Sun 30th Oct, 2005

Wild Wales Walk

The meeting was touch and go as the weather forecast was predicting a wet and windy Sunday, which put off a number of people. Still on Saturday evening there was a glimmer of hope for an improvement in the afternoon. It was all a matter of timing! By Sunday morning, still no rain in Manchester, but Al and Dave hit the band of heavy rain by Wrexham, and were splashing through deep puddles into the village of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant (GR 124261), where the rain stopped.

Shortly before 10am Jim & Sandy arrived from the West, having encountered Monsoon conditions. With no-one else turning up (no real surprise) we left at 10am under light rain, heading NE out on one of Jim's thoughts for the initial section to Tyn-y-fridd. Some quiet roads led to a disused bridleway high above the eastern side of the valley - where a pair of Kites were seen, as well as several Buzzards, Stonechats and a variety of other birdlife. By now the rain had stopped (no real trouble) and there were signs of blue sky to the South, but the wind was getting up. The combined might of Hurricane Wilma and Tropical Storm Alpha had proven to be wimps! Leaving the road at the phone-box, passing the baying canines, we were soon on the first top of Mynydd Tarw barely above the conifers where the southerly (warm!) wind really made itself felt.

We took lunch in the inadequate summit shelter before continuing west along the ridge. This was a real battle with the wind on our flanks, but by now we were in wonderfully warm sunshine with excellent views. A sharp rise at the end took us to the escarpment edge and a turn south for Cadair Berwyn for another break from the head-wind inside its more generous shelter. A large wasp also took shelter... We couldn't believe how good the conditions were, more like a summer's day, compared to the predictions.

Shortly before the rise to Moel Sych, we met the only other person on the hills that day. Then we cut down to the head of Pistyll Rhaeadr, which was in fine flow - so much so we couldn't cross the river, but had to take the path to the foot of the waterfall where it could be admired in its full glory. We stopped for tea from the café where more birdlife (Nuthatches...) could be seen from its viewpoint verandah.

With light fading we took the path through the mines under Craig-y-Mwn and climbed 220m up the track to a splendid path on the southern rim of the valley. The subsequent gentle descent down tracks and road seemed to go on forever, but we returned to the cars at ~17:30 having had no further rain.

It had turned out to be an excellent day which goes to show you shouldn't always listen to weather forecasts!

Members present: Al Metelko, Dave Bone, Jim & Sandy Gregson.

Dave Bone

Meet Promo:

This is a Sunday only meet taking in some less well-known hills in Wales with good views over Snowdonia and mid-Wales. It is based in the Berwyn range east of Bala and will add some interesting, hopefully for you, extensions to the better known main summits. There is some rough and wet going, and a bit of road?

You will need the OS 1:50000 map 125 (Bala) for the walk. You will also advised to take a headtorch because you will likely finish in the dark! The Lanes around here are narrow with little opportunity for parking for a number of cars, hence the walk cannot start out in the 'wilds' but from the village of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant (GR 124261). Drive to Wrexham and continue past Oswestry, turning R at Llynclys on the A495, continuing on the B4396 and B4580. Find somewhere to park in the village and meet on the main road in front of the church at the village centre for a 10am start (travel time from S Manchester ~1.5hr).

Distance: about 15miles or 12 if going slowly, and ~1150/1050m total ascent. The initial stretch out of the village could be on road or obscure tracks (just because a path is marked on the map doesn't mean it exists on the ground) depending on conditions and speed on the day. Route: Tyn-y-fridd (phonebox at 116308), Mynydd Tarw, Bwlch Maen Gwynedd (col), optional bag of Cadair Bronwen, Cadair Berwyn, Moel Sych, head of Pistyll Rhaeadr (waterfall), If the party is on time, W then S to Post Gwyn and E along the high ground - across the head of Craig y Mwm if not, Glan-hafon, farm track to NE, and return along track and road (easy) to the starting point.

I would be grateful if you let me know if you are coming and how many cars there are. I should be in the Pub beforehand when I hope to organise some car shuffling. In case of a repeat of inclement weather, contact me as any low level walk might have to start from a different point this time round.

Dave Bone

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