The high winds and hill fog continued today, so we ventured into the rainforest. Just off the minor road between Maentwrog hydropower station and Gellilydan lies the Ceunant Llennyrch nature reserve - one of the few remaining natural oak rain forests still surviving in Wales. A short energetic walk from the car park takes you to the spectacular Rhaeadr Ddu waterfall.
High winds and low cloud has provided limited opportunities for mountain summit walks this week. Today, however, we did walk up to Bwlch Stwlan, the 'saddle' between Moelwyn Bach and Moelwyn Mawr. This location is fairly high up (600 metres) and gives good views of the Moelwyns and down over the Stwlan reservoir to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Whilst most of the snow from last week has gone, there was still a wintry feel on the mountains today, with some sleet and hail showers, and a light covering of fresh snow on the higher peaks.
Christmas and New Year holidays in North Wales were dominated by mild but misty, cloudy weather with fairly persistent hill fog. However, today the sun came out and the Snowdonia mountains re-appeared from the gloom, in all their glory. We went for a wander around the Moelwyns behind the cottage to try to clear the heads after the excesses of the last two weeks.
After a hot dry summer in Snowdonia, the weather has been quite unsettled since mid-August. We have been in Rhyd over the last two weeks, but still managed to get out and enjoy the scenery in spite of the rain and high winds. We still have availability at the cottage in late October, including the half term weeks, if you fancy an autumn break in Snowdonia (the dates 13 October-3 November are still available).
Here are some pictures from our stay in Rhyd taken over these last few days of wintry weather. Firstly, a snowy Moelwyn Bach overlooking our cottage in Rhyd:
The rare sight of snow on Morfa Bychan beach near Borth-y-Gest, overlooking the Porthmadog estuary:
And finally, a couple of shots taken earlier today on a trek up the Miner's track on Snowdon, with views of Y Lllewid over Llyn Llydaw, and Llyn Glaslyn below Snowdon summit:
We are back in Rhyd this week, and enjoying a little bit of winter. Here is a view of the Snowdon Horseshooe taken from the slopes of Moelwyn Bach this afternoon.
It is quite chilly in Rhyd this week, and a bit of snow has appeared on the mountain tops. Here is a shot of the upper reaches of Snowdon taken this afternoon from the bottom of the Rhyd Ddu path. The wind chill factor was quite high today, so we just walked up to Bwlch Cwm Llan and ate our lunch looking a snow-capped Y Llwedd.
Tested out my light weight solo tent last night with a wild camp at Llynau Diffwys below Cnicht. I walked in up Cwm Croesor, and had a dry but fairly chilly night in the tent. Awoke to brilliant sunshine with stunning views all around, so walked back to the cottage via Rhosydd Quarry and up over the summit of Moelwyn Mawr.
After spending most of the summer in the flatlands of East Anglia, it was good to get back to Snowdonia and to see some mountains. Today we visited the highest point in the Northern Rhinogs, one of our favourite part of North Wales - dramatic remote mountains away from the crowds. We parked near the farm at Cefn Clawdd on the minor road south of Lake Trawsfynydd, then walked up the old track/tramways to the deserted manganese mines below Moel Ysgyfarnogod (623 metres). From the summit we had great views of the Llyn Peninsula, Snowdon, and the Rhinogs/Arans with Cader Idris to the south. A lovely mountain day out, and we did not see a soul all day.
The weather was much cooler today, dry with sunny spells, and a pleasant breeze. We drove to the village of Tal-y-Bont on the Harlech-Barmouth road and walked up to some of gentler slopes of the southern Rhinogs overlooking Barmouth and the Mawddach estuary. This walk features in John Gillam's book 'Best Day Walks in Snowdonia;' (Walk 22 in this book), and we certainly recommend it for a reasonably easy walk that covers varied terrain, with great views of the coast as well as the mountains of Snowdonia, and the Llyn Peninsula. The walk starts with a pleasant amble through the woods above the Afon Ysgethin before taking an old drovers track to Bwlch y Rhiwgyr - you then head north along the southern Rhinog ridge leading to the summit of Llawlech (589m). The return route takes you down the old London-Harlech drovers road, crossing over the old packhorse bridge at Pont Scethin.
Peter and Lorraine, owners of Ty Uchaf since 2011. We will post occasionally items that may be of interest to our guests, past, present and future !