Walk Wednesday: The Brecon Beacons Three Main Peaks

This week’s Walk Wednesday comes from: Vernon Authers, a forty something father, husband, climber, mountaineer, photographer, occasional artist, and a lover of wine and cheese.

For Vernon as a South Walian living in the midlands going to the Brecon Beacons isn’t just going to the nearest mountain range, but going home, and to one of the most beautiful places in Britain. With such varied terrain and weather no one day is the same, making every visit a unique experience.

“As the forecast looked like a no go for climbing I fell back on my usual plan B, a day’s walking. Yet again the Brecons were the first choice as my nearest and dearest mountains.
I was picked up in the morning by my old friends Jase and Basil the dog. Catching up on the several years we’ve not seen each other we missed the turning we needed for Y Fenni and was soon heading for Caerdyff. Half an hour later and a slight detour we pulled up in the car park near Neuadd reservoir to find it virtually empty, it’s got to of been the quietest day either of us have seen this part of the Brecon Beacons.
We decided to summit the three main peaks starting with Corn Du, and then depending on how the day panned out we’d add a fourth peak, Fan y Big.
Having opted for going clockwise we got the lung bursting scramble out of the way early on so we could take our time and enjoy the day at leisure. It didn’t take long and we were on the Craig Gwaun Taf ridge and again noticing how quiet it was and the distinct lack of human traffic heading up to Pen y Fan from Storey Arms.
Approaching the summit of Corn Du it looked like we could be in for a spot of rain, but by the time we got to Pen y Fan there was no sign of it, so we to the opportunity to enjoy the view, have a cup of tea and enjoy some home made flapjack in dry comfort.
Refreshed and ready to go we descended Pen y Fan, crossed Bwlch Ar y Fan and headed up Cribyn. Half way up Cribyn I stopped for a breather and to have a look at the view, and how glad I am that I did. We were treated to the sight of two red kites. I knew there were kites in the area but it was the first time I’d seen any while walking in the area.
Looking back at Pen y Fan & the kites.
From Cribyn we headed to Fan y Big summit and the photo opportunity on the “diving board”.
Jase & Basil on the diving board.
A quick stroll to Craig Cwareli for another cup of tea and for me to patch me feet up. As my trail shoes are in tatters I’d left them at home and wore my Scarpa SL’s instead. I’ve not had any problems with these boots before but I’d made the mistake of wearing lighter socks due to the mild weather. Bad decision. My heel had been lifting on the ascents which had caused it to blister. Not having any Compeed with me I improvised with a piece of toilet paper and some duct tape. Tea drunk, feet fixed, we made our way towards Tor Glass and back to the car. Sixteen kilometres, five hours, four summits, two tea breaks, two red kites, not one drop of rain and good company, what better way to spend a day when the weathermen get it wrong and you decide not to go climbing.
View from Craig Cwreli.
Another fantastic day finished in style by my wonderful wife who had a roast dinner and a bottle  of red wine ready and waiting for when I got in. Thanks to Jase, Basil, Ali and the Brecon Beacons for a top quality day.”
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