Pen Y Garn

January 24, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment

Pen Y Garn is an outlying peak to the south of the Pumlumon range. There is little remarkable about it but it’s a nice stretch for the legs.  The snow and ice that had covered mid-Wales since before Christmas have now gone, except for a few vestiges on the hills and higher roads, so there were no more excuses, and as the route is mostly through forest it was also a chance to give the dog a good run out.

The starting point is the Arch, a 19th century monument by the side of the B4574, a winding  mountain road that runs across hills and moors from Rhayader to Aberystwyth with fine views over the Elan Valley on the way.

From the car park, , a wide forestry track leads up over 2.5 miles to the grassy slopes below the summit. I thought we might make things more interesting by detouring through the forest itself. This was a mistake of course. We did find a clearing with a good viewpoint looking across to the coast and the hills to the north but then had to struggle through rough forest paths to get back on the main track.

We probably took the least direct route through the confusing mix of fences around the summit and by the time we got there we were surrounded by a thick and very cold fog. The summit itself is now the site of a number of several large wind turbines, an eerie presence in the mist. After a quick (shared) sandwich, we followed the path south from the summit and then onto a track that took us all the way back to the edge of the forest. The only mishap was going into a mound of snow up to my thigh. Passing an old farm house in the middle of the forest, the farmer told me that a week or so before the snow had reached over the top of the farm gate. Now there was just enough snow left on the sheltered parts of the hills to make an attractive piebald patterning across the slopes.

From the farm it was an easy walk back through the forest to the car and then an enjoyable drive home over the mountain road. A good way to shake off  post-holiday, mid-winter lethargy and bag another summit at the same time.


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