I had packed the rucksack with only the equipment that I needed for an overnight wild camp, so including food and water it weighed 39 lbs. On the ascent from the phone box to the river it felt as though I spent more time sorting out my rucksack on the ascent to Pen y fan than actually wearing it! Firstly when I left Storey Arms it was raining without sign of it stopping so I wore full waterproofs, then 10 minutes later there wasn’t a cloud in the sky so I stopped and took all my waterproofs off. At the flat part before you descend to the river I decided to try a light jog, 20 yards later I had my rucksack half emptied as I tried to repack it to stop things shaking around. I couldn’t see how things were moving as everything was VERY tightly packed and all the straps were as tight as I could get them. With the rucksack repacked and checked I set off running again, 20 yards later my rucksack was off again with me still trying to find what was moving around. By this time I was getting fed up, I think from the start I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind for the trip, plus I had just seen what I don’t like about Pen y fan. On the ascent after the river there must have been about 200 or more people all on their way up. I gave up with my rucksack, deciding that because of the thick padding and frame it must be the actual rucksack moving and not things inside it. The rucksack is a karrimor Panther 65 and whilst it is amazingly comfortable to wear whilst WALKING, I think my cheap Webtex military style bergen which has no frame and minimum padding is a much better design for running. From this point I decided not to run anymore and just do the route at a fast walking pace.
I had just crossed the river when the heavens opened, so off with the rucksack again to don waterproofs, then trudged up towards Corn Du squeezing past throngs of ignorant people who would just stand in groups taking up the whole path and most of the grass either side, just staring at me as I said hello and tried to pass them. I started to feel more and more fed up, just crossing the top of Corn Du without really acknowledging that I was there, though I did have a secret smile at a man shouting into his phone that he was “at the summit of CORN DOO” (for people who don’t know, it’s pronounced Corn DEE).
Whist on the summit of Cribyn which thankfully was devoid of people I stopped to enjoy the non-view of mist. I was fascinated by the way the hail was blown horizontally across the summit of Cribyn the just hung in the air as it went over the near vertical drop to the valley below. At this point I started shivering so I turned around to head back down Cribyn and up Jacobs ladder then on to my intended camp site beside Llyn Cwm Llwch. Although, as usual the climb up Jacobs ladder was hard and I was sweating, I couldn’t stop shivering, this is when I decided that it would be stupid to stay up there for the night so I just headed back to Storey Arms, all I wanted to do was get home for a hot shower. So 3 hours and 20 minutes after I had left Storey Arms I climbed back into the car and whacked the heating on full.
I have come to the conclusion that Pen y fan and I have a mutual dislike for each other!
As a footnote some of the hordes of people on Pen y fan were taking part in a run, I found them to be very polite, receiving a smile and hello from them all, even though some were obviously in a fair amount of pain. I even had a "Sut mae" from one person (Welsh for 'how are you' used as a slang greeting much the same as 'allright' in English).
Well done to EVERY runner!