Aug 17 - Jul 18
Thursday September 14th 2017. Llyn Tecwyn Isaf - Bryn Cader Faner. Nineteen club members met at Llyn Tecwyn Isaf for a lovely 5.5 mile walk up to Bryn Cader Faner. The day was punctuated by many sharp and wintry showers, but the intervening sunny periods provided brighter conditions and opened up some fantastic views. Starting from the lakeside, the route climbed steadily about 1000ft, first by a steep wooded country road (where an ivy-laden tree crashed to the ground alarmingly as we passed), continuing via Caerwych and onto very boggy open moorland. The highlight of the walk was the remarkable bronze age cairn circle of Bryn Cader Faner, famed for its dramatic setting commanding the ancient upland trackway and its unusual ring of thin angled slabs from which it is often known as the ‘Crown of Thorns’. This was a good vantage point for lunch, offering fine views towards the Moelwyns. The route down past Y Gyrn led through more traces of ancient settlement and provided a spectacular panorama of the Dwyryd Estuary, Portmeirion, Moel y Gest, the hills of Penllyn stretching out below into the Irish Sea, and finally the iconic outline of Harlech Castle. This was strenuous walk for a Thursday with very wet conditions both underfoot and overhead, but the magnificent landscape and good company made the effort well worthwhile. Noel Davey
Sunday September 10th 2017. Penmachno Circular. On this persistently wet Sunday Tecwyn Williams led 10 people on a 7 mile walk in the remote Bro Machno, a new area for the club - at least for many years. The route started in the interesting village of Penmachno and followed mainly wide tracks and some country road sections within Cwm Penmachno and the tributary valley of the Afon Glasgwm. The walk first took a loop eastwards, passing the 16/17th century house of Hafod Dwyryd and then crossed to the west of the Afon Machno. Next there was a climb to about 1000ft around the foot of Moel Pen-y-Bryn through the Gwyryd Forest Park, an excellent leisure amenity run by National Resource Wales and shared by walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers. A useful shelter provided by the Park management was chosen for an early lunch. Descending to the Glasgwm valley, the walk then followed the river back to Penmachno. A highlight was a stop out of the rain for coffee and cake in the hospitable surroundings of the café at Plas Glasgwm. This is another fine grade II listed house with a courtyard setting, built in in the mid-16th century by John Gwynne, son of John Wynn ap Maredudd of Gwydir and ultimately a descendant of the Welsh Princes. Despite the rain and gusty wind, it was quite warm and this was a sensible walk for the day’s conditions which everyone enjoyed. We hope to return to this attractive valley on a brighter day. Noel Davey
Friday, 1st September 2017. Snowdon. Ian, Dafydd, Tecwyn, Gwynfor and 3 others made a successful, not to say heroic, ascent of Snowdon - Ian in celebration of his recent 80th birthday; Dafydd to consolidate last year's feat, now he is 81; Tecwyn for the first time in 3 years now he is near full recovery from his drawn-out illness; and Gwynfor, possibly the first time to the top. This time the sun shone and it was dry, the mist lifting steadily as we ascended and clearing briefly from the summit around lunchtime to provide stunning views. Congratulations all on a brilliant effort! Roll on next year! Noel Davey.
Thursday August 31st 2017. Tanygrisiau Resevoir. Tecwyn Williams led 27 club members on a good ramble around Tanygrisiau The route first circled north and east, below the impressive layered ‘steps’ of rocky cliffs which possibly give the village its name, and then by a network of interesting paths through the outskirts of the village, passing the birthplace of the late Gwyn Thomas, scholar, poet and literary figure. Persistent rain for the first two hours bore out Blaenau’s notorious reputation, but after a damp lunch near a scrapyard, the weather dried up and the sun came out for the second half of the walk. This involved an anti-clockwise circuit on paths through bracken and heather around Tanygrisiau Reservoir (Llyn Ystradau) which now forms the lower reservoir for the Ffestiniog pumped storage hydroelectric scheme. Together with the larger scheme at Dinorwic, this plays a vital part in the National Grid by supplying short bursts of electricity at times of peak demand; the massive dam at Llyn Stwlan, the upper reservoir for the scheme, loomed high above. The path on the western shore crossed the Ffestiniog Railway, busy today with holiday steam trains, leading through the remnants of the Moelwyn Mine and passing the power station itself on the route back. The remains of an older dam at the south of the lake provided a good stop for tea in the sunshine, while most repaired to the excellent Lakeside Café for more sustenance at the end of the walk. The wet and slippery conditions and some steep and rocky sections demanded constant attention and a sensibly slow pace, belying the length of some 4.5 miles of this enjoyable walk. Noel Davey
Sunday August 27th 2017. Cnicht - Gelli Iago. On this sunny Bank Holiday 27 club members and friends met at Croesor for two walks in this ever popular area. 18 took the A walk up Cnicht, led by Roy Milnes. Dafydd and Tecwyn led the other 9 on a shorter B walk which avoided the mountain and the worst of the boggy sections.
The two groups initially followed the same track northwards for about a mile. The A group then turned off to climb Cnicht, reaching the prominent rock and level ground 300ft below the summit in time for coffee. The final tricky ascent coincided with the annual run from Croesor up and down Cnicht. Fortunately the 60 or so impressively agile runners were well able to avoid getting mixed up with the slower climbers. From the iconic peak at some 2300ft the walk then continued north east along the ridge, affording spectacular views either side towards the Moelwyns , the peaks of northern Snowdonia and the jumbled rocks above Croesor etched with purple heather. Near Llyn Adar the party descended to the north, taking a less frequented path across extensively waterlogged ground past this lake and Llyn Llagi with its impressive backdrop of steep cliff and long sinuous waterfall. Lunch was taken in a fine position overlooking Snowdon and the Glyders. Eventually the party reached ‘dry land’ at the road near Gelli Iago, but the relief was short-lived as the route soon turned back south and up, climbing steeply 750 ft past a prominent hill known as Castell. From there yet more boggy land was encountered, though the route thankfully diverged from the right of way marked on the map right across an unnamed shallow lake, soon rejoining the outward route. Those who had time rounded off a delightful walk of just over 9 miles with tea at the Community Café in Croesor . Noel Davey
*** Notwithstanding that the Secretary’s description of the B walk read as follows “an easy 7 mile B walk”, the following is my description of the nearly 8 MILE walk which I, Dafydd Henry Williams led together with my friend Tecwyn Williams! As stated above the walks initially followed the same route northwards and after separating, the B walk continued northwards over very wet ground passing to the left of the small nameless lake through the middle of which the path is shown on the map with the forbidding Yr Arddu towering above us. A knee jarring descent to Gelli Iago followed where lunch was taken alongside a bunk house and an interesting old water wheel. The road at Blaen Nanmor was nearby and here we turned left, southwards, and in the direction of Nanmor but after a short distance we went over a stile on our right continuing southwards parallel with the road on a very boggy path in parts. After a mile or so we entered woodland at Coed Caeddafydd and continued downhill until we once again reached the minor road turning left and east along it passing Bwlchgwernog and uphill steeply on an old road/track which at one time apparently going back to the stage coach days was the main route from Beddgelert to Dolgellau. This was the sting in the tail as the track was uphill and downdale but mainly up until after a mile or so we reached Croesor and enjoyed a welcome cup of tea and bara brith at the Café but only after a lengthy wait due to the Bank Holiday hordes. A far from easy walk according to the participants but it was enjoyable! Dafydd Williams.
Thursday 15th August 2017. Aberffraw, Porth Cwyfan, Llangwyfanisaf. John Enser led 22 club members on a delightful walk of 5.3 miles from Aberffraw in the SW corner of Ynys Môn. The day was fine and bright with a keen wind. The route crossed the fine 18th century hump-backed bridge on the outskirts of the village and followed the coast path southwards down along the Afon Ffraw, reaching the sea at Porth Lleidio. From here the path skirted a series of spectacular rocky bays, notable for their very ancient pre-Cambrian geology. Following lunch on the sands at Porth Cwyfan, the party visited the remarkable little lime-washed church of Llangwyfan, ‘the church in the sea’ , one of the oldest stone churches in Anglesey dating back to the 12th century and superbly located on the island promontory of Cribinau reached by causeway at low tide. From there the path turned inland past the former army camp of Ty Croes, now a motor racing circuit, and then across fields back to Aberffraw. A very pleasant outing was completed with a sociable tea at the Llys Llewelyn Tearooms, a reminder that Aberffraw was once the foremost royal court of the Princes of Gwynedd. Noel Davey.
Sunday 13th August 2017. Moel Siabod. Eleven club members, all starting from Pwllheli, met at Bryn Glo near Capel Curig for a first class walk up the distinctive isolated peak of Moel Siabod (the shapely hill?). The weather was bright with sunny periods and light winds, just right for this strenuous mountain walk led by Roy Milnes. The route first crossed the Afon Llugwy over the venerable Pont Cyfyng, passing above the impressive waterfalls. It continued south along a relatively flat moorland track, turning westwards through the Clogwyn Llwyd Forest. Then began a steady ascent over rough and boggy paths through heather and bilberries, with a pleasant stop for coffee, up to the hanging valley occupied by Llyn y Foel at around 1650ft. The serious scrambling began here with an ascent of about 1000ft up the Daear Ddu, a steep ridge bristling with chaotic rocks marked by bubble-like pits and pockmarks suggestive of the area’s volcanic geological history. A late lunch at a spot just below the peak at 2850ft was the reward, affording superb views south across the Llugwy Valley to Dolwyddelan and Penamnen, and further towards the Arenigs and all the ranges to the south and east. The return route took the ridge heading north-east, providing more wonderful views of the Snowdon massif, Tryfan, the Glyderau and the Carneddau. The party kept up as high as possible over the massive slabs of rock which provided a thorough work-out for the knees, eventually descending by a tricky scree path and grass tracks to rejoin the start point near Pont Cyfyng. A lovely day of 7.5 miles walking over 7 hours was rounded off by a hard earned panad at the Bryn Glo café. Noel Davey
Thursday 3rd August 2017. Nefyn. Miriam Heald led a group of 22 members on a circular coastal walk from Nefyn to Porthdinllaen, a distance of approximately 7 miles. The weather was mostly bright and sunny, apart from one very brief shower. The group first of all headed east on a few very little used footpaths, before turning westwards to join the main, much improved coastal path. A short coffee stop was taken overlooking Nefyn Bay, to take advantage of the fine weather to appreciate the stunning views, before continuing along the beach to Morfa Nefyn, where lunch was taken outside the Ty Coch Inn, watching holiday makers enjoying themselves in the sea and on the beach. The walk then continued around the headland to Lifeboat Bay, where members visited the fairly new Lifeboat and Station and many commented on how immaculate the Lifeboat was kept. The next part of the walk was over the headland towards the Porthdinllaen Coastwatch Station, where there was an invitation to go inside and learn a little of the work carried out there as part of the Search and Rescue Organisation. There was a fairly cold wind at this point, so little time was lost in continuing along the path through the Golf Course, where another stop was taken at the newly refurbished Porthdinlaen Caffi, to enjoy either a cup of coffee or an ice cream. The walk then resumed back to Nefyn along the coastal path. Miriam Heald.