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Dai Powell created Walking the Brecon Beacons (WTBB) on Facebook back in August 2016. Since then it has grown tremendously and now boosts over 16,000 plus members!

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WTBB was created for people who enjoy the outdoors, who want to share their walking / hiking knowledge and skills, and arrange walking events in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

We encourage members to share their adventures with the group and to post photos of their experiences and projects.

Have fun, stay safe, learn and teach, share and help - that's what Walking the Brecon Beacons is all about, enjoy!

We look forward to meeting you!

The Admin Team

Dai Powell and Simon Williams

David Meadow description of the Breacon Beacons Horseshoe Walk

I have a confession to make...

I've never walked a mountain in the Beacons :-0

Well not until today anyway. Its been itching away behind my eyes for a while now. Even more so since i joined this group.

Today i finally bit the bullet and decided to haul my arse off on a walk last minute. The plan was to climb the first part of the Horseshoe and then see how things stood.

Now those of you who are sensitive souls may want to tune out now! My language may get a bit fruity!

First off who moved the Nuadd resevoir from the Storey Arms valley over the mountain to the Pontsticill valley? That kind of underhand tactic left me 30 min less on my walk time as I had to dash back down to Merthyr and then back up the right valley.

So i finally parked up in the Neuadd Resevoir car park, got my boots on and began my walk.

It was a beautiful day as the old pump house came into view. Sheep, seemingly every one with a lamb attached, were milling about everywhere, giving me that all knowing "mothers" look every time i got a bit close.

And then i saw it, the climb up onto Craig Fan Ddu!! Fuckitty fuck!! Its brutal to start, and then gets worse! I had to break for a good few seconds to let the lactic acid drain 4-5 times on the way and i really did think what the hell have i got myself into? I managed to scramble over the top and flop onto the ridge, blowing hard and screaming thighs. Time for a sweet cup of coffee and marvel at the dad and son combo who started 400 yards behind me and went zooming past me up the ridge, youthful bastards :-)

So i start making my way up the ridge, the sun is gloriously shining and half way, maybe 2/3rds up the ridge towards the 3 galaticos as they ominously appear in my view.

NOW i get it!! I was blown away by the close up view from the ridge. And this is where the best laid plans started to go awry.

I really should have stuck to my plan, climb up onto Craig fan Ddu have a nice walk up the ridge a way, see if the legs can handle it, but save a proper horseshoe loop for another day, it was after all just a recce to see if my legs had it in them.

See the thing is, that most of you already know, and i found out today, these mountain things draw you in dont they? Corn Du whispering "go on Dai, you can do me, you've done the hard work already butt" and of course Pen-y-fan lurking on her shoulder, all enticing.

So i update my emergency contact (JRL, what was i thinking!) that Im continuing the horseshoe walk, that i was currently on the top of Corn Du and expecting to be back down for 21:00, latest 21:30.

Corn Du in particular was a tough climb to the summit as im not fit and by now my legs were really feeling it, Pen-y-Fan not quite as tough and then i'd done it! Climbed the 2 highest peaks in one go with a brutal climb to start and a truly spectacular ridge walk.

One negative at that point, the noise of the bloody drones up there! Really irritating on your first time up there at 7:30pm.

By this point time was against me and i'd had a close enough view up the path snaking up Cribyn, sod that for a game of soldiers!

The Decent!! No-one told me how hard it is on tired muscles walking back down off Pen-y-Fan, skirting around Cribyn and onto the gap road. Muscles were seizing, cramps were kicking in and i found out my lovely 15 year old Scarpas are half a size too big for proper walking. My toes are a mess from bashing into the front of my boot all the way back down. the clock was ticking so i had no choice but to get a shift on the best i could. I finally made it back to the car park at 21:20. 10 mins to spare to let my contact know im down safely. NO SIGNAL!! I hammered down the lanes back to Pontsticill and finally got a text sent at 21:40. I also rang just to be sure. No answer. Fast asleep! finally got a text a 22:00 saying glad you're ok. Next time im asking lassie :-p

To sum it up:

Lessons learnt, 500ml of coffee is not enough to go walking for 4 1/2 hours. Aldis corned beef pasty tastes great on top of Pen-y-fan, looking out to the Carmarthen fans. Decending is murder with ill fitting boots.

Finally, the challenge of summitting both mountains was fun, but the walk up the ridge to Corn Du was life changing. I can hand on heart say its in my top 5 days of all time.

the pics are shit! I have to get a tidy camera and some skill.

x

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Last updated: 13/11/2020