Friday, 16 October 2009

In search of the Goat Track

I'd read of a track that traversed the north west face of Cribyn in the Brecon Beacons, so armed with a mate, Tony, I set off to try it out on a sunny Friday afternoon.

This was the first time I'd walked Cribyn from the North, same for Tony, and the hardest part of the afternoon proved to be finding somewhere to park the car. We eventually settled on the entrance to an overgrown bridleway somewhere at the end of a narrow lane north of Llanfrynach - the satnav didn't even recognise the lane!
The weather looked great - clouds at first on the tops but a North wind was blowing them away towards Merthyr.

We headed up the ridge towards Cribyn and eventually spotted the 'Goat Track' just as the nose of the ridge got really steep.

We then headed west along the Goat track. It wasn't as steep as I'd imagined, but gave great views of Pen Y Fan's North east Face. It was pretty wet even with the recent dry period. After heavy winter rains, I can imagine this path being pretty hairy.

A sharp right turn then took us back Eastwards onto the summit of Cribyn for the usual angled summit-timer shot.

Then it was a quick yomp down to the saddle of Bwlch Ar Y Fan and up the other side to FanyBig (a name that would have countless amusing minutes of innuendo for a teenager).

Fan Y Big has two recongisable features. A circular windshelter of stones...

And the well known 'Diving Board' rock. The drop isn't as precarious as the photo's make out but it's one of those 'mountain traditions that you have to do'. After the pants-staining leap between Adam N Eve on Tryfan, this was a piece of p*ss.

From there it was an easy trek back North along the ridge, then down into the valley to the car. Unusually, for the Pen Y Fan area, we didn't bump into a single person, or any goats. Loads of sheep though, plus these two vain wild ponies!

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