Pen Allt Mawr

Map: OS (1:25K) Explorer 13 Brecon Beacons East (1:50K) Landranger 161 The Black Mountains

Linear walk, although long circular variations are possible

Start Point: Pengenffordd on A479 at SO175295

End Point: Crickhowell (SO215190)

Distance: 17.0km Ascent: 646m Descent: 867m (Linear hike)

Walking Directions

From the pub car park in Pengenffordd at SO175295, head along the main road briefly before turning left onto the public footpath. At SO180291, turn left and follow the road uphill until the junction. Turn right, before turning left and taking the bridle way up onto the ridge. This is the main bit of uphill. From the Cairn at 618m (SO205286), take the dotted track which follows the centre of the ridge southwards. When you get to SO213262, take the right fork to Pen Allt Mawr. Unless there is low-lying cloud and snow, this is quite noticable, since you'll lose sight of the westward valley if you take the wrong path!

After Pen Allt Mawr (719m), the final peak of Pen Cerrig-Calch (701m) marks the end of the ridge. From here it is all downhill. A compass bearing from the peak might be handy to pick up the path down. You want the dotted path that descends towards Table Mountain. Since I've always managed to do this walk in the snow, I can't say the path is particularily clear! There is a large cairn marking the top of the path down, which should be visible as you approach. When you get to the wall at the bottom of Pen Cerrig-Calch and between Table Mountain (SO225209), you have quite a few ways to Crickhowell. Either along the wall, before heading down Cwm Cumbeth, or around the Iron Age Fort on Table Mountain and choosing one of the pathwork of footpaths to Crickhowell.

Hike Profile

Hike Gradient

Variations

Once on the ridge, there are very few marked paths down. I have not attempted any other way down, so cannot provide any help towards a shorter circular route.

Maps provided by www.openstreetmap.org under a Creative Commons license

Notable Features and Highlights

Waun Fach

At 810m, Waun Fach is the highest peak in the Black Mountains. Although not directly on the route (it is approximately 2km to the north), it is obviously visible! While at 719m, Pen Allt Mawr is a subsiduary peak (and the third highest in the Black Mountains).

Table Mountain

For those under the sadly mistake belief that Table Mountain is found in South Africa; it is in fact otherwise known as Crug Hywel and is also an Iron Age fort. It overlooks the small town of Crug Hywel / Crickhowell. The town is named after the fort.

© Rhodri L T Bevan