#122 – Llantysilio Mountain

Moel y Gaer (centre and nearer) and Moel y Gamelin from Moel Morfydd (AKA Llantysilio Mountain)

Moel y Gaer (centre and nearer) and Moel y Gamelin from Moel Morfydd (AKA Llantysilio Mountain)

Looking for inspiration for a day in the hills, I came across Llantysilio Mountain, which seemed to fit the bill.  For one thing, it’s in the area covered by NEWSAR (North East Wales Search And Rescue) the mountain rescue team I recently joined – although I know Snowdonia  fairly well, most of NEWSAR’s area is new to me, so it was a bit of a recce.  It’s also good to try out some new hills, and the contour lines on the map suggested an interesting ‘up and down’ ridge.

Old drove road heading west from Rhewl

Old drove road heading west from Rhewl

Still on the drove road – can’t see the wood for the trees!

Still on the drove road – can’t see the wood for the trees!

Out of the trees at last, and things were starting to look hilly

Out of the trees at last, and things were starting to look hilly

The heights of the peaks told a slightly different tale – they were mostly between 500 and 570 metres in height, hardly earth shattering stuff!  However, size isn’t everything as the saying goes, so I presented the idea to Chris – she agreed and the dog abstained, so it looked like the trip was on.  First of all, though, we had to get to our hills.

Heading upwards to our first hill, Moel Morfydd

Heading upwards to our first hill, Moel Morfydd

Gaining altitude ….

Gaining altitude ….

…. on a gradually ascending track ….

…. on a gradually ascending track ….

…. with views down to the Vale of Llangollen

…. with views down to the Vale of Llangollen

We started out at Rhewl near Llangollen, on an ancient drove road that gained height gradually – drovers weren’t stupid, and generally looked for an easy way.  We eventually left the trees and farmland behind and took a track heading round the flank of our first top, Moel Morfydd.  The track dropped us neatly on to a ridgeline where things began to get steeper.

Heading up the final slopes of Moel Morfydd

Heading up the final slopes of Moel Morfydd

The summit at last, and look who got there first!

The summit at last, and look who got there first!

The summit trig column – usually a good sign

The summit trig column – usually a good sign

Off again, with Moel y Gaer next on the list

Off again, with Moel y Gaer next on the list

The final slopes to the summit of Moel Morfydd were steep enough to eliminate idle chatter, but the top was suitably crowned with a survey trig point.  I always think this to be good sign, because at least the surveyors must have thought it was worth the effort.  ‘Mist’ was first to the top as usual, but had been using her advantages of 4×4 traction and a good power/weight ratio – we dragged ourselves up behind her.  The summit gave great views of the next section of the walk over Moel y Gaer and Moel y Gamelin.

After the lunch break, on to Moel y Gaer

After the lunch break, on to Moel y Gaer

Looking back to Moel Morfydd in the distance, with an un-named top between

Looking back to Moel Morfydd in the distance, with an un-named top between

Chris on the faint remains of an Iron Age hut platform on Moel y Gaer

Chris on the faint remains of an Iron Age hut platform on Moel y Gaer

Our last peak, Moel y Gamelin – with the ‘chicken run’ path heading down and right

Our last peak, Moel y Gamelin – with the ‘chicken run’ path heading down and right

On the way to Moel y Gaer Chris voted for a lunch break – again, the dog abstained, but I suspected that she was secretly in agreement with Chris.  We stopped briefly, and in so doing realised how cold it was – a brisk wind must have pushed the wind-chill temperature below 0º Celsius.  We carried on to Moel y Gaer, the site of an Iron Age hillfort about 2½  thousand years old, but by now Chris was feeling the cold.  Heading for the next peak I saw that we could chicken out by following a good track to the right.

Looking back up the ‘Clwydian Way’ track

Looking back up the ‘Clwydian Way’ track

Heading down the Clwydian way towards the valley

Heading down the Clwydian way towards the valley

Looking back to our outward route ….

Looking back to our outward route ….

…. and almost back in the valley

…. and almost back in the valley

So chicken out we did!  It was a sensible thing to do as Chris was about to reach the point where it wasn’t fun any more, so we followed the Clwydian Way back to the valley – further north the ‘Way’ runs near to our house, where it is usually something like a swamp, but this section was well drained and the going was good – faster progress and shelter from the wind soon brought about re-warming.  As a consolation prize, I suggested a visit to the pub marked on the map.  Alas, the Sun Inn was no more, with the doors firmly bolted.  Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all.

The Sun Inn near Rhewl, now apparently closed for business

The Sun Inn near Rhewl, now apparently closed for business

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

p.s.  Just back from a great day out in the Lake District, with loads of snow!  On the menu was Helvellyn via Swirral Edge and Striding Edge, so you can probably guess what will be featured in next weeks blog – see you there!

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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27 Responses to #122 – Llantysilio Mountain

  1. One of the best things about seeing a trig point are.. well, that you can see anything at all when you get to the top!
    Great views again – the sunshine belies the cold. Looks like Chris’ little ploy backfired though with the pub closed 😉

    • It’s sad to see so many country pubs going out of business – I’m on a bit of a mission to help them out by being a regular customer 😉

      • R is on a one-man crusade…
        Looking forward to your next blog – we drove past Helvellyn on Saturday on our way back from ‘o’ training on Summerhouse Knott. Not quite in the same league.

      • Tell R it’s a crap job but someone has to do it … 😀

        It put a lot more snow down on Saturday night, so all our efforts trail-breaking up Swirral Edge would have been well covered over by Sunday.

  2. Looks like a really nice area for rolling hills and views. Never walked there, although it’s not that far away.
    Nice to see blue skies and sun – I’m ready for spring now, but it’s not happening!

    • It’s great hill country round Llangollen, and I was completely unaware that it existed until a year ago.

      As for the weather, I was on Helvellyn on Saturday (next weeks blog 🙂 ) and there had been a huge dump of snow over night – very alpine! I drove home over Kirkstone, leaving my mates watching the Wales-England game, and the road was completely clear of snow – the next morning my mates had to go home via Penrith with Kirkstone snowbound! Winter hasn’t finished with us yet – I think I’ll keep my skis handy just in case 🙂

  3. MrsBoardwell says:

    welcome to our side of the playground Paul ^_^

  4. lanceleuven says:

    That Vale of Llangollen shot is absolutely spectacular! It’s looks like it belongs in a film or something (perhaps The Hobbit?).

  5. LensScaper says:

    That looks like a very enjoyable ridge to walk on a fine day. Good weather too except for the wind chill. An area I have never explored although Llangollen is a familiar point on the A5 route to Snowdonia. We live 1/4 mile off the A5 in Northants. I’m looking forward already to next weeks post!

  6. I think a return trip to Llantysilio is on the cards when (if) it gets warmer – it would be a good ridge to dawdle over.

  7. brulionman says:

    weird trees in the valley and all walk gorgeous!

  8. Yeah, there is a lot of snow in the Lakes – I just had to turn back on my old fave Skiddaw – I was with Richard and would probably have continued on my own but it wasn’t going well… look out for a write-up on it probably…

    Nice to see some non-snowy hills – I’m getting a bit fed up of the snow now – although it sounds like it was just as cold down there. I’m getting very fed up of being cold now – where’s the spring?

    Haven’t done any of those hills but they look nice walking and it’s great to see good paths everywhere. I’m a huge fan of a decent path!

  9. Looks wonderful Paul…wish I was there!

  10. mark says:

    Looks a good one! I love the mountains but its hard to beat one of these green lane/drovers path etc gradually winding up a mid level hill. Gives you a chance to take it the views (and catch your breath) This month I think!!

  11. You would enjoy the walking there Mark – I’m still trying to find time for a return visit!

  12. Pingback: #144 – Journey to ‘World’s End’ | Paul Shorrock – One Man's Mountains AKA One Pillock's Hillocks

  13. Mark Kelly says:

    Another part of North Wales I don’t know about.. I have a growing list of places as read on your blog Paul 🙂

    That said, heading to Moel Siabod for a walk with a couple of friends in a few weeks – and just spotted your write up (will be reading that in a minute..)

  14. Hope you have a good day Mark 🙂

  15. Pingback: #157 – Cyrn y Brain on the Ruabon Moors | Paul Shorrock – One Man's Mountains AKA One Pillock's Hillocks

  16. Matt Jones says:

    North Wales is literally tiny but there seems to be no end of hills you can do.. im trying to think of ones yuo havent done.. oh, i know! Moelfre Isaf and Moelfre Uchaf near abergele are pretty good.
    not far from you?

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