Black Mountains 14 Summits Weekend Walk (South Wales)
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You need to have mountain walking experience, good equipment and a high level of fitness to carry your food, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and bivvy bag or small tent for more than 40km and 1400m of ascent over sometimes boggy and sometimes rocky ground.
I will send a pre-event message 3 weeks before the event, asking participants to confirm that they will be attending. Ten days before the event I will remove people who have not confirmed, so that other people have the opportunity to participate, rather than having empty places as well as a waiting list.
WE WILL FOLLOW THE SAME ROUTE AS IN 2017. Following a chip shop supper in Crickhowell, it will be a 5 minute drive to the secluded layby where we will leave our cars at the hike start point. Then a steep ascent to the ramparts of the ancient Crug Hywel hill fort to get to the top of Table Mountain (451m), with late evening views over Crickhowell towards the Llangattock Escarpment. Another 340m of ascent will get us over Pen Cerrig-Calch (701m). It may be dark before we find a place to bivvy (at an altitude of about 650m), so bring a low output head torch to use while walking and setting up your bivvy.
We will get up at 6:00am and then to the top of Pen Allt Mawr (719m), for an early morning panoramic view across all of the Black mountains; followed by Pen Twyn Glas (646m) and Mynydd Llysiau (663m) to get to the highest summit Waun Fach (810m) for the first time. We will then go over Rhos Diron (713m), Lord Herefords Knob (690m) and Twyn Talycefn (702m) before heading down to the source of the Grwyne Fawr river to top up our water supplies (YOU NEED TO MAKE APPROPRIATE ARRANGEMENTS TO RENDER THE WATER FIT FOR YOUR CONSUMPTION).
We’ll then climb Waun Fach for the second time and carry on to Pen y Gadair Fawr (800m) and Pen Twyn Mawr (658m) before finding a suitable place to spend our second night high in the mountains. The next morning we will only have Disgwylfa (540m), Crug Mawr (550m) and Blaen-yr Henbant (498m) to contend with, before descending to go over the Upper Cwm Bridge over the Grwyne Fechan, past the ancient church (first recorded in 1060) and into the village of Llanbedr and on to our cars.
What to bring
Please review the Outdoorlads kit lists for a general guide, but essential on this walk are previously used good hiking boots, waterproof cagoule and overtrousers, small DISCREET tent or bivvy bag, head torch with adequate battery life and low light output, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, personal hygiene materials, any medication, survival bag, sun protection, adequate warm clothing, rucksac and enough food and drink; and water purification facilities if you will not be carrying enough water for the duration of the event. I suggest that your full rucksack should weigh less than 16kg and less than ¼ of your weight; if it risks being heavier, then try to share tents or cooking equipment with other members of the group.
Food & drink
Bring enough food and water to cover your needs for the duration of the event There is no possibility to obtain food once we have left Crickhowell. Once we have gained height, the only possibility to obtain spring water (REFER ALSO TO THE COMMENTS IN EVENT DECRIPTION) will be when we pass the source of the Grwyne Fawr (unless you descend several hundred metres down the mountains).