The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Y Garn (Rhinogau) and Foel Offrwm

Tuesday 30 December 2014


Y Garn (SH703230; 629m)


A tootle up the road this morning (although not before a substantial breakfast at the Milk Bar in Barmouth), took us to Llanelltyd, which is where I’d chosen to start our attack on Y Garn. I’ve been using people’s logs on by way of research to see what routes other people take up these Marilyns, and (in common with yesterday’s start point) decided to shun everyone else’s wisdom and take a longer route that looked, to me, to be more pleasing. That opinion was, admittedly, based on having walked part of this route before.

It was summer 2000 when we last heaved our bodies up the path from Llanelltyd to the New Precipice Walk and remembered it as being a sustained, and outrageously steep, ascent. It was still steep today, but being significantly fitter than we were on that particular holiday, I didn’t feel like I might die by the time we reached the derelict building at the top of the forest where, if you’re taking the New Precipice, the path levels out.

On the spur of the moment, we shunned the flat path which skirts around the hill and went over instead, and after a short drop down the other side made our way over to the ridge wall which runs almost to the top of Y Garn. A decision then had to be made: on which side of the wall to walk. A trodden line lies on each side, but we knew with near-certainty that whichever side we chose, it would be the wrong decision and (having opted for the west side) so it proved to be. My thinking was that with only two cross-walls on that side (versus 5 on the east side), there would more likely be stiles on that side. When we found ourselves at a dead-end, it was annoyingly about a yard away from the stile taking the path from east-side to west. Clambering ensued…

The wind had picked up noticeably for the last bit of our ascent, but the cloud was remaining high for us, giving fabulous views, which stretched to 360 degrees when we hit the summit. The wind, by then, was such that we didn’t tarry more than five minutes or so on the top, opting to drop back down into a bit of shelter for a tea break, before continuing down (on the correct side of the wall) to take the New Precipice Walk on our return route. Quite a few people were seen on that good path – understandably, as it’s well worth the effort (although if you park in the little car park just SE of Foel Ispri, then there is no appreciable effort).

Back down at near-sea-level in Llanelltyd, after an excellent outing that I would well recommend to others, we went from the New Precipice to the Old, or at least to the Old Precipice car park, which gave the obvious starting point for Foel Offrwm – a hill which had been clearly visible to us from Y Garn.

Foel Offrwm (SH750210; 405m)


It was another quite steep ascent, but we were at the top (which houses an enormous square cairn-like structure) with just under a mile of walking, and having only been marginally prickled by the gorse on the way up. As we admired the views (the snow-caps are looking increasingly mottled, rather than their pure white of two days ago), I pointed out the hill that wasn’t in our original plan for this week, but which may now feature as the main event tomorrow.

The stats for the day were 7.5 miles with 1900’ of ascent this morning, and 1.8 miles with 600’ of ascent this afternoon.

(Just one photo today (looking out over the Mawddach estuary). I didn’t think that I would have any mobile signal in our current location, so was surprised to find that I can pick up a tiny bit of 3G – but it does require me to hold the laptop still at an uncomfortable angle at the window, and I’m not going to do that for long enough for multiple photos to post!)


  1. Oh but, that one photograph is stunning!
    Not really surprised you are a bit fitter just now...

    1. It was hard to pick that photo - the views were so good that I took 31 on that walk!

  2. Nice one Gayle. Have you got ants in your pants?!

    1. Taking maximum benefit of being a full-time lady of leisure :-)

  3. I'll skip the 'lady' gate affair, but 'leisure' does seem to be a perverse description of a Marilynist frantically seeking Fame in Alan's Hall!
    Anyway, have a good one and continue with this series of postings, as nobody else seems to be particularly active...