Mountain rank by height: 176 out of 188
Height: 2,024ft | 617m
Region: Brecon Beacons
Grid Ref: SO086137

One of the most southerly peaks in the Brecon Beacons this mountain offers good views towards the much busier Pen y Fan. It occupies a large space of empty moorlands and areas of shake holes (shake holes are formed in limestone landscapes when boulder clay is washed down through cracks or gaps in the underlying limestone).

The walk up to Cefn yr Ystrad is, I imagine, fairly pleasant from Pontscicill reservoir. It starts out steeply, but levels off to smooth and wide grass tracks and you follow a ridgeline towards the summit, at which point you ascend again.

I actually walked this mountain from my home in Pontllainfraith, which meant I summited at around 20-22 miles in (my phone ran out of battery at 18 miles and I had brought my battery pack, but not my USB cable!) and was probably around 22-25 miles when arriving at the reservoir. This is why I know the route from the summit, but only as an descent and one I had to do without any map – so my route up was thoroughly off the beaten track.

Photos on this day were taken with a rather battered – and ultimately disappointing – Tamron Adaptall-2 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 (44A). All at f8.

Cefn yr Ystrad
Cefn yr Ystrad trig point, looking towards Pen y Fan
Cefn yr Ystrad
The views are impressive, even on a rather dull and grey day
Broad View
There is also a lonely cross, jutting out against the sky.
Pen y Fan
Pontsticill Reservoir is nearby and probably offers the best place to park and walk up to Cefn yr Ystrad.