For a few years I was familiar with Cwm Bychan only. I stayed at the valley camp site, walked and camped at Llyn Du below Rhinog Fawr. Walking reports usually describe how much you enjoy a place. I did like those walks but found, every time, I felt tired and irritated towards the end. It’s rough walking with little or no path, clambering across bilberry, heather, and shattered rock. Llyn Du is a lovely place to camp with good evening sunshine. The last time I did that I noted, however, I was tired and irritated again.

I thought Cwm Nantcol and Rhinog Fach would be much the same. They’re distinctively similar but in some important respects different. Cwm Nantcol is a bigger and more spacious valley compared to the micro wooded areas at Cwm Bychan. I like them both. There’s a lovely small lake above the Cwm Bychan camp site which in spring is covered in bogbean. The name is dull, the flowers are not.

The greater difference is when you consider Rhinog Fawr compared to Fach. Fach is grassy and pleasant with a plateau summit to enjoy. You climb hard to get there but then relax for thirty minutes at the top. Or stay longer for your lunch and photography, as I do. I much prefer it to Fawr.

Below the Rhinogydd there’s an area with dense ecological interest. It’s a protected place, wet and fertile, boggy but pleasant to walk. You see dragonfly, damselfly, ferns, bogbean, and frogs. I remember yellow wild flowers and not knowing what they were. I still don’t. At the centre dip on the skyline you climb right for Fach and left for Rhinog Fawr.


Snowdonia Photography: Rhinogydd

Friday April 17, 2015