|Outline Map →||Route file →|
Date: 04 Apr 2006
Start / Finish: Cynwyd. Parking spaces by the B4401 just NE of the village centre.
Maps: Explorer 255 Llangollen & Berwyn and OL23 Cadair Idris.
|Day 1||Mynydd Mynyllod & Foel Cwm Sian Llwyd||12.0 miles / 2800 feet (19.3km / 853m)|
|Day 2||Cadair Berwyn & Cadair Bronwen||13.7 miles / 2050 feet (22.1km / 624m)|
A variation of the West Berwyn #1 circuit around the Dee valley from Cynwyd. Almost all the snow had gone from the Welsh mountains and there was almost unbroken Spring sunshine, but the northerly winds and very cold night were more typical of winter.
The route to Foel Cwm Sian Llwyd is the same as West Berwyn #1 except that at 049415 by the phone box, we took the minor SW and the mapped track W past Tyn-y-fedw in the hope that the latter would be an easy farm track - it wasn't, it was an old sunken route, wetter and muddier than the fields of the original line. The snowmelt and recent rain had swollen the Dee to a very wide and rapid flow and many fields in the valley had lakes of standing water.
Along the high ground of Mynydd Mynyllod, the visibility was excellent but the northerly wind felt really raw. This was a day of contrasts typical of early Spring, cold winds on the tops and warm sunshine in the valleys and sheltered slopes. Near Bwlch y Fenni the forest is being felled and timber lorries almost filled the steep narrow access track as they were loaded. A fine promenade beneath the lee slopes of Moel Cae-Howel gave great views W and we collected good water at Nant Cwm-Hesgen. A final climb to Foel Cwm Sian Llwyd was rewarded by a splendid panoramic view and we pitched just below the summit and sheltered from most of the wind.
There was a clear sky and very hard frost overnight and the tent was glistening even on the inside. A thin path meanders S towards a waymark post that points the way through a boggy area to a stile, where the frozen surface in the reeds just supported our weight. A cap of mist formed on the Berwyn ridge as we approached Milltir Gerrig and replenished water. An information board at the foot of the SW ridge of Moel Sych gives information about the Y Berwyn fauna, including the black grouse that we have never seen here, though we did see one in the nearby Llangollen hills.
The lower slopes of Moel Sych are mainly laid with duckboards and sleepers, though the partly frozen remaining boggy bits heaved and quaked beneath us. The views from the Berwyn ridge were superb, with most of the Welsh mountain groups visible from The Carneddau to Pumlumon. We always seem to be well blasted on this ridge, and today it was a biting northerly that we escaped intermittently by following the thin path on the edge of the cliffs that great views down to Llyn Lluncaws and subsidiary ridges. From the memorial stone at Pen Bwlch Llandrillo, easy farm track byways lead NW to Cynwyd.