PRESTATYN RAMBLING CLUB
NEXT WEEKS WALK
SUNDAY March 26th 2017
Walk 1. Cerrigydrudion & Alwen Leader Megan Elliott Grade 2 8 miles start 0830hrs.
JOHN ROBERTS BLOG
The Bethania Bridge walk
A group of seven walkers set off in the magnificent Gwynant valley on another day of wind and rain. An offer of pancakes and tea in comfortable settings had not been enough to entice the seven to the alternative venue at Rowen. Our leader Mike with his dry humour was promising little comfort other than the satisfaction of a robust route with views, which in the absence of mist, would have been stunning.
From the start near Bethania Bridge we crossed the river and followed the path past Llyndy Isaf and up through the trees towards Hafod Owen. The national flower of Nepal, the Rhododendron, is growing in abundance here. Much use of saw and herbicide was apparent, but the plant still dominates the landscape.
Our path took us steadily towards the isolated house of Hafod Owen. This place was once the home of John Menlove Edwards who was a pivotal influence in early Welsh rock climbing and mountaineering. Edwards [1910 - 1958] graduated in medicine at Liverpool University in 1933. As a student at Liverpool in 1930 he founded the "Rock Climbing Club". He was the pioneer of the 'three crags' of Llanberis Pass and was the author of the Climbing Club handbooks on Cwm Idwal ( 1936 ); Tryfan ( 1937 ) and Lliwedd ( 1939 ) in collaboration with Wilfrid Noyce ; and Clogwyn du'r Arddu ( 1942 ). You could usually tell you were on one of his routes for they were often wet, steep and vegetated and strength and stamina was needed. He had a reputation as an accomplished psychiatrist, and in 1941/42 he went to live in Hafod Owen in a sort of retirement. He then went to London to work again but he was a lonely man and being a conscientious objector and having other personal attributes which probably caused him problems in those days, he became paranoid and ever more isolated. He was in various mental hospitals including Denbigh but in 1958 he took his life. His ashes are scattered near his home of Hafod Owen. The rock climbing scene in Snowdonia was very lively in the 1930`s and he more than anyone is regarded as being the leading light in the development of the cliffs which were to become world famous in the 1950`s with the rise of Joe Brown et al.
Hafod Own is in a sheltered spot and this is where refreshments were taken. Maps were consulted and with the interesting shape of Bryn Castell to our right we navigated to the minor road which leads to Nantmoor. The wind, mist, and rain were increasing and the planned route was to go up to the lakes on the high ground [Llyn Llagi etc]. This area is complex to navigate and very exposed and the group decided it would be better to continue via the forests at Nant Gwynant and down to Llyn Gwynant via the good paths.
We walked towards the Llyn Gwynant camp-site, with the lake giving a sea like impression of breaking waves. People who had camped there recounted their adventures in the area of walking and climbing, and other happy occasions were remembered. With the slightly overhanging once popular climbing cliffs of the Wenallt to our right, we walked along the length of the lake in increasing rain. Some very slippery slab rocks were navigated without mishap.
Tea and cakes were had at the always hospitable Siabod cafe, and we went home where again, wet boots would be taking several days to dry.
Our thanks to Mike for the walk and for the modification to the route on account of weather.
Scroll down the page for videos etc.
1. Video of Rescue by Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation
2.Windermere Boat trip.
4.One day at Fort William
5. Niederau Austria Holiday on the mountains.