Moel Hebog

March 27, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment
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The walk begins in the woods a couple of miles from Beddgelert and Moel Hebog looms clearly above you as you approach the start. After a short walk through woods there was a gradual if strenuous hill climb up to the base of the summit. The small plateau provided a good place to catch my breath and enjoy the views over Beddgelert; Cnicht and the Moelwyns were clear to the south, and the Snowdon range was straight ahead, with snow still on many of the slopes and thick cloud over the summit. After this break, there was a rough scramble up over the obscure path to the ridge. On my own, after my brother pulled out with a pulled muscle, I tentatively reached for the next foothold in the shale and wondered what I would do if I slipped at this point. This was mid-week in late March and I’d only seen one other walker so far (who’d kindly warned my of how tricky this bit of the route could be); and though the weather was mild at the moment it probably wouldn’t stay that way. So with extra care I looked round for the best route up (and I still l think I never found it), and was relieved eventually to pull myself up onto the ridge that leads to the summit. The view from Moel Hebog includes the whole of the Nantille ridge stretched out beyond Moel yr Ogof and to the west the coast of Wales stretching up from Porthmadog. Off the summit I followed a stone wall that dropped steeply to the bwch and then climbed up to Moel yr Ogof (the Bare Hill of the Cave, which takes its name from the cave just off the summit where Owain Glyndwr hid from the armies of Henry IV).

Past the summit, the path cuts across the rocky crest to the Moel Lefn. Dark grey clouds had now gathered over Nantille ridge, so I moved on quickly down through the valley into the far end of the woods from where I’d started. Inevitably there were a few false steps in the woods, but not too much of a delay, and I made it back finally to the car at the end of a hard but worthwhile 6 miles that felt like much more.

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Cnicht

March 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Walking | 1 Comment
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The wind was ripping across from the sea at dawn. There was lashing rain as well and it was just a question of waiting it out and hoping for better. By mid-morning though the rain had stopped and the winds had eased and so we headed towards Cnicht (the Knight), the striking peak that stands south of the Snowdon range overlooking the coastline.

This was my brother’s first mountain peak – so I’d chosen something dramatic but not too challenging. The walk out of Croesor takes you gradually up the ridge to the summit with the North Wales coast line stretching out behind you, while across the valley to the north west there are clear views of Moel Hebog and behind that the Nantille ridge. The only problem was the fierce wind form the north and at one point we had to take shelter behind an outcrop before tacking an exposed part of the ridge. There is short scramble to the summit, which though it then leads onto an extended ridge to the west, still feels like and exposed and dramatic top with awesome views all around. After that it was a gentle walk over the ridge to the second peak, Cnicht South Top, and then down to Llyn yr Adar (lake of the birds).

The full horseshoe walk take you over the higher peaks of the Moelwyns but we kept that for another trip and cut back down past the old quarry works and onto the path along the side of Cwm Croesor. Despite a short burst of heavy rain this was a gentle walk with the hills glistening as the sun returned after the downpour.

Fan y Big and Waun Rydd

March 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment
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A 10-mile walk taking in the the escarpment from Fan y Big  across to Waun Rydd and then out to Allt Llywd. A fantastic early spring day, with clear skies all the way and apart from a sharp wind on edge up to after Waun Rydd, it stayed warm all the time.

As it was a Sunday, the car parks were busy and there were a fair few people on Fan y Big but I was on my own with the ravens once I get out towards Waun Rydd. Had lunch in peace on the crest between Fan y Big and the Waun Rydd escarpment – with wonderful views over the valley below.  On the walk from Waun Rydd there are great views over to Pen Carrog-Calch, Crickhowell and Sugar Loaf, with the Black Mountains further out.

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