Raise money for the Brecon Mountain Rescue Team and Newport Outdoor group by undertaking stunning walks

Welcome to our Challenge Walks website

Welcome to the home page of the Newport Outdoor Group’s Challenge Walks website. We organise two annual challenge walks, the 25 mile Black Dragon Challenge Walk (the “BDCW”) in April; and the 20 mile Talybont Trial (with the option of a shorter 10 mile walk) held in early October.

Black Dragon Challenge Walk

Join us on a stunning 25-mile mountain challenge walk in the Brecon Beacons around Crickhowell, organised in conjunction with the Brecon Mountain Rescue team. Saturday 8th April 2017.

The BDCW has been run each year since 1982, and takes as its base the small market town of Crickhowell, near Abergavenny. This walk challenges even the best and the fittest, and includes a total of 6,700 feet of ascent through the surrounding Black Mountains. All proceeds from the event are donated to the Brecon Mountain Rescue team.

The BDCW Details

The Route

The BDCW takes the high road from Crickhowell. Passing Llanbedr, you climb 8 miles of whale-back ridge – so very characteristic of the Black Mountains – to reach Waun Fach, the highest point in the range. From here it’s downhill to Pengenfford, with cold drinks when you arrive. Mynydd Troed is a climb of 1,000 ft, followed by Mynydd Llangorse, and then you drop again to lower altitudes and more welcome cold drinks at Pentre. By now you’ve done 20 miles and you’re about to hit the wall – 1,800 ft of it – before you top Pen Allt-Mawr. Then you can breeze along the ridge to Pen Cerrig-Calch, and finally it’s down, down all the way back to Crickhowell for well-earned drinks and refreshments. No dogs are allowed on this event as it coincides with the lambing season.

N.B. This year there is the option of an additional 13km endurance section. After checking into the Waun Fach check point then descend down to the Grwyne Fawr reservoir and then proceed NW to our additional checkpoint


Checkpoint Grid. Ref ETA Checkpoint Grid. Ref ETA
1. Crickhowell 216 185 08:00 6. Mynydd Llangorse 157 261 14:15
2. Crug Mawr 262 226 09:30 7. Pentre (road jnct.) [R] 183 262 15:00
3. Waun Fach 215 299 11.30 8. Pen Allt-Mawr 206 243 16.30
4. Pub Car Park [R] 174 296 12.30 9. Table Mountain 225 206 17.30
5. Mynydd Troed 165 292 13.15 10. Crickhowell 216 186 18:00
R = Refreshment point (biscuits, cake, squash and spare water)

Entry Prices for 2017

Individual Entry £15
Endurance Option Individual Entry £20 (must be booked in advance online)
Group of 3 £40
Group of 4 £55
Group of 5 £65


To download the manual entry form, please click here

Memories of the 2013 event

The 2013 walk, like 2012’s event, was beset by poor weather. Conditions had been so bad (with seriously heavy snowfall) leading up to the day itself that the Mountain Rescue team had at one stage been considering whether the walk could take place. Fortunately conditions eased over the week prior. However, snowy and boggy ground remained a major problem – and to compound that it was raining hard on the day too, even down at base. That made for some pretty tough conditions up on the hills….. ….and that was reflected in the numbers of successful finishers! The actual number of starters (320) was affected heavily by the weather conditions, but just 132 actually completed the course. That’s a success rate of only 41%, the worst for many years. The BDCW isn’t a race, but the time of the first person back was a good hour slower than usual – that reflects the difficult underfoot conditions, which meant that many walkers didn’t reach Pentre by the 4pm cut-off. All the cakes, biccies, hot drinks and showers for returning walkers were particularly welcome this year. So 2013 really was a year to remind us that the Black Mountains are to be respected, and that we call this a challenge walk for a reason!

The Talybont Trial

The Talybont Trial (“TT”) takes place in October from the small village of Talybont-on-Usk, this is a tough 20-mile hike through lesser-walked parts of the Brecon Beacons. At this time of year the autumnal colours can be lovely, though you may be too tired to appreciate them! There’s a shorter 10-mile option available as well.

Get in touch

Postal Address: Newport Outdoor Group 22 Garrick Drive Thornhill Cardiff CF14 9BG