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Monty bags the Arans.

Monty bags the Arans.


Postby clivegrif » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:09 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Aran Benllyn, Aran Fawddwy, Erw y Ddafad-ddu, Gwaun y Llwyni, Pen yr Allt Uchaf

Date walked: 09/04/2015

Time taken: 5

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1200m

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For all sorts of feeble reasons this was the first time Monty and I had ventured into Wales this year, and for that reason I didn’t want to push the little chap too hard.
As the sun started to come up there were little pockets of mist in the hollows of Shropshire and into Mid Wales, but sadly the prospect of a misty Cwm Cywarch didn’t materialise. Still, the weather was clear and dry, with a slight chill in the air as we set off from the car park, and over the footbridge onto the footpath up the side of Pen yr Allt Uchaf. The lambs back home in Worcestershire are already getting big enough to fear the whiff of mint sauce, but they are still tiny in these Welsh Hills. Not too far along the path I decided to make a bee line for the ridge above. I have to say it is a steep grassy slog up to Pen yr Allt Uchaf, but I was in part towed up the hill by a Terrier on a string, as Monty seemed to be very keen to see what was at the top.
The view over Drysgol to Aran Fawddwy from the soaring peak of Pen yr Allt Uchaf was rather splendid, the summit being marked by a combination of old fence post and a couple of lumps of white quartz.
View from Pen yr Allt Uchaf.jpg

Onwards towards Drysgol, we found that the dread bog of Waun Goch was in fact fairly benign today, but there were the signs that the peat hags might be more unpleasant in soggy weather.
We stop for a ‘Strategic Photographic Pause’ at the top of Drysgol, and Monty posed like a true Mountaineer with Aran Fawddwy in the background.
Monty conquers Drysgol.jpg

By the time we get to the RAF memorial on the Drws Bach the air is getting distinctly hazy, due to all the pollution being blown in from grubbier parts of Europe.
Gwaun y Llwyni.jpg

Now for the best bit of the walk, onto the rocky slopes of the Arans themselves. Monty is clearly enjoying himself bounding up the boulder hillside and we reach the summit of Aran Fawddwy in no time. This is his highest mountain to date, and he is absolutely loving it.
View north from Aran Fawddwy.jpg

The air is getting murkier still, so no sweeping panoramas today. Northwards we go, first down the rocky steps then over the almost level ground out to Erw y Ddafad-ddu. The big cairn just south of the top is usually one of the best viewpoints in the Arans, looking south back towards Aran Fawddwy and over the Creiglyn Dyfi, but despite the sunbeams, this B&W was the best I could manage.
Aran Fawddwy.jpg

It’s a short hop to Aran Benlynn from here, and usually the views northwards are expansive – ah well, it’s still good to be out.
Aran Benllyn.jpg

We retrace our steps back over Erw y Ddafad-ddu and Aran Fawddwy, and onwards almost as far as the RAF cairn, before heading off left to the last hill of the day Gwaun y Llwyni. We keep high to avoid any possible boggy patches around the headwaters of the Camddwr, but there wasn’t much likelihood as it is pretty dry up here today.
Approaching Gwaun y Llwyni.jpg

I had thought of dropping straight down from Gwaun y Llwyni, following the fence line all the way to the track at the bottom, but having slogged up one long steep grassy slope I decided against descending another one. Instead I decided to follow the Camddwr down to meet the normal descent path to Cwm Cywarch. This route was steep, loose and there was a band of gorse that I had to help Monty negotiate, but we were rewarded by some pleasant little waterfalls.
17096736386_6ec76f1c5b_o small.jpg


Monty greatly appreciated a long drink of mountain spring water after his exertions, particularly as it was now baking hot.
Craig Cywarch.jpg

All in all a grand day out!
Last edited by clivegrif on Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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clivegrif
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Re: Monty bags the Arans.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:21 pm

Great set of photos from the walk Clive with Monty looking in fine form.
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Re: Monty bags the Arans.

Postby petenelliewalking » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:27 pm

Fine walking country, Clive. Lovely views along the long ridge and in Cwm Cywarch.
Peter
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Re: Monty bags the Arans.

Postby Dexter terrier » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:33 pm

hey Monty, greetings and great to see you enjoying the Arans.

Now I know why you got the answer to my photo question.

I like the route you took, might try that later in the year.
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Re: Monty bags the Arans.

Postby clivegrif » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:10 pm

Hi Dexter - couldn't believe it when your photo popped up!

Yes - I would recommend the Cwm Cywarch approach, it is picturesque and there are clear paths to follow (you don't half to go straight up like we did). Hope you enjoy it!
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Re: Monty bags the Arans.

Postby Dexter terrier » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:22 pm

How old is Monty? I'm 14 months now and like Monty Aran Fawddwy is the highest peak so far, Looks like we are developing our mountain walking at the same pace.

Woof.
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Re: Monty bags the Arans.

Postby clivegrif » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:59 pm

Hi Dexter, Monty was 2 in February and is already building up plenty of stamina. We didn't go far until he was at least a year old to make sure his bones and joints were good and strong.

He absolutely loves going out, particularly to the hills! Borders are the best dogs going. :D

Cheers!
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clivegrif
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Re: Monty bags the Arans.

Postby SenzuBean » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:23 pm

Really good route - we did it in reverse (i.e. up to Gwaun Y Llwyni first), and went direct up to Aran Fawddwy (rather than following the ridge) as it was clear nav. Our group agreed that ascending next to the waterfall and descending the grassy slope was better than the reverse - although as we only tried the one way it's a bit speculative. :)

All in all - great day out.
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Re: Monty bags the Arans.

Postby ChrisW » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:21 pm

Lovely shots Clive, that pic of Monty standing proud is fantastic...I suspect he's a little bit bigger now :D
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