Ascent of Foel Fynyddau on 2018-01-22

Climber: David Howells

Date:Monday, January 22, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Foel Fynyddau
    Elevation:1214 ft / 370 m

Ascent Trip Report

Foel Fynyddau 370m and Mynydd Dinas 258m
Heading down the A465 heads of the valley road I journeyed my way to the M4 before turning off and travelling up the Cwmafan valley to park at Afan Forest at the car park at OS Grid Ref: SS 80034 94242 at Pontrhydyfen. This is a copious car park for over fifty plus vehicles.
Head West out of the car park, onto the road and across the bridge and then turn right (North) and follow the river for a short while before turning left (West) into Pontrhydyfen Forestry. Follow the forestry track uphill in a meandering fashion as per the gpx outline. After about 1.5kms you will see the route dissects a corner. This path is there in the form of a single track bike trail on your left. Do take it as it is fine and cuts a long corner out. Just keep following the forestry track as per the route and eventually you will come out of the forest to some reasonable views and see three mobile/radio masts at the summit with the trig point nestled in between. Not the most scenic of tops!
There is a distinct wide rough mast service track that heads off West and down hill from the summit. Follow this as it skirts the forest edge and eventually you will come out at an unclassified road. Here you turn immediately left (South) go through the gate (no sign) and descend a wide clear trail. This does not last long and you are soon in the swamplands of Cwmafan valley. Now I nearly got stuck at one stage so I would say for the next km follow the trail of least resistance and not my route per sec but head for the same get out point. The get out point however is in a corner of a field with horses and the area was a quagmire and at the same time I had three horses trying to chew me whilst I was poncing about through calf deep mud.
You come out on a road that heads West through Brynberddan estate and eventually you come to a footpath that heads towards the back end of Mynydd Dinas. You head towards Cwm Clais farm first on a farm track and go straight through the yard and pick up the footpath immdiately which goes off left into the forest. Follow the route here as best as you can. The path is again muddy (funny enough) and sometimes indistinct. You will see at one stage that my route took me off piste in a loop, this is where the path on the ground took me. I might have missed a path somewhere going off to the right…try and find it where I turn left (East) on my loop.
Eventually you will get onto a forestry track that will take you in a long wide loop to the summit area. You will get to a point where there is a gate that borders the forest and the common. Just before that there is a forestry track on your left. Turn up here a short while and turn right on a very indistinct path that takes you to the trig point. Again not the most scenic of places here but log it and come back down to the gate. This will only take you 8-10 minutes.
Now you go through the gate and follow the route for a short while on flattish ground before you head South West downhill on wooden steps where you will get amazing views of Port Talbot…if you want amazing views of Port Talbot that is?? You turn left at the bottom of the steps but I was daydreaming a bit here and missed the turning. Anyway this left takes you round and North over pretty rough mucky terrain until you come to Pant Ddu Farm or house. The path takes you literally over the lawn of this house, there are steps on the left which I thought went round but they don’t so over the lawn I went.
Follow the road downhill and come to the main Cwmafan valley road. I then turned right hoping to get onto the Cwmafan cycle path straight away but the stream there is too deep so I came back and followed the route as it shows on the file. Your back in the valley now so just follow the route as outlined until you get onto the cycle track and then you walk this entire valley floor of urban beauty 3-4 kms back to the car park.

Parking and access: Loads of it. No toilets or cafe though.
Route Summary: An uninspiring walk on forest track and trails. Quite often over fields and trails that are very muddy (winter hike) and on the whole not very good views unless you like industrial monoliths or deprived valley towns. An 18km hike with 660m of height gain in 3hrs 30min. A quick time as there was nothing really to hang around for.

For fuller details, photographs and other parking 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
    Total Elevation Gain:2165 ft / 659 m
    Grade/Class:Difficult due to bog
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Overcast
Cool with low cloud
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2165 ft / 659 m
    Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Start Trailhead:-951 ft / -289 m
    Time:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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