We are not amused....
by clivegrif » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:21 pm
Hewitts included on this walk: Dduallt, Rhobell Fawr
Date walked: 18/04/2014
Time taken: 3.5
Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 580m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Dduallt has had some bad press, but with its rocky neighbour Rhobell Fawr it still seemed like a decent day out – especially on a very fine April day.
I decided to follow Poppiesrara’s route from the south, and discovered the gate at the end of the road was unlocked, and so was the one after that, and the one at the beginning of the forest. As the ‘track’ was actually a proper road, I just kept going until it finally turned rougher directly beneath Rhobell Fawr itself.
Parking next to an old quarry, Monty and I set off towards Dduallt. The thinking was that if this hill really was boggy and energy sapping, it seemed a good idea to get it out of the way first. Not too far along the track were the only other people we were to see during the whole walk, 3 guys felling timber. After about half a mile an obvious wall is seen to the left that rises straight up towards the summit of Rhobell Fawr. Only a couple of hundred yards further on the way to Dduallt become apparent. A fingerpost with Y Dduallt written down the post points the boggy way ahead. The ground is spongy, and in places wet, but the way is clear.
However, just before the turning to the right, unexpected difficulties arise. The winter gales have blown over quite a number of trees, and they block the path to a greater or lesser extent. Nothing for it – off-piste into the trees. In places this isn’t too bad, but in others it is a real struggle to get me, a dog and a rucksack through a tangle of branches.
We finally emerge onto the open hillside, and Dduallt comes into view. From this side it shows itself to be a reasonably angled south to north ridge. There is however an expanse of flat rough ground between the forest edge and the start of the ridge – and flat round here tends to mean one thing, bog! Fortunately it has been reasonably dry recently, so we didn’t have to do too much wading before reaching dry land.
From there on though the walk up the ridge is quite pleasant with rocky outcrops and reasonable going underfoot. The air has started to get rather hazy by the time we get to the top, but even so the views are extensive.
The Arenigs to the north; Llyn Tegid and Bala to the northwest; the Arans to the East; Waun Oer group to the South; and the Rhobell Fawr with Cader Idris beyond to the south West. Not bad at all, and Monty got his first chance to do some minor scrambling!
Back the way we came, and just as we are about to re-enter the forest there is the distant toot of a hunting horn. I wasn’t looking forward to renewing the fight with the fallen trees, and it proved to be an expensive struggle this time – my walking poles were collapsed and attached to me rucksack, but somewhere in amongst the tangle, one of them came adrift and got lost. Try as I might it was nowhere to be found. Oh well.
Back down the track a short way, and through the gate to follow the wall STEEPLY uphill towards Rhobell Fawr. It is not that far but it certainly gets the lungs and legs working hard, and in places it pays to get hands-on with some minor crag hopping.
A final rocky outcrop on the skyline has all the appearance of being somewhere very close to the summit, but it becomes apparent that this hill is one of those steep sided but flat topped affairs, and the summit is still some distance off. The top of Rhobell Fawr is almost a lawn compared to its craggy rough coated sides, and the mound that marks the summit almost has the appearance of a Neolithic burial mound or Barrow.
The views from the top are expansive, with Cader Idris and the Rhinogs taking centre stage.
Monty and I bound down the hill, going east to meet the wall and then following it southwards before heading south-eastwards once again to meet the track.
It was still before noon when we arrived back at the car, so there was time to find a waterfall to photograph! We scooted round to Rhaeadr Du at Ganllwyd to have another go at capturing these fine falls. Monty still had plenty of energy, so we were soon trekking uphill again. The falls had much less water than last time I was here, but that perhaps provided a chance to get closer in to parts of them. As I clambered about on the rocks on the edge of the upper falls, Monty started to look apprehensive – and with hindsight, it was with good cause…
Having taken a few of the upper falls from above and not got what I was after, I decided to try between the upper and lower falls. After the upper falls the water flows through a short narrow gorge before opening out onto a ledge at the top of the lower falls. The exposed rocks offered a tempting view point, but Monty wisely decided to stay at the edge and watch.
I took a few pictures then then turned to leave, at which point I slid off the rock into the water and my camera and tripod hits the rocks with a sickening crash. Fortunately it was only my glasses and a filter that went into the water, and they were saved before they disappeared over the edge. Very fortunately it was actually the tripod that hit the rock and not the camera, and neither were the worse for wear. That could have been very expensive! ….And Monty really wasn’t impressed.
Enough is enough – time to call it a day and retire to the Brigand pub at Mallwyd, near Dinas Mawddwy for a very fine pint of Doombar before heading for home.
by johnkaysleftleg » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:34 pm
by CharlesT » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:33 am
More waterfall shots . Think a psychoanalyst might have a field day with that!
Monty looks in good nick and has that typical disdainful expression of Border Terriers that seems to say "I've seen it all, when can we get going again?"
by clivegrif » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:48 pm
Thankfully the camera seems none the worse for wear - however the 'photographer' behind it is still distinctly average....
Monty is a really expressive dog - and on this ocassion the expression said it all - 'You idiot!'
I think the reason I like waterfalls is that there aren't any round here, so they are just a bit different to what I'm used to. We don't have any of those lovely sparkly chalk streams you get in parts of the South either. The Severn is only about 12 metres above sea level in these parts, and just oozes along in its slow murky way.
... But then again what's the problem with having a few 'Issues'??
by ChrisW » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:20 am
by poppiesrara » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:27 pm
The mind plays tricks a few years on (I'm on my slow way back round the Welsh hills and it's surprising how different they feel with the benefit of experience of other places...) but I can only remember good things about Rhobell Fawr and only bad ones about Dduallt - they can't really have been all that different! Probably nothing on either as lovely as Rhaeadr Du though. Or a Doom Bar for that matter!
by clivegrif » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:18 pm
poppiesrara wrote:Cheers for the 'credit', Clive! All seems very familiar looking at your pictures (I even remember the thought that I could and perhaps should really have driven up that road...).
No problem at all - credit where credit is due! Your reports (and those of Malky_c) certainly became required reading for the more obscure hills in particular, so thanks for posting them all.
Just got 5 left now, next up a bit of clambering over old slate workings at Blaenau...