The Rhinogydd are often overlooked and are a less visited mountain range. I’m not sure why as they offer a true rugged wilderness with spectacular views whether in land or coastal. The plan for this 2 night backpack traversing the range was to catch the train at Talsarnau down to Barmouth then walk back to Talsarnau. I was accompanied by Megan my Border collie, my friend Mitch (as usual) and on this trip we were joined by my work colleague Michael a lightweight enthusiast he also interestingly measures trees and has officially measured the heights of the highest trees in UK and Europe.
So with military precision (more like luck and trying to dodge Friday afternoon traffic congestion) we arrived at Talsarnau train station and within a minute the train pulled in, which we just managed to get on Phew!
It was a half hour or so ride down to Barmouth along the coast, passing Harlech Castle. We arrived in Barmouth and stopped for an evening meal at a restaurant I can’t remember the name but is was very nice, Sausage & Mash and 2 pints (well more likely the 2 pints) are not the best pre walk meal especially when you start climbing steeply straight after, nevertheless that is what we did and in no time at all we were high above the town. In the fading light we managed to gain plenty of height and pitched up with a nice view along the coastline.
In the morning we continued along a path which was sign posted the Taith Ardudwy Way although we did not walk this route we continually saw posts referencing this path. We did have to go off path and used a wall as a handrail to get up onto the ridge by the 461m trig point near Bwlch Cwmmaria. Once up on the ridge the navigation was easy as we followed a wall on the ridge line a long way in fact all the way to Rhinog Fach summit passing Diffwys trig Point and Y Llethr with its stunning and iconic view down to Llyn Hywel with the Two Rhinogs Fach & Fawr. This was a long but equally very enjoyable and technically straight forward section with plenty of opportunity to snap away with the camera. We stopped for food close to Llyn Hywel before we headed up onto Rhinog Fach.
From the summit we ignored the clearly visible path down heading down the west face and continued looking to see if there was a path down the north side after giving up on a few options we eventually foraged a route of sorts down to the path below this was over rough heather and boulder strewn terrain and because of this it took some time, we should have just gone down the clear path! Oh well will remember that for next time. As this descent used up some energy we just couldn’t be bothered to go up Rhinog Fawr so we skirted around it to the forest to the east then headed along the Roman Steps to the very basic campsite at Cwm Bychan, mind you I was happy to pay the £1 / night fee for a comfy flat pitch we were all very tired at this point and once we had cooked and consumed dinner I wasn’t that bothered when the midges forced us to retreat to our tents early (8pm) The headphones went in to drown out the sounds of sheep serenading us with endless baa’s and before I knew it was morning, the sheep still baa’ing away.
We packed up and continued our journey back to Talsarnau walking past Llyn Cwm Bychan then past Cwm Mawr farm up onto higher ground before dropping back down to Talsarnau via wooded area and roads. On the journey home we treated ourselves to the usual Burger and chips from Rhug Estate ‘On the Hoof’ very nice it was too a very satisfying end to an excellent weekends backpack around the Rhinogydd.