Aug 19 - Jul 20
Thursday November 7th 2019. Coed y Brenin. Today’s walk was in Coed y Brenin. Nick White led a dozen on a delightful ramble in cloudy but bright and dry weather. The Forest Park was looking wonderful: a symphony of yellow and gold autumn colours, stately dark green conifers and deep, damp gorges riven by rushing waters in full flood after recent rain. The walk started at Ganllwyd, criss-crossing the Mawddach upstream by footbridges along wide forest tracks on either bank of the river. The route passed vestiges of the Gwynfynydd goldmine near Ferndale, closed since 1998, but now with prospects of reopening. The party eventually reached the magnificent twin waterfalls of Pistyll Cain and Rhaeadr Mawddach, an ideal spot for lunch above the crashing waters. An unobtrusive hydro-electric scheme is now in operation here in succession to a 19C scheme. This was an easy and very pleasant walk of some 5.7 miles, followed by a stop for refreshments at the Trawsfynydd Lakeside Café on the way back. Noel Davey
Sunday November 3rd 2019. Glyders-Red Dot Route & Capel Curig to Ty-hyll Circular. There were two walks today. Richard Hirst led a party of ten on a climb from Pen y Pass onto the Glyderau. Dafydd Williams took three members on an easier lower level walk from Capel Curig.
'A' Walk. Glyders-Red Dot Route.
The climbing group met near Pen y Gwryd and took the Sherpa Bus up the hill to the starting point of the walk at Pen y Pass. initial rain seemed to bear out the dismal damp and misty mountain forecast, but it soon dried up and the day featured quite pleasant conditions, including regular spells of sunlight and increasingly good views penetrating through the cloud. The walk ascended due north up to Glyder Fawr from behind the Youth Hostel, following the rarely climbed ‘Red Dot’ route. There are indeed still occasional faded splashes of red paint to be seen marking the indistinct path to the summit, but noone seems quite sure when or why these were put here. The route comprised mainly grassy paths with some rocky sections, but nothing of particular difficulty. The steady ascent of over 2000ft took about 2 1/2 hours including a short coffee break. At last the party reached the tumbled stones of the Glyder Fawr peak. The route then turned east across the weird boulder-strewn landscape of the Glyder plateau at an elevation above 3000ft, characterised by explosive piles of shattered jagged grey rocks. There was a stop for lunch in a sheltered spot near Bwlch y Ddwy Glyder. Mysterious sunlit glimpses of the slopes of Crib Goch, Lliwedd and Llyn Cwmffynnon loomed out of the mist. After passing Castell y Gwynt and Glyder Fach, the party reached Y Gwyliwr, the famous jutting ‘Cantilever’ rock and scrambled up for the mandatory photo line-up. The path then began a gradual descent, turning southwards to join the Miner’s Track. This brought now sunlit views of the massive feature of Tryfan rearing nearby, the green and gold slopes of Moel Siabod, and the Denbigh Moors, pocked with wind turbines, in the far distance. The path down was in many places streaming with watercourses and falls. The descent was slowed at times by difficult rocky or boggy sections and some encounter with cramp. The party eventually got back to the cars waiting in the layby on the main road below just as the vanishing daylight began to require use of torches. This was a rewarding, strenuous walk of some 6 miles over about 6 1/2 hours. Noel Davey
'B' Walk. Capel Curig to Ty-hyll circular. This Walk led by Dafydd Williams was arranged as an alternative to the more difficult A walk ascending the Glyders and being led by Richard Hirst. Initially it was a rather damp wet day and especially so as we motored past Pen y Gwryd, the starting point of the A walk, however having reached Dyffryn Mymbyr it improved a great deal. Only three turned up at the car park behind Joe Brown’s shop and we set off north on the old A5 before quickly turning sharply south west at Gelli before soon reaching and crossing the A4086. We then took the path between the eastern end of Llynnau Mymbyr and Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre before turning left on a forestry track on the southern bank of the River Conway. This was followed through the woods strewn with rotting oak leaves to Pont Cyfyng, the river being in flood following the recent heavy downpours. It was then in the same direction on the tarmacked old A5 as far as Ugly House where we crossed the bridge on the A5 and went steeply uphill on the minor road leading to Llyn Cyfronydd. Turning left after some 400 yards the path took us through the forest and some very wet and muddy areas about three miles, parallel with our outward journey. Barely a mile short of Capel Curig we emerged from the forest to be met by the sight of Moel Siabod dominating the sky line. The eight mile walk culminated, as all good walks should, at a café, in this case the excellent Siabod café where two of us attempted to consume but failed, a small loaf sized scone each, accompanied by a cup of tea. Dafydd Williams.
Thursday October 25th 2019.Cwm Teigl / Cwm Cynfal. Tecwyn Williams led a party of 25 walkers from Cae Clyd in Manod village on a delightful amble through the lovely tract of countryside below Blaenau Ffestiniog. Bright sunny weather showed off the rich autumn colours of the oak and beech woods and the hillside bracken at their best. Early mist and a few very brief showers in the afternoon barely troubled the pleasant conditions. The walk started from the car park near the football ground, heading south-east around the foot of the imposing dome of Manod Mawr and crossing rough moorland at around 800ft elevation. At the 14th C cottage of Caecanol Mawr, there was a sharp turn onto a path towards the south-west via Teiliau Mawr which led down and across the disused railway from Trawsfynydd to Blaenau. This line was in use from 1964 to 1998 to serve the power station, including shipment of nuclear flasks; there was an abortive attempt to reopen the line in 2016-17, while a Heritage Trust still has dreams of restoring it to use. The lunch stop nearby provided fine views towards the towering bulk of the Moelwyns, the Stwlan Dam standing out clearly halfway up the mountainside, where its masonry is being repaired. After crossing the busy A470, the party descended into Cwm Teigl, following a beautiful wooded section of the river valley featuring spectacular torrents and falls. At a point where an old bridge had collapsed, the route turned north onto a grassy track, now part of the Slate Trail, passing the tall chimneys of Pengwern Old Hall, an important gentry house with Elizabethan origins. The final section entered Cwm Bowydd, following meandering paths across broken wooded countryside, eventually leading back to Manod. This was a most enjoyable walk of under 5 miles, taken at a leisurely pace suited to the numbers walking and the numerous stone step stiles to be navigated. At the end the leader organised an excellent tea at Seren in Llan Ffestiniog which was much appreciated. Noel Davey
Sunday October 20th 2019. Aber Falls / Carneddau. There were two walks today, facing some competition from the rugby international. Seven members joined the ‘A’ walk led by Annie Andrew and Jean Norton, making a welcome return to the lovely Aber Valley, which was visited for a Thursday walk just a few weeks ago. five others joined the lower level ‘B’ walk led by Dafydd Williams from nearby Talybont. It was a pleasant dry day with sunny periods.
'A' walk. The harder walk started at the village car park in Abergwyngregyn, climbing through the attractive village, past the turbine house of the Ynni Anafon community hydro scheme into the woods of the Coedydd Aber National Nature Reserve. The party soon reached the famous Falls at the head of the valley, a spectacular sight following recent heavy rainfall. After crossing the Afon Rhaeadr Fawr, there was a stop for coffee below the Rhaeadr Bach waterfall. The route then branched southwest onto indistinct paths through bracken, fording the Afon Gam which was in full flood and climbing steadily upstream. Eventually a grassy track was reached, taking the party north, straight up to the summit of Moel Wnion at about 1900ft. This is marked by the remains of a large bronze age burial cairn, now a refuge for walkers with a former OS triangulation pillar planted in the middle. This vantage point for a chilly lunch provided splendid far-reaching views across the Carneddau, towards Anglesey and down to the coast where the forests of the Gwynt y Mor wind turbines could be seen marching close to the shore. From there it was all downhill, an easy descent on grassy tracks and a section of the North Wales Path which runs high along the western side of the Aber Valley. The final leg followed a track and field paths past Henffordd back down to Abergwyngregyn in time for an early tea at the community cafe. This was a good day out, involving about 7 miles and an ascent of 2000ft. Noel Davey.
'B' walk. This was arranged at the request of the A walk leaders Jean Norton and Annie Andrews as a back up to counter any bad weather which might have prevented them achieving their goal of summiting Moel Wnion. In the event their fears were ground-less as it turned out to be an excellent walking day with sporadic sunshine and light winds. The B walk led by Dafydd Williams started from a lay by on the old A 55 a mile or so east of Penrhyn- Castle and headed south to cross the new A 55 by means of a cattle walkway bridge at Tal-y-bont-uchaf. The path continued in a southerly direction uphill and around a wooded section at Tan-y-marian before going through the farm-yard at Plas Uchaf and reaching a B road. This went left and south east for a good half mile before we encountered the North Wales Path and enjoyed a brief stop for a coffee. We then went up-hill and southwards through fields and reached the Moel Wnion foothills from where we enjoyed excellent views of Anglesey and the Great Orme to the north east. The path then contoured on a grassy path before circling north westerly and joining a very muddy uneven and pot holed farm track down to Bryn Hall close to the site of a disused slate quarry. A quarry track followed which was initially down- hill before a tarmacked road was followed before we joined a field path which led us to the village of Llanllechid and lunch in the cemetery of the closed church which sadly is deteriorating badly. From the church it was westerly on lovely wooded paths alongside Afon y Llan until we reached the A5 at Halfway Bridge from where we walked the path to the north west alongside the River Ogwen until we reached the mill at Felin Cochwillan with its picturesque weir where we crossed the river by means of an iron pedestrian bridge. The route then went under the new A55 and north past Bangor Rugby and Cricket Clubs until we reached Llandygai and the main entrance to Penrhyn Castle. From here it was but a short distance back to our cars as we walked through the village and crossed the old A55 and through two fields. The members appeared to enjoy the walk taken at an acceptable pace together with the ready banter which prevailed. Dafydd Williams.
Thursday October 10th 2019. Nant Gwrtheyrn. In spite of rather damp and windy forecast conditions, there were 25 takers for today’s walk led by Noel Davey to Nant Gwrtheyrn, site of the Welsh Language Centre. The walk started from the car park near Mount Pleasant above Llithfaen. It headed south-west across the exposed rolling plateau to Ciliau Uchaf, continuing across fields muddied by cattle down to Pistyll. This section was taken at a good pace in the face of intermittent showers and a brisk south-westerly. There was a stop here for a first early lunch and a visit to St Beuno’s Church , a little gem, mostly dating from the 15th century, but on a 6th century site closely associated with the pilgrimage to Ynys Enlli; its simple and peaceful atmosphere is enhanced by its continued traditions of candlelight and floor rushes; the churchyard contains the grave of the actor Rupert Davies who played Maigret. The second part of the walk was more relaxed, being drier and more sheltered, though slippery in places. The route now followed the Coastal Path north-east, past the intriguing remnants of a medieval leper colony and climbing up to the old quarry on Penrhyn Glas headland. From here there were dramatic views, if rather austere today, down the long stretch of beach extending to Nant Gwrtheyrn, nestling below a wall of steep quarried hillsides. The path was briefly mislaid near Ciliau isaf, before a descent of Gallt Bwlch through oak woodland. After a stop for a second lunch, the walk followed the path along the shore, passing old quarry buildings and eventually climbed up to the Nant. Here the excellent Café Meinir was waiting with refreshments before the final steep ascent of 800ft on the panoramic switchback road back to Mount Pleasant, about half taking this on foot, half depending on a car shuffle. Most seemed to enjoy this 5-6 mile walk. Noel Davey
Sunday October 6th 2019. Dysynni Valley-Castell y Bere. Today’s walks took 10 members of the club to the lovely Dysynni Valley in the far south of Gwynedd. Hugh Evans led 7 on an ‘A’ walk of 11.5 miles and some 2800ft of ascent, while Nick White led 3 on a ‘C’ walk of 6 miles length. The day was dry with increasingly sunny periods, but brisk winds. Both walks started at the site of the 13th century Welsh castle of Castell y Bere, perched on a commanding wooded hill overlooking the valley. The initial route led north east past the chapel at Llanfihangel y Pennant from where around 1800 Mary Jones famously walked barefoot the 26 miles to Bala to buy a copy of the Welsh bible, a feat that inspired the founding of the British and Foreign Bible Society.
Grade 'A' walk. The longer walk then turned west along the northern side of the Dysynni Valley. After crossing Nant Caw at Bodilan Fach, there was a long steady ascent of about 1500ft on a grassy track leading up to moorland. Rather than continuing north to the hill called Trawsfynydd, the route cut west over rough ground, skirting Esgair Berfa. Lunch was taken at the top in a sheltered spot near some sheepfolds. There were misty glimpses of Ynys Enlli across Cardigan Bay. A gravel track and later a narrow paved road, also cycle route 82, then led down southwards with a turn onto field paths near Foel Tyr gawen. The gradual descent provided splendid views over the startlingly green and fertile fields of the flat Dysynni floodplain, stretching to Tywyn on the coast. The path then followed flood embankments and drainage dykes upstream along the river, heading for the imposing crags of Craig yr Aderyn, Birds’ Rock, so named apparently as the largest inland nesting site for cormorants in Wales. A detour to climb this 850ft summit by a relatively easy path was rewarded by more spectacular views. The final leg was an easy walk along lanes to the start point, leaving time for a quick look round the evocative ruins of Castell y Bere in the late afternoon sunshine after a first class day’s walking. Noel Davey.
Grade 'C' walk. As an alternative to the strenuous A walk as per programme Nick White at short notice arranged and led this C walk accompanied by two members. Briefly, the walk started from the Castell y Bere car park and after visiting the renowned chapel of Mary Jones in Llanfihangel y Pennant went on pleasant but very wet paths in places some three miles to Abergynolwyn where lunch was taken on a bench in the village square. The return route went most of the way alongside the road and river leading to Castell y Bere. This was a pleasant six- mile stroll in excellent weather and finished in grand style with tea and bara brith at Nick and Ann’s home in Dolgellau. Dafydd Wlliams.
Thursday September 26th 2019. Aber Falls. Jean Norton and Annie Andrews organised two walks from Abergwyngregyn to the Aber Falls. 23 club members met at the village car park. 5 were ferried a mile up the valley to the Bont Newydd, while the rest walked up along the pleasant road through this interesting village, renowned as the site of the llys of Llywelyn Fawr. The two parties then merged to continue along the gently ascending gravel path to the Rhaeadr Fawr at the head of the valley. This route passes several bronze age settlements, standing stones and cairns, reflecting an ancient tradition of occupation. After the last few days’ rain the Falls were an impressive sight in full spate, plunging down 120ft in an explosion of shimmering spray. At this point the ‘D’ walkers made their way back to the village by the same path. The ‘C’ walkers skirted west to the smaller falls of Rhaeadr Bach, where a lovely riverside spot was found for lunch. The route then headed back along the western side of the valley, following a fairly level path around 600ft elevation, in fact part of the North Wales Path. This provided extensive views back towards the two falls and the mass of the Carneddau mountains rearing up behind. Further on, as the path climbed and then descended fairly steeply, there were lovely views of the coast with Puffin Island in the foreground and soon the village of Abergwyngregyn, the prominent mound of Pen y Mwd, an 11C defensive motte, standing out clearly. This enjoyable walk of some 5 miles was enhanced by a pleasant bright day with only one short-lived hint of rain. The community café in the village provided its usual high standard of hospitality at the end of the walk. Noel Davey
Sunday September 22nd 2019. Moelfre-Bodafon. The walk today took 9 ramblers to Moelfre on the east coast of Ynys Môn for an interesting and varied circuit of 10-11 miles led by Dafydd Williams. The forecast was for rain, but this was confined to light showers in the late morning, warm temperatures and brighter conditions in the afternoon. The party set out westwards across fields towards Lligwy where the first port of call was the remarkable group of archaeological sites here, comprising a 4000 year old Neolithic burial chamber with a huge capstone, the 2000 year old Romano-British homestead of Din Lligwy and the remains of Hen Capel Lligwy, a ‘chapel of ease’ dating from the 12th century. After their fill of ancient stones, the walkers continued westwards via a woodland path maintained by the Silver Slashers (the Anglesey Ramblers footpath volunteers) and through an area of caravan sites which posed some route and Rights of Way issues. After a break for coffee, the route crossed heaths of heather and gorse, passed the church and vicarage of St Michael, Penrhoslligwy, and eventually reached the prominent rocky ridge of Yr Arwydd and Mynydd Bodafon. The 600ft summit provided fine views over the green heart of the island, extending south across the Menai to the mountains of Snowdonia. The party descended to the less exposed shelter of Tyn y Mynydd for lunch. The route now led north-east, crossing the main A5025 road at Brynrefail and turning at the Pilot Boat Inn onto a wide grassland track forming the Coast Path above the deep inlet of Traeth Dulas. The next section of the walk followed the Path south, skirting a lovely string of bays and rocky headlands. Points of interest included the offshore island of Ynys Dulas with its distinctive tower, a seal pup stranded on the beach and the new Moelfre lifeboat tearing out to sea on a mission. After a short break at Traeth Lligwy, the final 2.5 miles led past the many reminders of the tragic Royal Charter shipwreck, soon reaching the attractive seaside town of Moelfre. There was time for refreshments at the Kinmel Arms before the journey back to Llŷn after a very pleasant day out. Noel Davey.
Thursday September 12th 2019. Felin Uchaf, Rhoshirwaun. Miriam Heald organised an interesting outing near Rhoshirwaun, involving a short walk followed by a visit to the remarkable Felin Uchaf Centre nearby. This attracted 33 club members, despite the misty weather which limited the views. Starting from the car park at Felin Uchaf, the walk followed a footpath south through the grounds of Bodrydd, a farm that has been developed mainly into a holiday business. The route circumnavigated a number of newly created scenic fishing lakes and heather gardens. Two spinning wind turbines whirred overhead, rather spoiling the setting of this otherwise pleasant landscape beneath Mynydd Rhiw. A well maintained gravelled path brought the party to the local road and a short step back to Felin Uchaf. The site was created 12 years ago as a cultural and ecological centre, promoting traditional rural crafts and Welsh folklore in a sensitive environmental setting. The party enjoyed a stroll on network grassy paths through the 20 acres of planted trees. These were dotted with a number of lovingly constructed buildings made from carved oak, traditional cob walls and green roofs, including two Celtic roundhouses, a herb drying store, an observatory, a green toilet, a lofty oak trussed barn used for making furniture and boatbuilding, and a café and study centre under construction. After lunch in the observatory, the group were treated to tea in the larger round house, an atmospheric setting for a classic Mabinogion story engagingly told by Dafydd Davies Hughes, the charismatic owner and creator of this unique enterprise. This proved a stimulating day out with a difference. Noel Davey
Sunday September 8th 2019.
'A' Walk' Rhinog Fawr. Seven members found their way to the remote and enchanting valley of Cwm Bychan in Ardudwy for a strenuous ascent of Rhinog Fawr. Last time the club attempted this peak the climbers were driven back halfway up by 70 mph gusts. Today’s light winds and long dry sunny periods were a welcome contrast. The party set out from the idyllic Llyn Cwm Bychan, climbing 1000ft up the Bwlch Tyddiad by the so-called ‘Roman Steps’, though this ancient pass through the Rhinogydd probably dates back at least to the bronze age. A coffee stop was made at the top overlooking the path east down towards Trawsfynydd. The route turned off on a footpath through heather winding up to the aptly grim looking Llyn Du. From here the party took one of the many indistinct rocky routes up the steep north slope, requiring some scrambling to reach the summit at 2367ft. In spite of some ominous murky clouds floating over the summit at first, the visibility soon improved to give magnificent sunlit views in every direction: nearby to the south, the peaks of Rhinog Fach, Y Llethr and Moelfre, to the east the more distant Arenigs and Llyn Trawsfynydd, and to the west the arc of Llŷn stretching far out to sea to Cilan and Ynys Enlli. Revived by lunch, the party descended by a relatively easy path down the south-west slope, eventually turning north along ill-defined paths through heather on a wide and lonely plateau at about 1500ft. Further down the route crossed waterlogged ground to reach the still waters of Gloyw Lyn, the shining lake, a good spot for tea. There was then a short leg over the ridge behind, rejoining the outward route near an ancient stone footbridge. This was a splendid day on this wonderful quiet mountain, taking 6.5 hours to cover as many miles and 2500ft of ascent. Noel Davey
'B' Walk. Whilst a difficult A walk up Rhinog Fawr was being led by Noel Davey, an easier B walk led by Tecwyn Williams was arranged. In the event only Tecwyn and Dafydd Williams turned up for the walk starting from the Coed Gerddi Bluog car park in Cwm Bychan to climb up to Llyn Gloyw Lyn at 1300 feet. This involved quite strenuous walking of 5 miles in good walking weather when only two other walkers were encountered over a four hour period. Dafydd Williams.
Thursday August 29th 2019. Y Bala/Llyn Tegid. There were two walks today around Y Bala. Dafydd Williams led 12 members on the harder walk, taking over from Gwynfor Jones who devised the route, but was indisposed. The day was mainly cloudy and quite windy, but there were occasional bright periods and conditions were good for walking. The route started near the Leisure Centre skirting the northern shore of the Llyn Tegid which was busy with sailing boats coping with quite choppy waters. After crossing Pont Mwynwgyl y llyn the walk turned off into pleasant woods, climbing quite steeply through Coed Pen y Bont from about 500ft to over 1000ft elevation. Beyond Fridd Fach ddeiliog the path emerged into broken upland. There was a stop for lunch at a junction of paths near Cefn ddwygraig. The route then re-entered forested country and eventually came out into elevated fields, opening up fine views of the lake with the town of Bala nestling to the north and the ramparts of Arenig Fawr to the west. The path descended by an easy bridle way passing the former golf course and clubhouse, now a comfortable looking hotel. Beyond the remnant of a 13C motte and bailey castle and the terminus of the Bala Lake narrow gauge railway to Llanuwchllyn, the party crossed the outward route, turning off for an interesting loop alongside the complex waterways and weirs linked to the lake, including the River Dee and Afon Tryweryn. The final section passed unexpectedly under an arch of Pont y Bala, bridging the main road, and entered the back streets of the town leading back to the Leisure Centre. This proved a very pleasant walk of 6 miles involving about 1000ft of ascent. It was followed by refreshments at the lakeside Loch Café.
Nick White led 4 members on a shorter circuit of 3-4 miles circling to the west and north of Bala. Going down the hillside an amazing quarry was encountered, more of a cavern than an open quarry. Noel Davey.
Sunday August 25th 2019. There were two walks today:
The A walk: Aran Fawddwy & Aran Benllyn. A perfect summer’s day – apparently the warmest August bank holiday ever – was the setting for a memorable day on the Aran mountains. A party of seven made their way to the remote hidden gem of Cwm Cywarch, running north from Dinas Mawddwy. This valley has an industrial past based on lead mining and an earlier reputation for banditry (the Cochion Cywarch), but is now very quiet and deeply rural, and just what the connection was to the hemp or cannabis in the name is a mystery. The walk started at about 500ft elevation at the farm of Blaencywarch, ascending fairly steeply 1000ft up a narrow valley with an alpine feel, skirting the rocky buttress of Glasgwm. Near the top some of the party were struck down by the unaccustomed heat and decided to retrace their steps. Four walkers continued north-east across the exposed grassy plateau aided across the boggy peat by numerous sections of board walks, many now sadly rotting away. The rocky summit of Aran Fawddwy, just 31ft short of 3000ft and the highest Welsh mountain south of Snowdon, now came into full view. The party eventually reached the top, hot and exhausted and more than ready for a late lunch. While conditions were hazy, there were spectacular views from this magnificent eyrie across the rolling green ridges of mid-Wales and down immediately below to Creiglyn Dyfi, the source of the Afon Dyfi. Since the 3-4 miles of ascent had taken as many hours, it was decided not to extend the walk further north along the ridge to Aran Benllyn, but looking back on the way down there were impressive views of the precipitous northern edge of the long Arans ridge and glimpses of Llyn Tegid beyond. The route down was relatively straightforward, curving south-east along grassy ridge of Drysgol and passing a solitary cairn marking the spot where an RAF mountain rescuer was killed by lightning. The party then turned south-west, picking up a gently graded path that contoured the slopes of Pen yr Allt Uchaf down into the deep U-shaped valley of Hengwm back to Cwm Cywarch. It was good to see a number of walkers about, but these little frequented mountains were an ideal place to avoid the bank holiday crowds. This excellent though strenuous climb was led by Hugh Evans, with Noel Davey deputising part of the way, and covered some 7.6 miles and 2850ft of ascent. Noel Davey.
The B walk: Mallwyd. Hugh Evans who was leading an A walk up Aran Fawddwy decided he wanted an alternative B in case the weather conditions were against ascending the mountain. In the event the weather was the complete opposite and it was left for Dafydd Williams to lead the B walk accompanied by five other members on a sweltering hot day. The walk of some 8 miles started from the Brigand Inn, Mallwyd and immediately went east and climbed up a minor road and continued to climb steadily but after Ysgubor Wen the tarmac became a farm track and then a footpath running parallel with the B458 in the direction of Welshpool. Towards the end of the outward 3.5 miles the path was difficult to follow and then became totally blocked by a six feet high fence to keep the young pheasants being bred in their hatchery surroundings. There were literally hundreds of these birds around, being bred to be shot, it makes you despair of the mentality of people who enjoy this kind of sport. We turned north before reaching another minor road on which we walked for a short distance and enjoyed our lunch by a farm gateway before taking a path through the farmyard. We then emerged on to the same minor road before climbing steeply up hill and crossing the B458 and continuing up hill on the tarmac. Then we passed several extremely dilapidated farms and dwellings over a distance of some 1.5 miles before taking a path down hill through a field and emerging on yet another minor road where we paused for a short period before crossing a ford on a wooden bridge. Once more we went uphill and experienced some difficulty in detecting in the bushes a rickety stile crossing a brook followed by having to force our way up hill through bushes and ferns for some 30 yards to regain the path. We were now in sight of the petrol station adjoining the Brigand Inn which we reached on an easy track. Whilst the heat at times was stifling, a comfortable pace was maintained and it was enjoyable but on this occasion, due to the steep sided valley, views were at a premium but the tea and cakes at The Inn were extremely well received. Dafydd Williams.
Thursday August 15th 2019. Bwlch y Ddwy Elor. On a pleasant fine sunny day 25 members and guests met at Pant Cae’r Gors near Rhyd Ddu for a walk through the Beddgelert Forest led by Dafydd Williams. A local resident fancying a walk joined the group for part of the way. The group headed west across the Welsh Highland Railway along forest tracks past Moelfryn and Parc Cae cra. After a couple of miles the route turned south climbing to about 1400ft through the lonely Bwlch y Ddwy Elor, supposedly recalling the historic use of this mountain pass to carry the dead on biers between Cwm Pennant and Beddgelert. The path then descended through the impressive relics of the Prince of Wales Quarry. Like many local quarries this was a heroic failure, being abandoned in 1886 after just 13 years of unprofitable operation. There was a stop for lunch on slabs beside a deep quarry pit with spectacular views down the inclines and tramway running through Cwm Pennant to the sea in the distance near Porthmadog, the rocks of Moel Lefn soaring above on one side of the valley and the great arc of the Nantlle Ridge hedging the other side. The walkers then struggled back up by a rocky path through the Bwlch Cwm Trwsgl, entering wastelands of a recently felled part of the forest. The rest of the walk followed good forest tracks pausing at the wooded shore of the charming Llyn Llywelyn. The final section of the route joined the Lôn Gwyrfai, passing Hafod Ryffydd Ganol and Isaf. This was a most enjoyable 6.5 mile walk over about 4 hours. Some of the party made another stop at Beddgelert for further refreshments. Noel Davey
Sunday August 11th 2019. Llanfairfechan. Kath Spencer led a party of 9 ramblers on an excellent 12 mile circuit from Llanfairfechan. The route mostly followed the ancient green trackways which cross the plateau above at 1000-1400ft elevation, circling Tal y Fan in an anti-clockwise direction. It was a damp cloudy day with persistent outbreaks of short showers, but initial mist gave way to clearer conditions and even the odd shaft of sunlight, opening up good views across the surrounding landscape. The walk started at the small car park above the Nant y Coed Nature Reserve, first descending towards the village and then climbing steeply up a shoulder to the top of Garreg Fawr. The path then joined the east-west route of the Roman Road passing through Bwlch y Ddeufain. This is packed with ancient monuments including standing stones, circles and cairns, but is also sadly blighted by high voltage transmission lines. A number of overflowing streams across the track were a challenge after the rain, but eventually the party reached the small car park at the head of the road up from Rowen. The route turned off northwards near Cae Coch where an old barn in a sheepfold provided a dry sheltered spot for lunch. There were splendid misty views down the Conwy Valley, including a distant glimpse of the tents of the Eisteddfod site at Llanrwst, and later Conwy Castle, the sprawl of Llandudno hedged in between the twin Ormes and, out to sea, the maze of white sentinels of Gwynt y Mor. The walk then turned westwards along the broad prehistoric trackway, now part of the North Wales Path, running above the quarries of Penmaenmawr. This brought the party to the remarkable ring of 30 stones known as the Druid’s Circle (Meini Hirion) which dates to Neolithic times, as well as another smaller circle on the slopes of Cefn Coch and Moelfre. At last the route began to climb back down towards Llanfairfechan, giving more views of the coast backed by the Carneddau Mountains. This brought the party back to the tumbling waters and delightful woodland of Nant y Coed and a short climb back to the car park. Despite the weather, this was a grand day of walking in the lovely open grassy uplands above the coast. Noel Davey
Thursday August 1st 2019. Beddgelert-Cwm Bychan. A warm sunny day brought 25 club members to Beddgelert for one of the classic walks of central Snowdonia. Maureen Evans led this triangular walk of some 6.3 miles walk with assistance from Dafydd. The walk first headed south down the wonderful Pass of Aberglaslyn, taking the narrow and rocky fishermen’s path that clings precariously to the edge of the wooded gorge just above the thundering white waters of the river, in full spate after recent rain. At Pont Aberglaslyn the path turned east then north, climbing over tree roots to an open glade where convenient picnic tables prompted a stop for a morning panad. There then followed a steady ascent through of the wilder heather country of Cwm Bychan from less than 100ft to almost 1000ft at the col near Bwlch y Sygun and Grib Ddu. Since some were struggling in the heat there was a stop for lunch about halfway up in a spot with fine views south down to the Glaslyn Estuary and eastwards to some of the Snowdonia peaks. Higher up the valley the route passed the striking line of iron pylons which once supported an aerial ropeway to transport ore from the copper mines higher up the valley down to a processing mill. Relief at reaching the col was soon dashed by the steep knee wrenching descent by a gravel path and steps to the shores of Llyn Dinas lying placidly far below. The final leg of the triangle south-westwards back to Beddglert followed an easy, level path through thickets of bracken where the even more thuggish rhododendron had been cleared. The party then dispersed for refreshments, some at a local café and some courtesy of a resident walker. This was a delightful walk as ever, enhanced by the splendid weather and taken at a leisurely pace suited to both the heat and the terrain. Noel Davey.