Tuesday, 3 January 2012
#1.MOELWYNION SATELLITE HILL'S.2-1-2012.
The first walk of the year saw me meeting Howie at the Rhug Estate and driving to Dolwyddelan to meet Julian,Deb,Glyno and Paul at the railway station car park.The recent weather had been poor,with lot's of cloudy day's,very high wind's and a fair amount of rain,speaking to friend's who had been walking in Snowdonia,a lot of them had been blown over in the high wind's and abandoned their walk's.Today's forecast was for a clear dry day with a strengthening wind.On the drive to Dolwyddelan there was snow on the ground in Bwlchgwyn,on the top's of the Llantisilio Hill's,the Berwyn's and Arenigs but none on the big boy's in Snowdonia.Amazingly we arranged to meet at 9 a.m. but as i pulled into the car park at 8.45 the other 2 car's followed me in,how's that for timing.
We left the village at 9 and headed for the track that lead's all the way to the summit of Y Ro Wen.There are a couple of minor summit's just off the track that i intended to detour to but looking on the "wheresthepath" website i couldn't see a path so we left these out.Below,the track we followed.
Although quite cold at first we were soon sweating as the track steepened and the view's were getting better the higher we got.Looking across the Lledr Valley to a cloud topped Moel Siabod.It was about here that we frightened a Snipe but it flew away to quickly for any of us to get a photo of it,shame really,first time i've ever seen one.
The track stay's close to the Afon Bwlch y Gro and skirt's the Cwm Penamner forest and lead's to Bwlch y Groes,but we turned away just before the Bwlch heading south for Y Ro Wen.The view's were opening up now and the sun started to come out but we never felt it's strength in the cold wind.
Moel Siabod now clear and a snow storm blowing down the Ogwen Valley.
Yr Aran and Y Lliwedd.
The ground and puddles were still frozen as we were nearing the summit.
Nearing the summit we got our first glimpse of the high point of the day,Moel Penamnen above the forest with the Maesgwm Waterfall looking good.The Moelwynion and the Stwlan Dam provide the backdrop.
At the summit we got into the cairn to try to shelter from the biting wind and grab a quick break,we didn't stay long as it was very cold.
Heading south east with the wind behind us and looking back to Y Ro Wen.
A faint path lead's past Llyn y Tomla.
This lead's to the 505 metre height near Moel Llechwedd Hafod.
Trying to find the driest route toward's Moel Penamnen we headed across Bryn Hafod-fraith with the cold wind in our faces.Skirting the southern end of the forest it was very wet underfoot and a few detour's were needed to avoid the worst ground.Sheltered by Foel Fras and the forest we decided on another break before we reached the highest point that we would reach today.
Below,the west face of Y Ro Wen.
Setting off again we were soon exposed to the element's but we were making quick progress and staying warm,it was only when we stopped to take photo's and admire the view's that we noticed how cold it was and how strong the wind was.Below,close up of the Moelwynion and Swlan Dam.
Manod Mawr above Lyn Bowydd and Llyn Newydd from the ascent up to Foel Fras.
Looking back to the southern end of the forest with a snowy Arenig Range in the distance.
Me at the summit of Foel Fras looking across to Y Ro Wen.
Heading for Moel Penamnen.
It was very windy as we stood at it's summit,our high point of the day at 2,043 feet,and Glyno got his anemometer out to discover that it was 55 mph with a wind-chill of minus 11 degree's.
Looking down on the Llynnau Barlwyd Reservoir i was surprised to see it empty,last time i was here it was full,don't know why it's empty now ?
Leaving the summit we headed down the north east flank on a decent path.
And we got our first glimpse of Tryfan,my favourite mountain.
The lower we got the more sheltered we became and it was a very pleasant descent as we headed for our last summit,Pen y Benar seen below.
The terrain leaving this minor summit wasn't the best and Howie slipped over and broke one of his trekking poles.
But we did get a good view of Castell Dolwyddelan.
We eventually reached the paved path that run's adjacent to the railway line back to the village,care was needed on it though as in places the stones had sunk and there was a lot of surface water on them.
Today we walked a distance of 10.5 miles with 2,400 feet of ascent.