After a long, tedious drive from Sheffield, the afternoon was well under way when I got to Snowdonia so I was after a nice modest hill that would fit into what remained of it. Mynydd Mawr seemed to fit the bill so I parked myself in the Ryhd Ddu car park and off I went. The first hundred yards or so was pretty unpleasant walking on the A4085. On the way back I realised this can easily be avoided by a track round the back of the houses, very clearly marked on the map. Do pay attention, Lenman. I walked into the village, took a left onto the B4418, past Cefn Cwellyn on the right and immediately afterwards right up a track. Not far up this I notice that Cefn Cwellyn leads to a small parking spot just alongside my track and I could have chopped half an hour off my walk by using that instead. It’s a very straightforward ascent from here. The track turns into a path and you follow it all the way to the top: through the woods, steeply up onto Foel Rudd and then delightfully along a grassy ridge to the summit trig point where I stopped to take pictures and chat to a nice couple from the Wirral.
As a descent the Nuttalls recommend walking north to the col before Craig Cwmbychan and then off right down the slopes leading to the Afon Goch and down this to the lakeside. I emphatically do not recommend this descent. The slope to the Afon Goch is unpleasant, pathless, very steep and covered in knee-deep heather. And getting down the Afon Goch to the lake is not at all straightforward as it plunges into a small not very negotiable-looking gorge. I met my friends from the Wirral here who had come down another way and together, with some difficulty we found a way down a safely angled but slimy gully where a couple of steepenings were best negotiated à derrière. My trousers were not a pretty sight at the bottom. Then it is a trudge through the woods by the lake. Past the campsite, just before a house, a well-signposted path heads uphill to rejoin the path I’d come up by, painfully slowly it must be said by a frustratingly gradual rising contour in the opposite direction to homewards. Not a great return route. Maybe this hill doesn’t lend itself to a circular walk. Steve Ashton in his Cicerone Hillwalking in Snowdonia book does suggest a different one but that involves an unappealingly lengthy stretch of lorry-dodging along the A4085 all the way along the north shore of Llyn Cwellyn. Maybe better just go up and down the same way.
Leave a Reply.