Mynydd Du and Afon Twrch

My brother in law, Andy and I were due for our boys week and we started with a two day back pack on Mynydd Du and Afon Twrch and then climbing onto Cribarth and back to base.

Day 1

Day 2

The idea for the walk came from “Backpacking in Wales” published by Cicerone. This book is now out of print and there are no plans to update it, which is a shame.

We parked in Dan yr Ogof where we left the car for £3.00 per day which you have to say is a bargain. After a little faff we started up hill and along Fan Hir with great views opening up.


Views starting to appear


Fan Hir


On Fan Hir


Corn Ddu and Pen y Fan in the distance

We stopped for lunch in the cairn on Fan Brycheiniog looking down onto Llyn y Fan Fawr.


Llyn y Fan Fawr


Lunch stop

From here we continued around the escarpment to Bannau Sir Gar to look down onto Llyn y fan Fach and then on a compass bearing headed south west to the limestone ridge of Carreg Las. here there were some amazing formations.


Usk reservoir in the distance


First view of Llyn y Fan Fach


Extreme hurdling?


Looking back to our route


Llyn y fan Fach


Looking back to our route


Limestone formations

At Blaenllynfell we climbed steadily onto Foel Fraith and then south east to Carn Fadog before heading to our overnight camp alongside the Afon Twrch.

We had seen only one walker all day and were somewhat surprised to find as we reached the valley side of the Afon Twrch two tents where we expected to camp. We could also see the occupants skinny dipping in the river, clearly escaped nutters!

We had no choice but to descend and hope there was another spot for us. The descent was a nightmare through head high bracken and very uneven ground with no sign of any path.

As we reached the “camp site” one of the lads suggested there may be some spots further down stream BUT across the river. It was getting late now and with little energy left to explore for a narrow crossing we found a shallow area and just waded in. There is a theory that your gaiters are always an inch short of the depth of water being crossed and so it proved!


Five star accommodation

It was now 2000 hours and all we wanted was to erect our tents, eat and crash out.


Andy filtering water

The next day we broke camp and put on our wet boots and headed out of the valley. As we left we saw the other campers, towels in hand heading down stream for another swim. We lost sight of them but their screams indicated the water was a little fresh!


Leave no trace


The climb out


Rowan berries


Shouldn’t they be in Scotland?

Our route was south and then east on good paths until we found a non existent path through a bog fest and woodland area. With trust in GPS and compass bearings we found our way to the marked picnic site at the junction of the Afon Giedd and Afon Cyw where we had a welcome lunch.

From here we were again on good paths which led through open land and up onto Cribarth and back to base.


The green path to Cribarth


Andy pooped


A huge sink hole


Signs of a good walk.


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