#30 – Mynydd Mawr

Mynydd Mawr from the Beddgelert road

The welsh language is bewildering for an english speaker, on first sight.  Like scots gaelic, it looks like an ‘alphabet soup’ of consonants, but unlike gaelic it is a logical language where every letter has a sound and every letter is used.    It also translates fairly logically as well, especially where place names are concerned.  So, Mynydd means mountain and Mawr means big, so we have Big Mountain.  Simples!

Mynydd Mawr from the Nantlle Ridge

Although Mynydd Mawr seems to live up to the title on the approach from Beddgelert, the mountain isn’t really that huge – at 698 metres altitude it is much more at home amongst the hills of the Nantlle Ridge than the higher hills of the Snowdon range, the Carneddau or the Glyderau.  That being the case, one of the best start points for Mynydd Mawr is the village of Rhyd Ddu;  the village is not only the start point for the Nantlle Ridge and Mynydd Mawr, but is also the home of the excellent Cwellyn Arms.

Through the forest to start with...

...before leaving the trees behind

 However, the visit to the pub has to be earned, so off we set in great weather conditions.  There are possibilities for a circular route, but I was recording the route for Walking World, and wanted to keep things simple for anyone downloading the walk.  This meant that a linear route was going to be an easier option.  The route starts out through forestry land (not my favourite) but before too long we were out above the trees.

Getting steeper...

...and even steeper

Out above the trees also meant a change of gradient, from ‘fairly level’ to ‘getting steeper’.  The view above was a steep upward slope, though the views back towards yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) were good for adding some variety.  Then, all of a sudden, we popped out onto the small subsidiary summit of Foel Rudd.  From here we had a view, at last, of the summit of Mynydd Mawr.

The view to Mynydd Mawr from Foel Rudd

Long drops down to the Nantlle road

A broad ridge leads round in a wide arc with some long drops on the left down to the Nantlle road.  Not far beyond is the summit, with the remains of an ancient burial cairn, its stones now plundered by walkers to build shelters.  Pick a good day, and the views are outstanding.  Being a linear route, our return route was familiar ground, but the views weren’t – the constantly changing outlook made the route look like a completely different walk.  And being a relatively short walk, it didn’t seem long before we were back at the waiting Cwellyn Arms.

The summit cairn

On the way down – the Cwellyn Arms awaits

p.s. For those wishing to view the walk on Walking World, it should be going live within the next couple of weeks – search for Route ID 6086

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

About Paul Shorrock

I've been mucking about in the mountains for longer than I care to mention. I started out by walking my local hills, then went on to rock climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Still doing it, and still getting a buzz. I'm now sharing the fun, through my guided walking business (Hillcraft Guided Walking) and by writing routes for other publishers, mainly Walking World and Discovery Walking Guides. Just to make sure I keep really busy, I am also currently a member of my local mountain rescue team.
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6 Responses to #30 – Mynydd Mawr

  1. Paul, I don’t know why but for some reason your site do not subscribed to my Google reader a few months ago. Anyway I have resubscribed and it seems fine. I only discovered this the other day when you posted on my site and thought I have not seen anything from you. I been catching up on your routes.
    Good write ups and seems that the weather has been kind.
    Look forward to more


  2. I used to go up that a lot as I used to stay at Castell Cidwm, a lovely lakeside 8 bed guest house on the shores of Llyn Cwellyn. Then one day I turned up and some people who’d been sat out on the lawn came over and asked me, in a very snobby voice, if they could help me. Turned out the place had suddenly been sold as a private house – it was only 2 months after I’d just stayed and said to the owners I’d be back in a couple of months!

    I once went up via the waterfall by Castell Cidwm – an adventurous route which I quite enjoyed. It was steep getting up the final cwm wall onto the start of the ridge to the summit though. Mind you, that bit is very steep on the normal route up too isn’t it – I call it a grass cliff!


    • “….Mind you, that bit is very steep on the normal route up too isn’t it – I call it a grass cliff!….”

      Haha… I’ll not tell you what Chris called it 😉


  3. Pingback: #93 – The Moel Hebog Ridge | Paul Shorrock – One Man's Mountains AKA One Pillock's Hillocks

  4. Pingback: 152 – A walk up ‘Big Mountain’ | Paul Shorrock – One Man's Mountains AKA One Pillock's Hillocks

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