|Waun Fach from road
|Estimated net time||2½-3 hours|
The whole route runs on path.
|Drinking water||No access to running water|
|GSM coverage||No coverage in the lower part of the route, else OK (April 2012).|
|Parking||Room for a couple of cars around trail head.|
|Start height||257 metres|
|Vertical metres||555 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||9.4 km|
|GPS-file||X (descent only)|
From the A438/A479 junction by Bronllys drive 11.1 km south on road A479. Turn sharp left onto a narrow road and drive 1.2 km up to some green sheds on the left hand side of the road drive. Turn right here. Drive another 250 metres and find parking on the right hand side of the road.
Start walking by following the road another 100 metres, and then turn left onto a bridleway, which will take you up to some buildings and a number of fenced areas. Pass through two gates and follow one of several tracks in a north-eastern direction up the grassy slopes. When you get to a large fenced area approximately 1.1 km from trail head, turn left and follow the fence towards north. At the end of the fence turn right and follow the fence to its upper end. Turn left onto a wide path and follow this path north to a saddle where several paths intersect. From here you will see Waun Fach towards north-east, and it is ascended by following the path along the ridge from the saddle. The summit is marked by a large stone with a number of smaller stones on top of it.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
01. April 2012
Sunday and day #2 of my Welsh week-end. On the agenda today was another two mountains with primary factor >600m, and first was Waun Fach. After breakfast at my hotel in Builth Wells I headed south onto road A479, where I had planned my trail head to be. But finding a trail head proved to be difficult; I didn't find signs, and none of the locals were able to help. The best the locals could do was to say that east of A479 lay the Black Mountains, which wasn't much help for finding a trail head.
After driving back and forth on the A479 a few times, trying different small roads heading east, I eventually found one that worked. In hindsight I know this isn't the best trail head if you want a route that is as short as possible, but it gives a nice walk in fine terrain.
But finding trail head didn't solve all my navigational issues, and I ended up hiking all the way up to the ridge at 660 metres, as opposed to heading more north to the saddle south-west of Waun Fach. From this ridge I got a fine overview of the route ahead, and I also saw what I assumed to be Waun Fach. It looked a long way away, but in easy terrain I figured it was only an hour or so away. The hiking was easy, and 90 minutes after leaving trail head I was at the summit. To my surprise another person was also up there, enjoying the sun a few tens of metres south of the summit.
I took some photos from the summit, and then headed back via my ascent route, back to the saddle where a number of paths meet. From here I took a more direct route back down to my car, which proved to be a fine route. Back at the car I started my drive towards Pen y Fan.
But there is a post note to this hike; when I loaded my GPS tracks onto my PC I
realised that what I had thought was Waun Fach actually was the top Pen y Gadair
Fawr, and that Waun Fach was the big dome I had skirted across 2 km north of
what I had assumed was Waun Fach. Hence I had walked an extra 4 km. Yet another
example telling me that I need to be better at loading way points to my GPS before I hike
in unknown territory!