55. Moel Hebog, 19th July, 2015
Richard Sale's Collins Ramblers guide to North Wales proposes a route up Moel Hebog and its neighbours that begins and ends with a dose of lorry-dodging on the A4085. No thanks. Indeed, especially now the new Lon Gwyrfai path from Beddgelert to Rhyd Ddu is up and running, there is no reason, if there ever was one, to go anywhere near the main road. I started at the car park in Beddgelert near the tourist info by the station. From here I picked up the well signposted Lon Gwyfrai and followed it round the corner and up the hill, right by a farmhouse soon after which a footpath branches left up Moel Hebog. This goes straight up to the top. Its upper reaches are delightful. To call it a scramble would suggest something more exposed and airy than it is. Clambery might me a better description, needing hands in places but very never remotely tricky or remotely alarming. From Moel Hebog a slightly tedious steep descent on grass took me to the col between it and Moel yr Ogof. Glyndwr's Cave is conspicuous up on the right here but the ridge walk carries on up through a dramatic rock defile and on, very pleasantly, to the top. From here to Moel Lefn is very easy and doesn't take long.
The Nuttalls' suggested way home looked a bit of a long way round to me so I decided instead to head back to the col between Moel yr Ogof and Moel Lefn and try to pick a way down from there. This didn't go that well really. From the col to the edge of the woods is steep, rough, pathless and not very pleasant. On getting to the woods, I found a ladder stile and thought, Ah, civilisation, there must be a path down from here. But no. I could see there was a firebreak I could use to make downward progress not far away but reaching it seemed to entail struggling through thick forestry plantation for short distance. So I went for it. Thus didn't take long but it seemed to take longer and was pretty horrible. I was picking pine needles out if the skin of my neck for hours afterwards. I found followed a track SE to find the right of way path that comes down from the Bwlch Meillionen. I found this OK but it's rather a poor path, overgrown, boggy and clearly not much used. Still it took me, eventually, back to the Lon Gwyfrai and thence easily home. Another shortcut that wasn't really such a great idea.
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