Sat 28th Jun - Sun 29th Jun, 2008
Welsh Mystery Rock
Members present: Dave Bone & Tony Major.
Despite a gloomy outlook and a cloudbase of ~400m on the Saturday, two good HVS's on Upper Craig y Merched were completed, also despite a wet trek through the greenery to a crag at 300m on a rather leaky hillside (fortunately not requiring the virtual compass). Perhaps as well we were the only ones there as we had to evade the territorial Peregrine pair on the way up.
The mystery here was which crags should I choose - and I'm talking about the Meirionnydd guide (mid-Wales, not North Wales). There are many good ones here without the crowds and some wonderful settings. You have to walk (& up) to most of them though. OK so I've made an arbitrary choice and it's time to dispel some of the mystery. The plan is to drive out to mid-Wales early on the Saturday morning.
You can camp out somewhere on the Friday night if you prefer, but it is only around 2.5hrs.
Day one is "Craig y Merched" on Landranger124 at 690233. Head for Dolgellau and take the A496 Barmouth road. 2mi after the A470 turnoff, take the first side road on the right. Park near the road end and take a walk through the forest - you will need the guidebook. There are four crags - let's start at the middle - Rhino's Buttress. This has some very good VS routes. There are routes from VS to E2 and a VD. Who knows, this time I may make it up to the Upper crag for the HVS and E1s there.
When you're done here, it's back into the cars for the drive over to the campsite, handy for the next day's options (and because I like the place). Back past Dolgellau, and take the A470 to Dinas Mawddwy. Keep on the main road past the village to the bridge at the foot of the hill and turn left into the Celyn Brithion Caravan and camping site (GR 861139)- keep right for the camping area in back of the farmhouse. You'll know you're at the right place by the giant rabbits in hutches and the array of animals. A small site with reasonable facilities - details on www.celynbrithion.co.uk (01650 531344) - £6.00 per person + £1 for the car (so please keep the number of cars down). From here it's a 10min walk back into the village up the street with the Swifts screaming overhead for the highlight of the evening, the fine Red Lion Pub.
Day 2: Still an air of mystery here so you'll have to turn up by 9am on Sunday to find out. I'll make a choice on the weekend. Landranger 125 will be handy too. Number one option could be Cwm Cywarch only 4 miles away where there are routes for all, or I could take people up to the very tops of the Arans. There is even a nice south-facing low level option on a route home. And if you see more than another team, be surprised? You'll like it, honest!