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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Yr Eifl (The Rivals) and Other Rocky Lleyn Hills

post-walk celebrations on the beach

One aspect of the Lleyn Peninsula is the fine selection of rocky, pointy, scree-covered hills lying in a chain right down the length of the place, and most with a selection of well-preserved hillforts, huge and ancient cairns and venerable settlements. To say nothing of the cracking views of a beautiful coast, empty beaches and bits of seaweed to shake and worry to death. (The last bit added courtesy of Bruno. For myself, I have little interest in destroying clumps of seaweed) (Honestly)

bardsey from mynydd anelog

I started with Mynydd Anelog, an old-fashioned, pre-digital hill near the Southern tip of the Lleyn and by a short route from the nearest chapel at Ystolhelyg Bach on a bit of a drive-around. A fine start, though, with good, misty views of Bardsey island, a place I really should visit sometime. Anelog was just a one-off and I didn’t really do it justice. It was, however, my third Marilyn of the trip – I bagged Mynydd y Cwm just by the A55 on the way and, of course, Mynydd Mawr is a marilyn as well as a Hewitt and Nuttal. Wake up at the back!

from yr eifl north top

north top

So, I started again with Yr Eifl, climbing it’s North top first by an exhausting route through deep heather and piles of thankfully very grippy rock. This was a trial and, had I known about the staircase leading up from the BT mast, I would have gone that way (dhuhh) I was rewarded by the first in a series of compact summits with big cairns and a huge view of the coast as far as Holyhead Mountain.

yr eifl summit stuff

Yr Eifl itself was easier, having a nice path through the heather and with a nice feel of a high Lake District top somewhere near Langdale. This is a mountain, really, despite falling short of the magic 610 metres by about 50 metres. The summit has a cairn/shelter and a strange “thing” on a pole in the form of a number 4. I have no idea of the significance of this. In any case, at this point, it started raining, so I left….

tre'r ceiri ramparts

And visited Tre’r Ceiri which is specially notable for it’s huge and very well preserved hillfort. This was built around the time of Christ and it’s ramparts still stand up to two metres high and , in parts, the walkway along the top of the wall, which is two or three metres wide, still exists.

more ramparts

Inside, and merging with the wall and with each other are the remains of circular buildings. Extra defence is provided by the surrounding sea of difficult scree and a fine selection of closely packed contours.

yr eifl

After all these excitements, I went off to bag the outlying hill Mynydd Carnguwch. From the West side, the summit has difficult access, being barricaded off by a wobbly wall topped by two strands of barbed wire. A determined effort is needed to get a sub-geriatric dog and his neo-geriatric overfed softy boss over this obstacle without ripping off bits of flesh or clothing and without demolishing the wall. But we did it. The top has an enormous and very ancient cairn – a good thirty feet in height.

yr eifl

We rejoiced with a trip to a) the beach, for the running about with sticks and a bit of light plodging (I believe that to visit the seaside without at least dipping the tootsies, is just plain wrong. Bruno seems to have the same opinion.


b) Allowing myself to be exploited by the off-licence at the garage at Clynnog Fawr. Passing a boozerama after doing 8 miles and 2800 feet of ascent is also wrong.

I expect that there’ll be yet more of this kind of stuff later – at least until after I’ve done the next Durham County walk. Although, I’m considering a night walk whilst there’s still a moon. If it stops raining.



Dawn said...

Fantastic scenery Mike,lovely photos.

Phil R said...

Took the kids up Yr Eifl in August from the same car park, nice easy walk up with great coastal views. Like you I'm baffled by the '4' on the trig?

Peter Crawford said...

There is always a moon, Mike. Sometimes it hides in the darkness, shyly turning its face away from domineering sun.

See you in the LD soon I hope.

Cheers, Pete

FellBound said...

Brilliant picture of Superdawg at the top of this post (coming out of sea with stick).

This walk is right by where my residential Welsh language course will be in November so if it gets too much I will play truant and follow your route.

Mike Knipe said...

Peter - I can't believe this. My understanding is that there's a new moon every few weeks which coincides with the time when ladies are a bit psychopathic and like to eat lots of chocolate
Fellbound - That'll likely be at the Welsh language centre which is just down the road from the starting car park. I think there's a way up to the first top from the Centre. You could practise your pronunciation on the various tops. See it as homework!