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Berwyn walk

Berwyn walk

Postby jonathan - norfolk » Wed May 18, 2016 10:28 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Cadair Berwyn, Cadair Bronwen, Moel Sych, Post Gwyn

Date walked: 17/05/2016

Time taken: 7.75

Distance: 22.5 km

Ascent: 1170m

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Set out from Pistyll Rhaeardr to explore the Berwyns a bit - an area that I've done relatively little waking in previously. I'd negotiated a drop off, and pick up at Tyn-y-ffridd, with my B&B (Penllys Bach, Llanfechain). They also looked after, and walked, my dogs for me. The planned walk left me a number of possible options (add on's or escape routes) at the back end of the day. In the event, I dropped off the mountains at the col between Cadair Berwyn and Tomle after doing Cadair Bronwyn. The plan now is to return later in the week and walk the final section of the ridge.

The first section, from Pistyll Rhaeardr, past the waterfall and then up a narrow, but well defined, path that picked a way up through the crags, was a delight. Sunshine, bluebells and good visibility made for a very enjoyable start to the day. The presence of Redstarts and Stonechats, together with newly arrived warblers singing, only enhanced this section still further. Once above the crags the walking became much more like moorland and navigation was not made any easier by locked gates and keep out notices. Given that it is the lambing season, I respected these notices but it pushed well off the line that I should have chosen to take. Post Gwyn felt much further away from the tops of the cliffs than the map suggested. A good point to aim for is the corner of the planation, from where it is a fairly short walk to the summit.

Piking up the main Berwyn ridge from here quickly becomes quite tough. Clumps of cotton grass, heather and deep ruts beneath them made for slow and strenuous progress. It is not a good place to break a leg or twist an ankle, especially if walking on your own. Network coverage is extremely poor and patchy at best. I never got a signal strong enough to make a phone call or even a send a ViewRanger Beacon signal. Some texts got through from the high ground, but in the valley I had no signal at all.

Once on the main ridge the walking becomes much more straightforward as there is a distinct track, with sections of path constructed from railway sleepers. These are quite discrete and hard to see until you are almost on top of them. Just as well, as the ridge seems to go on forever until the summit of Moel Sych is reached.

From Moel Sych, Cadair Berwyn is a very short distance away and soon reached. Cadair Bronwyn has a well-laid section of sleeper track leading to it from the style, so it's pretty obvious even in thick mist (but still check your map and compass). After what's gone before, it seems another short distance to the summit and there is a good path that contours around to the col/pass between Cadair Berwyn and Tomle that avoids most of the re-ascent.

At this point I realised that the ridge walk couldn't be done if I was to get to my pick-up at the arranged time, and dropped down into the Tyn-y-ffridd valley. Within 20 mins I was on the track and safe ground, although it was another full hour along the track and road before I reached the telephone box and my RV point.

Total distance was 13.5 miles (22.5 Kms) and entailed 1170m of ascent and 1125 of descent.
Naismith would be 6hrs 20mins, I took 7hrs 50mins including lunch, but then I'm in my mid-60's.

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Last edited by jonathan - norfolk on Fri May 20, 2016 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
jonathan - norfolk
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Re: Berwyn walk

Postby ChrisW » Thu May 19, 2016 6:57 am

Great stuff JN, I'd have taken 8 hours for this.....on my bike :lol: :lol: That's a good time with stops for lunch (and breathing) You make in interesting point about 'not a good place to break a leg' , I spend a lot of time alone in the most remote places over here :think: Great hike and well timed too (even if you had to cut off a bit) :clap: :clap:
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