After walking Snowdon I then decided to walk Pen Y Fan! This is my blog on Pen y Fan and Corn Du to show you the route which I took, how long it took and some photos to help you to know what to look for 👍
Pen y Fan is located in the Brecon Beacons between Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil and is the highest mountain in South Wales.
Brief Description Of Pen y Fan.
**Height of Pen y Fan: 886 Metres
**Difficulty: Modrerate – Requires a good level of fitness
**Distance: 4 Miles.
** Ascent and Descent: Around 440 Metres each way.
** Duration: 1 – 2 hours on average.
Make sure you always have the right equipment when walking mountains like this – Check out my Snowdon blog for the equipment list.
Pen y Fan isn’t as far away for me as Snowdon, therefore I didn’t stay overnight anywhere in Wales. I travelled early in the morning, again I arrived early because if I don’t I wouldn’t be able to park in the car park there. It is very popular! The car park is called ‘Pont ar Daf Car Park‘ and the postcode which I used is ‘LD3 8NL’. This is helpful to get to the area however I find I lose signal on my sat-nav every time!! Keep driving along the road and look out for the ‘National Trust’ sign – This is it. :).
By 8am this car park is nearly full if not already. You can park on the side of the road but it isn’t great as it’s a fast road and walking to the original car park will just add to the walk. Get there early. When I parked here I saw the car park has toilet blocks which is good.
I chose to walk the most popular walking route to show you guys but I’m hoping to go back and explore the other routes too. The walk which I chose is called ‘Pen y Fan and Corn Du circular walk’ starting from the car park at the Storey Arms, which is at 435 metres, this cuts off half of the overall descent.
To begin with, I took the footpath which is at the southern end of the car park and through the kissing gate. This is the Beacons Way. I continued and walked over a wooden bridge. You will walk over this and see the river, it is very pretty here! When I walked over this bridge I saw that the path took a quick ascent up which becomes very steep, very quickly.
As I started to walk up I could see in the distance Corn Du which is the mountain you can choose to climb before Pen Y Fan. This walk up to Pen y Fan and Corn Du is very steep so you need to be prepared and be fit, although you can stop off regularly if you need to. The path is regularly maintained and there are no large rocks which you climb over, it is just walking this way.
When I got to the top of this first part I saw the ground levelled out, it is nice to stop here for a break. There are amazing views from here. I saw in front of me the ascent path up to Corn Du and there is also another path which runs beside Corn Du on the right hand side if you would rather bypass going up there, this path continues onto Pen y Fan. I chose to walk up Corn Du. This again was a very steep path but very short and it was worth walking up here, the views are incredible. 🙂
After I had enjoyed my time on Corn Du I then walked along the top until I got to the steps which take you back down the other side of it. You can see Pen y Fan from the top of Corn Du and see the last part of the walk. I walked down the steps and along the path which lead me to the last ascent up to Pen y Fan. This again is another short descent up to Pen y Fan.
Once I was on top of Pen y Fan the views were amazing and worth the walk up there. It is very flat at the top of Pen y Fan and Corn Du, not like some of the peaks which I have walked. I sat up on the top and had my lunch because it was so still and warm. It was also silent in some places. Really worth the visit for you all! It took me 1.5 hrs to reach the summit or just under, but I would allow a comfortable 2 hours to reach the top so you have plenty of time, especially if you don’t walk these kinds of places very often.
After enjoying the views from the summit for around an hour I then made my descent back to the car park. The descent took me around an hour to get back to the car park, not too long at all. Overall this is a much shorter route than some of the summits which you can climb and I think it is a really good mountain to climb, to begin with if you want to start walking much more challenging places.
After I wrote my blog and climbed Pen y Fan in Feb 2019 when we had the amazing head wave out of the blue, I then took my mum to Wales to climb both Pen y Fan and Corn Du at the end of March 2020 when we had a lucky day of sunshine.
We got to the car park and had an itinerary the same as when I went on my own in 2019. When we got there, however, the wind was a lot stronger than we had expected but the weather was fine so we agreed on doing as much of the walk as we could do safely. We completed the first part of our walk up to the bottom of Corn Du which was a very windy ascent! When we were walking up we also realised there was still a lot of snow and ice on the summit of both.
At the bottom of Corn Du the winds were the much stronger. We attempted to see what it was like making the ascent up but we could barely hold ourselves up so we decided not to make the ascent up to Corn Du. I then walked alone on the right hand path to continue to Pen y Fan whilst mum stayed behind in a sheltered spot. I walked so far and then decided the winds along with the snow and ice underfoot was too dangerous and decided not to make the ascent to Pen y Fan. We then made our descent after just an hour after leaving the car park.
I wanted to share this with you all because it just shows the weather can be so unpredictable on top of a mountain and you can become in a dangerous situation very quickly. We would rather make our way down and go back another day to do it safely than risk our lives and the lives of others which may have to come out to rescue us, especially in such high winds like those. Make sure you always check the weather forecast on the Met office guys, check the weather the day before and the morning you are going, which we did, but even then it can still take you by surprise. We will hopefully be going back when this lockdown is over to complete it and see the views once again!
These are some of our pictures from that windy walk!