title from the cold weather media frenzy is cheap and lazy I know but its 9pm and I can’t be bothered with trying to come up with anything original.

Another classic route. The round of the Brecon Beacons Four Peaks (Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn, Fan y Big) from the south, a circuit of the Neuadd Valley and its reservoirs. It was cold when we set off but we had no idea how cold it was going to get

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The sky was a sensational deep blue and the few clouds hugging the eastern slopes were soon burnt off. The approach road was glacial

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The walk across the dam of the lower reservoir is always a pleasure

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The path up to the western edges is steep and I found it surprisingly hard work after my bout of flu. When we hit the ridge we felt the full blast of the beast

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The wind was ferocious and staggeringly cold. Its rare on a dry day, even in winter, that I don full fleeces and jacket with the hood up but it was essential. Even then my face was burning with cold

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Luckily the views were spectacular and at least the wind was kind of behind us

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We’d made an early start and I was anxious where we would stop for lunch. I figured we could get out of the wind behind Corn Du as I thought the lower cols would be windier, funnelling the wind

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I was wrong. Even directly behind the summit the wind was just blowing, over and around the summit. We hid behind a couple of rock outcrops, stuffed our faces quickly and moved on

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The walk between Corn Du and Pen y Fan was straight into the wind. The cold was almost unbearable, one of the coldest 10 minutes I can remember in the mountains. I was starting to think that carrying on with this for the next few hours wasn’t all that sensible but as we reached the summit of Pen y Fan the wind abated quite significantly. For the rest of the day the wind only blew in gusts and at times it was relatively pleasant, almost warm. There was of course the usual crowd of seriously under-equipped people on the summit. Some people just have no idea how much difference there is between a sunny sheltered car park and a 3,000 foot summit exposed to an easterly winter wind. Trainers, jeans, exposed ankles, people carrying babies, they were all there. I walked away shaking my head

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90% of people climb Pen y Fan from the Storey Arms. Head off the summit in the other direction and calm and quiet is restored. The view back to Pen y Fan and over to Cribyn’s pointed summit and dark shadowed northern face were majestic

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I took the path along the edge of the cliffs to the summit of Cribyn. This flat grassy spot halfway up has been earmarked for a wild camp some day – just on a less windy and cold day

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A brief rest on the summit and the off along the edge towards the col ahead of Fan y Big

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Another of my favourite sections of the Beacons edges

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The col rather than being wild and windy as I thought was calm and benign so we stopped for a cuppa and second lunch. I was feeling pretty tired but I was convinced that Fan y Big needed an ascent and the views from its summit are exceedingly fine so the convincing wasn’t that hard

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In addition, the walk back from its summit above the reservoirs is far more pleasant than the long drag down the bumpy path to the car park

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The view back to the Four Peaks

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Back to the car to warm up (heated seats were very welcome) and back for a very one-sided cup final to finish off a damned fine day. The beast was tamed for now.

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I’m off to Scotland at the weekend to take it on again – if I can get there!

Back to Winter in Brecon Beacons   4 comments

I’m done now with being smug about our holiday in the sun over Xmas. What was needed was some proper winter weather, snow, clear blue skies and all that. Not done too bad since the wet and windy first half of the winter.

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This is a walk me and TJS have done many times. Whenever there is snow we always to head to the high Brecon Beacons to take full advantage. The amount of snow caught me out on the drive with the roads completely covered to the outskirts of Merthyr and a very slippery drive up to the car park

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The round of the main high summits of Pen y Fan, Corn du and Cribyn from the south is a fantastic outing if you can look past the crowds on Pen y Fan. It was a glorious morning, cold, clear and crisp.

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As soon as we started the climb the snow became quite surprisingly deep. Very hard work on the steep slopes up to the ridge

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Even harder work along the ridge trying to find the spots where the snow was hard or less deep. Some of the drifts in the peat hags were a few feet deep.

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The forecast had been good for the day but a heavy bank of cloud was moving in fast and we had a few nice sunlight effects before it disappeared for the day

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As we approached the summit of Corn Du the crowds became almost unreal. Most of South Wales seemed to be walking up Pan y Fan from the Storey Arms. Never understood the popularity of this route even allowing for the fact that its on a main road. There are several fine ridges onto the summit and yet this is a dreary boggy trudge.

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There was the usual mix of seasoned walkers and seriously ill-equipped people in wellies, trainers and fashion boots. It takes a real effort of will to tell myself that everyone should be encouraged to explore the mountains and crowds like this are a price probably worth paying if people are out in the mountains rather than festering inside watching TV (something I never do obviously). Just not all at the same time! 🙂

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Once we were on Pen y Fan it became clear there was some kind of challenge walk in progress. Again there were a mix of serious looking walkers and fell runners and lots of people who looked like they wished they had stayed home and festered in front of the TV

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The north face of Pen y Fan also seemed to be in condition for winter climbs and there were several parties in the steep gullies and on alpine style ridges between

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Many people seemed to be out on the slopes to go sledging. Lots of people were dragging sledges around and some people had snowboards, skis and even a converted skateboard (he spent a lot of time on his ar5e in the snow). I later learned that all these people had caused chaos on the main road by parking on the verges. The police ticketed hundreds of people and it was a big local talking point for a few weeks (until more interesting stories about a cat stuck in a tree and the price of silage pride of place)

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Even though the weather had turned very grey we took in Fan y Big as well. This avoids a long trudge back down the track and extended the snowy walking experience

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Quite a contrast with the warm sun and clear skies of Tenerife but to be honest, you can’t beat a decent walk in the snow with a couple of thousand people 🙂

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!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland – Brecon Beacons Neuadd Reservoirs Horseshoe   16 comments

Couple of weekends back me and D decided on an early start to make the most of what promised to be a cold clear frosty day with a day in the high peaks of the Brecon Beacons.

Neuadd Reservoirs, Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn

Pen-y-Fan & Cribyn across the Neuadd Reservoirs,

Over the past couple of years I’ve approached along the splendid northern ridges that radiate out from Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn. For a change and to keep as much in the sunshine as possible we headed round to the southern side for the horseshoe around the Neuadd reservoirs. I’ve not been up this route since the 90’s so a good time revisit the route.

8.5 Miles, 2,500 feet of ascent

8.5 Miles, 2,500 feet of ascent

We were parked up and underway by 9am and the weather was stunning. Crisp, clear and cold and not a cloud in the sky, one of those days that you can reach out and “ping” like cut glass crystal. The road was covered in black ice and unfeasibly slippery so care was taken on the approach to the dam at the small lower reservoir.

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Slippery roads

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Looking south

The highest tops were white with snow so D was looking forward to a proper winter day. From the dam it’s a very steep 800 foot climb onto the edge of Graig Fan Ddu. This section is normally as wet as fishs’ wet bits but today it was mostly frozen solid making for an easier albeit very slippery climb. We were sheltered from the wind so it felt reasonably warm on the climb. As we hit the edge we also hit the wind and it was suddenly bitterly cold. D reached for his gloves to find TBF had kindly given him two left gloves instead of a matching pair.

Graig Fan Ddu., Cribyn

Graig Fan Ddu

The path was covered in snow that had melted and frozen solid making for very awkward walking – oh for a pair of micro-spikes – might be a bit late to write to Santa. It could have been tiresome but the sky was so clear, the views so good and the cold air so invigorating that it was a pleasure.

Graig Fan Ddu

Graig Fan Ddu

Graig Fan Ddu

D enjoys the winter conditions

Like much of the southern Beacons the edge was sharp and the valley deep giving an amazing sense of space and open-ness. Expansive is my word of the moment for this and the Brecon Beacons does it better than anywhere I know.

Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn, Corn Du

Pen-y-Fan, Corn Du & Cribyn

Pen-y-Fan, Corn Du, Rhiw Yr Ysgyfannog, Craig Gwaun Taf

Rhiw Yr Ysgyfannog, Craig Gwaun Taf, Pen-y-Fan & Corn Du,

After a while the edge suddenly narrows to a ridge of Rhiw Yr Ysgyfannog and Craig Gwaun Taf. Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan suddenly loomed much closer and after a quiet morning we started to get a sense of the massed hordes who climb these two peaks from the Storey Arms.

Rhiw Yr Ysgyfannog and Craig Gwaun Taf

D on Rhiw Yr Ysgyfannog and Craig Gwaun Taf

Rhiw Yr Ysgyfannog, Craig Gwaun Taf

D on the edge

Quite why they choose this route is beyond me, it’s drab, dull and tedious and bettered by at least half a dozen superior ways to the top. I have a fear that it’s just convenience hiking where reaching the summit as quickly and directly as possible takes precedence over the judicious choice of a route with varied and sustained interest.

Pen-y-Fan, Corn Du

Corn Du & Pen-y-Fan

As we approached Corn Du a cap of cloud started to form on the highest summits, taking away some of the sun but creating some dramatic light for ample compensation.

Craig Gwaun Taf

Craig Gwaun Taf from Corn Du

As is my way I managed to find a very precarious perch under the cliffs of Corn Du to watch the clouds swirl under the still deep blue sky and have some lunch. I’ve probably given D the idea that all rest stops need to be somewhere where a casual approach could result in lost sandwiches and water bottles. It was I have to say though, a fine and sheltered spot to watch the show.

Corn Du

D lunches on Corn Du

We did try to climb up Corn Du after lunch but it was cold, windy, in the cloud and unpleasantly icy so decided it wasn’t worth it. There is a perfectly good path traversing the southern face that was sheltered and sunny. As Pen-y-Fan was still deep in cloud and likely to be crowded we just carried across its southern flank saving ourselves a couple of hundred feet of slippery descent. We plunged on down towards the col between Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn using deep drifted runs of snow rather than the icy path. In the winter light Cribyn looked magnificent, much higher than it’s 2,500 feet and we avoided the crowds ascending by following the extreme edge of the cliffs.

Cwm Nant Sere

Cwm Nant Sere

Cribyn

Cribyn

Cribyn summit is a wonderful airy place but we timed it badly and there were at least 30 people on the top, a couple of University walking groups it looked like. They all stopped for lunch on the top so we left them to it and carried on along the edge of Craig Cwm Cynwyn, a magnificent high level stroll above the valley of Cwm Cynwyn, one of my favourite valleys with its broad perfectly formed glacial “U”.

Cribyn

D on Cribyn Summit

Cwm Cynwyn

Cwm Cynwyn

Craig Cwm Cynwyn

D on Craig Cwm Cynwyn

Craig Cwm Cynwyn

Craig Cwm Cynwyn

We dropped down to the next col. I tried to convince D to climb the next peak, Fan-y-Big and then go off piste across the grass back to the car. This was partly as it’s a fine peak with a higher level finish and partly because it’s the second funniest mountain name I know (the winners are the Lochnagar peaks of Big and Little Sh1t Cairn).

Fan-y-Big

Fan-y-Big

However this is quite a long walk over tough icy terrain and he was looking a little jaded so declined this most tempting of offers. Instead we took the easy and long amble down the old roman road back to the car. The clear winter light and towering fast-moving clouds made for some awesome views as we made our way down.

Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn

Billowing clouds over Pen-y-Fan & Cribyn

Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn

Contrasts

D was quiet most of this stretch but happily told me he was just “thinking”. I was proud that like me he uses a day’s walking to clear his mind and put everyday problems into perspective. I did warn him that it’s a short step from there to talking to yourself out loud which I find myself doing quite often on the hills these days. I’ve sometimes used the phrase “talking with mountains”, a little cheesy but I think it has a truth to it. A long hard day on the hills is more relaxing and detoxing than anything I can imagine. The mountains are my private therapist, listening to my prattling and helping me make sense of life. And all that by just listening.

Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn

Weary but fulfilled

And so we ended the day, invigorated and tired in equal measure. Blue sky and the crunch of snow underfoot is a sensation I never tire of. Enjoy the slide show, 2 tunes for the price of 1 today

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