Author Topic: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???  (Read 2208 times)

Nick5912

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Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« on: 16:10:32, 17/07/19 »
Oh Saged ones I request your opinion!


Have got back into walking this year. I have managed several walks around the Derbyshire Dales (ave. 7 miles) , Snowdon via Pyg & Miners and a few shorter walks around Snowdonia.
I am now tempted to return to my youth (DoE) and visit the Rhinog area!
That said, I have planned 2 routes, both starting at Bonaber. They follow the same route as far as Pont Cerrig, Obviously the Harlech route turns NW whilst Barmouth route turns South.


1, To Harlech 13.34 miles
2, To Barmouth 15.5 miles


I am a relatively fit 53yo retired fireman. The distances are not an issue.


What I would like to know is which would you prefer to do and how long YOU think it would take YOU to complete either.


Thanks in advance.


Nick

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #1 on: 19:29:31, 17/07/19 »
These  distances are not great, but the Northern terrain of the Rhinogs is as brutal as it comes, and you need to search hard in the Scottish Highlands to find terrain as unforgiving as the Northern Rhinogs.
Starting from Bronaber on the A470 Trawsfynydd road, which ever route you decide on, you will be approaching the Rhinogs from their most rugged side.

Theres the Bwlch Drws Ardudwy route that will eventually bring you to Harlech, or still the savage Rhinog Fawr route leading towards Yr Lether.

There is no real easy route from the A470 side of the Rhinogs, but i recon the Barmouth route is the easiest, as once your past Rhinog Fawr, over Yr Lether, its very easy going from then on.

The Harlech direction from the Trawsfynydd side is a serious adventure, by far the toughest 13.4miles you will find outside of Scotland.

I attempted the Northern Rhinogs from Bronaber several months ago, an easy start, but one hell of a brutal assault on the limbs, and for such a short distance it will take several long hours if the weather is favourable.

I would much prefer a traverse of the Rhinogs from the Talybont side, starting with Moelfre, and then on towards Yr Lether, and if you really feel adventurous on to Rhinog Fawr.

Moelfre- Yr Lether- Diffwys- and on via Bwlch yr Rhiwgyr to Barmouth.

A far easier Rhinog experience, far easier on the limbs, all over stunning desolate country, with probably not a single person along your way.

Owen

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #2 on: 20:44:50, 17/07/19 »
I really loved the northern end of the Rhinogs, the southern end above Barmouth was very tame in comparison. Even a bit boring. A north - south traverse with a camp by the shore of the lake is a great trip. I've done it three times now, once hitched back with not much luck. Once positioned cars at either end and once hid our bikes in the woods outside Barmouth for a really enjoyable cycle back to the start.

Nick5912

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #3 on: 12:51:37, 18/07/19 »
Thanks for the replies.


D.A.
The Harlech route (my preferred option) is pretty much as you have said,
Bonaber, through Coed y Brenin Forest, via Bwlch Drws Ardudwy, Cwm Nantcol and at Pont Cerrig follow Afon cwm Nantcol before veering off toward Harlech.


I have to travel from East to West as I will be leaving the OH in either Harlech or Barmouth (whichever she feels is best for her) and catching the bus/s to Bonaber and walking back. This means I have a definite bus to catch rather than hit/miss on a bus from Bonaber.
 
The Barmouth route is as above but at Pont Cerrig head South, passing on the East side of Moelfre, passing between Diffwys and Llawlech then following the hill line to Barmouth.


Owen,
The main reason that Harlech is my preferred destination is as you have said, South side a little boring. Although as I am just getting back into walking maybe I should sacrifice the ruggedness for a more gentile route!

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #4 on: 19:11:01, 21/07/19 »
For those who have never experienced the Northern Rhinogs, its the only area of Wales, that it  took me several hours to cover such little ground.
The route, or lack of it, from the Bryn Cader Faner stone circle, towards Rhinog Fach, will live long in my memory.

Rugged is not the word for it, possibly dangerous maybe, especially if the weather turns during the adventure.

By what i can remember, it took me close on five hours to navigate a distance of less than seven miles, and this was in perfect visibility.

All the best Nick, and enjoy the punishment, its a serious outing from the Trawsfynydd A470 to Harlech.


Rich rewards for those full of adventure and up for the great challenge.
« Last Edit: 19:14:12, 21/07/19 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Nick5912

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #5 on: 18:23:36, 06/09/19 »

Well I undertook this walk yesterday, Thursday 5-Sep.
Got a bus from Harlech to Oakeley Arms and then another to Bronaber. Starting the walk at 09:00hrs.
Initially I had some issues locating and following paths that are now overgrown, apparently something to do with the land not being grazed and with a lot of standing water things got a bit wet!
Once I reached the forest east of the Rhinogs everything got better, clearer tracks and less standing water. Once I reached Pont Cerrig I had to rethink my route due to yet more standing water, putting my original route under a foot or so of water.
I 'guestimated' 2 MPH for the walk and was not far out. Covering 16 miles in 7hrs 48mins.
As suggested by DA this area is an arduous area to walk and I only met 2 other walkers over the length of the walk.
Every part of my body is aware that I have undertaken this walk and suggests I may feel the affects for a few days!
In Summary.
This is a fantastically remote area to walk, Unspoilt, quiet with fantastic views.
I will be back!

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #6 on: 19:07:08, 06/09/19 »
Excellent stuff, flying the flag for the Welsh Badlands.
WoW, 7 and 3/4 hours is pretty impressive,  it may be only 16miles, but really you could easily add another ten onto that in normal walking, for the severity and the challenging terrain.

Only two other walkers, thats a busy day in the Rhinogs, ive walked them numerous times, throughout the year, without seeing anyone, and always arrive home thinking, Now what if i had come to some mischief.

Where do you start looking for a lone walker who is missing in the Rhinogs ,  and has not been heard of for a while.

Its best their kept for the experienced walker, who can appreciate them for their brutality and solitude.

Nick5912

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #7 on: 12:14:45, 07/09/19 »

Possibly the best days walking I have had in decades!


With regard to pace. I believe too many people don't take into consideration the terrain! Had this walk been in Derbyshire Dales or Yorkshire Moors I would have thought a pace of 3-4 MPH but as you say, the brutality of the Rhinog landscape is very arduous and 2 MPH although not snails pace it is definitely the pace for the terrain!


With regard to looking for a single person, I left a comprehensive route card & map with the other half. Sensible and so very easy to do these days. Solo walkers can be so vulnerable if anything untoward were to happen on such an isolated walk!
Excellent stuff, flying the flag for the Welsh Badlands.
WoW, 7 and 3/4 hours is pretty impressive,  it may be only 16miles, but really you could easily add another ten onto that in normal walking, for the severity and the challenging terrain.

Only two other walkers, thats a busy day in the Rhinogs, ive walked them numerous times, throughout the year, without seeing anyone, and always arrive home thinking, Now what if i had come to some mischief.

Where do you start looking for a lone walker who is missing in the Rhinogs ,  and has not been heard of for a while.

Its best their kept for the experienced walker, who can appreciate them for their brutality and solitude.

richardh1905

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #8 on: 14:07:05, 07/09/19 »
The area to the north of the Roman Steps - the roughest square mile south of the Highlands.

Wonderful.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

vghikers

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #9 on: 15:07:07, 07/09/19 »
Excellent effort in superb wild Wales, pity there is no TR with pics. It's the first east-west through route I've heard reported.

Quote
Every part of my body is aware that I have undertaken this walk and suggests I may feel the affects for a few days!

I'm sure you will, we certainly did on our Rhinogydd East backpack and that was 15 years ago when we were much younger and fitter. In the second day from Craig Wion to Rhinog Fach we covered just 4 miles and we'd had enough!.

The very best and roughest section is from Foel Penolau to Rhinog Fach, there is nothing like it south of the border, magnificent.



Nick5912

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #10 on: 12:36:23, 08/09/19 »
Not sure what 'TR' means? Will put some pics on when I can!
Excellent effort in superb wild Wales, pity there is no TR with pics. It's the first east-west through route I've heard reported.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #11 on: 12:55:09, 08/09/19 »
Not sure what 'TR' means? Will put some pics on when I can!
TR = Trip Report

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #12 on: 11:48:13, 09/09/19 »
Hats off to VG, that's a walking report to frighten just about any novice to the Northern Rhinogs.
Earlier this year i went exploring from Bryn Cader Faner towards Rhinog Fach, and could not quite believe the severity of the terrain.
Two miles an hour is pretty quick in such treacherous terrain, it took me close on five hours to complete a curtailed route that in normal circumstances would have taken two hours max.


That Craig Wion photograph, scared to look at it, savagery beyond the comprehension of your average Snowdon summiteer.

richardh1905

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #13 on: 12:35:54, 09/09/19 »
I'm sure you will, we certainly did on our Rhinogydd East backpack and that was 15 years ago when we were much younger and fitter. In the second day from Craig Wion to Rhinog Fach we covered just 4 miles and we'd had enough!.

The very best and roughest section is from Foel Penolau to Rhinog Fach, there is nothing like it south of the border, magnificent.

Your pictures and report certainly capture the ruggedness of the 'Celtic Badlands'.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

vghikers

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Re: Bonaber to Harlech or Barmouth???
« Reply #14 on: 14:20:16, 09/09/19 »
@DA & Richard - thanks very much - I had a mind recently to return for a linear solo backpack through to Barmouth but the pictures worry me a bit now. The total time for that 4-mile day, pitch to pitch, was 10 hours.