Further above Trefriw, I’d gained height very quickly puffing up the very steep road.
I am actually now in downtown Bangor.
Walk uphill out of Bangor city centre and turn left up this little lane. Keep walking for ten miles and you’re on the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn!
First view of Bangor. Nice and sunny now!
Beaumaris, sunny as ever!
It’s a long stony pull up to the top. A sudden sea view, over to Porthmadog I suppose, and some weather incoming.
Let’s just get the heck off this mountain, shall we? There’ll be hot coffee at Bangor.
Sensibly back into shelter
Suddenly the cloud lifted and the views from the Carnedd Llewelyn Sheraton were genuinely extensive.
Time for a little constitutional before bed. It was a bit windy up there!
My home-made tarp keeping the hail off nicely. At last, an almost competent bivy!
Top quality Welsh supper. Well, mostly Welsh.
Carnedd Llewelyn is (altogether now…) famous for extensive views!
The little wind shelter. Amazingly the clouds kept clear of the summit.
The completely miraculous ‘welfare unit’, by which my overnight welfare was very much enhanced. Thank you so much, kind windfarm builders, for leaving it unlocked and I’m sorry to have intruded. I left your cabin wiped over and in fact slightly tidier than I found it.
Inside the miraculous ‘welfare unit’, miles from anywhere in the middle of a vast forest. Pitch darkness and teeming rain outside.
Back into the dark, mysterious forest…
I’ll hike into the massive, dark, troll-infested Clocaenog Forest at dusk. What can go wrong?
Great works in progress…
Well, the path can completely disappear, for example…
Windfarm blades, and another unlocked cabin with a laptop in it!
The turbine pillars are enormous.
Thank you Brian!
Heading down into deceptively welcoming farmland.
Oh the Denbigh Moors, the Denbigh Moors, the trackless Denbigh Moors…
The almost invisible rotted remains of a stile vindicated the GPS claiming I was on a ‘path’;
The tussocky Denbigh Moors…
Ah yes, this looks like a Public Footpath..
Over ancient elfin bridges in secret dells…
Heading down the grassy slope from Foel Grach
Inside the shelter on Foel Grach, which is so damp your phone just steams up. A lifesaver in extreme conditions though, I should think.
The first snippet of a view, at about 500 m
This is a Public Footpath. Yes, down there, into the obstructed unknown…
Coming up to Moel Morfydd, Moel y Gamelin behind. Joyfully easy walking and the whole place to myself.
Excuse me, I’m from Norfolk. What are those big green lumps?
The immense cost and labour of building what are now peaceful recreational waterways with eighteenth century equipment is mind-boggling, and of course quite a few of the navvies died in the process.
The economics of running a hostel were marginal enough even before Covid-19. As so often, I had the cosy lounge with its books, games and woodburner all to myself, and promptly broke a string on the guitar.
A river brings great energy to any settlement, especially if it flows bright and lively. Even London acquires a strange, pulsating life force from the turgid tides and flocculent eddies of the Thames.
The only way to dry your socks in a hotel when it’s summer and the heating’s turned off.
Along the slippery grass atop the vertiginous gorge…
And at the far end this bridge, which carries you over the neck of the reservoir and out onto the Denbigh Moors.
And finally out, onto Alwen Reservoir which as you can see is very picturesque.
A little rest in a flowery meadow.
The famous panorama of Snowdonia. Don’t tell me it’s going to rain again…
The sudden stile. I guess this track comes up from Llyn Eigiau on the north side.
The final slope onto the summit is quite strange, like a pixies’ graveyard.
Heading towards Pen LLithrig y Wrach there was no path at all, until I got to that fence and suddenly found a stile.
The steep pull up Pen Llithrig y Wrach
Heading down Pen Llithrig y Wrach towards Pen yr Helgi Du, the ridge is still nice and broad at this point.
Another quite steep pull up to Pen yr Helgi Du
The couple I met have just got to the top.
At the top of the precipitous descent.
Summit of Pen yr Helgi Du, looing towards Carnedd Llewelyn
The summit is famous for extensive views. Any corrections to my mountain naming welcome!
Along a surprisingly manicured avenue…
A bit of warm dawn light.
Oh my goodness, what miracle of historical civil engineering is this now?
Extensive views of a sewage works.
The River Dee, and more spectacular arches top right – that’s the viaduct built 1846-8 by Henry Robertson, 19 arches and 150 feet high, so there…
Famously, there’s no railing on the waterway side. Narrowboat drivers must grasp their tillers firmly while staring into an abyss.
Heading west out of Llangollen along the river.
Up from the watershed to the gap between Gyrn (left) and Moel Wnion (right).
Moel Morfydd summit
Nobody with any sense walks across the Denbigh Moors because they are quite absurdly tussocky and very difficult going!
Compared to the ‘paths’ I’d become used to, this track up the hill from Rhewl was like a motorway.
At last, onto a well-known Way!
That white sticker explains the terrifying draconian penalties for interfering with Public Footpath signs.
These two clearly recognised a fellow beast of burden as they followed me for some way. I think they could smell the pies I’d bought at Llangollen.