Winter at last: Pen y Fan in snow

Pen y Fan and Corn Du in snow

Pen y Fan and Corn Du in snow

Before winter finally broke to London it was having a great time in the Brecon Beacons. Last Saturday was just the perfect day for a winter walk in the hills.

The weather couldn’t have been better. It was a crisp, frosty morning. The sky was blue and the sun gradually emerged from behind the Brecon Beacons ridge as we walked up towards Pen y Fan. The view from the summit was beautiful. Left and right the ridge rolled over peaks and saddles covered in white snow glittering in the morning sun.

Pen y Fan in snow on approach from Cwmgwdi

Approaching Pen y Fan from Cwmgwdi

At 886m Pen y Fan is the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons. We approached it on one of the less trodden paths starting at a parking place just north of Cwmgwdi. The approach looked quite dramatic, even Alpine, but it was easy with only a short scramble over mildly icy rocky path at the very top. After 2 hours we were up on the summit having met only two other walkers.

As we made good progress and seeing the great weather (though seeing without sun glasses in the snow and sun was becoming a challenge) we decided to change our route. Instead of turning right to Corn Du (873m) and returning along the obelisk, we turned left towards Cribyn (795m).

The walking was easy and fun in the snow and made me realise that I actually really miss proper continental winters back in Czech. We were on Cribyn in no time and carried on along the ridge to Fan y Big (719m). From there we turned on to the side ridge leading from Fan y Big to the valley and started going back to the car.

Cribin, Pen y Fan and Corn Du from Fan y Big

Looking over the Brecon Beacons from Fan y Big

By now the sky was overcast with a thin cloud and the air was distinctly colder. But as we descended it gradually warmed up and the snow turned into mud. Nice. After much mud treading and an improvised river crossing on our shortcut back to the parking place, we drove off for a pint in the local back at our ‘base camp’ in Llangorse. What a great day it was!

Trip logistics

Start – end: Cwmgwdi
Duration: 6hrs
Ascent/ descent: 600m/ 600m
Getting there from London: 3hrs drive mostly on the M4
Accommodation: ‘The Loft’ in Llangorse (20 mins drive to Cwmgwdi)

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One comment

  1. Martin Chaplin · · Reply

    Hi Marketa, I was certain that if the weather was right you would enjoy Pen-y-Fan and, judjing by the photo’s, what a great day it turned out to be for you all.

    Cheers,

    Martin

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