Mynydd Mawr

June 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment
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After the Carneddau, Tuesday was a recovery day – some gently riverside walks in Betws-y-Coed, spending too much money in walking shops and reading my book on a  deep leather sofa over a couple of pints in a quiet bar. After that I was ready to test my knee on a reasonable but not too strenuous walk.

Mynyndd Mawr stands in isolation opposite the Nantlle Ridge and is climbed in a straightforward ascent from the village of Rhyd-Ddu. But it’s more than just a summit to be bagged. The crags of Craig y Bera looming over the dramatic pass between Ryd-Ddu and Nantlle are a tantalizing prospect and the walk provides superb views of the Nantlle ridge and across to Moel Elio and the western approach to Snowdon with Llyn Cwellyn below.

It was one of those days when I was constantly putting on and off my waterproof – one minute baking in the sun, the next cooled by a brief shower and in once instance a hail storm. Generally though, visibility was excellent and I was glad I’d kept the walk until I had done the surrounding hills – being able to pick out the summits and know I’d already walked them was a real bonus.

The walk starts on a forest track from Rhyd-Ddu and then there is a steep climb up the ridge to the minor summit of Foel Rûdd. From there it’s an enjoyable stroll across the edge of Craig y Bera – with a wonderful views of the Nantlle and the pass far below – to the summit of Mynydd Mawr.

After that, the only decision I had to make was whether to return the way I came or clamber down the path through a gulley that would bring me out at the other end of the woods running to Rhyd-Ddu. Caution seemed to be the best option given the twinges in my knee, so I took the same route back to Rhyd-Du and quick reward in the Cwellyn Arms.

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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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