After a long day yesterday spent traversing the Carneddau, and due to a wet and windy forecast, I wanted an easier day today. I opted to ascend Mynydd Mawr, starting from Rhyd-ddu. All going well, I would also ascend Moel-y-Gest – a sub2000ft Marilyn near Porthmadog.

Hill: Mynydd Mawr
Date: Monday 7th May 2012
Company: Just myself
Distance: 10km, Ascent: 550m
Time: 3Hrs

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I parked in the large car park, a short distance South of Rhyd-ddu. Car park charges are: £2 for 4 hours, or £4 for the whole day.

From the car park, I walked through Rhyd-ddu and then walked a short distance up the Nantlle road before entering the track into the forest.


Start of track through forest:

The track through the forest was pretty-good. I followed this track as far as it is marked on the map, and a short distance beyond until reaching the path rising up through the forest.

Track through forest:

Mynydd Mawr and Llyn Cwellyn:

Start of path ascending through forest:

The path up through the forest is quite badly eroded but presented no difficulties. After crossing a stile, at the end of the path, I got good views of the route ahead. Unfortunately, Snowdon remained in cloud throughout the walk.

Mynydd Mawr:

Clogwynygarreg is an interesting little hill.

Clogwynygarreg and Y Aran:

As with many other Welsh hills, the ascent of Mynydd Mawr was steep.

Steep ascent up Mynydd Mawr:

Looking back:

Beyond the steep section, the rest of the walk was quite easy and pleasant (apart from the rain).

Mynydd Mawr from top of steep section:

During the ascent, I heard the whistle of a steam train going past below. I was able to get a closer look at full zoom.

Steam train and Llyn Cwellyn:

Steam train (zoom):

Ridge round to Mynydd Mawr:

There is a very steep drop to the left at Craig y bera.

Craig y bera cliffs:

Final ascent to summit of Mynydd Mawr:

On reaching the summit, I only stayed long enough for a quick drink and then returned via the same route. It was wet and windy – definitely not pleasant.

Summit cairn and shelter:

Looking back to Mynydd Mawr:

Mynydd Mawr is a great mountain. Just a shame the weather wasn't better today to appreciate the views.

Once back to the car, I drove round to Porthmadog to ascent Moel-y-Gest.

Hill: Moel-y-Gest
Date: Monday 7th May 2012
Company: Just myself
Time: 1Hr 20Mins

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I parked in a large lay-by circa 300m from the start of the track. I walked the 300m along the road, then followed the track to a short-distance before its end, where I climbed over a gate and ascended the grassy track doubling-back up the hill.

Start of track towards Moel-y-Gest:

Looking towards Moel-y-Gest:

Track beyond the gate:

I followed the zig-zagging grassy track up the hill.

Morfa Bychan:

As I ascended, I wondered how I would get up past the crags. I continued following the grassy track hoping to find a way up.



On reaching the corner of the dyke, I climbed over a stile and then followed a faint track winding its way between the crags.

Stile over the dyke:

Ascent through the crags:

Ascent through the crags:

On reaching the ridge, I visited the trig point and then the summit boulder 18m from the trig point.

Trig point near the summit of Moel-y-Gest:

View along the ridge of Moel-y-Gest:

Summit boulder:

After visiting the summit boulder, I also scrambled to the top of some rocks further along the ridge – just in case they were higher. Once on the rocks they did appear to be lower than the summit boulder.

I opted to descend via a different route – following a better quality path leading down through the crags.

Descent route:

Once below the crags, I returned to the car via the same route.

Tremadoc Bay:

I think this would be a great viewpoint on a good day.