Author Topic: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns  (Read 1778 times)

JulianC

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1533
[Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« on: 23:59:51, 25/03/10 »
I was idly browsing the internet the other night when I came across some pictures of a waterfall called Pistyll Rhyd-y-Meinciau (aka Rhiwargor waterfall) on the Afon Eiddew near to where it flows into Lake Vyrnwy. It looked like it was worth a visit so, given a favourable weather report for today, off I went. The plan was to have a look at the falls so see if a future visit with full camera kit under decent conditions would be worth it, then get up above the falls and [censored] around on the moors for a bit. No real plan other than to simply have a look.

As it turns out I ended up doing this route, give or take:



Parking up at the northern tip of Lake Vyrnwy in the Rhiwargor car park, I then followed the waymarked trail up a pleasant valley to the falls, which were about a kilometre away. The top of the falls was just visible above the trees from the car park:



On the approach to the falls:


Getting closer! Falls still hiding behind trees:


The view back down the valley:


Upon reaching the falls, I was pleasantly surprised - they were a bit more impressive than I'd imagined they'd be, the stream falling in several cascading sections over a total height of around 70 metres.

I stopped to take a few pictures at the base of the falls, noting that there was a path rising to their left that would allow some good pictures along their full height on a future visit.



The map shows a path flanking the hillside to the right of the falls and leading up to the wild valley beyond. I could see a slaty runnel running directly up the hill from where I was standing and suspected that this would meet up with the path. As it happens, there was no path and the slaty runnel was simply a route used by sheep to come down off the hillside. By the time I realised this I was a fair way up and too lazy to go back down. And so it was I found myself scaling a precipitous slope for some 200m, going directly up the side of Bwlan (not named on the 1:50000 map). It was tough going; loose, slippery and very, very steep. I was literally crawling up on hands and knees a lot of the time, grasping great clumps of heather to stop me sliding back down. Just when I couldn't get any more fed up, the heather gave way to gorse ;D . Oh deep joy. However, I soon found out that the pain inflicted by gorse thorns is inversely proportional to the imminent liklihood of falling off a hill so I carried on, collecting handfulls of pointy little blighters as I went. After what seemed like an age the angle finally relented and it got grassier underfoot. The flat top of Bwlan was finally mine as I collapsed in a sweaty heap and spent a few moments pulling thorns from my hands and clothing.

At least the views were good. Below me, Lake Vyrnwy was visible, nestled within the folds of the surrounding hills:



Behind me lay a huge expanse of desolate moorland, miles of the stuff, watched over by a distant Aran ridge:



Bwlan's grassy, flat top provided delightfully easy going for a while, with little in the way of boggy ground. As I made my way towards the 528m spot height the sun came out and the sky filled with the song of skylarks. The views went on for miles - vast swathes of nothingness as far as the eye could see. I enjoyed the solitude for a while then stopped for a bite to eat and a look at the map.

To my left, I had the dark hump of Moel y Cerrig Duon, watched over by the Arans:


To my right, I had the slightly lighter hump of Foel y Geifr, it's summit trig point clearly visible. I flipped a virtual coin and Foel y Geifr won the honour of being today's destination. I headed off NW and before too long the pathless terrain changed to the deep, tussocky grass and heather that the outlying Berwyns are infamous for. The going was extremely tough as I detoured around large areas of bog and stomped my way through the relentless heather. It didn't help matters that Foel y Geifr's trig point didn't seem to be getting any closer. I dropped down to ford the Nant Nadroedd Fawr and plodded on up the slopes the other side, the heather seemingly getting deeper with every step. I would love to tell you all exactly how tough and thoroughly miserable the going was but I fear the forum swear filter would reach overload. Eventually, I found myself at the summit trig point. By now the weather had taken a turn - the sun was obscured by gathering grey clouds and the wind was whipping up. I admired the quickly fading views, taking in the Arans, Rhinogs, Arenigs and distant Carneddau then headed down east off the summit to meet the narrow road coming up the Hirnant Pass from Bala. Resisting temptation to 'borrow' one of the two mountain bikes I found stashed in long grass at the side of the road, I began the stroll back down to Vyrnwy, passing through picturesque mature conifer and deciduous woodland, littered with little ravines and babbling streams.

The road back down to Vyrnwy:




Before heading back to the car, I detoured back round to the waterfall, for a couple more piccies before heading home:








Total route around 8 miles. Probably the hardest 8 miles I've ever walked. The waterfall is well worth a return visit. Sod the rest of it.  :D





amnesiacjimmy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9854
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #1 on: 00:40:29, 26/03/10 »
Those photos of the waterfall are proper lush  O0 O0 O0

Iv e done boggy walks like that be4 they are right soul destroying arent they  :( Still it was great to read the descriptions, some funny bits in there. I d like to overload the swearometer on here for the h ll of it  ;D

Dave
12 songs enjoy while posting and browsing on 'ere  :)   http://tinyurl.com/3rd9vey -

More stuff on Itunes:   http://tinyurl.com/3phvnla

Micky

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2973
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #2 on: 04:20:54, 26/03/10 »
Love the pictures and report Julian, looks like its one for the to do list. Thanks for sharing mate.  O0
Expect the best, prepare for the worst.

glovepuppet

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2454
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #3 on: 06:48:42, 26/03/10 »
Another great report and pics!  O0
 
Must check the area out for myself - looks well worth a trip.

dibble

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5610
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #4 on: 07:06:58, 26/03/10 »
Hiya Julian, what fantastic photos of the waterfalls and fun to read about your exploring.
 
Lol at...
Quote
However, I soon found out that the pain inflicted by gorse thorns is inversely proportional to the imminent liklihood of falling off a hill so I carried on, collecting handfulls of pointy little blighters as I went.

Thanks for sharing.  O0
ďA star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you." JN.Harris

JulianC

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1533
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #5 on: 08:52:30, 26/03/10 »
Cheers all. Dibble, I was still picking splinters from my hands gone midnight ;D

Dizzy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 791
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #6 on: 09:02:45, 26/03/10 »
Lovely pics of the waterfalls but ooh those pics of the road bought back bad memories!!When I was quite close to the end of my pregnancy my then husband decided to take me for a "nice relaxing drive" going first over a bloody terrifying road from Dinas Mawddwy to lake Vyrwny and then over that one pictured to Lake Bala.All I can remember is being very high up the side of a mountain on a single track road and a huge drop by the side of me.I nearly went into labour ;D

distephano

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 188
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #7 on: 11:21:23, 26/03/10 »
Nice one - just goes to show what can be found by studying the good old interwebnet thingy.  I had no idea that waterfall was there.  Did you get buzzed by the RAF?  I remember being rooted to the spot when several trainers out of RAF Valley decided to creep up the lake behind me at zero feet and 400mph!  Sorry to hear about your blistered fingers - I guess nose picking will be painful for a while!
 
Dizzy - that road to Bala is a sod isn't it?  My wife closed her eyes when I drove her over there telling me to "be damn careful!"  "It's OK" I told her, "I've got mine closed too!"
 

vghikers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #8 on: 13:39:33, 26/03/10 »
You got rather better photos of the waterfall than we managed, they are quite impressive aren't they?. An ascent on the left side of the falls is a lot easier, a most enjoyable clamber, followed by an easy walk up the valley to Bwlan. It's a lovely deserted valley.

I sympathise with your toil across the Nant Nadroedd Fawr to Foel y Geifr, we came down that way and used a peaty channel through the heather and tussocks for some respite until we were up to our necks, then we had to backtrack!.

Andrewausfa

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 157
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #9 on: 13:48:58, 26/03/10 »
Nice piccies Julian, thanks for sharing them. What was the exposure on the second pic from bottom?

Thanks - Andrew

All I hear is "Burn!"

JulianC

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1533
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #10 on: 13:51:37, 26/03/10 »
I was most pleasantly surprised by the falls - as impressive as their more famous neighbour, Pistyll Rhaeadr in my opinion but relatively unknown.

I did get buzzed a couple of times by the RAF, including one jet screaming up the valley moments after I took the photo "The road back down to Vyrnwy". It was so low I nearly ducked  ;D

2nd pic from bottom is 2.5secs @ f/16
 

Tryfan75

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1066
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #11 on: 16:03:39, 26/03/10 »
Great report and superb photos as always Julian.
 
I have fond memories of childhood holiday spent by Lake Vyrnwy - another beautiful area I would like to explore further one day !! 
 
So much exploring to do - so little time !!
 
Thanks again Julian - great inspiration.
Matt O0
 
 

Exit5man

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2623
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #12 on: 17:52:57, 26/03/10 »
Brilliant photo's again Julian .It's a brilliant place to walk but tracks are few and far between .It does'nt get any better the other side of the road .Cefn Gwyntog and Cyrniau Nod are two Nuttalls that i bagged a few years ago .There are no obvious tracks to any of them ,Cyrniau Nod slightly better than C/Gwyntog .Next time your in that area try Trum y Gwrgedd and Foel Goch from Foel y Geifr. There is a path connecting all three and the views of the Arans and Arenigs are awesome .
Keep the reports coming they're brilliant .
Everyday when i wake up i thank the Lord im Welsh .

Never walk under a black cat :-)

sunnydale

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6868
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #13 on: 18:52:11, 26/03/10 »
Excellent photos Julian.  I've been itching to go to the RSPB reserve at Lake Vyrnwy for ages.  A visit to the reserve and a walk taking in the waterfall would make a nice weekend away.
 
Thanks for the inspiration. O0
***Happiness is only a smile away***

JulianC

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1533
Re: [Trip report] Lake Vyrnwy, the south Berwyns
« Reply #14 on: 19:01:21, 26/03/10 »
Thanks for the comments ladies and gents.

It's good to hear there's a path out to Foel Goch Exit5man as the ridge looked enticing when viewed from the road - had I known I might have tagged it on to the walk. As it was, I was sick of the heather bashing and the road looked appealing!