On Saturday I led a group on a ridge walk in the Brecon Beacons. In June I will be taking on the 3 peaks challenge with group of friends some of which are new to this hiking malarkey so I led the first practice walk. I was anxiously watching the weather all week leading up to the walk and thankfully the weather gods played ball as Saturday turned out to be almost perfect conditions. We did a circa 12 mile walk starting at upper Blaen-y-glyn car park heading steeply up onto Craig y Fan Ddu. We then walked along the ridge line with some great views across the valley to Cwar y Gigfran. Then slightly off-piste to cut the corner and join up with ridge path towards Fan y Big. The views of the main Beacon range opened up before us and so did the route, Fan y Big, Cribyn, Pen y Fan, Corn Du and the Graig Fan Ddu ridge which at this point seemed a long way off.
We skirted around Fan y Big missing out on the diving board, it was at ‘The Gap’ at Bwlch ar y Fan where there was an opportunity to cut the route short, but with everyone still in high spirits and keen to soldier on we continued up the steep path onto Cribyn then down and up again this time onto Pen Y Fan, this is a steep ascent of Pen y Fan and the group naturally split to the individuals comfort levels. The summit was as expected very crowded with people queuing for the obligatory photo on the National Trust summit cairn. We all re grouped between Pen y Fan and Corn Du for lunch before pressing on along the Graig Fan Ddu ridge and leaving the crowds behind while we were walking along here we were treated to a few search & rescue helicopter fly pasts and a landing in the valley below they were obviously out on training manoeuvres.
Next an initially steep scree descent down a gully this then eased off to wet grass land and eventually a walk across the dam at this point we then picked up the Taff Trail back to the car park. With everyone back safely and still high spirited although slightly weary the first of the 3 peaks challenge practice walks was chalked off as a success.