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, giving about 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) of ascent. The aim is for participants to complete the route, on foot, within 24 hours. Runners may start at either end, but traditionally it is run from west to east, so that the prevailing wind is on the runner's back and much of the ascent is done during the first half of the route. 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 Traverse is somewhat easier to complete than its English Lake District equivalent, the Bob Graham Round. However, far fewer runners have done so due to the relatively low numbers who have actually attempted it. The selection of summits that must be visited is somewhat arbitrary, they are merely over 610 metres (2,000 ft) high and no other rules appear to have been applied in selecting them. Some of the summits are really just bumps on the ridge and not really summits in their own right at all.
The challenge is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "Brecon Beacons Traverse". This name really only refers to the section of the route from Storey Arms to Talybont over the Central Beacons and is a challenging day out favoured by some hillwalkers.
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.