A short stroll from Pant Llwyd cairns (1.5.2010), this was too much of a draw to resist, despite being out of my intended way. A massive cairn, huge despite the concerted efforts of walkers to turn into a chalet or some such. As is often the case, it is not visible until you get to the southern Pant Llwyd cairns at around the 500m mark. It can however be seen from Chwar Blaenonneau, some way to the east.
Leaving here, I got back on my walk to Carreg Waun Llech, taking a direct and probably inadvisable route straight off the Garn Caws summit down the deep sided cwm to the south-east, then heading for the southern corner of Coed y Waun wood. This is rough, trackless countryside, strewn with scree and crossed by many little streams. From the corner of the wood, and again from the base of the rock band at Chwar Blaenonneau, Garn Caws is the most prominent man-made feature around.
Literally the culminating monument of the locality, the name of this impressive summit burial cairn apparently translates as 'cheese cairn'. Hey, old fashioned cheeses tended to be round, but then so do most cairns... I'm not convinced.
Although 'hollowed out' to form the obligatory walker's shelter (rant supressed with much difficulty) this remains one substantial cairn for apparently so obscure and insignificant a mountain-top. I mean, this isn't even the true summit of Mynydd Llangynidr - which is incidentally crowned by another large cairn, Garn Fawr - this being visible some considerable distance to the approx south. I would suggest its size only really makes sense if viewed as the focal point of the numerous cairns located within Pant Llwyd. Here lies the 'Big Man', and don't you forget it, so to speak.
We sit upon the great stone pile and survey the landscape, a vista not for the faint hearted as mist begins to sweep down Dyffryn Crawnor, first obscuring Tor-y-Foel and then the dominant, snowy summits of the main Beacons massif for the duration. The panorama is one of brutal severity, patches of snow highlighting numerous 'shake holes', the silence total, cars labouring up the B4560 to the east mere pin-pricks upon the horizon. I effect a bearing upon the route down and, sure enough, upon taking the obligatory 'last picture' we are plunged into a claustrophobic world of clammy, grey vapour. Disorientation is total and it takes a great leap of faith to place complete trust in that little red needle. Shouldn't it get easier after 20 years upon the hills? Perhaps it's best that it doesn't...... I remain in awe of this environment, and I hope I always will.
But such is the entry fee for a couple of hours at such an exquisite spot.