Pen Y Gadair Fawr and Pen Twyn Mawr

August 27, 2009 at 11:36 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment

This was unfinished business. Both peaks are probably best walked as part of the long Nuttall walk taking in the seven summits starting with Pen Carreg-calch and passing round to Waun Fach and then on to Pen Y Gadair Fawr and Pen Twyn Mawr. I walked  the other side of the valley in the winter, but I didn’t have time to do the whole loop, so instead I started from the Grwyne Fawr valley. The biggest benefit of this approach was to give Izzy, our spaniel, a good work out by taking a winding path up through the forest. This was a good way up (as long as you don’t mind getting a bit lost in woodland). It’s then a simple climb up to the summit of Pen Y Gadair Fawr. This is a better peak than the higher – and very boggy – Waun Fach. There are excellent views across the whole of the Black Mountains, even on a cloudy day like this. The wind was bitter for August though, so we moved quickly on to Pen Twyn Mawr skirting the forest at first then across a clear track to the summit. From cairn marking the summit, there are good views down to Sugar Loaf and Skyrrid. I’d hoped to return by going down through the forest but couldn’t see any clear entry point so we back-tracked on a slightly lower path to the forest below Pen Y Gadair Fawr. Just before we entered the forest, a fox ran out of cover about 30 metres ahead, it ran across the path with a rangy gait and then disappeared into the high moorland grass. After that we passed through the edge of the forest emerging on the path that runs steeply down by the forest edge and then follows the river to valley bottom and a short walk back to the car.


Nantlle Ridge

August 22, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Posted in Walking | 2 Comments
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This was a superb 9 mile linear walk from Rhyd-Ddu to Nebo across the seven summits of the Nantlle Ridge, including Wales’ newest mountain. The weather was perfect, one of the best days I’ve had in Snowdonia, with the summit of Snowdon itself visible for most of the day.

The walk begins with a stiff climb up from Rhyd-Ddu to the summit of Y Garn. There are fine views towards Moel Hebog to the south east. The summit itself gives great views of Snowdon towering above Rhyd-Ddu. To the south the ridge of Myndd Drws-y-coed  and the bulk of Trum y Ddysgl, the next two peaks, look daunting. The summit of Myndd Drws-y-coed is reached by a scramble that is made more challenging by the dramatic exposure on the right hand side, but once a sensible route is found towards the middle and left of the ridge it’s an enjoyable climb. From here you follow the ridge to Trum y Ddysgl, though we took the slightly lower route by mistake and then walked back to the summit. From here the ridge continues to Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd, with its stone monument to Queen Victoria.

From here the ridge become a steep ascent to Bwlch Dros-bern, with what looks like a rather formidable approach to Craig Cwm Silyn, the tallest of the summits on the ridge. Once you get to the beginning of the climb the path round the right hand side become clear and while stony and steep at times offers no real difficulty.

Cloud had started to gather on the top of Snowdon, a familiar picture, but was still above the other peaks. As we followed the stone wall to the top of Garnedd-goch, the skies continued to darken but it was still a fine day. From the top we could see down to Nebo, but we had one more peak still to do. Mynydd Graig Goch was only recently recognised as mountain, after a new survey put its height at just over 2000 feet. The rocky summit was an atmospheric point to end the ridge part of the walk, with the clouds starting to drop over the top of Craig Cwm Silyn. On the descent to the lake below, Cors y Llyn, the clouds were coming over Mynydd Graig Goch, but our luck held out and we made it back to the car tired but dry. We’d been out 9 hours and an excellent dinner at the pub in Rhyd-Ddu seemed well earned.

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