Allt Lwyd, Bwlch y Ddwyallt & Waun Rydd - Thursday 18 February 2016
Talybont Reservoir - Allt Lwyd - Gwalciau'r Cwm - Cwar y Gigfran - Bwlch y Ddwyallt - Waun Rydd - Carn Pica - Twyn Du - Talybont Reservoir
Talybont Reservoir about 1/2 mile south of the Dam (Free) - Grid Ref SO099197
Escarpment walking for the most part - good mountain paths throughout
Cold, bright & sunny with one snowstorm which lasted about 15 minutes
OL12 - Brecon Beacons (Western Area)
Back on our old stomping ground today as we live only 25 miles from the Brecon Beacons. We are very lucky to be able to get out and about in this beautiful part of Wales as often as we can. We have therefore walked around here many times but one cannot fail to be excited to be amongst the hills & mountains of the Brecon Beacons no matter how many times we have walked here.
The walk started from the Car Park about 1/2 a mile to the south of the Talybont Reservoir Dam and a path leaves on the opposite side of the road to reach a gate onto open hillside. Almost immediately the route rises on a good path to reach the top edge of the Talybont Forest from where once more it becomes open hillside. The gradient steepens markedly after the forest until the summit plateau of Allt Lwyd is reached - there is a great view over to Craig y Fan from the summit. From Allt Lwyd the path leveled out before a short, steep pull up to reach another plateau from where roughly 3/4 mile distant was the summit of Waun Rydd - to be visited later on.
Heading south, again on a good path we arrived at the large cairn on Gwalciau'r Cwm from where there are superb views over to the escarpment of Craig y Fan Ddu and Graig Fan Las. The route then headed north west along Cwar y Gigfran before dropping down to reach the Memorial. On the 6 July 1942, Wellington Bomber R1465 took off from the Operational Training Unit at Wellesbourne Mountford, near Stratford upon Avon for a cross country flight training exercise. In heavy cloud conditions the plane sadly crashed into the side of the mountain resulting in the death of all 5 Canadian crew members. A fitting Memorial now stands as a permanent reminder of this tragic incident and some of the wreckage lies close by. They shall never be forgotten.
From the Memorial a path meanders over to reach a junction where we turned to the west to make the easy transit up on to the summit of Bwlch y Ddwyallt - from here there are good views over to Pen y Fan and Cribyn although on leaving the top we caught sight of some unwelcome weather heading our way - and so it proved. Arriving back at the junction of paths it was now a simple question of making our way on the path to Carn Pica, leaving this path to head north in order to gain the summit of Waun Rydd. It was on leaving here that we were hit by a 15 minute snowstorm that could catch out the unprepared as we were in a complete white out until the weather passed over us.
Picking up the path again we headed across to reach the massive cairn on Carn Pica and had a chat with a chap from Milton Keynes who was getting some miles in for his Mountain Leader qualification. Leaving him to it, we descended steeply through the snow to reach level ground before heading over Twyn Du. From here the route dropped down steeply to reach a sunken lane before a pleasant meander over fields back to the start. Another fantastic day out in the delightful Brecon Beacons.
The parking area south of the Dam on the western bank of Talybont Reservoir
Good to get a super panorama so early in the walk - looking to Craig y Fan, Carn Pica, Waun Fach & Tor y Foel
Tor y Foel above Talybont Reservoir
Craig y Fan & Carn Pica
It was quite a slog up to the summit of Allt Lwyd but one cannot complain when you can stop & look back at that
The understated summit of Allt Lwyd with Gwalciau'r Cwm & Craig y Fan ahead
Leaving Allt Lwyd there is a gentle incline before a short steep section to gain the ridge
Looking back from the short steep section to Allt Lwyd
The impressive cairn on Gwalciau'r Cwm
Heading down from Cwar y Gigfran to the Memorial
The memorial to the Canadian Wellington Bomber which crashed here in 1942 - the remains of some of the wreckage can be seen to the left
The 5 crew members who made the ultimate sacrifice - never forgotten
Heading to Bwlch y Ddwyallt with Fan y Big, Cribyn & Pen y Fan in view
The summit of Bwlch y Ddwyallt
Cribyn, Pen y Fan & Corn Du
Heading to Waun Rydd which is the big, flat expanse ahead
I don't like the look of that lot - might be getting a bit white in a minute I think
The summit of Waun Rydd
The weather worsened as we were caught in the snowstorm
The snowstorm passing to the right and heading off to Talybont
The superb cairn on Carn Pica - been here many times and it is still an impressive structure
The snowstorm passing over Talybont Reservoir
A snowy descent from Carn Pica to Twyn Du
Looking over to Allt Lwyd
The descent from Carn Pica
The descent to Talybont Reservoir
As we started to lose the light it was a pleasant walk through fields back to the start
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