by poppiesrara » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:35 pm
Hewitts included on this walk: Foel Cwm Sian Llwyd, Manod Mawr, Manod Mawr North Top, Moel Penamnen
Date walked: 10/04/2011
Time taken: 4
Distance: 15.5 km
Ascent: 950mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
It feels a little unusual to start a Welsh mountain walk on a main road, parked opposite a Co-Op in the middle of a town, but it's only a few minutes before you're back in the wilderness, first through the deserted stepped landscape of the slate quarry and then on the broad moors leading to Moel Penamnen. The route here is a lot less confusing than you might fear from the map - a very clearly waymarked path leads through the best part of the quarry and then (after rudely ignoring the 'turn back now' sign!) it's a short climb over the crest of the hill into the marshy flat plain heading for Moel Penamnen in the distance. The hill itself is something of an oasis - a pleasingly steep and grassy rise with good views north, but in between a very wet tramp to and (especially - the route back to Manod Mawr is horribly boggy, even after a dry spell) from it...
Once on the slopes of Manod Mawr though, life perks up considerably. There's a good climb up to the north top with its stony, almost pavemented summit area, and then after a quick tramp down the quarry road, with views of the ravaged faces of the mountain, an especially pleasant climb over grassy rises and little boulders to the main peak and its rock furniture. Although almost no-one on this site seems to have been there, Manod Mawr (I guess because a short and easy climb from a town centre, on a glorious day) was much the busiest mountain I've seen for many months, and it's hard to recommend highly enough. As long as you don't mind the closeness of the quarry workings, the route up (or down, this day) from Blaenau is terrific and the top an interesting place with great views.
On the other hand, took in the short climb up Foel Cwm Sian Llwyd on the way back...
Heathery. Pretty wet too. Very tough. OK views (but nothing you won't see better from elsewhere). Really not much fun. Maybe there's a nice route to devise that takes it in, but it's hard to envisage. One for 'baggers' to do once and once only then (and to think twice about even that, there are limits...). The best that can be said is that - if you hurtle back down the direct route - it only takes 45 minutes. But you'll never get them back!
by Red Peak » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:13 pm
I notice you mention Foel Cwm Sian Llwyd being a tad on the boggy side. I''m planning to do that along with Post Gwyn sometime soon, and with what you said in an earlier report about Post Gwyn, it seems I'm in for a featureless, heathery, tough-going kind of day. I can't wait ...
by poppiesrara » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:27 pm
I'm sure people have combined Post Gwyn and FCSL, but the map doesn't really inspire much confidence in how you'd do it! I'd guess it might be better than this though - the slopes are gentler, which would help a lot.
by ChrisW » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:27 pm
by john923 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:21 pm
by Crawler » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:25 pm
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by malky_c » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:05 pm