Waun-oer and Maesglase

March 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment
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Sometimes getting out on the hills is just the best thing you can do. This walk covered the fine, if rarely visited, ridge lying between Cadair Idris and the Arans. These hills loom over the A470 as it goes through Bwlch Oerddrws on the way to or from Dolgellau. It’s possible to walk up from the road but I followed the Nuttall route, beginning at the small village Aberllefenni. I took slightly different start though, taking the woodland path that cuts up from the road just outside the village and following this above the track cutting through the end of Cwm Ratgoed. Eventually a signposted woodland path cuts off from the forest track and its then a long haul on an a rough path through the woods. Eventually I reached the open hillside and it was just a short climb up to the ridge. The reward was a lovely view of Cadair Idris to the west. I followed the ridge north from here to the summit of Waun-oer. As you walk to the summit the view expands to include the Rhinogs, the Arans, and the hills of Snowdonia to the north. The other peaks of the walk stretch out clearly to the east.

While I ate lunch at the summit I was passed by a young lad running the trail in the other direction. I was even more impressed with his efforts when I realised how sharply the path dips after Waun-oer before climbing steeply to Cribin Fawr. I saw no one else on the hills all day – typical for these mid-Wales ranges and one of their great attractions.

There is no clear summit for Cribin Fawr just a series of tussocks of varying height, but again the views are excellent with the Arans stretching out ahead.

From here I followed the ridge across to Craig Portas with its awesome drop to the left. On the way I disturbed a couple of red grouse. It was a stiff climb up from the cwm below Craig Portas and then I followed the out-and-back path to Maesglaes. The path drops down sharply at a few points and there was also the remnants of deep snow in a few places, making for quite stiff walking at times.

The summit of Maesglaes is now recognised as Craig Rhiw-erch, rather than the old top, Maen Du, a little further on. I visited both tops with excellent views across the Arans – including the eastern hills I walked in February.

I backtracked to Craig Portas – which wasn’t as arduous as I thought, taking about half and hour. Then it was a straightforward walk over Mynnydd Dolgoed, with the lowering sun giving a lovely view of Cadair Idris as it dipped into shadow. A steep ascent brought me down to track through Cwm Ratgoed, and then it was a simple walk as the light started to fade alongside the river and back into Aberllefenni just as it became dark.


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