walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr


Postby smirnie71 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:11 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Cadair Berwyn, Cadair Bronwen, Moel Sych

Date walked: 03/04/2011

Time taken: 5.15

Distance: 12.84 km

Ascent: 961m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



This is a walk I've been contemplating ever since I first huffed, puffed and cursed my way up Moel Sych, a classic example of bog ridden Welsh hills with numerous false summits and neck craning steepness. I did not fall in love with this hill. I far prefer ridges, rocks and crags though not on the way down mind you!
I remember the tantalising view of the rocky ridge to Cadair Berwyn and the knee knocking drop down to Llyn Lluncaws and decided I'd be back.

The weather forecast for this weekend had started as a complete wash out and gradually improved throughout the week. Rain seemed inevitable but glimpses of sunshine were on the cards too so we decided to tackle this ridge on Sunday.

By 10.30am we were at the car park and I was a little nervous as I'd forgotten my inhaler at home. It's like a safety blanket, I don't need it 90% of the time but knowing it's there makes all the difference.
After getting kitted up and casting a few admiring glances at Pistyll Rhaeadr which was crashing down the hill side full of winter water, we set off up the hillside to find the path that would lead us along Nant y Llyn, passed some glorious waterfalls up on to the shoulder of Cadair Berwyn.
The grassy path looked benign enough and I'm not sure whether it was the game of squash and 4.5km march we did around Haughmond Hill on Saturday but both of us suffered from severely moaning legs. I was further hindered by the niggle about my lungs and lack of drugs. On we plodded though, shedding layers and adding them as the weather sent beams of glorious warm sun shine followed by hail stones and gusts.

Eventually after about 600m ascent the path narrowed and we picked our way along Craig y Lly with a precipitous drop to the right down to Llyn Lluncaws. I forgot all about my inhaler and my legs seemed to find a new lease of life which happens to me every time I can sense I'm near the top. We met a guy who was on his way down who warned us the path along the ridge was very slippery and we could see distinctive slip marks on the track where either he or others had skidded in the mud. Gradually we made our way up and were joined for a short while by a lady who was out on her own and apparently appreciated being behind us as it gave her ample opportunity to stop for a breather.... hmmmm... I prefer to think we merely stopped to take in the view/take photos/change layers/have a bite to eat but the fact of the matter was we were knackered!

Cadair Berwyn makes you work. First we encountered a rocky outcrop which reminded me very much of Sgor Gaoith, especially with cloud swirling around it. That's the summit right? Nope. On we go to what initially looks like a giant cairn but is actually a circular shelter. That's the summit! Nope. This was a great opportunity however to get out of the wind and stop for lunch. Happy as a pig in muck I fished out my new Esbit stove which was having it's first outing. I was really looking forward to a hot chocolate brewed on the mountain. I will do a review of the stove soon. Suffice to say I was very happy with it, it's sturdy as you like, very practical and well thought out. The solid fuel tablets are not easy to light though and it did take two of them to boil 500ml of water. It's also slower than a gas stove but who cares, whilst it was brewing we had sandwiches and I had time for a rollie. Because obviously suffering with asthma, having no inhaler with me and being overweight, smoking is a great idea right? Never mind, I felt like a kid having a big adventure in the outdoors.
We could see the true summit of Cadair Berwyn a few 100m ahead so packed up our kit and headed off for compulsory summit photo. Once there we decided to push on to Cadair Bronwen although all I thought I wanted to do was head back. I've done that too many times before and regretted it. We had done the really hard work and it's not as if you'd get to Cadair Bronwen in isolation so off we trotted.
It was easy enough initially though the path was boggy in places and still hugged the ridge. After a while the path veers North East, over a stile and then heads pretty much due North towards the summit of Cadair Bronwen.
This section of the walk is welsh bog hopping at it's finest. Energy sapping, boot sucking bog though in sections the path has been covered with railway sleepers covered in plastic mesh where the bog is especially nasty. This did feel like a giant cheat but I wasn't complaining. Getting to the summit of Cadair Bronwen was sheer slog but we summitted and were very, very happy to do so. This is the first time we've ever encompassed several tops in one walk and there was another one waiting for us on the way back.
We were lucky enough to have a clear view and no rain when we reached the summit however a look to the west showed the rain clouds rolling in. Sure enough, barely off the summit the rain and wind came in.
As we retraced the path to Cadair Berwyn we got a taste of true Welsh mountain weather and the going through the bog was hard work.
From Cadair Berwyn we continued South West to the summit of Moel Sych and stopped again for compulsory photo posing. Our third top! Tired and happy we start the plod down Moel Sych back to the car. Again there's a fair amount of bog hopping.
I'd suggested that walking through the water was probably easier than trying to step from one patch of vegetation to the other which is what Fiona was doing. She said she hoped I would have a Vicar of Dibley moment ... for those of you who watched that episode you know exactly what she was alluding to .. for those of you who haven't, watch it! Anyhow less than five minutes later I disappear up to mid thigh in the bog. Fortunately my right leg hasn't gone in as far so I haul myself out and end up on all fours laughing so hard there's almost another incident! Full points to my aptly named Keela Scuffer trousers. The ankle zip, Velcro fasteners around the ankle and welt inner ankle panel prevented my boots from filling with bog water.
Nevertheless I look like a creature from Middle Earth as we continue plodding down the hill.
I conclude as the hill descent punishes my legs that I still don't like Moel Sych but we've had the most glorious day out and I'm really proud of our achievement. Both of us and our gear were really tested. We were not found wanting, even if that masochist Naismith would have suggested otherwise!
The_Berwyns,_April_3_007.JPG
Cadair Berwyn ridge
The_Berwyns,_April_3_014.JPG
Yours truly - cool, calm and collected.... I think not!
The_Berwyns,_April_3_019.JPG
Fiona giving it some walking pole action
The_Berwyns,_April_3_031.JPG
Me at Cadair Berwyn summit, the ridge in the back ground
The_Berwyns,_April_3_033.JPG
Sleeper path to Cadair Bronwen, very convenient but it does scar the landscape somewhat
The_Berwyns,_April_3_038.JPG
Looking slightly more knackered - Cadair Bronwen summit
The_Berwyns,_April_3_040.JPG
View from Cadair Bronwen just before the rain came in.
The_Berwyns,_April_3_043.JPG
The path back to Cadair Berwyn
The_Berwyns,_April_3_045.JPG
Cadair Berwyn looking slightly menacing
The_Berwyns,_April_3_049.JPG
Oh my god that sandwich tasted good - pastrami & roule, shame I'm still chomping on it!
The_Berwyns,_April_3_051.JPG
Moel Sych summit with Berwyns in the back ground.
The_Berwyns,_April_3_054.JPG
Somewhere tantalisingly close the sun was shining!
User avatar
smirnie71
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 249
Munros:12   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:24
Islands:7
Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Location: Falkirk

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby yokehead » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:07 pm

Well done and another excellent and entertaining report. :D

I do remember that Vicar of Dibley episode so I'm just imagining you having been talked into it by Fiona, nice of you to oblige! :lol:

As for Naismith, I'm sure there's a big adjustment to be made for the bog-trotting and laughter element! :lol:
User avatar
yokehead
 
Posts: 699
Munros:68   Corbetts:9
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:87
Wainwrights:23   
Joined: Nov 13, 2008

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby smirnie71 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:57 pm

Thank you Yokehead!
T'was a fine day and yes, given the amount of laughter I'm now considering adding an item from the Tenna range to my kit list! The walk tested us but we had a great time as per usual. Next in the pipeline is a venture up to Scotland this qweekend, I'm thinking Ben Venue and hopefully a long weekend backpacking on Pembrokeshire coast followed by Ben Lomond in May - trying to get fit for Ben Nevis in July - I cry at the thought of that mountain.. :roll: :crazy: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: So as you see I'm planning many adventures in my mission to keep you entertained!
yokehead wrote:As for Naismith, I'm sure there's a big adjustment to be made for the bog-trotting and laughter element! :lol:

As for darling Naismith, we shaved a whole 15 minutes off his estimate last night when we went for a yomp up a local hill so :P to him!
User avatar
smirnie71
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 249
Munros:12   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:24
Islands:7
Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Location: Falkirk

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby yokehead » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:54 pm

Ah, Scotland this weekend, lucky you! :) Looking forward to seeing your report. As for the Ben in July, I trust you'll be going on the CMD Arete route, non of the tourist path nonsense (unless, of course, you're planning to take a piano or other extra piece of large kit with you). No, on second thoughts, it definitely must be the CMD. I await your reply with hope, and concern. :D
User avatar
yokehead
 
Posts: 699
Munros:68   Corbetts:9
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:87
Wainwrights:23   
Joined: Nov 13, 2008

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby smirnie71 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:55 pm

yokehead wrote:No, on second thoughts, it definitely must be the CMD. I await your reply with hope, and concern. :D

Ehm, the big bad Ben Nevis is going to be tackled because Fiona's father (70 and DeafBlind) wants to do something to challenge himself this year and raise funds for Deafblind Scotland... there is no way on gods green earth we're going via CMD Arete... that's for me when I'm a little more thin, a little wiser and a whole lot more experienced.
On that front I'm afraid you're going to have to wait a while for a report! :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:
If however you fancy joining our piano path venture and helping raise funds for this worthy cause, sign on here! Be warned, I'm anticipating a VERY LONG DAY!!!!
User avatar
smirnie71
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 249
Munros:12   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:24
Islands:7
Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Location: Falkirk

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby yokehead » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:04 pm

smirnie71 wrote:the big bad Ben Nevis is going to be tackled because Fiona's father (70 and DeafBlind) wants to do something to challenge himself this year and raise funds for Deafblind Scotland

Ah, well, with the additional info that's rather different! Quite some challenge as well. 8)

If I can arrange to be in Scotland then I'd love to join the venture and maybe others on this site will be able to participate. And I love long days! :lol: At the least, I will be glad to sponsor the challenge, let me know the details of how I can do this.

Just a gentle word of advice though, I do recommend that you leave the piano behind on this occasion. :lol:
User avatar
yokehead
 
Posts: 699
Munros:68   Corbetts:9
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:87
Wainwrights:23   
Joined: Nov 13, 2008

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby JGKES » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:47 pm

Enjoyed reading your informative and amusing report.The Berwyns have long been on my to-do list but I've never got round to arranging a suitable base.Domiciled in Sheffield makes a day-trip too inconvenient time-wise.Your pics show well the sort of terrain and scenery to expect.Regarding the Ben,the tourist route is long,straightforward and a slog but with compensatory views.I did it twice in the 70's and was very lucky to have a clear day each time,the second occasion experiencing an incredible cloud inversion from the summit.The view is a 360 degree unbroken panorama of mountains. Don't think of the summit on the way up until two hours at least have passed.Good luck with the Deafblind effort;I've supported this charity myself for several years now.
JGKES
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 50
Munros:51   Corbetts:8
Grahams:1   Donalds:3
Hewitts:140
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Mar 6, 2011
Location: Sheffield

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby morag1 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:44 pm

Sounds like a very hard slog - I was huffing and puffing just reading it :lol:

Good for you doing all these walks in preparation for Ben Nevis, and all for such a good cause - very best of luck :thumbup:

I am going to Fort William in June for a weeks holiday, we plan to do some walking in Glen Nevis and get a feel for the Ben before we get round to climbing it ourselves :D
morag1
 

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby smirnie71 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:56 am

yokehead wrote:Just a gentle word of advice though, I do recommend that you leave the piano behind on this occasion. :lol:

Seriously? I was only planning on taking a baby grand up! :lol:
It would be great if you joined, we're doing a walk up Ben Lomond 21 May so folks can get to know each other and Dad as a little time spent learning how to guide him is invaluable.

We're off to take the old goat for a walk in Glencoe this weekend, can't wait!

Have a great weekend and here's to sunny hill days! 8) :D
User avatar
smirnie71
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 249
Munros:12   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:24
Islands:7
Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Location: Falkirk

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby smirnie71 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:04 pm

Hi JGKES! wonderful to hear you had such a great experience on Ben Nevis and even better to hear you are a supporter of DeafBlind Scotland! We'll keep you updated with our progress. Out for another walk this weekend with Dad and hopefully it'll be less boggy than last weekend's outing! :?

Morag, hope you have a wonderful time in Glen Nevis, it's beautiful, have spent a few happy hours there.
I've just about recovered from last weekend so ready to take on the hills again in Glencoe tomorrow. :D
User avatar
smirnie71
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 249
Munros:12   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:24
Islands:7
Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Location: Falkirk

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby susanmyatt » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:23 pm

Great report, loved this walk when did it with the gang, we had great weather :D
User avatar
susanmyatt
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 438
Hewitts:94
Wainwrights:141   
Joined: Feb 3, 2009

Re: The Berwyns Ridge from Pistyll Rhaeadr

Postby smirnie71 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:04 am

susanmyatt wrote:Great report, loved this walk when did it with the gang, we had great weather :D


Thank you! Saw your report and loved it which merely helped to make the decision to tackle this walk! :D :D :D
User avatar
smirnie71
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 249
Munros:12   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:24
Islands:7
Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Location: Falkirk

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests