31 December 2014
Rhobell Fawr (SH787257; 734m)
I completely missed Rhobell Fawr when I was planning for this trip and even when I did notice it on the map a couple of days ago, I dismissed it as being too difficult to get to. Looking over to it from yesterday’s tops, it didn’t look far away at all, and when I looked more closely at the map last evening, I realised that we were, in fact, almost perfectly placed to pop up it today. Even better, an exploration of the 1:25k map told me that there is only one obvious route up it* (accessible from two local road-ends) and, with that route following a wall, I guessed that there would be good trodden line, making it a relatively easy walk.
Starting out from Llanfachreth (where there’s a good public car park, which isn’t marked on the map; it’s next to the school at SH756225), a bridle way then a by-way gave us good views of our warty-looking objective…
… and took us up to Bwlch Goriwared, where a broken (but still useable) stile gave us access to the wall which runs all the way up to within a stone’s throw of the trig point. As expected, there was a trodden line (not an eroded scar; just an obvious trod), and as an added bonus there was only one small boggy bit. Not only an attractive hill, but another one which has proved to be a joy to walk too!
Even though the wind had picked up another notch or three today, we were sheltered most of the way, and it wasn’t until we reached the trig that the real staggering around started:
The cloud was a bit lower than yesterday too and although we counted ourselves lucky that our top (which stands at 705m) was well below the cloud, it did curtail the views which would have been stunning on any of the last three days. This snap is looking in the same direction as the one in yesterday’s post – towards the mouth of the Mawddach.
Our return route bore a remarkable resemblance to our outward one and (thanks to our earlyish start, designed to avoid the strongest of the winds, which were forecast for the afternoon) we were back at Colin (being accosted by chickens who pecked at my shoes; maybe they knew I was having eggs for lunch?) before noon.
Craig y Castell (SH698162; 321m)
With the day still young and the cloud still high (even if the wind was getting stronger), after lunch we headed over to Craig y Castell, where I left Mick in Colin** as I nipped out to visit this little summit, which stands at just 321m.
My slight handicap was that I had intended walking to this top from Dolgellau, and thus had pored over aerial photos to find a feasible route from the east. In the event, I found myself starting immediately south of the summit, with no knowledge as to how best to approach.
After I’d walked around to the west side of the hill in search of a way up, I counted myself lucky that no-one stopped me from trespassing across a field so as to get from the bridleway to the access land, and that no-one witnessed me stepping over a fence a short while later. I’m also pretty sure that no-one saw me climb over a wall at the top (for the avoidance of doubt, I was very careful not to cause any damage to any of those obstacles). A mile after setting out, I was on the top, looking over to Foel Offrwm (yesterday afternoon’s top) and Rhobell Fawr (that’s the highest bit, just right of centre in the snap below):
I was also being blown all over the place, so without further ado (and having failed, despite my best efforts, to spot any proper crossing point) back over the wall I went, then back over the fence, followed soon after by a repeat trespass across the field. I did meet the farmer on my way from there to Colin and he proved to be a friendly chap, so I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded my actions.
The stats today were 7 miles walked with 2000’ of ascent this morning and 2.1 miles with 600’ of up this afternoon.
(*Well, it seemed to me that there was only one obvious route up. I’ve now looked at www.hill-bagging.co.uk and it seems that it’s not the route taken by the majority of baggers on there!
** The car park in question has a charge of £5. I was only going to be an hour! Fortunately, Mick needed no persuading to stay behind with a cup of tea and his book.)