A New Ridge – The Nantlle Ridge

After paddling a new river on Sunday, I had planned to walk a new ridge on Monday. I’d been a little under the weather with a cold on Sunday, the kayaking didn’t really help matters but it had been fairly relaxed so I don’t think it did any harm. I was still full of cold on Sunday evening and it hadn’t got any better by Monday morning. It hadn’t got any worse either and today’s adventure was ‘only a walk’ so I decided it would be fine.

I met Rhys as planned at the end of the road at 6:30 am on the dot. We then drove up in convoy through a glorious North Wales as the sun rose. We were going to need both cars as this was planned as a point-to-point route along the Nantlle Ridge so would need to do a shuttle – just like we had with the point-to-point kayaking the day before.

We found our endpoint without any issues, left Rhys’s car there and jumped into mine for the quick 15-minute drive to the start point just outside of Rhyd Ddu. The weather couldn’t have been better. Temperatures were a couple of degrees in the valleys and around freezing on the summits. There wasn’t a puff of wind to trouble the waters of either Llyn y Gader or Llyn y Dywarchen, the two small lakes we could see as we made our way onto the grassy flanks for Y Garn. Their still waters reflected puffy white clouds in an otherwise blue sky and the sun dazzled us as we looked back to the summit of Snowdon to the East.

Looking East to Snowdon from the flanks of Y Garn with Llyn y Gader and Llyn y Dywarchen below
Looking East to Snowdon from the flanks of Y Garn with Llyn y Gader and Llyn y Dywarchen below

The first summit of the day was Y Garn (633m) which was a relentless slog to the top. We stopped briefly now and then just to take in the views but made good time and arrived at the summit with a bit of a sweat on. Time for a little pause to take in the views of Anglesey and the Red Wharf Bay to the north and the waters of Llyn Nantlle Uchaf in the valley below. To the West our Ridgeline for the day and various summits along the way were clearly visible snaking their way towards the waters of Cardigan Bay to the South West.

We were soon on our way again, across the top of the ridge and onto a Grade 1 Scramble up to the summit of Mynydd Drws-y-Coed (695m). It was nice scrambling but nothing too difficult and always an easier option should you want it. We took the most challenging route by keeping right, but not too far right as that way lay stupidity in the form of a sheer cliff! There was frost in the shadows to add a little bit more to think about but it was all pretty easy.

From here we made our way across a narrow section of grassy ridge to Mynydd Tal y Mignedd. Looking back it looked quite spectacular but at the time it didn’t feel at all exposed or narrow. We then headed up to the large obelisk marking the summit of Mynydd Tal y Mignedd (653m) where we stopped for brunch in the sunshine.

After a quick snack we donned our packs once again and continued downhill into a saddle with some more views of the ridgeline we’d already traversed and the hills of Snowdonia.

Once in the saddle we were soon heading up again, making our way back up to the highest point of the day, Craig Cwm Silyn at 734m. This involved some lovely scrambling on really grippy rock. The best (most interesting) route seemed to be one that went straight up between a few sections of dry stone wall.

The Scramble on Craig Cwm Silyn
The Scramble on Craig Cwm Silyn

From here it was a steady walk across a rock strewn ridge to the summit of Garnedd-goch (700m) before descending on an easy track towards Llyn Cwm Dulyn.

I had my Insta360 camera with me and had taken a few little video clips along the way so that you can get a feel for the scrambling. The viewpoint isn’t the greatest, unless you were after a view of the top of my somewhat thinning head but if you ignore that it looks good!

We’d only seen a few people all day long. A fell runner at Mynydd Tal y Mignedd, another walker on Craig Cym Silyn and two people in the distance as we descended. Otherwise, we were accompanied by nothing but the views, the calls of meadow pipits, skylark and a ring ouzel. We also spotted a common lizard on the descent.

Common Lizard
Common Lizard

We were a little ahead of schedule as there had been no faffing and the going had been good.

Not a bad way to spend a sunny Monday in March, especially as it was planned in advance and seemed to coincide with a single day of good weather sandwiched between Atlantic low-pressure systems. We’d picked a good one! After a quick shuttle in Rhys’s car to get back to where we’d started, I jumped in my car for the drive home wondering what route we could do next.

1 Response

  1. Avatar forComment Author Mum x says:

    Hmm not sure your definition of a walk is the same as mine !

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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