Saturday 6 August 2011

Near Solitude in the Northern Carneddau

Distance 15.5km; Ascent: 1000m; Solo

It had been two months since I had last been for a full day's walk in the hills, so I was looking forward to today's walk in the northern Carneddau with the aim of visiting my last two remaining 2000ft tops in the Carneddau: Llwytmor and Pen y Castell.

After an entertaining drive up the narrow gated road from Rowen, I set off walking at 10:30am from the car park at the road head under an overcast sky.  I followed the vehicle track WNW over Bwlch y Ddeufaen and had to don waterproofs after about 15 minutes, soon after passing a mountain biker.  I continued on the track for a further 2km, before leaving it and heading SW to the summit of Yr Orsedd (Dewey), which I reached at around 11:30am.  The views from here were excellent across to Anglesey and into the heart of the Carneddau.

A few hundred metres west was the summit of Foel-ganol (Dewey), which I reached at around 11:45am; again the views were excellent.  The steep southern slopes of the hill were covered in a carpet of purple and yellow as the heather and gorse were both in flower; I picked a way down these slopes to reach the Afon Anafon.

I crossed the river easily and stopped for lunch on the far bank.  The lower slopes of Llwytmor were covered in bilberry plants in fruit so I made slow progress on the ascent as I kept stopping to pick and eat bilberries :).  At around 650m, I entered the cloud and continued to ascend as the rain re-started.  I reached a cairn on the summit of Llwytmor (Nuttall) at around 1:15pm where I had a second lunch stop; here I met only my second person of the day.

In the mist it wasn't entirely clear where the highest point of Llwytmor was so I had a bit of a wander around the summit plateau before heading SE towards the main Carneddau ridge, which I reached at the summit of Foel-fras (Nuttall) at 2:15pm; there were a couple of other walkers by the trig point.  The cloud cleared whilst I was at the summit and I soon had excellent views over the hills out to the Irish Sea.

I made swift progress NE along the ridge, passing a group of four walkers, to reach the summit of Drum (Nuttall) at around 2:45pm; by now the rain had stopped and the sun was starting to break through.  Here I forsake the main Carneddau ridge and instead headed ESE to reach the summit of Pen y Castell (Nuttall) shortly before 3:30pm, which was covered in bilberries; tasty!  I opted for a direct route, just west of north, back to the car across rough ground: a mixture of heather, bog and reeds and I reached the car at 4:30pm.  It had been a good walk and I had achieved my main aim of finishing the 2000ft peaks of the Carneddau and I had hardly seen anyone else in the hills, despite it being a Saturday in the middle of the summer.

1 comment: