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Aran Fawddwy from Cwm Cywarch

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:58 pm
by john923
There is something special about early spring days when you can feel the heat of the sun but there is still a nip in the morning air, when the pale blue skies and lingering haze bleach out your photos and when you’re on the look-out for lambs in the fields trying to do their vertical take-off thing. It was grey and foggy for most of the way there but, true to forecast, the mist burnt off as we approached Dinas Maddwy.

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Parking up in Cwm Cywarch we took the signed track over the stream which then slants north-east up the lower flank of Pen yr Allt Uchaf. Across the valley the crags of Craig Cywarch looked especially impressive.
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Craig Cywarch

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Craig Cywarch

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Drysgol and upper Hengwm valley

Taking our cue from the Nuttall route we then simply aimed upwards for the 616m spot height. This is a pretty daft way up a hill, too steep to be sensible really. The only consolation was that it was still in shadow and so was still cool.
Once on the top it was just a question of following the fence east to the summit, which is marked by a few sticks.
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Pen yr Allt Uchaf

Continuing eastwards and following the faint path that skirts the peat hags of Waun Goch to the left, our next target was Gwaun Lydan. You can just make out the profile justifying its Nuttall status.
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Gwaun Lydan from Waun Goch

The easist route was to continue as if towards Drysgol and then cross the fence and contour round. Luckily the top is at the north end of the hill so any bogtrotting is largely avoided. Whilst an unremarkable summit, just a few stones, it does give an excellent view of the east face of the Aran ridge. The dry edge of a nearby peat hag made a good seat for a spot of lunch. From here Drysgol looks like it is a completely separate hill but it’s just a swelling on an eastern spur of the main ridge.
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Drysgol and Aran Fawddwy from Gwaun Lydan

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Aran ridge

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Aran Fawddwy and Creiglyn Dyfi

Continuing over Drysgol, again following the fence, the ridge narrows and then widens again at a cairn. Just past this we reached a ladder stile and crossed this to tackle the rocky slopes up to Aran Fawddwy. You’d have thought there would have been more of a path for such a significant hill, but it’s faint and, to be honest, more fun in picking your own line up to the first rocky knoll. This isn’t in fact the summit – there’s another 200m to go along the dry stony ridge to get to the trig point.
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Summit approach

From here it’s a long way down to Creiglyn Dyfi on the east side and great views to a Rhinog-studded skyline to the west. A fine spot for a cuppa in the afternoon sun - T-shirt weather in March at nearly 3000ft - what more could you ask for!
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Looking down on Creiglyn Dyfi

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Trig point

Rather than simply follow the fence south-west off the ridge we chose instead to re-trace our steps until we were nearly at the cairn on Drysgol and then followed the edge round the scooped out end of Hengwm valley. As hoped for, this was a much more scenic option and easy walking on grass as we headed for the next top of Gwaun y Llynwi.
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En route to Gwaun y Llwyni, with Glasgwm beyond

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Across to Pen yr Allt Uchaf

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Back to Aran Fawddwy from Gwaun y Llwyni

From here we followed a line of old fence posts – nothing too boggy – back to the main Aran path with its lines of planks. A bit unsightly perhaps, but no more so then a wide churned up boggy track, and certainly useful – this pool was about three feet deep when tested with a trekking pole.
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Bog crossing

A three minute detour bagged the Nuttall of Waun Camddwr and then it was back down to Cym Cymarch, following the stream to the valley floor.
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Waun Camddwr

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Descent into Cwm Cywarch

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Cwm Cywarch

All in all, a fine day out.

Re: Aran Fawddwy from Cwm Cywarch

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:25 am
by ChrisW
Lovely stuff John, great photos and a great day in the glorious sunshine, what more could a man want. This "This is a pretty daft way up a hill, too steep to be sensible really" made me laugh, I've had similar thoughts about a lot of my ascents recently :lol:

I was in my t-shirt all day today including having lunch at 5500 feet.....incredible day for us all it seems :D

Re: Aran Fawddwy from Cwm Cywarch

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:36 am
by malky_c
Good report :)

I had a similarly spring-like day on Aran Benllyn a month or so back.

I've sort of done this route, but missed a couple of the less significant summits out, so I'll be back over this way soon.

Re: Aran Fawddwy from Cwm Cywarch

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:03 pm
by john923
Cheers, both. I was surprised there wern't more folks about on such a great day but I guess the Arans are relatively neglected compared to the rest of Snowdonia.

malky_c wrote:I had a similarly spring-like day on Aran Benllyn a month or so back.

Just checked out this report and it's given me a few ideas for doing the rest of the ridge - thanks.

John