Arranged before Christmas, the ‘run up the Domen’ (which I now know is the large hill (mountain?) between the Tredegar and Ebbw Fawr valleys) was set to be a well-attended club bimble. The plan was to run around 7-9 miles up a large hill/mountain and that was all I knew.
Up The Domen
Starting at the Brewer’s Fayre pub in Victoria, the route follows a steep old tramway for around a mile and a half. Passing some interesting historical industrial artefacts including an old winding wheel, the tramway is a gradient of between 10-15% so at a slow pace you should be able to trundle your way up it.
At the top it’s a faster run across the ridge towards Man-Moel road and down to the Sirhowy Valley Walk where you head back north towards Y Domen Fawr. Running towards the Domen the route bears left and heads down to a place called Troearhiwgair (Yep, I can’t pronounce that either!) The steep path down offers stunning views of the Tredegar valley and on the day of the run it was so clear that you had a view of Pen-y-Fan, Cribyn, et al in the Brecon Beacons.
After Troearhiwgair it’s another steep climb Coed y Rhyd wood where the path becomes more technical and significantly muddier. There are some unavoidable muddy sections but you are rewarded with a loop around a picturesque little reservoir.
It’s then back up another hill which will eventually lead to the Domen. It climbs through a rocky path through the Coed y Rhyd woods before crossing the Sirhowy Valley Walk again and rising steeply to the Domen. At times it did get steep so I power hiked some sections.
From the 504m summit you are rewarded with views of the Brecon Beacons, the Sugar Loaf and Skirrid and the Tredegar and Ebbw Fawr Valleys. We were fortunate enough to have wall-to-wall sunshine for the entire run so the views weren’t obscured at all.
Leaving the Domen it’s a faster run for approximately a mile down a ridge to meet a path that leads to the fast downward run along with initial tramway. I see descents like these as a good reward for all the hills climbed. They’re fast, technical and work wonders for strengthening your leg muscles.
It’s so beneficial running a route such as this one with people familiar with the area. It was a perfect route to add to the list of runs and with a variety of paths on the mountain you can easily increase/decrease the mileage.
Route and Profile