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Moelwyn meander

Moelwyn meander

Postby stig_nest » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:48 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Moel-yr-hydd, Moelwyn Bach, Moelwyn Mawr

Date walked: 21/08/2014

Time taken: 7

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1000m

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A day off on a Wednesday is always a nice time to go for a walk. I was also fortunate enough to have one of my old walking pals up in the Shire visiting family - so a route was devised with the usual scope for extending or shortening, The weather report checked and the alarm clock set for an early start. We left Oswestry around 7:15am and arrived in Blaenau Ffestiniog around 08:30.

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Given that our enthusiasm had led to a monster route involving the Manod peaks we elected to park at grid ref 706455. Free parking is always a bonus - though this left us a fair walk from our first hill Moelwyn Bach. We set off in fine weather around 10 to 9 and descended under the railway to the burnt out cottage. At this point with the hills looking splendid across the valley I discovered that the batteries which I'd elected to not replace were in fact dead. So a detour back up into the town centre was required. ultimately this turned added just over half a k onto our route but the warm up did our legs good - and it was a lovely morning anyway. so no bother.
We arrived at the Tanygrisiau reservoir and found the path which would lead us up the hillside from hereonin.
Moelwyn Bach from nr. Tanygrisiau

The thing about footpaths is until you walk them you never quite know whats actually going to be there. this one started fairly promisingly but whether we were just not paying attention or the path actually did peter out we ended up making our own way up the hillside before picking up the reservior access road. Anyone with a passion for cycling up mountain passes might like to know that this is in places one steep swine of a road. We soon arrived at the dam.

It's worth pointing out at this point that the sign says there's no access across the top of the dam. We of course then turned back and found the footpath before heading up to the other end of the dam where we picked up the route from the point where we would have been had we have crossed the dam... which we definitely didn't do..

The terrain ahead to the col between Moelwyn Bach & Craigysgafn is in places pretty flat. We took this as being pretty wet so headed uphill towards Carreg Blaen Llym. There was a path of sorts which helped us climb for a bit before we headed pathlessly aiming for a point to the left of a scree run on face of Moelwyn Bach.

Craigysgafn from just below Moelwyn Bach.

Upon reaching the col between we then headed up the steepish path to the summit of Moelwyn Bach. It's at no point difficult though loose in places and the height is gained pretty rapidly. The summit cairn came into view as did the band of rain from Porthmadog way. Grabbing a few quick snaps we hurredly returned down to the col and as it turned out avoid the squall by a matter of metres.
Llyn Trawsfynydd from Moelwyn Bach summit.
The Craigysgafn ridge as seen from descent off Moelwyn Bach.

From the col the impending ascent up Craigysgafn looked a bit daunting. The mist swirling around the rocky outcrops certainly added to the gnarly look but having climbed it some years ago with the missus I knew it would pose no issues for James & I. Whilst climbing the ridge we spotted four other walkers approaching the col from the Llyn Stwlan direction. Aside from another two folk also seen from distance whilst we paused for lunch we saw nobody all day. The summit of the ridge reached we continued on to the more grassy rise of Moelwyn Mawr. The threat of rain seemed to have passed by now - though the clouds were pulling out all the stops to add to the already enjoyable views.
looking back at Bach and the ridge.
The summit of Moelwyn Mawr presents fine views to Snowdon normally. Indeed the views from this 770m peak are pretty fine wherever you look. Snowdon was today shrouded in cloud around the 950m mark. Crib Goch was visible though the higher tops were not. This is a fine spot to view the Hebog and Nantle group too.

We descended the grassy slopes towards our net top Moel Yr Hydd passing the landslip en route. It's easy to forget just how much tunneling is under you feet in places up here though in other spots it's glaringly obvious. Having found a cracking spot for lunch on the lower slopes of our next hill we sat for a while just admiring the view.

The summit of Moel Yr Hydd is a bit unusual. There's no cairn, There's no trig, Indeed it's the sort of top which clearly doesn't get many repeat visitors. This is a shame really because its a grand viewpoint. This too could be said even more so for our next top Foel Ddu.

Mountain lists are funny things. It's clear that Foel Ddu gets very few folk wandering around its summit area. It's top is shy of the magical 2000ft mark by perhaps no more than 100ft and yet the views from here are some of the finest you will get in this neighbourhood. You appreciate that Moel Yr Hydd is truly a rocky beast. Your view over the Rhosydd ruins to Cnicht is breathtaking and the drop down to the Cwmorthin mine is quite frankly hard to take in.

We had numerous options open to us from here. We toyed with the idea of carrying on to Moel Druman & Allt Fawr. This was dismissed - mainly because Allt Fawr look positively huge from here! We considered going up the mine tracks above Cwmorthin to gain Allt Fawr that way too & whilst this looked a fair bit easier and more interesting we decided that enough of the uphill bits for one day Lets go explore the remnants of Rhosydd instead. James had not set foot in this place before & whilst I've been here maybe half a dozen times now it's still an enjoyable hour wandering around these relics.
Cnicht from Rhosydd.

Before leaving Rhosydd we visited the waterfall. It was here a few winters back I saw my first frozen waterfall. A bit warmer today for sure.

We descended down Cwmorthin passing numerous relics along the way. The view back up to Foel Ddu from the cwm here reinforcing my belief that Foel Ddu is a mountain

Dropping back into Tanygrisiau and back to tarmac we now had the final 2km back to the car. Hindsight is a wonderful thing - we could have parked this side of the town and saved a few k oh well..
from Tanygrisiau back to the car there appeared to be a network of footpaths which would save half a kilometer So across fields with horses, through farmyards with yappy dogs & across marshlands we went. Proof again that a footpath on a map doesn't guarantee a path on the ground.
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Re: Moelwyn meander

Postby martin.h » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:09 am

Great report with some atmospheric photo's of the hills with the clouds swirling around the summits , the industrial relics looked interesting too. Thanks for sharing.
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