Slide show of photos from our hikes
Slide show of photos from our hikes

Hiking and Wild Camping in the Brecon Beacons

A bit of an afterthought at the end of the summer of  2017, the hapless duo Summit or Nothing decided to head back to Wales on another august Bank Holiday, this time taking a hike up Pen Y Fan, the tallest peak in the Brecon Beacons.

 

This would be the start of a number of visits to Southern Wales where they would partake in plenty of hiking and wild camping in Brecon Beacons. It is after all the closest mountain range to the South West.

 

Please note that early videos from Summit or Nothing may contain strong language.

1. PEN Y FAN AND CRIBYN HIKE

 

The first time that Nathan and I headed up to the Brecon Beacons, as always, we aimed for the highest mountain there - Pen Y Fan. We hadn't done any hiking in the Brecon Beacons at this point and so Pen Y Fan was our obvious choice.

 

Not ones to learn from our mistakes, we made this journey on another August Bank holiday, exactly a year to the day that we queued with thousands of other hikers (and train passengers) to touch the trig of Snowdon.

 

Well, here we were, heading for another welsh mountain. We started our journey from the National Trust car park to the north of Pen Y Fan, and hiked up the ridge known as the Cefn Cwm Llwch (you can almost hear me attempting to pronounce that, right?)

 

Also known as the Pen Y Fan MacDonald's Arches with the Extra Flick Route track Mountain Trek (see video to understand what the hell that means), the route would see them summit Pen Y Fan, before heading over to Corn Du and back again, before then joining the Craig cwm sere over to Cribyn before then taking the ridge of Bryn Teg back down to the valley below.

 

Nice weather, great views and what lovely T-shirts the boys wore... merch! merch! merch! 

 

You can watch the video here! 

2. HIKING FAN Y BIG 

 

The day after Pen Y Fan the duo ummed and erred where to go on our second day in the Beacon's, and decided upon a hike back up the same mountain range but from the opposite direction, visiting neighboring Fan Y Big.

 

A long slog up from the carpark at Blaen y glyn, until we reach Craig y Fan Ddu, joining the Beacons Way and getting attacked by a hideous swarm of flying bugs along the way. 

The views (seen through the clouds of insects) are astounding as the lads gain height, and none as good as the view of Cwm Oergwm from the edge of Craig Cwmoergwm. After that, a visit to the diving board on Fan Y Big for photos before the lads worked their way back around to the Bwlch Ddwyallt before heading back down.

 

Watch the video here! 

 

Interesting fact - If you google Fan Y Big, Nathan's photo of Trev at the diving board is the chosen thumb nail.... He's kind of a big deal!

 

Typical Summit or Nothing moment - Nath and Trev discuss still possessing their child's feet.

3. BLACK MOUNTAIN HIKE AND FAILED WILD CAMP

 

Start as you mean to go on, and our intentions were good with this first adventure of 2018. We traveled to the Brecon Beacons for a wild camp and wintery mountain hike up on the Black Mountain. 

We had headed now to the Brecon Beacons for a winter camp, there was now forecast on top and we wanted to give that a go. Unfortunately as we arrived, it was clear that there was no snow at all, just a low lying grey cloud.

e started this hike on the wrong foot, choosing the most awkward way to get up top, we had to navigate across a river, a feat that Trev probably made look harder than it actually was.


We then headed up the laborious climb up the Brest y Fedw via the Beacons Way, and it wasn't long into our journey that the weather began in earnest and a thick clingy mist moved in.

As we walked up the ridge of the Bannau Sir Gaer, we could barely make out the Llyn y Fan Fach lake beneath us.

 

We made it up past Cwar-du-bach and Cwar-du-Mawr before the wind really began to pick up. When we finally arrived at Picws Du (what was supposed to be the second-highest point of the day - the first intended to be Fan Brycheiniog) we made a call.

Out of water, wind-battered and despondent, we decided to declare this our Meru moment and retreat... what a pair of nobs.

 

You can watch the video here! 

 

Typical Summit or Nothing moment - Yes.

4. FOUR WATERFALLS DAY HIKE

 

Joined by workmates Den, Sean and Frank, Trev has ventured back to the Brecon Beacons, where the main goal will be hiking the Pen Y Fan horseshoe with a wild camp somewhere up top. But, with time to kill before this evening's walk, the guys have settled on the beautiful Four Waterfalls walk to make up the afternoon.

 

Starting at the carpark at Gwaun Hepste, they follow the longest route, taking them through beautiful woodlands alongside the Afon Mellte River, and taking in waterfalls such as Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and the awesome Sgwd yr Elra - which, as a waterfall that you can walk behind, is a real spectacle and the highlight of this walk.

 

If you are looking for a great way to spend an afternoon in the Brecon Beacons without the exertion of a mountain climb, then the Four Waterfall walk is one of the best walks that the Brecon Beacons has to offer. 

 

You can watch the video here!

5. PEN Y FAN HORSESHOE HIKE AND WILD CAMP

 

Now the main event of the weekend, and Trev's first wild camp in the Brecon Beacons. 

 

The walk began at one of the car parks in the Taf Fechan Forest situated to the south of Pen Y Fan and its neighboring mountains.

 

Once again joined by his workmates Den, Frank and Sean, they head north away from the forest and up onto the open hillside of Tor Glass, passing the empty Neuadd Reservoir.

 

They climb steadily into clouds until they reach the edge of the vast glacial bowl between Fan Y Big and Cribyn. Following the Craig Cwm Cynwyn the hardest climb of the day commences to the top of Cribyn.

 

Then it's taking the Craig Cwm Sere, which dips down before rising up to the highest point in the Brecon Beacons, Pen Y Fan, for a photo at the summit plaque and to marvel in the panoramic views and breathtaking cloud inversion as the cloud momentarily lifts, a truly magical moment.

 

After ducking away from the wind, sheltering beneath Corn Du,  they take a walk back to the Craig Cwm Sere dip and find a spot to set up camp, Trev in his newest dark green Naturehike Cloud Up 2, Den in Trev's old Vango Banshee 200, Frank in his very own Naturehike Star River 2 and Sean in an old £20 tent purchased from Argos.

 

In the morning, the mist is well and truly in, and so its a dreary walk for the second half of the horseshoe via Craig Gwaun Taf, Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog and Graig Fan Ddu.

 

You can watch the video here!

 

Typical Summit or Nothing moment - Bedlam on the hill as everyone goes their own way to try and find a camp spot.

Comments

Please enter the code
* Required fields
There are no entries yet.