Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn from Cwm Gwdi - directions
Way to go
From the car park at the old Cwm Gwdi army camp walk up to the top of the site and cross the stile. Follow the route around the field edge to another stile and gate. Follow the path straight ahead across the grass to a stony track up to Cefn Cwm Llwch ridge. As you climb the views expand to a panorama of the main Beacons: Pen-y-Fan (ahead), Cribyn (left), Corn Du (right) and below it the small glacial lake, Llyn Cwm Llwch.
Directly before you is the imposing north face of Pen-y-Fan. The gradient becomes gentler before the final, steep climb to the top. Keep to the left of the summit, taking care not to go too close to the grassy edge, which hides a vertical drop. A rough stony path leads down Craig Cwm Sere to the col between Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn.
At the col you have a choice. Summit-baggers will continue straight ahead uphill to the top of Cribyn then turn right to descend Craig Cwm Cynwyn to Bwlch ar y Fan (better known as ‘The Gap’). Alternatively, simply take the right fork from the col and briefly join the Beacons Way to reach The Gap (the Beacons Way is a linear 95-mile/152km route across the National Park).
Turn left and follow the rocky Gap road north down the valley. In about 2 miles (3.2km) where you reach the common land boundary, pass through a wooden field gate onto a stony track and then to a tarmac lane, which you follow down to a bridge over the Nant Sere.
Shortly after the bridge take the track off to the left – the sign on the gate says Old Crofftau. Follow the signposts/waymarks, turning right off the track just before a derelict farmstead (Pont-y-Caniedydd). The footpath continues to the farmstead of Plas-y-gaer. The rights of way have been diverted here; follow the markers to the right of the buildings. After passing the new house, turn left on a grassy track to reach the stony track and bridleway giving access to Plas-y-gaer.
Turn right and continue to the signpost for a bridleway leading off to the left. Follow this back onto the open hill where a signpost (at map ref SO 030247) points to the right. Turn right here, keeping the fence to your right, through the trees to the edge of a gorge with a stream at the bottom. Turn left up the edge of the gorge to some steps leading down to a footbridge. Cross this and walk up left to come out at the top of Cwm Gwdi car park.