|This is part two of our walk up Fan Fawr and Fan Frynych. For part one click here.|
If you’ve read part one of this walk then you’ll already have a pretty good idea of the landscape surrounding Fan Frynych. Wide, open areas of upland grass may be seen by some as barren and boring but to me they offer the promise of solitude, big skies and a little reminder of my favourite place on Earth; Mull. This terrain also provides the chance to put ones navigation skills to the test as with few well defined paths the possibility of finding yourself heading off in the wrong direction is very real indeed. Not much chance of that today though as with excellent visibility it was simply a case of striking out towards Fan Fawr in the distance.
With the steep escarpments of Craig Cerrig-gleisiad dropping off to our left we were soon passing a couple of small pools whose deep blue colour shone in clear contrast to the dry, parched ground stretching away in every direction. On a less windy day they would likely provide a perfect place to dip weary feet but on this occasion we simply admired the ripples playing across their surface. Moving on each drop and rise we conquered opened up a new window onto our surroundings with Pen y Fan and Corn Du an almost constant presence on the opposite side of the valley. Even they refused to stay static though as every step altered our perspective providing an endless sequence of photographic opportunities.
By the time we reached the slopes of Fan Fawr another couple of miles had been devoured and we were faced with a stark choice. Either head around to the main path at this altitude or attack the climb head on. We chose the latter obviously and accompanied by Wheatears and Skylarks started to gain height rapidly. Let me assure you that what looks like a gentle slope from way down on the road is anything but up close and it was with no inconsiderable effort that we eventually made the summit.
A good hundred metres higher than we had been at Fan Frynych the views were, for fear of repeating myself once again, spectacular. For us though we had yet to reach our ultimate goal as off to the South West sat our second trig point of the day. Having come this far it would have been a shame not to bag it so that’s exactly what we did next.
Another pool full of Tadpoles on the way back reminded us that we were not alone up here before it was time to tackle the final descent down to Storey Arms. Approaching the edge it genuinely felt as if we were about to walk off the surface of the Earth but thankfully a steep but narrow track revealed itself at the last moment. Worn deep by the passing of countless visitors such as ourselves it delivered us safely back to civilisation and our waiting car.
Looking back the way we’d come I felt a deep sense of satisfaction at seeing our entire route splayed out before us. Not only had we explored another fantastic area of our nearest National Park but also found and photographed some cracking birds along the way. Both the Taff Trail and Craig Cerrig-gleisiad are definitely due a return visit before Spring is done and I have a distinct suspicion that this wont be our last time atop Fan Fawr or Fan Frynych either.