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Riding into the storm — Black Mountain crossing

For The Hell Of It.cc

Riding into the storm — Black Mountain crossing

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore



13:31 h

66.3 mi

7,425 ft

With a couple of spare days to play with and inspired by my good friend Cass' Black Mountain Crossing write up on Bikepacking.com, I rallied the troops for a Welsh overnighter from deep in the valleys of South Wales.

Despite being early August, the weather was not on our side, with Storm Ellen rapidly approaching as we disembarked the train at Aberdare on our first day. Our journey deep into the heart of the Black Mountain to the west of the Brecon Beacons became a race against the incoming storm, hankered by the rough chunky byways of the ancient Sarn Helen 'road' and then a multi-hour hike-a-bike over the moorland.

Our initial plan to wild camp on the shores of the high Lyn y Fan Fach were dashed; lightning storms were incoming and it didn't seem like a good idea to head up the mountainside. Instead, we got lucky with a wonderful semi-wild campsite in the valley where we could shelter from the worst of the storm overnight.

Although most of the rain had fallen in the night, there were still huge winds battering the open landscape, so in fear of swollen rivers and unsafe mountain passes, we quickly made the decision to stick to the roads for our return leg on day two. Even that, it would turn out, would be pretty thrilling through the storm!

Photography by ForTheHellOfIt.cc

On The Map


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Black Mountain crossing

65.9 mi

5,850 ft

5,850 ft

Last updated: November 19, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Day 1: The calm before the storm — Black Mountain crossing

    31.8 mi
    3.9 mph
    3,550 ft
    4,025 ft

    Our journey from the valleys of South Wales, deep into the heart of the Black Mountain to the west of the Brecon Beacons on the first day quickly became a race against the incoming storm.


    Despite wanting to make good progress to beat the worst of the weather, this route was not one to be rushed. We had

    by Katherine Moore

  • With gale-force winds battering us on the second day and worse weather forecast, we easily made the decision to avoid the next mountain pass and stick to the roads, which in this part of Wales are absolutely gorgeous.


    The almighty tailwind along the mountain road past Usk Reservoir was incredible, but

    by Katherine Moore

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    66.3 mi
  • Duration
    13:31 h
  • Elevation
    7,425 ft

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