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Sunday, 18 October 2009

Nantlle Ridge 7 October

I embarked on this walk as another Hewitt/Marilyn bagging trip – there being two marilyns and four Hewitts on the route – without actually knowing that it was the Nantlle Ridge. The Nantlle Ridge, of course, being one of those classic Welsh ridges, apparently
I drove a long way up Cwm Pennant, paying the one pound parking charge at the farm where the farmer was doing something highly unpleasant to a calf, to the road end where a camper van was parked. The chap from the van said “hello” and introduced his wife’s black lab guide dog and explained the intricacies of the local paths, which are, as he said, a bit intricate at first.
But we soon found our way through intitial tussock and gorse defences through old slate quarries to the bridleway to Rhydd-Ddu and thus up through Cwm Marchnad to the summit of Y Garn, the first top on the ridge. It was fairly obvious from here that the rest of the ridge could prove interesting, the next top appearing to be a leaning spike of the sort you might find in a more ginger-haired highland region a bit further North.
And so, we nervously scrambled up Mynydd Drws-y-coed and sat on a ledge near the top. A couple scrambled up after me and asked how far the Nantle Ridge went. So, this was the Nantle Ridge eh? I’d heard of that somewhere…..
A section of narrow ridge connects Mynydd with Trum y Ddysgl, which has a stupendous view over the intervening corrie (sorry – Cwm….) and yet another narrow ridge connects this one with Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd. All good, clean fun so far. This last Mynydd has a dry stone pillar on the top, so I lunched in its shelter from a nithering wind. The couple I’d met earlier pressed on.
A steep drop off this Mynydd leads to Bwlch Dros-hern from which the path skirts crags on the North side of Craig Cwm Silyn before tracking up through bloulders to the top. From here the ridge is wide and grassy and/or bouldery to the final cairn on Garnedd Goch.
I descended by skirting the top of Craig-las and big scree fields to the top of a wide ridge which took me back down to Cwm Pennant.
Worra cracking walk. 9 Miles and 3600 feet of climbing. – and a bit scrambly, but nothing too serious, although one or two places were a bit awkward for the dog.
A white cud-chewing cow blocked the narrow road on the way home and wouldn’t get out of the way despite polite requests, blasphemy, verbal abuse and being driven at. It did seem vaguely interested in my headlights. Eventually, she ambled off, unconcerned.


Martin Rye said...

That I have got to do. Just when will can I get time??? Nice photos there Mike

mike knipe said...

Its all in the career planning Martin..... But this ridge is just the fabbest. You have to do this one - and there's plenty of wild camping spots around, specially in the high corries...

Put it on your list!