FOEL FRAS SUMMIT.

FOEL FRAS SUMMIT.

Friday, 14 January 2011

#5.Afonwen to Loggerheads.13-1-11.

Thursday saw me walking in the Clwydian Hill's with Howie and with the forecast set fair hopefully we would get some photograph's taken as well.Howie suggested the classic route of "the Mast",this is a linear walk so we left my car by the boundary marker in Loggerhead's and drove in Howie's to park it at the Craft Centre in Afonwen.The mast is part of a transmitting station and serves mainly T.V. but also carries many other services including mobile phone,amateur radio and other repeater's and it is 771 feet tall.It sit's on top of Moel y Parc,this hill is 1,306 feet tall.Looking up to the mast from Afonwen.

A very steep lane lead's up to the bwlch and it took us 30 minute's to walk but gave us some nice view's,here is our first glimpse of Penycloddiau,the first of the 5 hill's we were to walk today.

Another 30 minute walk on the Offa's Dyke LDP and we were on the summit.Penycloddiau is Welsh for the hill of the trenches and is the most northern Marilyn in the Clwydian Range.It is one of the largest hillfort's in Wales,it's bank's are 2 km in circumference and recently 40 hut platform's have been found.Below is a photo of one of the 4 rampart's on it's northern edge.
This is the summit cairn with the Vale of Clwyd in the distance.

The cloud was quite low and looking over to Moel Famau it was completely engulfed in it,but looking around from this fine vantage point it was sunny everywhere so we were hopeful it would lift by the time we got there.The path contour's above Llangwyfan Forest with fine view's ahead to Moel Arthur and drop's down to a small car park at the bwlch.

A steep climb on a minor path through heather,away from the LDP,bring's you right out on the summit of Moel Arthur.These first 2 hill's are Iron Age hillfort's built around 2,500 year's ago but Moel Arthur is possibly a Bronze Age hillfort as well as Bronze Age axe's have been found here dating back 3,500 year's.Legend has it that the hill was exploited during the "Cilcain Goldrush".Below is the summit cairn with Moel Llys-y-coed and a cloudy Moel Famau in the distance.

We picked the LDP back up to drop down to the car park at the bwlch and climbed up Moel Llys-y-coed and looked back at the hillfort's,what a great view.

We got a bit of respite here from the relentless ascent and descent as the next stretch is relatively flat down to the crossroad's at the bwlch,Moel Famau still hiding in the cloud.

We had a pleasant surprise at the bwlch as we bumped into Clive an ex work colleague and had a chat for a while.A short pull up and we were on Moel Dywyll but unfortunately we were also in the cloud and we lost our lovely view's for a while,this is the summit marker.

Again late 19th century gold working on Moel Dywyll was referred to by Frank Simpson,who remarked that gold was not found in sufficient quantities to make a profit.It's name mean's the dark mountain,it certainly lived up to it's name today.Next and last of the 5 top's was Moel Famau,the jewel in the crown with it's massive Jubilee Tower.It was built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of King George 111 in 1810,a storm in 1862 reduced the spectacular Egyptian style monument to the base that can be seen today.

We had lunch here and then headed east down through the forest and thankfully below the cloud line once more with view's over to Moel Findeg.

A pleasant walk back to Loggerheads through farmland interrupted by one little rain shower where we had to don our coat's for all of 5 minute's.A great walk that came in at 10.5 miles long with 2,900 feet of ascent and took us 5 hour's.

MILES      37.5
ASCENT  10,550
TOPS        17.

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