Saturday, 12 March 2005


Plynlimon / Pumlumon

I remembered one of the legends. It tells of the daughters of Pumlumon - Gwy, Hafren and Rheidol - racing to the sea. Gwy (heading south) and Hafren (east) raced long and hard, finally reaching the sea simultaneously at the same point. But Rheidol flew west and beat them both as it emptied into Cardigan Bay.

[Plynlimon rising above Nant-y-moch] Distance: 3.14 miles
Ascent: 452 metres
Duration: 2 hours 43 minutes

The highest mountain in mid-Wales

Mid-week Emma suggested we climb Plynlimon today. Every site I found online recommended avoiding the "tourist route" from Eisteddfa-Gurig (the only route Em knew) in favour of the route from Nant-y-moch. Unfortunately those websites don't provide details of the way, or even mention where to park. Since the OS map doesn't show a path we forged our own way across the peaty flanks of the hill towards the summit.

On the way back down we found the path. So, if you're ever inclined to try this route, I suggest the following:

  1. [Cows on the road by Nant-y-moch] Take the Nant-y-moch road from Ponterwyd. Turn right just before the reservoir and park on the verge just before the road ends at Maesnant.
  2. From the passing place at SN 773878 take the feint path on the western side of a stream heading south up the hill.
  3. The path meets a track at SN 774875. Follow the track north-east through the gate until it crosses the stream called Maesnant. (The stream is easy to identify; it passes through a concrete sluice on the right of the track.)
  4. [Path to the summit beside Maesnant]Just after the Maesnant at SN 777876 follow the path up the hill on the right of the track.
  5. This path heads south-east then east, between the Maesnsant on the right and the rising form of Pumlumon Fach on the left.
  6. Follow the path further east until it reaches the pass between Pumlumon Fach and Pumlumon Fawr.
  7. From here, the summit is a short distance - albeit over rather steep ground - to the south south-west.
If I were to repeat this walk I'd follow the path, then head east from the summit towards the source of the Wye before turning north and dropping down to meet the track at the end of Llyn Llygad Rheidol. Two miles down the track is the gate passed through earlier and the path back to the passing place.

[View north from Plynlimon] Some years ago when trying to decide where to holiday, Dad suggested I walk the "mountains of mid-Wales". I scoffed - are there really any hills worthy of that title? - but today find myself acknowledging that there is at least one.

Posted by pab at 19:03 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!