The Rhinogs / Rhinogydd & Y Llethr - a hard day

Forum » Walk Reports » North Wales

By SheepFarmer on 23/12/22 at 1:50pm (last edited 23/12/22 at 5:01pm)

Hills walked:
Rhinog Fach (Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall, HuMP, Clem, Sim, and Tump)
Y Llethr (Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall, HuMP, Clem, Sim, and Tump)
Rhinog Fawr (Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall, HuMP, Clem, Sim, and Tump)
Date started:08/10/2022
Distance:17.4 km or 10.8 miles
Ascent:1248m or 4094ft
Descent:1249m or 4098ft
Start OSGB:SH683301
Time taken:8:19

The Rhinogs or Rhinogydd to use the Welsh are named after the impressively rocky Rhinog Fawr & Fach, although Y Llethr is actually the tallest in the range.

This walk was back early Oct when conditions were still very warm for the time of year and saw me out with my zip off trouser legs off & short sleeve shit, plus a peaked cap to help keep sun off head, shield eyes & keep any rain off glasses which there thankfully wasn't any, plus my usual rucksack full of stuff.

If you like hard going, very steep ascents & descents & a rocky landscape that gives you a feeling of truly climbing a mountain then this is for you, but be prepared as there are no easy get outs and you probably won’t see many people.

Map & profile

Pic 1

A few minutes in my 1st good view of Rhinog Fawr

Pic 2

& Rhinog Fach

Pic 3

Having crossed the wall in the bottom I was now ascending Rhinog Fach but looking at Rhinog Fawr

Pic 4

Looking down at the steepness of my ascent of Rhinog Fach

Pic 5

I came upon these 2 also admiring the view & it’s always nice to see where you’ve come, in my case form the far side of the forestry, which had been the easy part to walk

Pic 6

From the summit of Rhinog Fach, Rhinog Fawr & the rocky landscape beyond

Pic 7

From the S end of the summit area, bringing modern tech onto what I could see like Moelfre & couldn’t see the Irish Mountains due to non perfect visibility.

Pic 8

The path down from Rhinog Fach, that was rather rocky & the lower part of Y Llethr going up from the bottom. POlus thew 2nd farmer I'd seen that day the 1st being on top of Rhinog Fach, I think there mobile use was to talk to on another and act as spotters for one another to help guide thew dogs onto parts where humans would avoid to gather the sheep.

Pic 9

Descending Rhinog Fach the ridge one crosses between Llyn Hywel & Llyn y Bi before ascending Y Llethr where you don’t see the path going up until you're on it.

Pic 10

Looking along the ridge to where I was going up Y Llethr , initially straight along & up the ridge before bending & following more the grass gully up.

Pic 11

From where the ridge peters out into Y Llethr looking back upon Llyn y Bi & the open landscape

Pic 12

The South & West face of Rhinog Fach that drops sharply into Llyn Hywel, the path I’d used comes down alongside the wall.

Pic 13

Before Y Llethr levels out at the top, Rhinog Fach, Llyn Hywel & Rhinog Fawr beyond

Pic 14

A bit more on and the levelling out starts to cut the view down.

Pic 15

Moelfre from near the summit of Y Llethr & the biggest body of water I’d see beyond that day the Irish See although it was hard to tell sea from sky.

Pic 16

Having dropped down & round to Llyn Hywel came the view across to the ridge I’d crossed earlier

Pic 17

Turning a bit Rhinog Fach, the only trouble with this sort of area is that one just can’t get everything into a single pic or capture the scale & atmosphere you get.

Pic 18

More descending ahead to the little Llyn Cwmhosan (named on OS not on waymaps) thankfully the path goes to the side of the rocky part although still moderately hard. From the little Llyn after a wet area my path headed straight up Rhinog Fawr with unremitting steepness & being more scramble with care needed to place each foot & pole tip or sometimes hands for stability for the pull/push action to progress & certainly at one stage pausing & turning to look back at the view I could feel a bit of wobble as my legs relaxed after such hard exertion.

Thinking over the walks I’ve done comparable in terms of similar overall numbers of 350m ascent in 0.8km , then my ascents of Eagle Crag from the N & Seathwaite Fell also from the N, hit the mark but by having short near vertical scrambles

Pic 19

Starting my ascent of Rhinog Fawr & looking across to Fach (mid pic) & Y Llethr beyond, although it was mostly hidden by other high ground.

Pic 20

This was just as I reached the leveller summit area and I always like taking in where ones been in my case over the high peaks & past the little Llyn in the bottom & all the way back up again. It was after this that the murk came in to spoil the hopped for extensive views from the summit, maybe next time, although my list of maybe next time is growing more than shrinking :lol:

Pic 21

Although the distant views my have gone there was still in the middle distance of Gloyw Llyn, my original plan had been to drop down to it & then curve round & go up the Roman Steps, but being behind schedule due to the hard going I took a short cut option I’d planned from the top of Rhinog Fawr & that was to drop to Llyn Du.

Pic 22

Llyn Du, dropping down to it perhaps I’d have been better taking the Cambrian Way path as the more direct one I took was minor & with the process of looking at footing rather than forwards for path I dropped to far down to the side of Llyn Du & found myself with the option of backtracking or going for it amongst a field of boulders bigger than me, I took the latter, I always like a challenge & I can perhaps kid myself that I “walked” on ground that no one else even if it was just a few meters long a few meters away from someone else.

Pic 23

The low point of my walk within what is a Special Area of Conservation and a National Nature Reserve was finding this & it was the only piece of litter I came across, so I took it with me & then recycled it when home.

Pic 24

Taking a different route back through the forestry alongside Nant Llyn Du I came upon this nice little waterfall Pistyll Gwyn.

To cap my day off, instead of the more normal finding somewhere to get fish & chips, I’d brought some of my camping gear so out came chair & stove to heat up some soup to have whilst sitting in the gathering gloom looking at the tops of Rhinog Fawr & Fach, after which it was just a case of driving off only to find a heard of horses on the very minor gated road who did not want to move.

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