Brecon Beacons Navigation – Aug ’18

Navigation Trip

Date: 3rd – 5th August

Accommodation: Pencilli Castle Camp Site, near Brecon.

Attendees: Dorian (instructor), Maggie (organiser), Nicola, Val, Simon H, Dave, Andy.

The advantage of going to the Brecons is that it should be a short journey, but no, we had the usual Friday traffic queues, plus detours, so it took us 3.45 hours rather than 2.30 hours! We finally set up camp, cooked but then had to decamp quickly into the back of Maggie’s car as the rain started to fall, and then went up to the comfort and shelter of Andy’s luxurious camper van.

On Saturday morning Andy set off on his bike for a big day out in the hills (74 miles, 6000ft ascent) while the rest of us went to Dorian’s house for an introduction to our Navigation course. We looked at planning, weather, maps, compasses etc. The coffee/teas were most appreciated plus Maria’s delicious carrot cake and brownies! We then headed to Ystradfellte for a practical session; practising pacing, setting the map and using our compasses to take magnetic bearings trying to avoid sink holes and trail bikes.  Then it was back to the campsite for a well-earned BBQ and some liquid refreshment!

On Sunday Andy did an offroad MTB loop arounf Pen-y-Fan whilst the rest met Dorian by the A470 and headed across a permitted path to the Taff Trail. Avoiding the hoards of people walking up to Pen Y Fan from the Storey Arms, we made our way up to Fan Fawr (734m), then navigated our way to sheepfolds, streams, cairns, piles of stones and even footpaths! The weather was glorious, the views were great and we only saw a couple of people all day.

It was great weekend, a lot was learnt all thanks to the excellent training we had from Dorian. To be recommended!


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