Cosmeston and Pen y Fan
It was 20 years in October since the first outing of Wenvoe walking group. To mark the anniversary 14 people joined Bert and Gwyn at Cosmeston on a sunny afternoon. We explored its outer circuit and then headed for Penarth, returning via the cliff tops and housing back to Cosmeston. John and Jacky (also founding members of the group) were with us and Jacky had made a delicious celebration cake which we all shared. They also produced their photo album showing the group over the years – some people looked so young! At the end we visited the much improved café on the site and relaxed. Distance covered 2½/5 miles.
Pen y Fan
To get to the start of this walk we drove up the A470 past the Storey Arms and Brecon and through some pretty woodland to a National Trust car park to the north of Pen y Fan.
We donned our boots and immediately after starting we were heading uphill. Soon the climb was steep and a keen wind was blowing, the temperature dropping as we rose. We passed a col at Allt Du where the wind was particularly strong and walked along the ridge of Cefn Cwm Llwch. Now we entered into the clouds which helped us forget that the ground was falling steeply away on both sides but also made it difficult to see each other at times. Even up here there were sheep and a couple of people behind us who had let their dog off the lead and had some difficulty in getting it back when it became interested in the sheep. We continued upwards at a pace we could maintain and were pleasantly surprised to find we had arrived at the summit (886 metres) as it suddenly appeared in the clouds. It was like Picadilly circus, there were so many people – lots of nationalities and school children amongst them having arrived by different routes. We stopped to take our summit photo and were awed to see a spectacular view as the cloud lifted slightly and we could see the surrounding ridges appear and disappear again as the clouds moved in waves. It was difficult to draw away and continue our walk.
Now we had a choice of whether to return via Corn Ddu or Cribyn, we opted for the latter as a few of us hadn’t been there. This meant quite a steep descent along Craig Cwm Sere in a south easterly direction along a paved path which continued up the steep climb to Cribyn (795metres). The cloud had cleared completely from Pen y Fan and we looked back at the route we had walked – amazing views and a real sense of achievement. It was 13.30hrs so we descended slightly to take some shelter from the perpetual wind and eat our lunch. On each of the summits we were surprised to see a few people wearing shorts and even one person in T-shirt and shorts as he was running.
Time to descend, there is a steep uneven descent from the top of Cribyn on its north side and looking back it looked like a pyramid.
We had very little company now as we continued our steady path downwards along Bryn Teg for some time. Nant Sere was in the valley between us and the ridge we had climbed in the morning. At last our descent was more gradual and we were crossing pasture land at Cwm Cywyn and our first stile of the day onto a lane. From here we kept to lanes and roads to walk around the base of the ridge that had taken us up to Pen Y Fan.
We were very happy to reach the cars and head home via the Bull in Libanus where we enjoyed some very welcome refreshment.
This was an excellent route, we had walked 7miles and climbed 2700ft – twice what we would normally climb -giving us a feeling of achievement and satisfaction even though we were tired; not bad for a group of 7 people whose total age was over 450 years! (Map OL12)