South Wales Traverse
The South Wales Traverse is a long distance fell running challenge across the mountains of south Wales. It is a linear route of 118 kilometres (73 mi) taking in some 31 summits over 610 metres (2,000 ft) high, providing around 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) of ascent.
The aim is for challengers to complete the route on foot within 24 hours. The route takes in the mountain ranges of the Black Mountain, Carmarthenshire Fans, Fforest Fawr, Central Brecon Beacons, and the Black Mountains, across most of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The selection of summits that must be visited is simply all peaks standing at over 610 metres (2,000 ft). Arguably, some of the peaks are points along the ridges rather than true summits in their own right but some consider this to add to the theme of a linear long distance challenge. Challengers may start at either end, but traditionally it is run from west to east so that both the prevailing wind can be from behind and 60% of the ascent can be completed in the first half.
The Traverse is generally considered to be less arduous than its Lake District equivalent, the Bob Graham Round. However, it has also seen far fewer successful completions due to the relatively low numbers of challengers who attempt it each year. The fastest known time for the Traverse is 14 hours 18 minutes by Dan Doherty on 15 April 2017. The fastest female traverse was by Katie Roby in 2013 in a time of 19 hours 53 minutes.
The challenge is also sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "Brecon Beacons Traverse", which only cites the relatively short section from Storey Arms to Talybont over the Central Beacons failing to recognise the wider significance of the challenge.
Below is a list of the summits that must be visited starting at Pen Rhiw Wen/Herbert's Quarry, running west to East.
|Pen Rhiw-wen - A4069||SN 730184||495|
|1||Garreg Lwyd||SN 740179||616|
|2||Garreg Las||SN 777203||635|
|3||Bannau Sir Gaer||SN 811218||749|
|4||Fan Brycheiniog||SN 825218||802|
|5||Fan Hir||SN 830209||761|
|Trecastell road||SN 853203||369|
|6||Fan Gyhirych||SN 880190||725|
|7||Fan Nedd||SN 913184||663|
|Sarn Helen/minor road junction||SN 925185||400|
|8||Fan Llia||SN 938186||632|
|9||Fan Frynych||SN 957227||629|
|10||Rhos Dringarth (Craig Cerrig-gleisiad)||SN 960217||629|
|11||Fan Fawr||SN 969193||734|
|Storey Arms||SN 983203||445|
|12||Y Gyrn||SN 988215||619|
|14||Corn Du||SO 007213||873|
|15||Pen y Fan||SO 012215||886|
|17||Waun Rydd||SO 062205||769|
|18||Allt Lwyd||SO 078189||654|
|19||Cefn yr Ystrad||SO 086137||607|
|Llangynidr - Red Lion||SO 155194||127|
|20||Pen Cerrig-calch||SO 217223||701|
|21||Pen Allt-mawr||SO 206243||719|
|22||Mynydd Llysiau||SO 207279||663|
|23||Waun Fach||SO 215299||811|
|24||Pen y Gadair Fawr||SO 229287||800|
|25||Pen Twyn Mawr||SO 242267||658|
|Grwyne Fawr (minor road)||SO 252285||407|
|26||Chwarel y Fan||SO 258294||670|
|27||Rhos Dirion||SO 211334||713|
|Gospel Pass||SO 235352||550|
|29||Hay Bluff||SO 244366||677|
|30||Black Mountain||SO 255350||703|
|31||Pen y Garn Fawr||SO 277311||616|
|Llanthony Priory||SO 287279||241|
Below is a profile of the route, again starting at Pen Rhiw Wen/Herbert's Quarry, running west to East.
- http://www.mdcwales.org.uk/Newsletter/Newsletter_2005/mdcnewsjuly2005.pdf - Mynyddwyr De Cymru newsletter article on a group traverse – page 4
- "Martin Stone's Long Distance News Summary", The Fellrunner, Spring 2017, 84-86.