Sunday, 15 October 2017

Clywdians Walk

The walk in the Clywdians Hills (Offas Dike) near Mold took the smaller limestone hills to the east of Llanferres.

The walk passed Pothole Quarry then continued by tiny paths not even marked on the map to the limestone pavement highpoint of Bryn Alyn (408 metres) giving great views of the higher Clwydians Hills and the hilly eastern forests.   Continuation of the walk passed by real caves (relics of 4000 year old human remains and later Roman remains found there) and a potter about at Pot Hole Quarry. 

Elevenses at Bryn Alyn

The group at Pothole Quarry

Moelwyns Climbing and Walking Meet

I don't know why this meet is not more popular.  Wonderful climbing on south facing cliffs with a micro-climate similar to that of Tremadoc with hard 2-pitch routes and easier 6-pitch slab routes more than a 100 metres long.  Accommodation was at the 'Lancashire Caving and Climbing Club hut at Tanygrisiau just 20 minutes away from the climbing cliffs.
After saying this area is blessed with good weather it was not to be this year.  It rained heavily all night and with lighter rain in the morning we were wondering what to do.  The three of us, Ken, Yvonne and Neil decided on a walk direct from the hut along the Ffestiniog valley.  Mercifully the rain stopped and we entered the Ffestiniog Railway station of Duallt to discover that this was a special "Victorian" weekend for the railway with many extra trains with tiny old carriages on a Victorian theme.  A goods train carrying a few small wagons looked as though it had just come out of the box of a toy train set.  For those railway buffs, there is a video attached of the normal scheduled steam train working hard up the slopes above Duallt.
The walk continued through forestry and by swollen rivers and waterfalls and it started to rain.
Nice to get back to a warm, comfortable hut and a hot meal.  The nearest hostelry, 'the Kings Arms' is just over a mile away.  We were made very welcome by the locals who were curious to know all about these hill walking strangers.
Sunday was forecast to be a dry day in the Ffestiniog region but so much rain had fallen in the previous 24 hours, low level cloud kept rolling in over the rock climbing crags.  Eventually we decided that climbing would be on damp rock and decided on a walk.  Walking in the mountains in this region is more of an industrial archaeology outing. Our walk took us by the massive Stylwan Dam (pump storage scheme), onward past many mines to two massive mined craters 300 feet deep in the middle of a mountain plateau.  One of these craters connected via a mine tunnel to the abandoned mining village of Cwmorthin over a mile away.  We were fascinated at all the mining history around us, mines, villages, waterwheel housings, inclines and slag heaps, tramways and were determined to 'google' the history of the region when we got home.   

A pleasant meet in spite of wet rock.