Cambrian_mountains_tree_shadows-ElanOn 10 September a group of us assembled below Penbont House tea rooms at the end of Garreg-ddu for a walk up and over the hills to see what the dry summer has done north of the Elan reservoirs.  Surprisingly, it was largely green and as lush as you might expect from an ordinary summer – the emptiness of the reservoirs themselves is due to the maintenance works Dŵr Cymru have been undertaking to this sequence of late 19th-early 20th century artificial lakes.

Having got the hardest bit out of the way at the start with a climb to the trig point at Crugyn (533 metres), we ambled down to Rhydoldog via Cregiau Treheslog, and admired the work being done to lay out gardens around Ms Church’s project. After lunch at an idyllic bridge over the stream just beyond the grounds of Rhydoldog, we ambled along the lane a short distance before turning off across the tops to the top of a steep path beside ample evidence of historic quarrying, down to Mynydd Dolfolau. At this point, the sun came out and from then on the skies progressively cleared. With a bird’s eye view of some canoeists enjoying what little water remained in the reservoir, and haunted by the voices of invisible rock climbers tackling a slab somewhere in our vicinity, we trod through the bilberries back down to take the road alongside the Garreg Ddu Reservoir to return to sunlit Penbont and the Tea room.  Thanks to Judy’s wonderful route, an excellent time was had by all.

Next outing: Neal is leading a loop around Rheidol, on 16 October.  Watch out for details coming soon!