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Cwm Lledr Horseshoe: Ysgafell Wen & Allt-Fawr
by poppiesrara » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:00 pm
Hewitts included on this walk: Allt Fawr, Moel Druman, Ysgafell Wen, Ysgafell Wen North Top
Date walked: 19/04/2014
Time taken: 4.5
Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 895m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Having expected this area to be deserted, even on an Easter weekend, there were actually a few cars at the road end near Coed Mawr and a couple of big groups visible in the distance heading up the bridleway west. No-one was taking quite this route, but then it does need a bit of pathless – if easy enough – grassbashing to gain a foothold on the long ridge of Yr Arddu. A good perspective of the Snowdon horseshoe and Moel Siabod, seen in full profile to the north, fill the eye for these miles, but the ridge makes for very interesting walking anyway – a constant succession of little rocky peaks and tiny pools amid the heather and a tangle of half-paths. I’d been up on Haystacks in the Lakes a few days before, and the walk along here and over the succession of summits of Ysgafell Wen must be Wales’ closest thing to that - without the crowds too…
Turning east over the tops of Moel Druman and Allt-Fawr, the going becomes grassier and quicker but no less attractive, the ridge lined by wide blue llyns in the sunshine, and the high Moelwyns and Cnicht rising temptingly close by. Allt-Fawr – this circuit’s highpoint at 698m has a fine summit of jagged rocky teeth, but also a startling sudden view of the vast Ffestiniog slate quarries climbing the hillsides opposite.
The descent north is easy if occasionally steep going over grassy subtops onto a circuitous quarry track back into the lovely valley. It’s also marked at first by the recent scars of industry (the sad little dammed llyn below Iwerddon and some rather prominent power-lines) but it’s a damn sight better than the way down the last time I climbed these hills a few years back: descending directly from Ysgafell Wen to the headwaters of the Afon Lledr and following the river into the valley is probably the wettest stretch of walking imaginable, a long, long slog of waist-high reeds hiding knee-deep watery marsh… This however was a terrific circuit of little-visited hills, very highly recommended.
by clivegrif » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:58 pm
Been a long time since I was up there, and this shows what I have been missing.
I know parts of Snowdonia was mobbed out over Easter, it seems hundreds even wanted to climb Maesglase from the cars jammed in & double parked at Bwlch Oerddrws.
However, it looks like you had a wonderful corner of Wales all to yourself.
by poppiesrara » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:12 pm
I can't remember seeing anyone actually parked up at Bwlch Oerddrws, god knows where they were off to! Maesglase is a favourite of mine but it's not obviously the place to climb it from, and I'm not sure anyone heads out for a family Easter up Cribin Fawr or Pen y Brynfforchog??!
by ChrisW » Fri May 02, 2014 2:55 am
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