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Training on the Brecon Beacons

The one thing that has been lacking in my training regime (well it isn’t really a regime, more a panicked collection of walks) is big hills. I love walking across the rolling farmland of Northamptonshire, but it is a far cry from the ups and downs of Offa’s Dyke.

So for the final training trip before our challenge begins, I am off on a camping and hiking trip to the Brecon Beacons. Unfortunately my fellow Offa’s Dyke team member Alex (@WinkySmileyFace on Twitter) is unable to join me due to work commitments, but instead I will be joined by Justin (@JustinFleming on Twitter).

I am actually pretty excited about it! In my “youth” I regularly went to the Brecon Jazz Festival, as a good friend of mine lived in the town (and her dad makes amazing home brew!), but I have only walked on the Beacons once (this has perhaps something to do with the home brew!).

We will be doing two main walks whilst we are there (plus a smaller one on the first day as a warm up) – both walks have come from go4awalk.com.

Walk 1

The first walk starts in Nant Cwm Llwch (SO006245)  and climbs up to Pen Y Fan, and then follows the ridge to Cribyn and Fan y Big before returning (the long way) to Nant Cwm Llwch.

The hike (with full packs of course) is 10.5 miles, with a total ascent of 3526ft (a grade 7). This is the kind of ascent we will encounter on Offa’s Dyke (albeit with a bit more distance to spread it out), so it should be good practice.

Walk 2

The second walk starts in Capel-y-ffin (SO255315) and climbs up to the ridge, with a slight diversion to Chwarel y Fan, then across to Rhos Dirion and finally Lord Hereford’s Knob, before returning to Capel-y-ffin.

The hike is 10.25 miles, with a total ascent of 2093ft (a grade 6)

As well as the amusing name, this walk will give me my first glimpse of the part of the Offa’s Dyke I am most looking forward to – The Hatterrall Ridge, a ten mile ridge with apparently stunning views across the Black Mountains to the West, and England to the South.

Share the Trip

If you live in or around Brecon, it would be great if you want to pop around to whatever pub we end up in to say hi. As usually I will also be tweeting throughout the trip (we are in Brecon Tuesday to Thursday next week).

I will also be putting my Social Hiking 2.0 app through it’s paces (powered by viewranger) – the app lets you follow each walk live (it is updated every 15 minutes), and includes the route, related tweets, photos and now even audioboos.

@documentally has a lot to answer for!

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