South Wales Traverse

Post date: Dec 1, 2013 12:40:20 PM

Category: Ultra/Personal Challenge

Distance: 118km / 73miles

Ascent: 5300m / 17,000ft


This 24-hour challenge involves 73 miles and some 17,000 feet of ascent. It was launched in 1984 having been completed by Derek Fisher and Andy Lewsley the year before.

It traverses 31 summits in the Carmathen Fan, Fforest Fawr, Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains areas and may be completed in either direction. The mountains selected are from the 2000 foot (610m) summit tables compiled by George Bridge in his book - The Mountains of England and Wales.

The men's record (as of 2013 and to the best of my knowledge) was set by Mark Hartell in 1993 in a time of 14 hours 42 minutes.

The women's record was set by Katie Roby in 2013 in a time of 19 hours 53 minutes and 29s.



Kit Requirements:





Route Card:


My route deviates from the conventional route in a couple of places. The most significant is my route through Llangynidr to Cwm-gu as noted here.

My route goes through the west side of Llangynidr passing The Coach & Horses Inn (SO145198) and uses public rights of way to Tretower (SO186213) and onto Cwm-gu (SO199209). The traditional route passes through the east side of Llangynidr, passing the Red Lion Pub (SO155195) and eventually goes across the private Glenusk Estate where permission to access is required. I have investigated both routes and found there to be little between the two. My route is approximately 400m longer with an additional 10m of ascent but without requiring any permission for access.

I take a different approach to Garreg Las running below the ridge (to the west of it) along a nice, runnable trod before taking a steep climb to the summit once you pass the big boulder.

I drop straight off Fan Hir rather than back-tracking to the zig-zag path. It's not too steep for it.

And I follow the arched line, following a trod and then a lightly defined track from Y Gryn to Duwynt to save some ascent at the cost of a little distance. I find it's quite gently runnable to stretch the legs in a good way.

GPS File:

Available (see bottom of the post to download)

Route Map:

Route Profile:

South Wales Traverse Elevation Profile