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Ascent of Corn Du on 2020-10-18

Climber: David Howells

Others in Party:Jenny Lewis
Date:Sunday, October 18, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Corn Du
    Location:UK-Wales
    Elevation:2864 ft / 872 m

Ascent Trip Report

Tregaer Loop, Brecon Beacons (5 Nuttalls)
This is a stonker of a 29km loop with 1,200m of ascent from my home in Brecon that takes in the five local Nuttalls of Bwlch Y Ddwyallt 754m, Fan Y Big 719m, Cribyn 795m, Pen Y Fan 886m and Corn Du 873m. If you are a peak bagger and from away you can quite easily extend this loop by an hour and take in two other additional Nuttalls of Waun Rydd (near Bwlch Y Ddwyallt) and Craig Gwaun Taff (very near to Corn Du). If you added another hour again you could also take in yet another one, namely Y Gyrn (On the way down from Corn Du). However this is my classic long loop and I have no need to diverge to the others.
You can park up anywhere you see fit in Brecon town but it will have to be a car park with all day parking or street parking. Then as a nice warm up head out on the beautiful Brecon canal to Brynich Lock. Get on the road here and walk into Llanfrynach and when you get into the village you hang a right by the telephone kiosk which doubles up as the village library. Follow this road around to the left and shortly after you turn right on a back road that leads up to Tregaer farm (marked on OS). The farm is on your right and just past it on your left is a gate. Go through it (still on tarmac) and it drops down and up a steep hill to end by the ruins of an old farmstead. Here is another gate on your right and a style. This is normally my first rest break stop. It is just over six kilometres to this point.
From here go over the style and fifty meters further on go over another style. There is then an obvious path that takes you up steeply through the woods on the left. After about another 15-20 minutes you come to another gate and then you are on the hill properly. Carry on steeply uphill on the obvious path in front of you and just keep following this path. It skirts the side of Cefn Y Bryn and brings you onto Gist Wen ridge. By now to your right you have the stunning vista of the ridges and peaks of the central Beacons and you can see the rest of your route quite easily in all its glory. You now have a long steady hike along the ridge for a couple of kilometres and at Rhiw Bwlch Y Ddwyallt (hill to BYD) it steepens a little just before you get to the mound of stones that represents the top of Bwlch Y Ddwyallt.
The way onwards is self explanatory and requires little by way of explanation. You simply head along the obvious rocky foot path that follows the edge of a gorgeous escarpment all the way round to Fan Y Big and the famed ‘diving board’ rock. From here you drop steeply down to Bwlch ar y Fan where the footpath meets our famous local roman road which is very much prized amongst the UK mountain bike fraternity. You then hike up the steep pitch that takes you to the stunning summit of Cribyn (or you can walk around this on the Beacons Way). At Cribyn you have your steepest down/up section of the day as you drop down to Craig Cwm Sere and then up the famed Jacobs Ladder to the ever popular summit of Pen Y Fan. The hardest part of the day is now under your belt and you have done nearly eighteen kilometres to here. The short five hundred meters over to Corn Du is simple and completed with a minimum of effort and you now have five Nuttalls under your belt.
The way home lays steeply downward on the rocky decent from Corn Du down past Tommy Jones’s memorial (memorial to a young boy that died on the mountains a century ago) and then down to Llyn Cwm Llwch. The views on this section are superb and the lake or Llyn is a great place to spend some time at. It is also a very sheltered and popular wild camping spot.
From the lake there is an obvious path down that takes you down to Cwm Llwch cottage via a couple of styles where you by-pass the cottage on the left. Then it is on onwards on a cute rough road to the Login (marked on OS). The latter is a stunning campsite area but with no facilities. Most people just turn up and the farmer will catch you for payment at some stage but now it is closed due to Covid. At the login there is an obvious gate and then you are on tarmac again. You simply follow this road for a kilometre to a cross roads and just go straight over. From here it is a good five kilometre tarmac hike back into town and the finish.

Parking: Anywhere in town where you can get all day parking but not the main car park in town with its two hour maximum time limit.
Route Summary: Well trodden paths and mountain trails, the central area is renowned for its rock paths to combat erosion. Great peaks, stunning escarpment hike with stupendous views of the central Brecon Beacons and beyond.
Route Statistics: 29km with 1,200m of height gain done in an all in time of 8hrs 20mins.

For fuller details, photographs and other information see my blog or wikiloc account.
Click on the links below and put a search in for the appropriate hill or mountain.
My blog - mountain nomad
My wikiloc - David Howells
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:Hard but great hike.
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Overcast day
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by David Howells
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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