Rhinog Fawr

September 18, 2008

Half past ten we drive north. To get over the Mawddach estuary we have to take a detour inland, it is only shortly before Dolgellau where we get over to the other side and to Barmouth on the coast. After the bridge in Llanbedr, we go right. The road bears upwards along the river, the road becomes narrower and narrower. It is lined with stone walls which make a possible meeting of oncoming traffic complex. One has to use the narrow passing places. There is, fortunately, not much traffic. It is also complicated to pass a sheep which decides to walk in front of the car. K goes out to shoo it away, but instead it starts to run in the middle of the road. In the end it runs into a farmyard. At the eastern end of the lake Llyn Cwm Bychan is a car park. You pay a parking fee in a vending machine. From here, we intend to follow the trail up to the peak of Rhinog Fawr (793 high).

There are already a few cars in the car park, but no people can be seen. Perhaps they are fishing in the lake or have walked to the same goal as us. Quarter to twelve we go through a grove of oaks, then it is uphill on a rocky path. We cross a stream on a beautiful little stone bridge. Above and in front of us we can see the mountain pass which we will enter. It gets narrow. The trail is partly paved, some of it with "Roman steps" which are said to be remnants of a medieval path for packhorses. We take a break at the top of the pass with a view east of an open landscape. In the west, from where we came, the pass hides the view.

At an information sign about the area, the path takes us to the right, through a gap in a stone wall and uphill on a rocky path to the lake Llun Du. When I look behind I can see a far-reaching landscape. At the lake we meet a couple with 3 dogs. J decides to join them walking back to the car park. On the other side of the lake, which is a few hundred meters long, is our goal, Rhinog Fawr. Along the lake is an area with large boulders to traverse, I have to use my hands as support. After the lake we reach a stone wall which we follow up the slope towards Rhinog Fawr.

Shortly before the wall ends the path takes us to the right, through an opening in the wall and follows another wall perpendicular to the former. We follow it to its highest point, where we leave it on a path leading towards the top. We get a glimpse of wild goats. In serpentines we ascend on a rocky path that is, at times, steep. Once again I use my hands to help. Three o'clock, we are on the summit where a cairn marks the highest point. Unlike Cadair Idris, we get a reward for the effort today. A haze makes the view beautiful. Far away we can see the lake where we parked the car. In the other direction Rhinog Fach rises. An obligatory portrait picture is taken at the cairn.

We choose a less steep path down, further into a small ravine down to the lake Llyn Du. After passing the lake, we try to take a shortcut, there is some confusion about the way. Finally, we find the path that takes us back through the mountain pass and to the car where J is waiting. Half past five we drive home. Instead of taking the detour around the estuary we drive over the toll bridge at Penmaenpool. On its southern side a woman is waiting to collect the fee.

In our home village is a small shop (with the emphasis on small) but it has a little of everything needed, beer, juice, and bananas. A and I then go to the pub and eat a pâté, hamburger and lemon cake with meringue - and a beer, which I have forgotten the name of.


Llyn Cwm Bychan


Stone bridge

Roman steps




Llyn Du

Stone wall

Gloyw Lyn

Rocky path



Rhinog Fach

Going back