CW Day 6 : Torpantau to Llyn y Fan Fawr

Paul picked me up from Bwlch and 7.30 and ready go for the main part of the walk. Back up to Torpantau and to start the day with the walk over the Beacons.

It was half way up the steep start that I'd realised that I'd left the map case somewhere with the maps for the next 2 days and it also had the compass in it. Phone call to Paul and he found it on the wall outside my house. Arranged to then meet up at Storey Arms in 3 hours or so, as I wouldn't need the map for the first bit. Weather was meant to be clear but noticed the clouds were filling in.

Cambrian Way Day 6
Looking west across the Beacons from Craig Cwareli

I went round Fan y Big but noticed a lot material there ready for the next big piece of work in making a solid path all across the ridge; a bit motorway like, but essential to prevent the erosion. I'd seen a couple of walkers and cyclists but started seeing more on the ascent to Pen y Fan. Also started to see some rain and by the time I made the top both rain and cloud down, which sums a typical day on the number one peak in South Wales

Cambrian Way Day 6
Typical summit view from Pen y Fan

This hadn't seemed able to put off the masses heading up for what seems to have become an ever popular ritual. Whilst it's true that it's not more dangerous than walking down your street (and the path is built in the same way), a lot people had no waterproofs and spare clothes or food. It is good to see people out on the hill and not just on sunny days.

Cambrian Way Day 6
Be prepared for the weather when going up Pen y Fan. These two were better prepared than most

Down to Storey Arms and a visit to the burger van whilst I waited for Paul and Gill with the map. Interesting conversation with the woman who runs it and no surprise that she's making £80k of turnover per annum (the biker friendly stop down the road does even more). 11am, but time for a cheeseburger though this was before I noticed the 2 out of 5 hygiene rating.

Cambrian Way Day 6
The hordes at Storey Arms and it wasn't even that sunny. There was double parking on the road last year and the police issued over 300 tickets and towed a few cars.

Map case delivered and quick chat to Paul and Gill and it was then off round Fan Fawr and off across to the Heol Senni road. Total contrast to the Beacons as only saw 1 person running up to Rhos Drinbarth. Maybe it's not a bad that 99% of walkers go to Pen y Fan or the Ystradfellte waterfalls as gives plenty of space for the rest of us in what is the closest National Park to the highly populated South East of the UK.

Cambrian Way Day 6
From below Fan Fawr looking back at the Beacons

Decided to also skip Fan Nedd as the path round the side is pretty good. I'd heard a cuckoo whilst going round Fan y Big earlier and could now hear another down below. Not the nicest lifestyle for a bird but it is a sound of late spring.

Cambrian Way Day 6
Route round Fan Nedd and looking towards Fan Gyhirych, good path though going over Fan Nedd isn't too much more effort

Next up to Fan Gyhirych as the sun was coming out more. Decision to made at the top of either to take a 2 mile trip down to Penwyllt and the flesh pots and accommodation of South Wales Caving Club or to continue ahead to Llyn y Fan Fach. 30 minutes in the sun and all fair so it was down to the A4067. Descent is okay and I'd done it a few times before and though steep you can usually find a good route down.

Over Cefn Cul and got a couple of phone calls demonstrating how much more coverage there now was in this part of the world. Heading down to the Afon Tawe could see some rain clouds coming in and as I made the jump across time to put on the waterproofs.

Cambrian Way Day 6
The crossing point for the River Tawe and had a quick chat with the ladies before the rain came in. This was one of their secret, quieter spots that they drove out to. Good choice

The mile or so up to the Llyn was in the rain so was soaked when I got there. It stopped long enough to put up the tent (inner first) and then quickly dived in as a heavier downpour set in for an hour. Munched some food and wrote up the day before settling down. I'd arrived at 18h15 so about a 10 hour day with a couple of hours of stops

The hammering rain for most the night didn't aid sleep but a positive forecast for the morning with sun from 8.00 was good. Any concerns with the MSR tent were gone as it had stood up really well.

Cambrian Way Day 6
Evening sun, briefly before the night of rain set in. Llyn y Fan Fawr is a great place to camp

Distance : 30.7km / 19.03 miles

Time moving: 07h45.

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