Elidir Trail 2011
Another visit to a most impressive waterfall walk.
The trail route begins in Pontneddfechan at the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, and the route is documented on my waterfall walks page.
- The brick-lined adit near the path, for once with enough visibility to see where it goes.
- Small cascade at Pwll Du ar Byrddin, the junction of the Pyrddin and Nedd Fechan rivers.
- Pump Pwll, a small cascade on the Pyrddin.
- Sgwd Gwladus, the best known of the Elidir Trail waterfalls, and the only major one on the trail that can be walked behind. It's about 10 metres high, with the sloping cliff being about 12 metres high above the camera.
- Jumping (tombstoning) 11 metres off the Sgws Gwladus cliff (without testing the depth first, but at least asking someone else to check instead). Not what I would call safe.
- View animation.
- Mudstone above the Twelve Foot Sandstone that makes up the river bed.
- The first river crossing, needed to reach the continuing path on the far bank.
- Looking up the gorge from the crossing.
- Just after the river crossing, an overhanging cliff develops on the right bank, below the Cilfach-bronwydd farm. The start of the cliff contains an unnamed stream that drops 20 metres to the river, which it is possible to walk behind, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in Wales where this is possible (surpassed by only a couple of others). Sadly the amount of water is quite low, so it does not look much like a waterfall, but it's more easy to see in reality. As this waterfall has no official name, but is significant, I refer to it as Craig Cilfach-bronwydd (the crag at Cilfach-bronwydd).
- The main stream from Cilfach-bronwydd cascades down some little drops, with this being the most significant.
- The second river crossing.
- The third crossing.
- The fourth crossing, either in the shallows, or using the fallen tree.
- Kuehneromyces mutabilis (Sheathed Woodtuft or Changing Pholiota).
- The small cascade that almost blocks access upstream, with the final river crossing just upstream of it.
- The path skirts the pool via a short scramble.
- Sgwd Einion Gam, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the area, and the second tallest single-drop waterfall in South Wales, quoted as 26 metres tall. The route up the Pyrddin river ends here, and the trail continues up the other river instead.
- Just upstream along the Nedd Fechan from Pwll Du ar Byrddin, a small stream drops over an undercut on the far side of the river. The stream and resulting pathetic waterfall have no name, but it's possible to walk behind, if you can reach it. There is a small path running above it, but from either side, a very tricky descent down the gorge side would be required.
- Just upstream is the first significant waterfall on the Nedd Fechan, a couple of metres tall. It is completely obscured from the path.
- A little further upstream is a very attractive, unnamed cascade.
- The first named waterfall on the river is Horseshoe Falls.
- The name is given by the shape of the upper step.
- Just upstream is Sgwd Ddwli Isaf, the largest of the waterfalls on the river.
- The upper step is about 5 metres tall, but looks much more.
- The ledge has a small inlet waterfall that can be walked behind.
- Just upstream is Sgwd Ddwli, also around 5 metres tall, but much more graceful. There is also a cascade some distance beyond it, and another some distance below it, but for now, this is where the pictures will end.