June 3rd 2015.
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday the weather here in Wales was horrendous, but today I woke up to sunshine, blue skies and white fluffy clouds. Visibility was perfect and today it was my mind that was blown away by the sheer beauty of the scenery.
Our aim today was to climb Fan y Big. 2359 ft, 719 metres.
We parked opposite a post box near to Upper Cantref farm and followed a succession of field paths and lanes to Pen-yr-heol for the proper start of the walk. A sunken lane led us to a gate and onto open moorland. We then began the long climb up to the Cefn Cyff ridge. The path gained height very quickly before easing to give a couple of miles of easy walking, mainly on a grassy path but with a few patches of marsh grass and boggy sections.
Visibility was perfect and I could pause to admire the views as I got my breath back.
On the way we passed three cairns which provided nice foregrounds for my images.
On the skyline we could see the table topped Corn Du that we got so close to yesterday.
Our objective Fan y Big was always in view and to our right we could see Cribyn and our return route clearly marked halfway down the hillside. Another steep section brought us to the summit.
We were beaten to the ultimate picnic spot by another couple who were sitting close to the diving board. No problem except that they got in the way of my photos. The diving board is a huge piece of slate that juts out horizontally from the mountain. We posed for pictures and I went as near to the edge as I thought was possible.
It would have been impossible to have stood there yesterday. I doubt if anyone even ventured onto the mountain in the horrendous conditions. We were joined by a group of soldiers out on a training exercise. They were doing a larger 16 mile circuit carrying a full pack.
Leaving the summit we veered right to walk round the edge of the escarpment before descending steeply down a reinforced path to Bwlch ar y Fan. We could see the Upper Neuadd Reservoir on our left. At the bottom we came to a junction of paths. Ahead lay the path to Cribyn and to our left the path to Pen y Fan. We turned right to slowly descend along the flank of Cribyn. The path was reinforced with green slate and today it also doubled as a watercourse.
At the bottom we passed through a gate onto a sunken lane. This was wonderful as the banks and hedges were full of wild flowers.
We emerged onto a lane not far from our car but with time for one last look back at the mountains.
It had been a super walk, only 13 km, 8.1 miles but plenty of ascent.
We now had a long drive home but we will be back again next year to climb Pen y Fan.