30th November 2018
Made famous by the SAS as part of their gruelling selection process, hundreds of tourists ascend the path each year from the more popular western side, however there are multiple routes to the summit.
Before we outline these routes, here's a bit more on Pen Y Fan for those who are yet to enjoy the experience
The views from the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park are so astonishing; you’ll want to return again and again. So grab your hiking boots, pull out your map and compass and get ready to climb one of the most beautiful mountains in the country!
Situated in the breath-taking Brecon Beacons National Park, Pen Y Fan stands proudly at 2709ft and promises some of the most spectacular scenes in Wales! Everyone from the young to the not- so- young and from the experienced to the not- so- experienced is welcome to join the hoards of visitors who trek to the summit week in, week out. And once you reach the top, you’ll instantly see why this Daddy of mountains magnetises so many people!
The climb promises an unforgettable experience come during all seasons, but reach the peak on a clear day and you’ll be greeted with an incredible vista. Yes, just an hour away from Swansea and the Bristol Channel (including Steep Holm and Flat Holm islands), the Gower Peninsular, the Cambrian Islands and many more amazing landmarks will all be in your eyesight.
The Southern Route
Like many mountains, there are a number of routes you can take to the summit of Pen Y Fan, but perhaps the most secret and scenic is from the South, starting at starting at Neuadd Reservoir.
To help you plan the perfect trip, here are the directions for this enjoyable route:
Neuadd Reservoir is located to the South East of the summit and is easily found on Google Earth by typing 'Neuadd Reservoir (Beacons) CP'
This will take you to the car park and marks the start of your walk as you head North West along an open lane towards the remains of the reservoir.
1. At the grounds of the reservoir, keep walking straight ahead to drop down a narrow path to a concrete bridge across an outflow. Walk across the bridge and climb up on to the bank opposite where you will bear left to walk along the top of the bank. This will take you to a gate that leads out on to open moorland.
2. Go through the gate and keep straight ahead, taking the left-hand of the two tracks, which leads to an easy uphill walk towards the edge of a mainly felled forest. Follow the clear track up, with the forest to your left, and then climb up a stony gully to the top of the escarpment.
3. Once there, turn right on to the path and follow the escarpment along for over 2½ miles. You'll eventually drop into a distinct saddle with the flat-topped summit of Corn Du directly ahead. Where the path forks, keep going straight ahead and climb easily up on to the summit. Follow the escarpment edge along and then drop down into another saddle, where you take the path up on to the next peak, Pen y Fan.
4. Again, follow the escarpment around and drop steeply, on a rocky path, down into a deep col beneath Cribyn. Keep straight ahead to climb steeply up to the cairn on the narrow summit. If you wish, you can avoid this climb by forking right and following another clear path that meanders right around the southern flanks of the mountain.
5. Whether you choose to summit Cribyn or not, the path will lead you down in a South Easterly direction to Craig Cwm Cynwyth where it joins the Southern path back to the reservoir and the lane taking you back to the car park.
Walking this famous mountain is an experience you’ll never forget but please ensure you wear appropriate clothing, take food and water and plan your route beforehand. Be sure to check the weather before setting off as conditions can change suddenly, even during the summer, and save the Brecon Mountain Rescue number to your phone.
While the walk is accessible to people of all ages (including children), it is challenging in parts and requires a reasonable base level of fitness before attempting.