Aug 21 - Jul 22
Thursday October 14th 2021. Newborough Forest and Llanddwyn. Jean Norton and Annie Andrew led 13 Rhodwyr Llŷn ramblers on a popular circuit through Newborough Forest to Llanddwyn, the Club’s first venture beyond Gwynedd since the pandemic started. The Forest is managed by Natural Resource Wales as of a National Nature Reserve. It was planted with Corsican Pines between 1947 and 1965 to provide timber and to stabilise the shifting sand dunes. It is great place for a walk as attested by the numbers out and about on its many trails on a day of cloudy but quite pleasant walking weather. The party set out along a forest track from the car park north of Newborough village, heading south-west for about 3 miles, turning at Towen to Tir Forgan and then via Crochan Llanddwyn, eventually reaching the Ro Bach beach. This features somegeologically interesting clumps of rocks with pillow lavas formed by under-sea volcanic activity 500mn years ago. Last time the Club were here gale force winds whipping up the sand drove the walkers back, but today it was calm enough and the tide low enough to walk along the beach across to the enchanting island of Llanddwyn. The island is best known for its legend of the 5th Century St Dynwen, the patron saint of lovers, the equivalent of the English St Valentine. She is commemorated by a huge stone cross erected for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1897. The island also has two scenic lighthouses, the Tŵr Mawr and Tŵr Bach, as well as a row of traditional pilot cottages and chapel ruins. After lunch on the beach the party had time for a short sightseeing tour round the island, enjoying the fantastic view across the Menai to the sweep of mountains on the opposite shore, stretching from Carnedd Llewellyn via Yr Eifl to Ynys Enlli. The route back crossed the beach on the north side of the narrow island and then re-entered the forest, taking a more westerly track back to the start-point. This was a great 8 mile walk on flat terrain, taken at a good relatively fast pace. Noel Davey.
Sunday October 10th 2021. Northern Rhinogydd. A party of 14 walkers led by Gareth Hughes enjoyed a lovely outing today in the Northern Rhinogydd. After a run of poor Sunday walks weather-wise, the day was bright, dry and sunny with a moderate breeze and good visibility. The ascent to the start point was something of an adventure in itself with the party squeezed into 4 cars to drive to the end of a steep and narrow road some 800ft above Eisingrug near Harlech. The walk initially followed old tracks, some sections dating back to the bronze age, later an 18th century coach road, and latterly the Ardudwy Way walking trail. The main route followed an engineered track serving 4 of some 40 manganese mines operating in the Ardudwy uplands mainly from the 1880s to the 1920s to serve the steel and other industries. The route climbed this track about 1000ft on a relatively steady and easy gradient, passing between the lakes of Llyn Eiddew Bach and Llyn Eiddew Mawr. It led on through a striking landscape of fractured blocks of stone, pavements scraped by glacial ice and perilously poised overhangs of rock. On reaching the chilly waters of Llyn Du, the route turned northwards on a narrow but relatively level path leading to the short grassy ascent of Moel Ysgyfarnogod, at just over 2000ft the highest point in the local range. The panoramic views from the summit were spectacular, north towards the heart of Eryri, east towards the Arenigs and Arans, and west towards the long arm of Llŷn jutting out into Bae Ceredigion. From there it was a short hike to the massive vertical slabs of Foel Penolau, made up of two huge flat-topped mountain blocks cut by a deep gully. Some scrambling allowed most of the party to reach the summit pavements before joining the rest for lunch at the foot of the mountain. A cross-country route in the afternoon descended north-west to Llyn Dywarchen, featuring nearby the curious phenomenon of a stream disappearing underground to reappear lower down the valley. Soon the jutting stones of Bryn Cader Faner were sighted in the distance. This was the Club’s second recent visit to this unique bronze age burial circle, but it looked particularly striking in the day’s sunshine. The final leg led back along the ancient trackway. This was an excellent walk of some 7 miles and 1700ft of ascent, easy enough to suit a range of walkers. Noel Davey.
Thursday October 7th 2021. Abersoch/Mynytho Area. Meri Evans led a group of 14 members on a pleasant circuit of the maze of interesting paths and lanes around Mynytho, including sections of the new Sailor’s Path between Abersoch/Llanbedrog and Nefyn. The weather was cloudy with some light drizzle, quite warm, but disappointing for views. The walk started from the layby near the Warren on the A499, taking a newly improved path past Haulfryn, now the Gwel y Mor caravan park, and looping via Y Fras and Gadlys, site of an ancient enclosure. The route then headed towards the Foel Fawr, but cut westwards across fields at Caer Towyn over several awkward stiles. This led on along the northern edge and then south across the middle of Mynytho Common. Here there were some misty views towards Nanhoron, Porth Neigwl and Mynydd Rhiw. Picnic tables and toilets provided welcome amenities for a lunch stop at the foot of the conspicuous round hill of Foel Gron. Then the party headed down past Wellington into the ‘Nant Fawr’ by another recently improved path. A muddy track climbed past Muriau and came down past Castellmarch, a fine early 17C country house built for Sir William Jones, a prominent judge of the time. A turn left back along the A499 soon regained the start point. Despite the damp and misty conditions, this 5 mile ramble provided an enjoyable chance to chat with old and new walking friends. Noel Davey.
Sunday October 3rd 2021. Foel Fras - Moel Penamnen. The forecast for today’s mountain walk from Blaenau Ffestiniog onto Moel Penamnen was wet and windy, almost leading to substitution of an alternative low-level one. There was certainly blustery wind, but the rain was confined to intermittent short showers amid sunny periods, while the visibility was consistently good. Hugh Evans led 8 walkers starting from the main town car park and ascending steeply on paths and tracks alongside the workings of the former Diphwys-Casson slate quarries up to Llyn y Drum Boeth at around 1500ft. This opened up a wide exposed plateau of rolling grassland and boggy ground stretching to the distinctive Penamnen ridge. The route continued past Llyn Bowydd and Llyn Newydd, two of the many reservoirs built to run the quarry operations . At Cwt y Bugail, the route turned north following a boggy fence-line which was heavy going, eventually gaining the ridge and the inconspicuous summit of Foel Fras. From here there were fine views northwards towards Moel Siabod and down the valley towards Dolwyddelan, much more open now that conifer forests have been cut. The party soldiered on in increasingly windy conditions to the summit of Moel Penamnen at just over 2000ft. A handheld anemometer confirmed gusts in excess of 50mph here, perilously close to the mountain’s precipitous western scarp. The views all round were magnificent, but this was not a time to linger and a more sheltered spot was found for lunch on the path to the north. There was then a steep descent over tussocky grass to the remote Llynnau Barlwyd. The route joined a series of quarry tracks down towards Llechwedd Slate Mines, now heavily invested in adventure tourism. The zipwires stretching high above were kept still by the day’s windy conditions, but the mountain bikers were out in force, skimming crazily down the dedicated network of paths. The descent brought more splendid views of the massive quarry tips enveloping the town of Blaenau, while the dramatic silhouette of the Moelwyns loomed above. This was a bracing and rewarding outing, covering over 7 miles and 2350ft of ascent. Noel Davey.
Thursday 30th September 2021. Eisteddfa-Pentrefelin.
Arweiniodd Val Rowlinson daith braf o 4-5 milltir yng nghefn gwlad deniadol o amgylch Pentrefelin. Ar wahân i un neu ddau o gawodydd byr, gan gynnwys rhywfaint o genllysg, roedd yn ddiwrnod o gyfnodau heulog, er yn eithaf oer. Cyfarfu deg cerddwr ym maes parcio Pysgodfeydd Eisteddfa. Yn gyntaf oll , roedd cylched o un o'r llynnoedd pysgota heddychlon. Roedd yna ychydig o bysgotwyr â chyfarpar da ar y glannau, yn bwriadu dal y potensial o’u ‘nofio’. Roedd y daith nesaf yn mynd i'r gogledd i fyny lôn, heibio'r safle carafanau Eisteddfa sydd wedi'i sgrinio'n dda a'r tŷ yn Garreg Felin. Roedd golygfeydd da ar draws i fryniau a sgarpiau amlwg Moel y Gest, Craig y Gesail ac Alltwen gyda Moel Hebog yn codi y tu ôl. Yn Cefn y Meusydd Uchaf bu egwyl am banad, cyn i'r parti droi i'r de ar lwybrau trwy goedwigoedd a chaeau heibio adfeilion hen adeiladau fferm i gyrion Pentrefelin. Parhaodd y llwybr trwy'r pentref, gan basio maen hir amlwg 10 troedfedd o uchder Treflys ar y briffordd, ac yna troi i lawr y trac sarn hynafol i Ynyscynhaearn, a leolir ar hen ynys yn Llyn Ystumllyn, sydd bellach yn gaeau dan ddŵr a chorstir. Mae eglwys ddiddorol 19C gyda gwreiddiau llawer hŷn yn sefyll yma mewn mynwent furiog anghysbell lle mae cerrig beddi nodedig yn cynnwys rhai John Ystumllyn, a elwir yn lleol fel Jack Black ac y dywedir mai ef yw'r caethwas cyntaf a ddaeth i Gymru, a David Owen, y bardd, telynor cyfansoddwr 'Dafydd y Garreg Wen'. Mwynhaodd y cerddwyr eu cinio yn y lle hudolus hwn. Yna cymerwyd y llwybr i'r de o Moel y Gadair yn ôl i'r briffordd a gwneud taith olaf i edrych ar dŷ a gardd hardd Elisabethaidd Ystumllyn. Mwynhaodd pawb y daith hamddenol hon mewn tywydd braf. Noel Davey. (Cyf: DHW). (Gol. Mae'r daith hon yn ailadrodd yr un a wnaed ar 19eg Tachwedd 2020. Copi o'r adroddiad gwreiddiol yw hwn).
Sunday September 26th 2021. Moel Goedog-Bryn Cader Faner. A group of 11 walkers led by Dafydd Williams met at a remote roadside spot opposite Merthyr Farm high up on the Ardudwy Plateau above Harlech. The Club last did this walk about a year ago, but the weather on both occasions featured mist and drizzle, limiting the fine views otherwise offered. But the area’s wealth of Bronze Age archaeology provided a fascinating focus for the walk. This time a clockwise circuit of Moel Goedog was made, reversing the route taken last time. Neither walk ventured to the top of the Moel on account of the weather. The route headed north-east past standing stones and cairn circles. The cloud lifted for a while to give lovely views of the sunlit lowlands of Ardudwy, extending across to Ynys Gifftan, Portmeirion and the Dwyryd Estuary. After about two miles, the path joined the Ardudwy Way, following the prehistoric track which continued to serve as the main route across Ardudwy until the lowlands were drained in the 19th century. After a further couple of miles, the main goal of the walk, the spectacular angled stones of Bryn Cader Faner came into view perched above the surrounding countryside. This magnificent three thousand year old cairn circle – the ‘Crown of Thorns’ - is a remarkable survival, not least having been used for army target practice in WWII. After lunch and photos at this now lonely spot, the party headed back along the trackway, keeping to the Ardudwy Way south of Moel Goedog, passing the twin lakes of Eiddew. From time to time there were lovely sunlit views of the jagged crags of Ysgyfarnogod and the massive slabs of rock above Cwm Bychan. Despite the disappointing weather, this was an enjoyable and easy walk of some 8 miles though a captivating landscape. Moel Goedog still awaits! Noel Davey.
Thursday September 23rd 2021. Lil's Memorial Walk - Mynytho. Today’s walk in Mynytho was held in memory of Lil Parker who died in spring 2020 at the height of the Covid pandemic when few were permitted to attend funerals. Lil and her late partner Walt were staunch members of the Club from its earliest days. Lil was an inimitable character who is greatly missed. During the walk in an area Lil was particularly fond of, Dafydd Williams paid a fitting tribute to her memory (see below). 17 club members were on the walk which was devised and led by Jean Norton and Annie Andrew. Some 20 members met afterwards at Plas Glyn y Weddw for refreshments and to share reminiscences.
It was a pleasant sunny day which made the most of the lovely views down to St Tudwals Roads and across Cardigan Bay. The walk comprised an anti-clockwise circuit, taking in many sections of the intricate network of varied paths and roads in Mynytho. There was a stop for a panad at the terminal of the Clawdd Mawr which was one of Lil’s favourite paths and a good spot for Dafydd’s address. Further on, there was a break for lunch in a sunny field near Ty Hir. Apart from a couple of awkward stiles, the walking was easy and taken at a sociable and leisurely pace, covering about 3.5 miles over 3 hours. A pleasant outing that Lil would have enjoyed. Noel Davey.
Tribute to Lil Parker by Dafydd Williams, given during the walk.
We are undertaking this walk today in memory of Lil Parker as this was one of Lil’s favourite walks, she and Walter had been member for many years after she and Walter arrived here. Can I thank Jean and Annie together with others who assisted in preparing this enjoyable ramble enabling us to reminisce in each other’s company, this walk of course is to be followed by tea and buns at Plas Glyn y Weddw, a number of other present and past members will be joining us.
Lil died either at the end of March or beginning of April last year but what I do know for certain is that she was cremated on the 9 April, it seems a long time ago now and a lot of water has passed under the bridge so to speak since then. The first lockdown had commenced and representing the Ramblers, Megan, my wife Catherine and I attended the cremation in Bangor, there were only 7 of us, it was a surreal occasion. Numerous others would have been present I am sure to bid farewell to Lil had the circumstances been different I am certain you will all agree with me that Lil was unique, there was only one LIL!
Some of you will recall her attending her last Club dinner in January last year, in fact it was the last club dinner for all of us but we were not aware of it at the time but Lil was ahead of us, she did know it was her last and she circulated to say her goodbyes. Not everyone was aware what was going on, it was only afterwards that the penny dropped.
Most of us are aware of how Lil lived her life, she and Walt as she called Walter her husband , were living legends and the tales we could relate are too many to relate however I do recall this quite respectable one when Lil was on a club holiday and Walter had stayed at home as his health was deteriorating. Lil approached me and said the land line at the guest house was out of order and she wanted to check on him and could she use my mobile. I obliged and dialled the number and after a while Walt answered whereupon I said Lil wanted to speak to him and the reply was “Lil’s away on holiday and would not be back for a number of days” and without further ado he put the phone down, Lil’s response was “Silly old bugger”. I recall on another occasion being on a walk near to Tan y Bwlch Ffestiniog Railway station on a very hot summers day. Walter was taken ill and fainted in the heat and a fellow walker relieved him of a large square shaped military haversack he was carrying. When it was opened it was found to contain an expensive looking leather fur lined pilots jacket which was the last thing anyone would want on a hot day. When Walter came to he declined to go to a nearby road to await transport and insisted on continuing the walk and Lil’s response this time was “Contrary old bugger”.
Lil I believe came from humble beginnings and true to her type had never flinched from hard work and had lived frugally all her life and when Walter died she had no idea that they were comfortably off, Walter had carefully been salting away their hard earned money over the years.
Lil had a passion to raise money for charities and her jams were a source of income for this purpose, the Air Ambulance and the Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue being her favourites. I personally delivered a cheque of £100.00 on her behalf to the Air Ambulance at Llandwrog Airport, she used to know somebody connected to the Aberglaslyn club.
By now if she was here I can hear Lil saying “tell him to carry on with the walk instead of rambling on” and this is what I intend to do. Yes, Lil made an impression on us all and could be extremely uncouth on occasions but she had a heart of gold and Catherine and I will never forget her. Rest in Peace Lil, you were a valuable member of Rhodwyr Llyn Ramblers. Dafydd Henry Williams.
Sunday September 19th 2021. Pedol Marchlyn Horseshoe (inc Elidir Fawr). Eight walkers led by Noel Davey met high above Deiniolen, to walk the Pedol Marchlyn Horseshoe. Initial rain and enveloping mist bore out the poor mountain forecast, but thankfully it dried up and the sun came out after about 2 hours. The first part of the walk took the gently climbing asphalt road which winds up to the dam at Marchlyn Mawr, the upper reservoir for the huge Dinorwig pumped storage hydroelectric power scheme, popularly know as Electric Mountain (Mynydd Gwefru). When power is needed to meet peak load and surges in demand the water stored at over 2000ft above sea level is sent down to Llyn Peris 1300ft below through turbines buried deep in the old slate quarries beneath Elidir Fawr. Water is pumped back up to Marchlyn Mawr using cheap off-peak power. The scheme was built between 1974 and 1984 and at the time was the largest construction project undertaken in in the UK. The walk turned off at the smaller lake of Marchlyn Mawr to make the 1000ft climb up a long grassy shoulder to the wide plateau forming Elidir Fach. The inconspicuous peak at last emerged out of the mist, marked by the banner of Owain Glyndwr (which has recently replaced a wind-tattered Welsh Dragon). There was a welcome pause for coffee before tackling the steep scree path to the still completely invisible peak of Elidir Fawr, at over 3000ft elevation. At last, as the party scrambled off the summit, following the narrow path along the ridge of Bwlch Marchlyn, the mist gradually lifted, providing breathtaking glimpses of the landscape. To the north there were precipitous drops to the blue waters of Marchlyn Mawr, now far below. The rolling green expanses of Foel Goch and Y Garn to the south provided the backdrop for lunch near Bwlch y Brecan. Here the route took the path northwards onto the grassy slopes of Mynydd Perfedd, continuing across a broad plateau to the more impressive rocky crown of Carnedd y Filiast. Both peaks have recently been provided with new stone refuges. From here there was a reasonably straightforward descent through heather to the Marchlyn dam road, soon taking the party back to the start point. This was a rewarding mountain walk of some 6 miles length and 2350ft ascent. The improving weather over the day thankfully brought the views to make the most of at least the latter part of the walk. Noel Davey.
Thursday September 16th 2021. Trefor Circuit. A fine Indian Summers morning drew 10 walkers to the Trefor Beach car park for a walk led by Gwynfor around the lower slopes of Yr Eifl. We initially followed the coastal path past the huge stone jetty built in connection with the quarry, now being used to shelter a few small boats and as a vantage point for the odd angler.
The path followed the shore line at a low level. The 3 peaks of Yr Eifl, Garn For, Garn Ganol and Tre’r Ceiri were clearly distinguishable from this angle. This prompted a discussion as to the meaning of the original Welsh name. Two theories were put forward namely that it referred to a mountain with two cols or a mountain resembling a three-pronged fork. Both of course seem entirely accurate.
Onwards then to the first (very minor) climb of the day for a walk along the cliffs of Trwyn y Tal keeping a reasonable distance from the cliff edge. Below the West End holiday cottages, we ventured back down to a shingle beach for a panad finding seating on the rocks, apart from two members who commandeered an unseaworthy rowing boat for that purpose.
From sea level there was only one way to go. The first part of the climb was gentle, up to the aforesaid cottages, and on past the site of a former hotel known as Plas Yr Eifl, restored to use, if not as a hotel, following a disastrous fire many years ago.
The Coastal Path then heads initially down a tarmac road towards the village but after passing below a bridge, immediately turns upwards. The bridge carried the old tramway/track bed but after a brief look we regained the coastal path crossed a couple of fields then started the main climb of the day.
This started on another the road to Llanaelhaearn but as we stuck resolutely to the task of following the coastal path, we faced ever deteriorating surfaces. Eventually after gaining over 500 feet in little over a mile and spent the best part of an hour doing so, we came to a ruined cottage above Cae’r Hafoty where we paused for a well-earned lunch. The club have used this as a picnic spot before and we were blessed with reasonably clear views over the village, past the peaks of Penllechog, Gyrn Ddu and Gyrn Goch as well as the flatter coastal plain and a large part of Anglesey.
A brief further climb after lunch led us to the point where we departed from the coastal path (which would have led to Bwlch yr Eifl and eventually Nant Gwrtheyrn. Our aim however was to skirt the foothills of Garn Ganol in an easterly direction before regaining the Llanaelhaearn road below a communications mast.
The next downhill section stayed longer on the public road than originally planned due to a recce discovering a large bull occupying the field crossed by a public footpath to Elernion. We accordingly passed Hendre Fawr, this being the property that lent it name to the locality until the advent of the quarry totally changed its rural nature and led to the new village being named after the quarry manager. Cwm Pottery followed and at that point we turned down a public footpath alongside a stream and in due course out to the western end of the main village. Having passed the narrow rows of houses used to film a drama series Minafon broadcast in 1985 during the early years of S4C., we had a leisurely stroll through the village and found our way back to the cars after a short but moderately challenging Thursday walk. Gwynfor Jones.
Sunday September 12th 2021. Mynydd Carnguwch Circuit. 10 ramblers met at Mount Pleasant for an enjoyable walk led by Kath Spencer. The weather was generally cloudy, but warm with some hazy sunshine in the afternoon; remarkably, it also remained dry despite a forecast high probability of rain for most of the day. The walk first headed in a south-easterly direction towards Caergribin along the broad tracks below Yr Eifl. A country road then circled the western side of Mynydd Carnguwch, allowing a relatively easy climb from the south-eastern corner of this splendid but often overlooked peak, now more familiar to the Club, as this was its third ascent in the last few months. The bowl of the great cairn at the 1200ft summit was the obvious place to stop for a morning panad and to drink in the stunning views of Eifionydd below, stretching from Abersoch to Nefyn and Porthmadog. Once back down, the party followed lush field paths, lit by the vivid red berries of hawthorn and rowan. An obstructing herd of cattle attended by bull and calves fortunately decided to allow the group to pass without too much upset. A winding route led to the beautiful little church of Carnguwch, based on an ancient Llan attributed to St Beuno or possibly an obscure St Cuwch. The building is now in good repair under the care of local ‘friends’. This elevated and tranquil site made a delightful picnic spot. The walk continued south over the Afon Erch, through Penfras Uchaf to Llwyndyrys, turning westwards along a pleasant country road. Tracks then cut across past Plas Newydd farm and Melin Carguwch to the byway (Cilffordd) heading west to Moel Gwynus. The last leg of the walk followed a track north via Fridd, across the Pistyll road at Tan y Bwlch, and back across the grassy plateau to Mount Pleasant. This was a lovely 5 hour ramble through a fine rural landscape, with some 1800ft of ascent. Noel Davey
Thursday September 9th 2021. Rhostryfan-Moel Tryfan-Moel Smytho. Today Meri Evans led 10 members on a repeat of this popular 7 mile walk from Rhostryfan, first made on May 6th 2021. It was a day of light cloud and sunny periods, free of threatened showers, providing good views of the mountains of Eryri and the Menai shore including Caernarfon Castle. A detailed description may be found in the report on the earlier walk. Noel Davey
Sunday September 5th 2021. Bangor City Circuit. 10 members met in sunny weather on the Hirael shore at Bangor for an interesting circuit round the hinterland of the city. Gareth Hughes kindly took over as leader from Dafydd Williams who had sadly damaged his ribs on the recce. The walk took an anticlockwise direction, descending to the dock at Port Penrhyn which once shipped out the slate that famously ‘roofed the world’. The route followed the Lôn Las Ogwen, formerly the track of the Penrhyn Quarry railway, now a pleasant green multi-purpose recreation route. After about 1.5 miles, just past the Llandygai Industrial Estate, the walk turned west onto a lane, leading to fields over the Fridd Carw. A coffee stop provided good views towards Elidir Fawr and neighbouring peaks. Near Caerhun, the route turned north west along woodland paths past Perfeddgoed, eventually coming out into a contrastingly busy commercial area of scrap metal and road material businesses and one of Bangor’s large retail areas. Once safely across the main road, the party climbed a surprisingly quiet rural path up to Penrhos Garnedd and the hospital, stopping in fields en route for lunch, again with scenic views of the mountains. Since the former customary path through the grounds of Treborth Hall is now closed, a short cut had to be taken along the busy A487, passing the end of Telford’s magnificent Menai suspension bridge. Wooded paths above the main road then kept the party away from the traffic. The route descended to the sparkling Menai shore, passing through the circle of Gorsedd Stones dating from the 1971 National Eisteddfod. There were interesting views across to Ynys Môn and the Garth Pier, built over a century ago and the second longest in Wales. From here it was a short step back to the car park. This was an easy and leisurely walk of some 8 miles, with only a few moderate climbs; though never far from the urban bustle, it offered a surprising wealth of interest, tranquil rural sections and unexpected glimpses of the city’s many facets. Noel Davey.
Thursday 2nd September 2021. Porthmadog-Penmorfa-Wern-Borth y Gest. No report nor photographs at present (06/09/21).
Sunday August 29th 2021. Hills of Rhiw. For this Bank Holiday Sunday Jane Logan had devised an excellent and intricate walk over the peaks and pinnacles of Mynydd Rhiw. Sadly, Jane was indisposed on the day and Noel Davey lead the 7 ramblers on this occasion. The first hours were cloudy, but it brightened up by lunchtime and there were good, if hazy views. The walk started from the National Trust carpark at Plas yn Rhiw, taking the new section of Coast Path south-west through woodland and onto the open headland of Mynydd y Graig beyond. Next there was a climb onto the conspicuous spine of jagged rocks of Creigiau Gwineu, incorporating a hillfort high above the village of Rhiw. Paths continued through heather and bracken onto Graig Fawr where there are the remains of a wartime lookout post overlooking Porth Neigwl. The Coast Path was rejoined to climb to the trig point on Mynydd Penarfynydd and out to the rocky promontory of Trwyn Talfarach, a good spot for morning coffee, offering lovely views of the coastline down to Maen Gwenonwy and Ynys Enlli. The party stopped again to enjoy icecream and brownies at the café kiosk set up by the enterprising Penarfynydd Farm. The route continued past old manganese workings down to the delightful cove of Porth Ysgo, the waterfall above somewhat diminished after summer drought. There was another pause at the isolated little church of Llanfaelrhys, notable for its RS Thomas mementoes and the graves of the Keating sisters of Plas yn Rhiw. Field paths took the walkers back to Rhiw village for an ascent past Conion onto the unusual conical outcrop of Clip y Gylfinhir (Curlew Hill), adjacent to the MOD radar tracking station. At 800ft this provided another superb viewpoint to be savoured over a late lunch. The final peak, at 1000ft the highest of the day, was Mynydd Rhiw itself. This wide tract of open moorland, a patchwork of vivid heather and gorse in purple and gold, criss-crossed by ancient tracks, was a magnificent sight. The gradual descent past bronze age cairns and the elusive site of the Neolithic axe factory provided further wonderful views over the heartland of Llŷn, towards Garn Fadryn, the busy beaches at Abersoch and Nefyn, and the hazy outline of the Eryri and Cambrian mountains in the far distance. The last leg of the walk led down past the newly refurbished Ffynnon Saint and through recently felled forestry tracks to Treheli. A final woodland path ended in a well deserved tea at Plas yn Rhiw. This was a long but rewarding day, covering some 10.5 miles and 2250ft of ascent in 6-7 hours, exploring a magical landscape of great historic interest. Noel Davey.
Thursday 26 August 2021 – Snowdon foothills & Beddgelert Forest. On a fine summers day 13 members met at Cae’r Gors, near Rhyd Ddu under the leadership of Dafydd Williams. From the parking area the group returned to the nearby Beddgelert-Rhyd Ddu road and crossed it to a permissive path starting from this point and headed up the hillside towards a farm, Ffridd Uchaf, to join a path which higher up merges with the main Rhyd Ddu-Snowdon route. The last time the writer walked this permissive path the bottom reaches were wet and muddy and there is now an excellent solid path with fences being erected in places.
Having reached the Snowdon path it was left and down to Rhyd Ddu and whilst it was too early for lunch a coffee/tea break was undertaken on the platform of the West Highland Train Station where the toilet /seating facilities were highly appreciated. From here there were outstanding views in all directions, to the west, the Nantlle Ridge with Snowdon, Yr Arran and surrounding mountains to the east.
It was then across the main Beddgelert-Caernarfon road to join another excellent path, the Lon Gwyrfai path, which can be followed for 5 miles to Beddgelert however today after some 2 miles we meandered on alternative forest tracks to Llyn Llewelyn, an artificial forest lake which possibly at one time provided water to nearby properties. From the lake it was only a mile or so back to our cars and as it had been quite humid the 7 miles plus was enough for the majority of the members. Dafydd Williams.
Sunday August 22nd 2021. Yr Eifl-Tre’r Ceiri. Ten club members gathered at Mount Pleasant above Llithfaen for a walk in the Yr Eifl area led by Judith Thomas. The weather was unpromising with the hills hidden by a low-lying pall of cloud and mist. It was decided to rearrange the walk, taking the shorter loop first down to the coast and back over the plateau. This proved the right choice as the vista of the great green cleft of Nant Gwrtheyrn soon emerged as the walkers descended the steep and winding road down to this intriguing village, now the National Language Centre, nestling by the sea. The path led down to the beach, then ascended steadily through oakwoods to Gallt Bwlch in time for a stop for coffee at this high vantage point. The route then returned across the open grassy plateau to Mount Pleasant. The mist now showed some sign of lifting, so the walk resumed, taking the gentle path past Caergribin towards Tre’r Ceiri. This crossed a wall, the final resting place of the scattered ashes of a couple who were among the Club’s founding members. At this point three of the group, wary of the slippery rocks beyond, beat a retreat. The others climbed Tre’r Ceiri, clambering through the astonishing jumble of hut circles and defensive walls surviving from the iron age village which once crowned the peak. Lunch was taken on the citadel at the highest point as the cloud lifted to give fine sunlit views down to Trefor and up the coast of Arfon. By then the central peak of Yr Eifl itself was emerging from the cloud, so the walk continued to its summit at 1860ft to enjoy even more vivid views of jagged grey rocks, swathes of purple heather and deep blue seas. A long tricky descent of the north slope brought the party down to the track at Bwlch yr Eifl from where an easy walk lead back again to Mount Pleasant. A patient wait for the weather to oblige brought the reward of a most enjoyable walk of some 7-8 miles and 2250ft of climbing taken at a relaxed pace over some 6.5hours. Noel Davey
Thursday August 19th 2021. Garndolbenmaen Circular. 6.5 miles. Despite rain and a light mist, Kath Mair and eleven other club members cheerfully set out from the car park on a walk to take them into the hinterland of Garndolbenmaen.
The route went initially north-west via quiet tarmaced lanes and grassy tracks passing Bryn-glas to enter open access land below Ty’r-mynydd. Striking north-east, the walkers crossed rough tussocky wet terrain to reach open moorland. Bearing east, they then trekked over more rough and marshy land- keeping to the stone wall on the right - and stopped for a very damp coffee break before resuming the trudge. By this time, the mist was well established but it didn’t diminish the party’s high spirits. About three miles had so far been covered.
The group went on, further into the mist, when the leader realised she’d missed the cross-track for turning right to reach the bothy, Cae Amos, for lunch. The correct way was soon found, partly helped by the mist lifting and a glimmer of sun coming out. From about 780 feet, there were lovely views looking towards the slopes of Graig-lwyd and Mynydd Graig Goch. Cae Amos provided a very pleasant place for a welcome lunch and many of the walkers had their sandwiches sitting on plastic chairs outside the stone building.
After lunch, there were a further two and a half miles to do, walking south-west back to the car park. Once again, the terrain followed rough and wet tracks before passing Craig y Garn over on the left to continue down quite tarmac lanes. Here, there were beautiful far reaching views of the undulating Lleyn Peninsular. The group returned to their cars, damp but still cheerful. Kath Mair.
Sunday August 15th 2021. Moelwyns. A & B Walks. The walks today were in the magnificent Moelwynion group of mountains. The mountain forecast was poor and did not disappoint, low cloud and mist and intermittent rain all day, with no sign of the sun or of the spectacular views to be had on better days. Nevertheless, a dozen members, perhaps displaying more optimism than sense, assembled at Croesor, where there was unusually enough parking space on account of the weather. The walkers split into two groups: Noel Davey led the majority on a route that took in all the main peaks, while Hugh Evans led a small but growing band that (perhaps wisely) avoided the steepest climbs and more difficult sections. The two groups started together, climbing steadily 1000ft up the Croesor valley on the old track up to Croesor Quarry. Here there was a pause for coffee and to regroup. The two parties then diverged, but fortuitously met again en route on two occasions. Both ascended the relatively easy Moel yr Hudd, from different directions, taking different routes across the elevated plateau through the fascinating landscape of former quarry tips, pits and buildings, looking all the more mysterious in the enveloping mist. A 700ft ascent of Moelwyn Mawr followed by the south-western grassy slope to reach the highest point of the day at 2550ft. As the summit seemed an inhospitable choice for lunch today, the A group struggled south across the rugged neck of Graig Ysgafn, half a mile of slippery, rocky paths and jagged outcrops. Meanwhile, the B group took the lower bypass route, contouring above the Stwlan dam. The two parties reunited for lunch in the relative shelter of Bwlch Stwlan. The B walk then took the somewhat marshy Pant Mawr valley route down to the Tan y Bwlch road, while the A walkers made their third ascent of the day by a steep, but relatively easy rocky path to the top of Moelwyn Bach. From there the SW shoulder provided an easy, grassy descent. At 1300ft the parties were delighted as the panorama over the Dwyryd Estuary, the Glaslyn floodplain, with Port and Criccieth beyond, at last swam into view below the clouds. It was then an easy step back to Croesor where richly deserved coffee and cake awaited all at the café after 5.5 hours in the sodden hills, 7-8 miles and over 3000ft of ascent. The day was something of an ordeal and all deserved a medal for endurance, but there was a compensating feeling of achievement and perhaps an urge to savour it again, but on a drier day guaranteeing some views. Noel Davey.
Thursday August 12th 2021. Cwmystradllyn. Weather conditions: dry and sunny with moderate breeze. After crossing a stile, the initial fields were of grass with ferns before coming onto a farm track near Ynys Wen farm. The walk continued along the track before becoming a metalled road near Ynyspandy slate mill. Here we went into the mill to look at the structure, which is part of the recently announced World Heritage Site, and to enjoy a coffee break. Colin provided an information hand out giving the history of the quarry and mill. From the slate mill the walk followed the original track back, which was used for taking slate from the quarry to the mill, this being flat countryside through fields via a couple of stiles, a footbridge and an avenue of pine trees. The track eventually came onto the narrow road heading towards Tyddyn-mawr farm and café. Continuing straight past Tyddyn-mawr, with the tarmac road turning right towards the dam, the route then became a wide track heading towards the quarry. After about ¾ mile and near some old stone cottages (Tal-y-llyn), a left turn was made up a sloped path towards the old village of Treforys lunch was taken amongst the old walls of the village.
After lunch the walk continued on a level plain through the ruins and, as the old track was somewhat muddy and wet, a zigzag course had to be taken before a drier section of the path could be found. The track, though not too distinct, then followed a downward course through ferns, across an old stone footbridge before re-joining the main track about ¾ mile on from where we left it. The walk continued along this damp level track and onto the Gorseddau Quarry itself, where the group took a little time to explore and view the workings and buildings. From here the walk retraced its steps along the track as far as the stone cottages, Tal-y-llyn, where we had originally left the track towards Treforys, but this time turning left through the old buildings. The group struck off at an approximate 45-degree angle, across two fields and aimed towards the bottom corner where a low gate was stepped over. At this point the lower path that circles the lake was joined. Although not quite distinct, this path went through fields striking at an upward angle to arrive at a gate behind Tyddyn-mawr tea rooms where afternoon tea and cakes were enjoyed by most of the group. Everyone seemed to enjoy the walk and we were blessed with perfect walking weather. Colin Higgs.
Sunday August 8th 2021. Mynytho-Garn Fadryn. Jean Norton and Annie Andrew led 14 members on a first class 10 mile walk from Mynytho to Garn Fadryn and back. It was a cloudy morning with a brisk westerly, but only a hint of rain. This gave way to warm sunshine in the afternoon. The route started from the carpark at Foel Gron, circling the conical hill and then following the path along the western edge of Mynytho Common. From here there were splendid views across Nanhoron towards Mynydd Rhiw and Porth Neigwl. The Common was rich with purple heather and vivid green growth after recent rain. The next leg followed a section of the recently opened Sailor’s Path (Llwybr Morwyr) which crosses the Llŷn from Abersoch to Nefyn. The path led across fields past Pandy and down across the gorge of the Afon Nanhoron by the Pont Llidiart Nanhoron roadbridge, also known as the Inkerman Bridge, commemorating the death of the 22 year old heir to the Nanhoron Estate in the Crimean War. The route continued north above the Nanhoron Quarry, turning at Penbodlas to Pen y Caerau. A rough ascent over open access land brought the party to the summit of Garn Bach, at just under 1000ft. The party then descended across the intervening bwlch and all but three made the slightly easier climb of the 1200ft peak of Garn Fadryn to enjoy the superb 360 degree panorama over central Llŷn, while lunching on the leeside of this commanding viewpoint. The afternoon leg crossed the open grassland to the farms of Caerau, eventually joining the scenic narrow country lane running south back to Mynytho This took the party past the rocky mass of Carn Saethon (an island of ‘open access’ without a right of way to get there!) and the grassy hill of Carneddol (with no right of access at all). There was a pause to admire the isolated little church of Llanfihangel Bachellaeth, now converted to a private home, and also a chance to shed some clothing in the increasingly warm sunshine. Mynytho soon came into view, opening up a spectacular vista down to the sparkling blue bays of Abersoch and the St Tudwal’s Roads, dotted with summer yachts. This was a lovely ramble taken at a relaxed sociable pace over seven hours. Noel Davey
Thursday August 5th 2021. Tanygrisiau Reservoir. Tecwyn Williams led this interesting figure of 8 walk of some 5 miles around Tanygrisiau. On this occasion under Covid restrictions there were 14 walkers, half the number on the same walk led 4 years ago. Part of the walk was wet on both occasions – it is a suburb of Blaenau Ffestiniog after all - but today the first half of the walk was dry whereas last time it was the second half. The morning loop explored the village of Tanygrisiau, a typical old mining village of narrow streets where the backs of houses hug the steep cliffs (‘under the steps’ as its name suggests). Some homes have been smartened up, brightening up the village. Residents have added a quirky note, such as a striking collection of vintage American gas guzzlers and a proud display of miniature garden gnomes and bric-a-brac. Tanygrisiau also has cultural claims as the erstwhile home of the poet and scholar Gwyn Tomas, the dedicated educationalists Silyn and Mary Roberts, and Meredydd Evans of Triawd y Buarth fame, all duly noted during the walk. After lunch on the convenient picnic tables, the afternoon loop took some rocky paths through heather and bracken, past the Ffestiniog hydroelectric plant and around Tanygrisiau lake which now forms the lower reservoir for this pumped storage scheme. The walkers crossed the Ffestiniog Railway no less than 5 times during the walk and were rewarded by the magnificent sight of the Lloyd George steam engine hauling a long trainload of holidaymakers at one of the crossings. Near the southern end of the lake the route passed the disused Moelwyn Mine and the former dam of Llyn Ystradau, the reservoir which preceded the present one when the power plant was built in the early 1960s. Some of the party enjoyed tea at the Lakeside Café after a pleasant 4 hours of walking through a fine natural landscape, overlain by the area’s fascinating industrial heritage. Noel Davey
Sunday August 1st 2021. Mynydd Mawr. Mynydd Mawr was today’s objective, the fine peak sometimes known as Elephant Mountain, just to the west of Yr Wyddfa. 10 club members led by Eryl Thomas gathered at Drws y Coed in the Dyffryn Nantlle for a first class hike of some 8-9 miles over 6 hours. Light cloud and sunny periods provided good conditions for walking. The walk started at the chapel which replaced an earlier one commemorated on the other side of the road when it was damaged in 1892 by a huge boulder tumbling from the Clogwyn y Barcut above. The route followed sections of the Slate Trail with many reminders of the area’s quarrying and mining history, particularly resonant just a few days after the successful designation of Gwynedd’s entire slate landscape as a World Heritage Site. The well-defined path climbed steadily from around 500ft at Drws y Coed farm, joining the main route from Rhyd Ddu at the edge of Beddgelert Forest. After reaching Foel Rudd, the walk skirted the precipitous crags of Craig y Bera, with glimpses of the valley now far below at the foot of steep mountainside screes. A relatively gentle ascent over grassy slopes then led to the summit of Mynydd Mawr at 2300ft. There was a spectacular vista from the top in all directions, only somewhat muted by the cloudy conditions, taking in the central peaks of Eryri, the lowlands of Arfon and Ynys Môn and the hills of northern Llŷn. A refuge provided shelter from a coolish breeze for an early lunch. The descent took the long grassy shoulder on the north-west side of the mountain, above Craig Cwm Du. This gave a good view of the re-activated quarry workings at Moel Tryfan and the mass of older tips and pits around the village of Y Fron. The walk passed by Llyn Ffynhonnau, crossing the bilberry, heather and marshy grassland of the exposed Uwchgyrfai Common, an area of prehistoric settlement and local folklore. The final sections were an interesting mix of quarry remnants and more pastoral and wooded countryside. This proved an excellent day out in splendid landscape, offering a good climb with no particularly difficult sections. Noel Davey.