It’s still 20141! Southern Rhinogs   4 comments

What better way to welcome in 2015 than to continue with catching up on 2014 outings. Now that I’m done with Australia I can look back at Autumn

My memory of September and October is of endless grey and dreary days. One day did deliver though. In mid-September we took a weekend away at the caravan and the Sunday was a cracker. Before we get to that, a few photos from the Red Kite feeding station at Bwlch Nant yr Arian.

red kite, bwlch nant yr arian

They feed the Red Kites everyday at 3pm and it’s a pretty impressive sight.

red kite, bwlch nant yr arian

The light was truly awful – grey, dank and dreary so the photos aren’t the best.

red kite, bwlch nant yr arian

Red Kites were close to being wiped out of Wales by careless hunting and a loss of habitat. Various programs have been hugely successful. They are a very common site when out walking in mid-Wales and number the hundreds on these feeding sessions. Perhaps now is the time to slowly and carefully withdraw these sessions and allow them to fend for themselves as a protected species now that their numbers have recovered. Whatever, they are a magnificent raptor and their gliding presence on walk is always a pleasure

red kite, bwlch nant yr arian

There were also numerous small birds on the feeders to observe, LBJ’s mostly

red kite, bwlch nant yr arian

red kite, bwlch nant yr arian

red kite, bwlch nant yr arian

Sunday morning was a transformation. Grey skies were replaced with blue, a glorious day and an open invitation to visit the southern Rhinogs. An approach from the west with some coastal views – my favourite – seemed in order. We parked up just past Cors y Gedol Hall and set off into the warm sunshine.

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

The views were sensational and it was the perfect day. Warm enough for shorts but a with a pleasant cooling breeze. This was well received on the taxing 1000 foot climb up steep grass to the top of Moelfre.

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

As we crested the summit the seaward views had to be ignored for a while in order to appreciate the spectacular view of Rhinog Fach and Rhinog Fawr. Small in height but an order of magnitude tougher on the ground they contrast markedly with Y Llethr’s grassy outline to the right.

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

The central Snowdonia range was also bathed in sunshine, Snowdon prominent

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

We sun bathed at the summit rocks for a good while in the warm sunshine – well the others did while I wandered off to the NW top for a different perspective

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

There was much walking to be done and we reluctantly dragged ourselves out of recumbent mode into walking mode and off towards the next summit of Y Llethr (tip – cross the wall on the summit and follow the southern side. The northern side is bugger to cross lower down) 🙂

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

It’s a very long steady plod up the ridge and then a very short steep climb to the summit of Y Llethr.

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

Its contrast with the Rhinogs to the north could not be more marked. They, are all rock and heather. Y Llethr has a grassy summit big enough to play sports on. The views are therefore a little foreshortened but it does make for a fine place to kick off your boots and socks and lie back on the grass for a brief lunchtime snooze in the sun.

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

A walk to the northern end of the summit does reveal the dramatic change of the scenery and the dramatically situated Llyn Hywel. Rhinog Fach is a tough one I’ve yet to do. A full traverse of the Rhinogs over a few days is a route I’m aching to do although I doubt my knees would agree.

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

Today our route took us south along the sublime, rough and twisting ridge of Crib y-Rhiw above Llyn Dulyn. Hard work on tiring legs but delightful all the same.

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

Another taxing climb brought us to Diffwys, the most southern of the main Rhinog chain. Time to relax again on its dramatic west-facing top, feet draped over the grassy edge.

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

The sun was starting to descend, lighting up the landscape to even greater effect and we needed to do the same. We still had a few miles to go and then drive back to the caravan and then back home. The ridge heading west was longer than I thought and we were all feeling the effects of a good deal of climbing and distance over some tough and wild terrain.

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

rhinogs, rhinog fach, rhinog fawr, y llethr, diffwys, cors y gedol, moelfre, llyn hywel, crib y rhiw, llyn dulyn, pont scethin,

We followed the old coaching route down to Pont Scethin. It’s a stunning picture postcard little bridge and well worth a stop for some R&R. Alas time was pressing and we needed to get down. A long and knee bashing descent down the cobbled track brought us back to the car. I was surprised to see that we’d covered over 12 miles and over 3000 feet of ascent. A pretty long day by my current standings

Rhinogs South

A magnificent day in wild surroundings. Seems like ages ago which of course it was 🙂

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4 responses to “It’s still 20141! Southern Rhinogs

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  1. ” A full traverse of the Rhinogs over a few days is a route I’m aching to do although I doubt my knees would agree.”
    Where do I sign up?
    Looks fantastic.

    Like

    beatingthebounds
    • Stonking hills, a real wilderness feeling to them but being small in height they don’t attract the masses. Their loss!

      A route over 2-3 days along the length and returning to the start by train is a real must do. Places to camp in the northern end are hard to come by though. It’s either rock, heather or bog. Easily the toughest walking terrain outside Scotland

      Like

  2. Looks unrealistically warm on a day like today! Great photos 🙂

    Like

    • It was probably the last warm and sunny day of the year. I’m just starting to pine for some warmer weather seeing as proper winter days seem to be in short supply. I do like the Rhinogs, mountains for the purist

      Like

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