|Outline Map →||Route file →|
|Mynydd Sygun partial pan >|
Date: 13 Nov 2004
Start / Finish: Beddgelert.
Maps: Outdoor Leisure 17 - Snowdon.
|Day 1||Moel y Dyniewyd & Yr Arddu||5 miles / 2520 feet (8.1km / 768m)|
|Day 2||The Yr Arddu lakes & Llyn Dinas||6 miles / 870 feet (9.7km / 265m)|
Yr Arddu had long been on our of list of areas to visit, and the rapidly shortening days of a November weekend gave a good opportunity for a relaxed and detailed exploration. We suspected that this area would be attractive but it exceeded expectations, it is one of those little frequented jewels of Wales.
Crossing the footbridge at the eastern end of the village, the signed footpath starts just beyond the R end of a row of houses and climbs steeply E to arrive at the minor top of Mynydd Sygun. There is a grand view from here, and since the promised forecast of unbroken sunshine looked most unlikely, we took a partial panorama while we had the chance. A path descends NE along the broad ridge and over another shapely small top, finally undulating around to a ladder stile. Turning R over this, a good track leads through the old mine and orange spoil to a multi-way path sign, where we turned R signed Aberglaslyn. Where the path turns R over another ladder stile, we passed it and continued in the same direction, passing a pool at the bwlch and climbing steeply to Moel y Dyniewyd. This summit was clear but the high mountains were now obscured by mist as it started to rain.
Continuing NE, the path arrives at a ladder stile, where we crossed and descended to the nameless lake, which is in a very attractive setting. Walking around the far side, we followed the outflow stream down to a wall and through a narrow sort of gate made from two fenceposts. A little further on is a sheepfold where a path, marked on the map, descends to the stout wall below and through a walkers gate to a ruined building. A little further down is the obvious public footpath, where we turned R (SW) and later L down the unsigned footpath to the footbridge and valley road.
Across the road is another footpath sign and the start of the climb to Yr Arddu. The map shows the path cutting through the corner of the wood, but the way is around the marshy outside corner of the wall bordering the wood. We collected water at a stream just beyond the corner and followed the wall up to its highest point. From here, a faint path sets off left through the heather and zigzags up the slopes, climbing steep rocky heathery gullies and cutting back along shelves, then petering out beneath the summit rocks. This leaves a hard but short trackless climb to the top, which gives an instant reward with great views and a splendid aspect of Cnicht and Moelwyn Mawr. The black mirror of Llyn yr Arddu could be seen below to the north. We made our pitch by the summit tor, which is adorned with a cairn and two vertical stones.
Unlike other hills in this area, Yr Arddu is dominated by heather and bouldery knolls, reminiscent of the northern Rhinogydd but without the attitude, and is a wild and little visited Welsh gem. The best was yet to come in the three lakes, which were a sheer delight and the photos speak for themselves. A trackless but quite easy walk leads down to Llyn yr Arddu, where an easy grassy path appears on the R of the lake. This climbs to the dip on the R of the highest rocky top ahead, where the first lake of Llynnau Cerrig-y-myllt comes into view. From the shore, a short climb L to the saddle reveals the second lake with the Snowdonia mountains beyond. The temptation to linger here is almost irresistible!.
From the NE end of the saddle between the lakes, a faint path slants easily SE along the grassy hillside and peters out, but the aim is to converge with the wall below leading to Bwlch y Battel, where a ladder stile indicates the valley path. This follows the river on the L side down to the valley road. Turning R up the road, we reached the signed footpath to Llyn Dinas. The obvious path doesn't follow the exact line on the map at first, rather it veers L over a minor rise and descends to follow the L side of a wall. Crossing over a surfaced track, the way continues on the R of a small plantation to a ladder stile. From here the way is clear to Llyn Dinas, and the footpath climbs to give a good view over the W end of the lake.
Descending to the outflow, an attractive riverside path leads to the Sygun Copper Mine building, where an access lane is joined that emerges at the bridge onto the main road. The riverside path then completes the circuit to Beddgelert.