Damaraland desert hiking (Namibia)

A couple of short, evening hikes to some of the Damaraland peaks around Camp Kipwe, with stunning views over the desert landscape.

Camp Kipwe Circuit

We arrive at Camp Kipwe, in the Damaraland area of Namibia, at around 3pm. The rest of the family is keen to have a swim and enjoy a quiet afternoon, so I take advantage of my “free afternoon” to explore the area on foot. I’d found some information on-line that states: “This region is ideal for walking and guests are encouraged to explore the area surrounding Camp Kipwe”. So I set-off in the direction of the nearest small hill. It looks a reasonable height, but in reality is less than 50m – and it seems to be a pretty straightforward “climb”.

The top is quickly reached, and even the relatively low elevation gain provides 360-degrees over the Damaraland desert. The vegetation is very sparse, with the dry landscape broken up by a number of rocky outcrops and mountains.

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To the south, the Aba-Huab River is marked by the denser and greener vegetation; while the riverbed is dry and water rarely flows down the watercourse, the deep roots of the trees are able to reach the underground water table.

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Sending up the drone yields an even better view of the arid landscape, with the taller mountains to the north-west, and the long line of trees to the east marking the path of the dry Aba-Huab River.

From here, it seems logical to head down the other side of my mini-mountain, and complete a small circuit around our camp up and over the next three outcrops.

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The next mini-peak is directly opposite Camp Kipwe, and you can see from here how the huts are nestled into the boulders.

From the end of this outcrop I’m right at the edge of the Aba-Huab valley.

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Ahead of me is the last mini-peak of my circuit…

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This one proves the trickiest to climb, although it too is only about 30m high, consisting of larger boulder than the previous outcrops. It takes a few attempts to find a viable route to the top!

There’s another great view from the top over the Damaraland desert: looking east there’s Camp Kipwe down below (the smallest outcrop in the middle) with some of the higher peaks beyond.

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Descending on the other side proves a bit quicker. I make a slight detour to have a closer look at a tree that stands out by it’s whiteness against the red landscape. I learn later from one of the guides that it’s a Star Chestnut Tree, which grows mostly on rocky outcrops and hill slopes. The trunk is smooth and appears very white due to a powdery white substance (bloom) that rubs off – this white bloom only occurs on trees growing in the arid western parts of Namibia.

From here it’s quick walk around the Camp Kipwe outcrop, and back to the camp in time for sundowners. I don’t know it (yet), but in the distance is a larger mountain that’s the target of tomorrow’s evening walk…

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Mountain Climb with Stanley

During sundowners, at the top of Camp Kipwe which overlooks the desert with peaks all around us, I ask one of the staff “have you climbed any of the peaks?”. To my surprise, Stanley points very definitively at one of the higher mountains and replies “I’ve always wanted to climb that one”. “How about tomorrow”, I suggest, half-jokingly… and his immediate response is: “I’ll be ready at 6pm”.

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The following day, after our afternoon drive, I grab a water bottle and head-torch, and we set-off. Although the very top looks attainable, our plan is to reach the top of the odd-shaped boulders at the front of the mountain.

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We look for a way up to the left of the “funny boulders” – there are some steep sections initially, but the going is not too difficult. There’s another Star Chestnut Tree on the steep slope, standing out starkly against the red desert.

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As we get closer to the boulders, we pick a path around the back of the boulders – they are enormous, and the only way up is to find a way through the gaps!

Finally we find a suitable rock ledge at the front of the outcrop, with 180 degrees over the desert below us, as we wait for the sun set to set. (Unfortunately, poor planning on my part means we don’t have a Gin & Tonic in the backpack!).

An aerial photos shows where we are, at the top of the first few boulders. Well below the mountain peak, but with more time it looks feasible to reach the top of the mountain. Next time!

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To the east the desert and rock outcrops continue well into the distance. The Aba-Huab valley is clearly visible, marked by the ribbon of trees through the desert.

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To the west, the sun is setting over an equally vast stretch of desert.

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It’s not a bad spot to end the day… Once the sun has set, we head back down, finding an easier path down the western side of the mountain. There’s a few large bounds between boulders, and we make the bottom of the mountain by nightfall.

From here, it’s a short walk back to the camp. Thanks Stanley 🙂

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Location Around Camp Kipwe, in Damaraland (western Namibia)
Distance Camp Kipwe circuit – 3.6km (70m total ascent)
Mountain climb – 4km (130m ascent)
Grade Easy/moderate (rock scrambling; minimal exposure)
Season/s All year round
Maps None available
GPS Route Camp Kipwe circuit and mountain climb Routie GPS trails.
View route and export to KML format.

SatelliteMap-KipweWalks

Mt Killiecrankie circuit (Flinders Is)

A partly off-track circuit on Flinders Island to the Mt Killiecrankie summit and back along the rugged coast from The Dock.

Described as “one of the most majestic islands in the Furneaux Group” and “arguably the most majestic mountain and bay combination in Bass Strait”, Mt Killiecrankie (316m) is the highest peak at the northern end of Flinders Island. While significantly less high than Mt Strzelecki, it’s a tougher walk and offers equally impressive views from the top.

There’s a few different approaches to the summit, all of them at least partly off-track… I’m taking what seems to be the “easiest” route to the top. The intended route follows Killiecrankie beach around to the northern end, where there is a 4WD track for part of the ascent.

After walking along the beach for about 2.6km (slightly easier and quicker at low tide), I pick up a signposted 4WD track that starts just above the beach (Quion Road). It’s a private road; my “Walks of Flinders Island” book suggests this as one of the summit approaches, and recommends seeking approval from the manager of the Quion cattle farm (access via this route may change if the development of a $5 million premium tourist resort goes ahead). Being on my own and not sure how to contact the manager, I set-off up the track which climbs steadily up the hill. After about 1.2km, I reach a gate, where I turn left and follow the fence line for a few hundred metres. There’s now a short section of off-tracking walking through fairly thick forest, before I reach another 4WD track.

The next section of (disused) 4WD track continues heading up towards the summit, and offers a bit of shade on a clear and fairly warm April day.  Not long after reaching this upper 4WD trail (at Palana 735917) , there’s the first views over the coast for the first time from a rock platform, and a memorial plaque to Peter Grant Hay and his wife Margaret Maisie. Hay was an Australian brewer, landowner, pastoralist and thoroughbred racehorse breeder who founded the Richmond N.S. Brewing Co. Ltd (now Carlton & United Breweries) and owned land on Flinders Island. Interestingly, there’s no mention of the plaque in my hiking guide or on-line.

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Another 200m and there’s a fork in the track; after consulting the map, I take the left-hand option. The rough track continues ascending directly towards the peak, which soon becomes visible directly ahead.

While the summit is clearly visible in the distance, there’s no obvious track to the summit from the 4WD track which continues around the base of the mountain. I find a very narrow and indistinct foot track through fairly thick scrub (Palana 737925 or 39°48’51.4″S 147°51’40.4″E) which seems the best option. This trail winds through the scrub, before emerging at a large, exposed rock platform.  In front of me are views of the coast, and behind me looms the large rock outcrop of the summit,

The notes in my guide book, while fairly accurate for the initial part of the walk, seem to bear little resemblance to the tracks I’ve found as I near the summit. I’m at the southern end of Mt Killiecrankie, which is the steeper ascent, and I can’t find any track that allows an easier approach from the northern end. While parts of the ascent appear a little daunting (in terms of height and exposure), the alternate requires navigating through some pretty thick scrub to the northern end of the granite outcrop. I manage to find a route up the last 50m of rock face, finally reaching the Killiecrankie summit after 6.2km and just over two hours walking.

The views are fantastic in all directions, with an almost cloudless sky. To the south is Killiecrankie Bay, with farmland adjacent and further inland, the Wingaroo Nature Reserve.

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To the north is Blyth Point and Palana, and in the far distance the Inner Sister and Outer Sister islands.

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After a well-earned break on the top, it’s time to figure out how to get back… I’m reluctant to descend the same way as I came up, being very steep and exposed. Heading down the “back” of Mt Killiecrankie (the northern approach) is much easier. I follow a long series of rock slabs; just before the last boulder is a short drop on the left into a gully. From here my intent was to navigate back to the southern end of the summit outcrop, and re-trace my steps…

…but, with thick scrub all the way up the base of the rock, I follow a faint trail that leads further north. I figure it’s heading downhill, it must go somewhere and it’s a hell of a lot easier than “bush bashing” through dense scrub! The trail is marked by cairns, taking me under large boulders, across exposed rock platforms and traversing some interesting granite formations!

After about half an hour, there’s a sign pointing to “The White Eyed Man” (map reference Palana 738934). It’s a little surreal, being the only sign I’ve encountered on the entire walk, so I make the 80m detour. I’m not quite sure to expect! The White Eyed Man is an imposing rock formation, which does look a little like a pointy-nosed person looking over the coast. There’s no mention of this formation in my guide, or checking later, anywhere on-line.

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From here the track is fairly easy to follow through medium-thick scrub, as it gets closer to The Dock Road which I can see below. I’d avoided this route up as the guide book described it as being un-tracked and through thick scrub, so it was a pleasant surprise to find it the easiest route down as it meant I could return to Killiecrankie via a circuitous route!

It takes less than an hour to reach The Dock Road, emerging from the scrub next to a “4WD only” sign (although locals assure me the road is 2WD suitable and it is in good condition). From the road, there is almost no sign of the track – it’s the little gap in the bushes in the picture below right.

From here, it’s a quick 15min down the unsealed road to The Dock, which consists of a number of small sandy beaches set in a kilometre of rocky coastline. It’s a pleasant spot and I have a quick swim before continuing on my way along the coast.

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The well-marked track follows the rocky coast fairly closely, with the Mt Killiecrankie mountain range not very far inland.

I’m making fairly good progress until I reach the climbers camping area, which is near the coast (Palana 725936). There’s a path that leads up to the base of the cliffs, where it abruptly stops – the guide book suggests continuing off-track but with the time getting late and the shrub fairly thick, I eventually re-trace my steps to the climbers camping area. Here I quickly find the main track that follows the coast and resume my journey back to Killiecrankie. The going is a bit slower from here, even after I’m back on the correct trail, with the setting sun almost directly ahead and the terrain consisting of rock formations and patches of soft sand.

It’s a relief to reach the granite slabs on the headland below Old Man’s Head, where the walking is a bit easier.

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Soon after, with Old Man’s Head jutting into the sky behind me, I meet the only other hikers I’ve seen all day, heading toward The Dock.

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It’s a bit slower again for the next section to Stacky’s Bight, with the track heading inland and skirting around some steep sections of shoreline. Stacky’s Bight is a sheltered cove featuring a couple of sea arches, and would make a worthwhile destination for a shorter day-trip.

It’s now almost 5pm, and great light for photography as I navigate the last sections of rocky coastline before reaching Killiecrankie Bay, the rocks almost glowing in the afternoon sun.

I’m back at the (far) end of Killiecrankie Bay with the sun just over the horizon.

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There’s just 2km (or so) of easy beach walking before I’m back at the car; in the distance is Mt Killiecrankie. It’s been a tough walk but my favourite Flinders Island walk so far, combining a small mountain peak with some varied coastal walking.

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Location Start at Killiecrankie beach car park.
Distance 18km circuit
Grade Hard. 370m total scent
Season/s All year round.
Map TasMap Flinders 1:100K or Palana 1:25K
GPS Route Routie GPS trail. View route and export to KML format.
Resources “Walks of Flinders Island” book by Ken Martin (walks 6, 12, 13 & 18).
Book available in Whitemark or via Amazon

Map-KilliecrankieCircuit

Sommarsetvatnet hike

Sommarsetvatnet hike is an (unexpectedly) delightful hike that ascends from the fjord at Sommerset up to an alpine lake that’s surrounded by mountain peaks

I didn’t have particularly high expectations of this hike… I was staying nearby at Garsnes Brygge, and looking for a hike I could do in the morning before our visit to the Polar Park in the afternoon. I’d asked the helpful staff at Garsnes Brygge the previous evening whether there were any local hiking paths, and I got a mixed response, from “a short walk to a lake” to “it’s a steep walk that will take 4-5 hours”. Both descriptions, as it turns out, being somewhat correct…

The Sommarsetvatnet hiking trail starts on Route 152, a one kilometre walk along the road from my accommodation at Garsnes Brygges (or 3km from where Route 152 meets National Highway 84). There’s a sign marking the start of the trail, which is encouraging as I don’t have any map or information on the walk, other than the description(s) I was given the previous evening.

I set off up a rough farm road, which ascends through the forest for about a kilometre, before it becomes a narrow foot trail. After about three kilometres, I reach a small ridge from where there are views back towards the fjord (Sagfjorden) where the walk started. The path ascends a bit more steeply, with the forest becoming more open.

Soon I’m above the tree line, and in a more alpine environment. Walking through grasses and low heath, taller peaks in the distance become visible – Elveskardtindan (1243m) and Hogfjellet (1235m). I think it’s these ones… please correct me if I’m wrong!

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A few more minutes walking, and a waterfall appears on the right, fed by the lake (Sommarsetvatnet) above, that I can’t yet see.

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Another ten minutes and I reach Sommarsetvatnet, a small lake surrounded by taller mountains.

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The trail follows the lake for a few hundred metres before it stops. There is a peak (Lifjellet) above the eastern side of the lake – the side that I’m on – which promises a better view of the area. And a ridge to the north-east that might provide views back to the fjord… It’s steep but easy walking and scrambling up the slope from the lake.

The views are inspiring despite the the overcast conditions, and get better as I scramble up the scree and grassy slope from 520m.

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I don’t quite reach the Lifjellet summit at 982m due to time constraints, although I couldn’t see a trig point or any discernible peak. The highest point I get to is 932m, with the view improving as I climb – I can see all the way from Sommarsetvatnet and across Sagfjorden to the peaks on the other side of the fjord.

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I slowly scramble back down to re-join the path near the end of the lake, and take the same trail back down. To the lake and back is about 9km; with the off-track hiking up to the Lifjellet peak the total distance covered is 12.5km. Considering my low expectations, it turned out to be a fantastic walk.

Location Near Sommarset on Route 152. Turn onto Route 152 from National Highway 84 and continue 3km. Nearest major town is Sjøvegan.
If you are coming from the E6, turn right by Brandvoll and follow the road to Sjøvegan. At the first intersection after the Salangen Church, a left, and follow signs towards “Salangen Helserehab” and “Elvelund”. Follow this road, Highway 84, for a few minutes until you come to “Laberg”. When you see the sign toward Garsnes Brygge, turn right and follow the road.
Distance 12.5km round-trip with 880m ascent. Allow 4-5 hours.
Grade Moderate. Some off-track walking to reach Lifjellet summit
Season/s June-October
Map Topographical maps on-line at GotTur.no
GPS Route Routie GPS trail. View route and export to KML format.
Resources Nil. If staying at Garsnes Brygge, staff can provide some info.
Photos Google Photos album
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Map of Sommarsetvatnet route and elevation of hike

Storhaugen (Lyngenfjord)

Stunning views over Lyngenfjord and Lyngsfjellan (the Lyngen Alps) on this steep ascent of Storhaugen.

Arriving at our Lyngen accommodating in the early afternoon (we were staying at Spåkenes Sjøbuer in Rotsund), our host suggested this hike – and very helpfully gave me a lift to the starting point.

The intent was to hike up to the 1,142m Storhaugen summit and return via the ruins of a coastal fort from World War II  (although a navigation error meant I didn’t quite reach my planned destination). The walk starts not much above sea level, and there’s a signpost at the parking area for both Storhaugen (4.4km) and Dalberget (2.2km), although Dalberget is not shown on any topographical maps. I set off through the forest, with the trail climbing very gently.

After about 5o0m, the path reaches the Storelva River and gets steeper from here as it follows the river through the forest. There are already spectacular views from here over Lyngenfjord below and the snow-covered Lyngen Alps beyond.

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The path is easy to follow as it winds up the hill, and after 2km the path rises above the tree line and crosses the Storelva River on a sturdy timber bridge.

Another 200m, just beyond the bridge, and I reach Dalberget. There’s a large cairn and a logbook. The path also stops here.

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I don’t have a map, so I continue in a southerly direction and up a steep ridge. At times there is a defined path, but it abruptly stops as the ridge gets increasingly steep and more of a scramble than a hike.

The view from the ridge as the sun is setting is magnificent.

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I get to about 655m elevation before giving up; the ridge is too steep to continue. The summit is clearly not this way, and I head back down to Dalberget. (Looking at the topographical map afterwards, Storhaugen is to the north, on the other side of the broad valley from the ridge that I’m on.)

Heading back down the track, just after I re-cross the river I see a track that leads directly up to the ridge (the junction is at 69.74018, 20.55199). I follow this for a few hundred metres and this definitely seems to be the correct route to the summit; unfortunately with the sun setting I don’t have time for a second “summit attempt”!

On the way back, I take an old 4WD track that leads to Spåkenes fort.  Situated on the hill Storbakken, the highest point of Spåkenes, the fort was built in 1941 by the German army, using Soviet prisoners of war and German prisoners (Germany had occupied Norway the previous year, with 2,000–3,000 soldiers arriving in Djupvik on 28 August 1940).

The fort consisted of four bunker complexes, each of which included a gun, ammunition bunker, trench, and infantry bunker. All remain fairly intact, except for one of the bunkers that suffered extensive damage in a post-occupation explosion (below right).

From an ammunition bunker (below), the guns had a range of up to 23km and were capable of hitting a ship travelling off Lyngstuva, the furthest tip of the Lyngen peninsula (Source: Wikipedia).

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From here, I head down the hill and back to my accommodation at Spåkenes Sjøbuer, about 1km away on the coast. It was a great walk and great views, despite missing the critical turn-off to the summit track!

Location Turn off the E6 towards the Djupvik cemetery (there is signpost on the E6 pointing to “Kirkegård”. Follow this for about 200m to a parking area (69.745919, 20.510063)
Distance 11.2km (610 total ascent) as walked.
Storhaugen is 8.8km return (1100m ascent).
Grade Moderate/Hard
Season/s June-October for hiking. Skiing in winter.
Map  Topographical maps on-line at GotTur.no
GPS Route Routie GPS trail. View route and export to KML format.
Resources Walk 24 in Guide Hiking/Vandre Lyngenford (PDF, 10MB)
map-storhaugen
Map showing Storhaugen / Dalberget hiking route and elevation profile

Little Dromedary

Great views from the top of Little Dromedary, a small rocky peak overlooking the the historic town of Tilba Tilba.

The hill – or maybe it’s a small mountain? – looks higher and more imposing than it really is from the town of Tilba Tilba on the south coast, although it’s only 186m above sea level. Climbing this “mini-peak” is very appealing. A good family walk during our one week holiday on the south coast.

We soon discover that there is no marked trail. And Little Dromedary (or Najanuga) is on private land. We’re directed to Norm Hoyer, who’s been living and farming in the area for over 60 years. Norm is quite a character (he’s the co-author of Tilba Times, a book on the area’s history) and tells us a few stories about growing up in Tilba. He also gives us his blessing to climb Little Dromedary and a few hints as to the best route.

We come back a couple of days later, armed with enthusiasm and the expectation of an easy climb, and set off up the “mountain” from Norm’s farm on Sherringham Lane. It’s an easy and pleasant start through open farmland, with just a multitude of bush flies intent on joining us.

After about half an hour, we reach the forest and the fun starts… Sometimes there are ribbons suggesting where a track might have been – a long time ago. Most of the time there is little sign of a path, and we try and maintain a steady course up the ridge in the direction of the rock summit. It’s fairly cool under a solid canopy of trees and there’s not too much undergrowth, but some scrambling and diversions around thick scrub is required.

While it’s not quite rain forest, there are some impressive ferns, stag horns and rock orchids.

After about two hours, we reach a sloping slab of granite that looks promising… we clamber up, promising the kids this the final scramble (and hoping it was!). We emerge onto a small rock platform with views towards Tilba Tilba and Mt Dromedary in the west and the Wallaga Lake and the ocean to the south.

Another 50m or so further on and we reach the summit: an outcrop of large granite boulders with 270 degrees over Tilba & Narooma.

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Thanks Norm!

Location Starts in Sherringham Lane, Central Tilba (NSW south coast)
Distance Approx 5km return; allow 3 hours as no track. 175m climb.
Grade Moderate. Some navigation route-finding skills required.
Season/s All year round
Map Central Tilba 1:25,000 (89253N)
Resources Seek permission from Norm Hoyer – see local Tourist Info office

Black Mountain, Brecon Beacons

A circular walk with some challenging navigation in the Black Mountain (Mynydd Du) area of the Brecon Beacons National Park, including Sinc Giedd and Bannau Sir Gaer

I’m not expecting the best weather in late October – but I’m in the UK for some meetings, and the timing is outside my control. After some discussion via email some weeks prior with a London-based friend, we settle on the Brecon Beacons as the best choice for a more challenging day-walk. I’m picking up a car the day before for the drive from London, and we’re staying in The Wellington hotel in Brecon on the Friday night, so we can make an early start the following day.

The weather turns out to be perfect – sunny but cool and with no rain in sight, as we set out around 8:30am for the half hour drive to the start of our walk in Glyntawe in the Afon Tawe valley on the A4067. Which is good, as our guide book suggests: “This walk should only be attempted in good visibility…”.

We leave the car near Saint John the Baptist Callwen church, and walk back along the road, crossing the River Tawe on the Pont Haffes bridge by foot.

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The path starts at a gate on the opposite side of the road to the church, crossing a stile and roughly following the Nant Haffes (one of the steepest rivers in Wales) upstream to Carreg Haffes Farm. After a bit less than a kilometre from the start of the path, we cross the river and climb up the ridge.

The path is clearly defined as it gains altitude… but after another kilometre or so we realise the well-marked trail is not going in the right direction!

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So, we set-off across the ‘karstic’ landscape, which consists of shake holes and outcrops of Carboniferous limestone in what is roughly the right bearing (there’s no longer a marked track, although for some time we are following a rough stone fence as we head in a generally westerly direction).DSC02161-LR

We pass by numerous “shake holes” which are characteristic of this area: they are depressions caused by the top later of Millstone Grit (coarse-grained sandstone of Carboniferous age) being undermined by the collapse of cavern roofs in the underlying Carboniferous limestone.

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After another kilometre or so (we’ve now walked about 3.1km or 2 miles from the car) we make another course correction, and swing north. It’s fairly easy walking despite having no marked trail, although there are a few stream crossings and boggy sections that we need to traverse.

We eventually reach the southern end of Fan Hir, and climb up the side of the ridge to join the marked path that follows the ridge up to the top. (We’ve realise that we’ve gone much too far north –  we should be returning to our car this way – so we decide to “reverse” the circuit we are doing and continue up Fan Hir and back via Bannau Sir Gaer).

Fan Hir means “long peak” in Welsh, as the peak is about 4km (2.5 miles long) with a steep drop on the eastern side (below).

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Looking back to the south from the ridge, the A4067 and the valley where we started is in the distance. After three and a half hours of walking, it’s nice to know exactly where we are for a change 🙂

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From here we have some relatively easy walking for a while, as we follow the ridge along Fan Hir and then up to Fan Brycheiniog (the highest peak at 2633 feet or 802m in the Black Mountain), with Llyn y Fan Fawr (“lake of the big peak”) to the right.

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We reach the trig point on Fan Brycheiniog, the third highest summit in South Wales, at about 1:15pm, after exactly four hours walking (covering about 11km, or 6.8 miles), so we are doing OK.

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Having reached the highest point on our walk, we follow the ridge-top in a westerly direction, descending a little before a steep climb up to Bannau Sir Gaer, a subsidiary summit of Fan Brycheiniog.

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The peak overlooks lake of Llyn y Fan Fach in the cwm below, with the summit on the edge of an escarpment. There are extensive views to the north and west, with Waun Lefrith (the lower summit of the Bannau Sir Gaer / Carmarthen Fans) situated to the west and the Cambrian Mountains beyond.

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Following the ridge we reach the summit of Waun Lefrith. From here we can can see the Beacons Way heading north as far as the eye can see… but we need to head south to circle back to where we started.

There’s no obvious track, so we take a rough bearing and head down the side of the ridge (reviewing our route later, it seems we’ve gone too far west, rather than going directly south down the mountain). Although we occasionally find some distinct tracks, we are mostly walking off-track as we head initially west, then south and finally east in broad circuit, crossing the Alon Twrch stream as we head back towards the car.

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It’s a beautiful afternoon and while the terrain is not difficult, walking for over 10km (6 miles) without a path and through some boggy areas is getting tiring… We’re not at all displeased to reach one of the marked routes as the sun begins to set, re-joining the path we started on earlier in the day.

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We finish the walk as the sun sets, getting back to our car around 6pm (we re-trace our steps for the last kilometre or so).

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It’s been a great walk – very scenic and with some challenging route-finding. We have somehow managed to turn our circuit into a “figure 8” walk, with the majority of our 26km (16m miles) walk being off-track. I’m not sure if there was a track and we missed it – or whether there is no distinctive trail to follow.

Regardless, we’ve enjoyed our nine hours of hiking. Unfortunately, due to an accident on the M4, it takes almost nine hours to return the car to Hertz at Heathrow…

Location Starts near Glyntawe on the A4067.
GPS coordinates for the path starting point is 51.83538, -3.67749
Distance 26.6km (16.4 mile) circuit.
Grade Moderate. 960m total ascent.
Season/s All year.
GPS Route  GPS route on Google Maps
Map/s Brecon Beacons National Park (Western Area) OL12 – purchase
Online topographical ordnance survey map (subscription required)
Photos Google Photo album
Resources Walking on the Brecon Beacons (Andrew Davies and David Whittaker). Amazon.
Also Black Mountain from Glyntawe track notes
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Map showing route of Black Mountain (Brecon Beacons) walk