South Wales Traverse

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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.[1] The fastest female traverse was by Katie Roby in 2013 in a time of 19 hours 53 minutes.[2]

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.

Route[edit]

Below is a list of the summits that must be visited starting at Pen Rhiw Wen/Herbert's Quarry, running west to East.

Summit Grid reference Altitude/m
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
A4067 SN 870195 387
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
13 Duwynt SO 005207 824
14 Corn Du SO 007213 873
15 Pen y Fan SO 012215 886
16 Cribyn SO 023213 795
17 Waun Rydd SO 062205 769
18 Allt Lwyd SO 078189 654
Abercynafon SO 083177 212
19 Cefn yr Ystrad SO 086137 607
Pyrgad SO 101159 260
Llangynidr - Red Lion SO 155194 127
Cwm-gu SO 200209 190
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
28 Twmpa SO 224350 690
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 Priory51°56′35″N 3°02′17″W / 51.943°N 3.038°W / 51.943; -3.038 SO 287279 241

Route profile[edit]

Below is a profile of the route, again starting at Pen Rhiw Wen/Herbert's Quarry, running west to East.

South Wales Traverse profile

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Martin Stone's Long Distance News Summary", The Fellrunner, Spring 2017, 84-86.
  2. ^ http://www.merrell.com/UK/en_GB/blog?url=%2F/merrell_uk/2013/07/28/katie-breaks-ladies-record-south-wales-traverse/

Coordinates: 51°51′00″N 3°50′42″W / 51.850°N 3.845°W / 51.850; -3.845