Saturday, 22 February 2014

Garregs Lwyd & Las

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 22 February 2012
Walkers - +Steve Smith,
Accommodation - Llwynstyffilin Farm
Start Point - Car park near quarry on A4069 (SN 73248 18740)
Start Time - 10:59
Finish Point - Car park near quarry on A4069 (SN 73248 18740)
Finish Time - 15:49
Duration - 4hrs 50mins
Average pace - 1.97mph
Distance Walked - 9.53miles
Height Ascended - 561.56metres

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (190W - 444E&W)
Garreg Lwyd [Moel Gornach] (32W - 285E &W)
Garreg Las [Twyn Swnd] (33W - 286E &W)
Hewitts (138W - 317E)
Garreg Lwyd [Moel Gornach] (22W - 201E &W)
Garreg Las [Twyn Swnd] (23W - 202E &W)
Marilyns (158W - 1550E,W&S)
Deweys (241W - 427EW&S)
Foel Fraith (9W - 54E &W)
Cefn y Cylchau (10W - 55E &W)
Carn Pen-rhiw-ddu (11W - 56E &W)
HuMPs (364W - 2977EW&S)
W: Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
19th Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, Fans Frynych, Llia & Fawr
20th HuMPing and TuMPing around Llandovery
21st Fan Hir to Waun Lefrith
22nd Garregs Lwyd & Las
24th Cefn yr Ystrad
25th Bache Hill, Black Mixen & Great Rhos

Other walks in Brecon Beacons
Click on map to access these routes and accommodation available


Walk Summary
Today will be the 4th consecutive days walking so as per plan there is an option to turn the circular walk in to a figure of 8 walk and bag the extra Dewey, Carn Pen-rhiw-ddu if I feel up to it after completing the main objective of the walk. Partly because of tiredness and partly because it was raining earlier, start time for the days walk was as late as it has been all week.
Difficult to believe but I was finding it very hard to motivate myself to get out walking in the hills, but with tomorrows forecast being a washout with severe gales I had to get the right head on to avoid the unthinkable - 2 consecutive rest days.
As if by magic or is it fantastic planning? I find myself on the first summit of Garreg Lwyd less than 30 minutes after setting off from the quarry car park. Great light for photos and an obvious path off to the east towards the next summit of Foel Fraith worked wonders making me forget any idea of being tired or not wanting to be out in the hills. As if?
However what was becoming a recurring theme this trip the path petered out. Short heather underfoot and clear conditions ahead ensured the next peak was reached without incident, other than possibly going to the wrong summit. GPS and slightly larger cairn to the east confirmed I was at the right place.
Continuing to follow the Beacons Way east resulted in the same scenario as had been the case a number of times this week. The path again disappeared but with clear conditions it was easy to see the way ahead descending eastwards to the bwlch at the head of Nant y Llyn. Various paths where picked up on the ascent but none persisted long enough to confirm the point when you had to turn North to the next top of Garreg Las.
There is quite a boulder field where you need to turn hence no obvious path or Beacons Way. I continued to the high point and decided to just turn north when I started to descend too far on the other side.
There then followed a 1½  miles trudge taking care to stay high and on the easier ground. You can see the target cairn fairly early on, but this in a way wonder makes it seem further and made me wonder why you are here on a Saturday afternoon
The trudge is rewarded by a massive cairn with a large hollow to provide a sheltered well earned lunch venue. After a short lunch before I had a chance to chill down I left the summit on a westerly bearing, losing some height and picking up the path back towards where I had come from. This descent is just a concession for me to have a circular walk and avoid back tracking over ground already covered. It did also have the benefit of getting me out of the wind. The path seemed to persist better than the more well used Beacons Way paths and it was just a matter of turning right up Cefn y Cylchau where the path meets the bridleway. The turning point is obvious enough but in poorer conditions it is worth looking out for some ancient quarry workings. In dryer conditions it might be worth cutting this corner off but after all the recent rain,  for me it was never an option.
Turn north west on the bridleway but do not stay on it too long. Aim to follow the track off to the left up hill to Cefn y Cylchau along the top of Craig y' Sawrwg more or less to the very top leaving this path near the top more or less due east of the summit cairn.
From here in clear conditions it is fairly straight forward walking SW in line of sight of left end of quarry. Two things to look out for; waterlogged ground  before crossing Afon Clydach and also a suitable crossing point for Afon Clydach well above the waterfalls. Once over the river pick up one of the many paths back to the quarry from where it is a straight forward return to the car park.
Although tired I decided I was too close to Carn Pen-rhiw-ddu not to pick it off. However I scrapped the idea of a figure of eight walk centred at the fan and continued with a circular walk towards the main cairn you can see from the quarry staying well away from the van. I think if I had gone near the van, even to just get rid of my backpack I would have called it a day.
After picking my way through the quarry on the opposite side of the road to the van I gained height and was drawn towards the large cairn. This is not the summit, but I figured there would be a path to the left along the top to the true summit area. There was but nothing too obvious.
So after photos of the various candidates for the summit,it was a simple case of losing height heading east and picking out the best route around the quarry and back to the van.
Pleased with myself I had visited all planned peaks including the extra Carn Pen-rhiw-ddu and also pleased with myself that I had walked 4 consecutive days and could look forward to a day off tomorrow that coincided with a day when the weather was not really suitable for walking.

Walk Description
Walk start point.
Car park near quarry on A4069 at Beacons Way crossing point
 1.) E
More Photographs
Click on photograph to view slide-show