I had been suffering with a heavy cold recently that stopped me and Julie from walking,had to miss out on a walk up Moel Siabod with Julian and Deb,but feeling a little better a walk was arranged with Howie and Glyno and we decided to visit the Arenig range for a walk we haven't done since May 2008,namely Dduallt and Rhobell Fawr.Parking at Cwm yr Allt-lwyd 7 miles south east of Trawsfynydd we followed the infant Afon Mawddach up to the derelict Allt-lwyd farm.
We crossed the river and headed up the bulldozed track which climb's steadily up to the ford which we crossed last time we were here.Below,view back to derelict farm with Rhobell-y-Big making an appearance.
View down the Mawddach valley from the bulldozed track.
Looking across to Rhobell Fawr with Foel Gron in foreground.
The ford which today was to wide and to deep to cross.
At first we headed upstream to find a crossing but the ground was really boggy so we retraced our steps and headed down stream to see if we could find a crossing.Although there were lot's of big boulder's in the river they were really slippery and was to dangerous to attempt a crossing.We got the map out and made a decision to try again further up stream so we headed up toward's Llyn Grych-y-Waun.Although this area was very boggy we carefully made our way up into the Waun y Griafolen area where the river was narrower,but still deep,with smaller tributaries joining it.Howie was first across one of the tributaries further upstream from us so me and Glyno walked up to where he crossed,wow,it was still quite wide and we needed guidance off Howie as where to cross.Glyno went next and barely made the bank and slipped back into the stream before hauling himself out.
I decided to try to build a small causeway with the small stones of the island in the middle of the stream to lessen the distance of the jump,if Glyno couldn't make it i wasn't going to,this aided me and i easily made the far bank.Off we set in the direction of Dduallt before we came across the next tributary.
This proved to be the beating of us and we couldn't find a way across as it was far to wide and deep and there was no way around it as the whole area was just a massive bog.The decision was made to leave Dduallt and just ascend Rhobell Fawr so we retraced our step's carefully to the first crossing which gave us a decent view across to Arenig Fawr.
On reaching the crossing Howie jumped down the bank,onto what he thought was solid ground,and sank in over his knee's,he immediately shouted to me that he was sinking so i took hold of his hand's and helped to haul him out,although dangerous it was quite funny.
Safely back on the bulldozed track we headed back to the crossing by the derelict farm.Here we were half a mile from the car but had walked 4 miles and it took us 2.5 hour's ! We climbed to the edge of the forest and followed the right hand side of the Nant yr Helig over very boggy ground,made worse by mountain biker's.This footbridge leading out of the forest would come into play later in the day,although at the time we didn't know it.Rhobell Fawr in the distance.
I didn't take many photo's on the ascent as the sun was directly behind the summit of Rhobell Fawr.Just passing Foel Gron we spotted a fox hunting about 50 metres away,before he spotted us and ran off.Below looking across the forest to Dduallt.
I was struggling with my chest as it was very steep and was pleased when we made it's summit.Great view's all round but it was very cold in the light wind so we got down behind the wall to grab a break.
We had a few option's for our return to the car,we decided to drop east to the forestry track and to find the wooden bridge we saw earlier,looked straight forward but wasn't.Below,the east flank of Rhobell Fawr that we descended.
View across to Moel Llyfnant,left,and Arenig Fawr from a clearing in the forest.
Not seeing any footpath sign's i was concerned we had walked to far on the forest track so took a grid ref. off my GPS and i was proven right,we had missed the footpath but fortunately we were virtually opposite the footbridge but about 100 metres in the forest.2 option's now,retrace our step's our try to fight our way through the tree's,so option 2 it was.This chunk of forestry commission woodland is best described by the orienteering term FIGHT,this word is applied to woodland through which it is impossible to run or walk !,i'm not kidding,it was blooming thick and very hard to navigate through.We eventually reached the Nany yr Helig only to discover we were about 25 metres below the bridge,so we headed upstream in the right direction.A recent landslide had washed a large chunk of bank into the stream below so we had to enter the forest again and to find a way around it.We eventually found the path and exitted the forest near the bridge.
This left us with a walk of just over 1 mile back to the car and a nice view down to the derelict farm once more.
A great day in the mountain's but i was disappointed we couldn't cross the Mawddach and had to miss out on an ascent of Dduallt.The walk was 10.5 miles in length with 2,500 feet of ascent.