Pen y Fan and Corn Du 2007
The two tallest peaks in South Wales.
Pen y Fan (pronounced "Pen a Van", meaning "the top peak", "top of the place", "end of the place" or "head of the place", depending on how you translate it) is the tallest peak in South Wales, at 886 metres. Corn Du (pronounced "Corn Dee", meaning "black horn"), right beside it, is the second, at 873 metres. Both can be easily summited in 3 hours by normal humans, and are one of the most popular attractions in the Brecon Beacons National Park. From the North side, they ascend steeply 600 metres up glacial scarps from Brecon. From the south side, several paths provide easy access up gentle slopes, with the easiest being from the Southeast, starting at 430 metres. Since this trip was intended to be for a 5 year old to get to climb some proper mountains (proper for us, at least), this will follow the easiest route.
- The Taf Fawr, as seen from the car park.
- The main view on the walk, Corn Du.
- Wild ponies.
- Taf Fawr.
- Fan Fawr, 734 metres.
- Fan Fawr scarp, showing the typical scars from small land slides. The colour of the scars comes from the Old Red Sandstone that makes up most of the mountains here.
- Panorama of the Brecon Beacons. From left to right: Corn Du (873 metres), Pen y Fan (886 metres), Cribyn (795 metres), Fan y Bîg (719 metres) with Waun Rydd (769 metres) in the background, and then the crags on Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog (824 metres).
- Cribyn, showing the impressive scarp dropping into Mid Wales below.
- Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog, showing the cliffs of Graig Fan Ddu and Craig Gwaun Taf. Graig is the same word as Craig, and the mutation should depend on what precedes it. In this case, it seems to be mutated from Craig to Graig either by mistake, or as a way to differentiate between Craig Fan Ddu, and Craig y Fan Ddu (a different ridge belonging to part of Waun Rydd).
- Looking across the lower ridges of the Brecon Beacons towards the Black Mountain range (where the tallest peak is Fan Brycheiniog, 802 metres).
- Young photographer in training.
- Corn Du as seen from Pen y Fan, showing the corrie, corrie lake (tarn) Llyn Cwm Llwch, moraines, and then the flat farmlands of Mid Wales. Brecon is just out of sight to the right. On the top of the scarp above the lake is the Tommy Jones Obelisk, a monument commemorating the 5 year old boy who got lost and died there after having managed to climb all the way up from a farm below.
- On the summit cairn. Made it! In the distant background is the Black Mountains (not Black Mountain) range, where the tallest peak is Waun Fach (811 metres).
- The prominent Sugar Loaf, at the end of the Black Mountains.
- Support team.
- The ridge at the front of Pen y Fan, with Brecon in the distance, and the boredom of Mid Wales beyond. The wind was being funnelled up these valleys and blowing hard across the ridges, pulling the waves of cloud after it.
- The 200 metre scarps of Cribyn.
- The head of Nant Sere, between Pen y Fan and Cribyn.
- Ripped from another gallery, the view of Cribyn and Pen y Fan from Brecon, showing the 300 metre scarp of Pen y Fan.
- On the summit of Corn Du.
- Moments later, the cloudbase dropped, then dropped again, and dropped further, with the wind whistling the clouds over the ridge. Corn Du disappeared, and the drizzle started. The weather here can change very fast, and is responsible for many fatalities. Many years ago, a sudden storm chased us off Corn Du, and down to beside Llyn Cwm Llwch.
- Apparently 5 year olds do not like this weather, so we hurried back down to the car.
- Wet weather gear ... with sunglasses. Of course.