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Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt

Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt


Postby poppiesrara » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:30 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Dduallt, Rhobell Fawr

Date walked: 02/07/2011

Time taken: 3.5

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 720m

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Little-visited and remote mountains, and something of a mixed route – an interesting climb to a surprisingly characterful peak, but then more of a struggle afterwards...

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From the road-end to the south, a solid forest road winds easily up through the conifer plantation – indeed, if short of time (or inclination!), you could perhaps even drive the first and last mile or so of this route. It’s then a really good climb up beside the wall to the summit area of Rhobell Fawr – firm going, very craggy territory for the Arenigs, and some steep little rocky faces that require half-scrambles. Good wide views from the top, even beneath a darkening sky, and altogether a very pleasant hour or so’s walking.
2 Aran ridge.jpg
Aran ridge

7 Rhobell Fawr.jpg
Rhobell Fawr

11 Rocky terrain ascending Rhobell Fawr.jpg
Rocky terrain ascending Rhobell Fawr

16 Rhobell Fawr summit.jpg
Rhobell Fawr summit

17 Dduallt from Rhobell Fawr.jpg
Dduallt from Rhobell Fawr

19 Snowdonia from Rhobell Fawr.jpg
Snowdonia from Rhobell Fawr

22 Arans from Rhobell Fawr.jpg
Arans from Rhobell Fawr

24 Glasgwm from Rhobell Fawr.jpg
Glasgwm from Rhobell Fawr

Dduallt, its rock top picked out white in the sunlight, looked very attractive from here. The route east across there starts off reasonably well – a very steep but manageable descent, and then (surprisingly, given expectation and some reports) a really clear waymarked, if slightly spongy, path penetrating the conifers. Things take rather a turn for worse afterwards though... the ascent of Dduallt, apparently pathless and through a sea of thick vegetation and wet bog, is a real head-down gritted-teeth slog. Rock breaks through only at the top, and it is a blessed relief to rest there before taking on the descent.
26 Descent of Rhobell Fawr.jpg
Descent of Rhobell Fawr

27 Start of the route through the forest between Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt.jpg
Start of the route through the forest from Rhobell Fawr to Dduallt

29 Southern slopes of Dduallt.jpg
Southern slopes of Dduallt

33 Llyn Tegid from Dduallt summit.jpg
Llyn Tegid from Dduallt summit

37 Arenigs from Dduallt.jpg
Arenigs from Dduallt

38 Cadair Idris from Dduallt.jpg
Cadair Idris from Dduallt

39 Rhobell Fawr from Dduallt.jpg
Rhobell Fawr from Dduallt

There doesn’t seem an obvious return to the start other than retracing your steps. Following the vague ridge south from the peak before cutting back to the forest corner seems to take some of the worst parts out, but it’s still pretty rough going. And in honesty, although they are sometimes decried, a leg-easing tramp down a deserted road through the forest (this, clear and open to the skies, isn’t really one of the bleaker examples) for the last half-hour or so can sometimes feel rather a relief...
43 Forest road descending Rhobell Fawr.jpg
Forest road descending Rhobell Fawr

For the many who haven’t been to this area, Rhobell Fawr is pretty highly-recommended and well worth a visit; Dduallt – certainly this way – perhaps a little less so...
Last edited by poppiesrara on Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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poppiesrara
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Re: Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt

Postby Red Peak » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:22 pm

Well, at least I now know it is possible to get through that forest between the two summits.
The summit of Rhobell Fawr looks a nice place to be, more so than Dduallt, the ascent of which, once out of the forest, does look like a familiar 'pick your way to the summit' job. The remoteness and quietness of these two does appeal, though. I might just bump them further up the 'to-do' list :D

Thanks for the report, poppiesrara :thumbup:
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Re: Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt

Postby poppiesrara » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:15 pm

Thanks, Red Peak - happy to try any other 'requests'!!

You've got it about right on most counts, I think, and Dduallt might well be a 'once-only' spot. Certainly nowhere near the worst terrain in north Wales though; it's far shorter and easier than Arenig Fach, for instance, among others... Couldn't really tell if the northern ('Nuttalls') route might have been better. It didn't really look like it, and you'd miss the good southern climb of Rhobell Fawr, but I guess at least you'd only be treading the rougher bits once.

Walking the Nantlle Ridge the day after was rather a reminder that this whole thing is meant to be a pleasure, not a battle, though!
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Re: Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt

Postby Red Peak » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:55 am

I too the did the Nantlle Ridge the other day (well, as far west as Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd at least, having tagged Craig Cwm Silyn on to Mynydd Graig Goch on a previous walk) and was surprised at how short the walk was - I totally mis-judged it. So much so that I returned back over the summits rather than drop down into the forests below. A really nice little ridge though, and as you say, it reminds you that climbing mountains is meant to be a pleasure.

I don't know which peak you have pencilled in to be your final Welsh Hewitt, but I would suggest against Moel yr Henfaes, one of the most un-dramatic peaks I've ever been on! Certainly not the kind of peak you want as your final one to round off your challenge. I'm surprised it even qualifies as a Hewitt as there seems to be hardly any re-escent when approaching from Cadair Bronwen.

Tryfan on the other hand ... 8)
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Re: Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt

Postby poppiesrara » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:07 pm

Tryfan would be the perfect 'last one', I think (much as it would be in most other people's first two or three) - almost accidentally, as there's never seemed quite the right day or company to do it so far... But if I put them off any longer, it will be one of those two Elan Valley 'mountains' I've been so avoiding!
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poppiesrara
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Re: Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt

Postby Rekrab » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:54 pm

looking good matey,

was just looking at our welsh Hewits map and looks like you'll be finished in maybe 4 more walks? well done!!!
I'd join you for your final welsh hewits.

MacKenzie,
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Re: Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt

Postby malky_c » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:58 pm

Not been up either of these. Interesting to see you've turned my initial impression from the map on it's head. I always -thought that Dduallt would be the more interesting of the two. Good report.
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