Saturday, 9 June 2012

Brecon Four Peaks and our 10,000th Geocache

Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Fan y Big

Caches - 2 Virtuals, 5 Traditionals, 1 Earthcache, 1 Multi
Length of Walk - 10 miles
Duration - 7 hours

We have been planning a trip to Pen y Fan for ages, the first time we attempted to visit was when there was an event being held here in November 2010 but the snow was so bad we could barely get the car out of our road, we made another attempt in July 2011 after the Welsh Mega event, we'd booked accommodation nearby and on the following morning we woke to heavy rain and low cloud so decided against the walk as we were really keen to have good views on a clear day.  Since then we've pencilled it in the diary for other days but each time plans have been scuppered by work commitments, illness or bad weather.  A couple of weekends ago the weather was great for the Midlands but 50mph winds for the Brecon Beacons area. No other commitments this weekend so all week we kept our eye on the mountain forecast and the only place in the country to have sun all day today was South Wales!!  So plans were made and today was the day.

Neuadd Reservoir

Parked in the car park near to Neuadd Reservoir and walked the ¾ mile up the road to the reservoir, then it was quite a slog up to the Twyn Mwyalchod trig point.  At this point I was wondering what we'd let ourselves in for as it was really tiring on the legs, the ground was quite boggy and nearer the top the stones were quite slippery underfoot and was more like walking up a stream.  Super-fit Beth managed to race to the top and sat and waited shouting words of encouragement like 'Hurry Up' and 'You're taking your time!'

Twyn Mwyalchod

Then once at the trig point the strong winds buffeted us and we were quite exposed all along Graig Fan Ddu until we reached the first peak - Corn Du.  Fabulous views from here and we could easily pick out the other peaks.

Path from Corn Du to Pen y Fan

This part of the walk was quite busy with other walkers and a fair amount of stealth was required for the physical caches.   The views from Pen y Fan did not disappoint and it was well worth waiting for a clear day.

Pen y Fan Summit

Then down the track and on towards Cribyn - once again quite hard going underfoot as the cobbles were quite hard to walk on.  When we got to the top we realised the cache was 400 feet North and yes at the bottom of the mountain   So Mark went off by himself to find that one whilst Beth and I waited at the top resting our tired legs. - so Mark ended up doing the climb up Cribyn twice!!

View of Cribyn from Pen y Fan

Then on to Fan y Big - It was possible to bypass this last peak and the path back towards the car looked really inviting but as we'd been wanting to visit the famous 'Diving Board' for years we ignored Beth's protests and pressed on up the fourth peak and this really was a slog for tired legs but a great feeling to reach the top.  We all posed for photos on the diving board, answered the questions for the multi and went off to find the cache which was to be our 10,000th find.

'The Diving Board' - Fan y Big

The picture below shows the elevation profile and the total ascent equalled that of Snowdon.

Elevation Profile - Total Ascent 3165 ft
A really great walk, tough going in places but well worth it and one of the best days out caching we've had.  The views were just stunning, the sun shone all day and averaging a mile between caches it was just perfect.

Brecon Four Peaks