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This is an ideal walk for those wanting an introduction to the highest land in the Brecon Beacons and uses a relatively unfrequented approach to Pen y Fan avoiding most of the crowds trudging up from Storey Arms.

Park near the Upper Neuadd Reservoir (Sat Nav CF48 2UT).

This can be an exposed threehour walk so good footwear, windproofs and OS Explorer map OL12 with a compass are essential. After parking your car, walk north along the lane to the reservoirs and head west across the abandoned dam wall.

Cross into open country and climb steeply up the north side of the plantation to gain just north of the the edge just north of the 642m triangulation point.

To your right is the Upper Neuadd Reservoir whilst ahead lie the summits, which are your objectives.

After walking along the top of the cliffs of Graig Fan Ddu you reach a nice section where the ridge narrows offering good views to your left into Nant Crew.

Corn Du is the first summit to be topped and this is an easy proposition offering excellent views in all directions particularly to the north to Brecon.

It is only now that you are able to inspect the steep escarpments that face north.

Pen y Fan at 886m is the highest point in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is only a short easy walk from Corn Du and provides an excellent viewpoint east along the escarpment. Easy access from the Storey Arms makes it a popular excursion and unless the weather is bad you can not expect to have the summit to yourself.

From Pen y Fan continue along the escarpment edge to Cribyn the next summit on the round.

Reaching Bwlch ar y Fan you have a choice. If time and energy permit you can make the 500ft climb to the summit of Fan y Big or follow the easily graded path south to the starting point of the walk.

Mark Lewis is a professional climbing and mountaineering instructor and provides instruction and expedition leadership and management. For more information please visit
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 9, 2011
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