Moel y Faen and Moel y Gamelin

Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here after a wet one! We woke up to a wet and windy morning between Christmas and New Year. The plan was to drive to Llanberis and to walk around Llyn Padarn and to photograph the Lonely Tree on the bank of the lake. We had an instant plan change because the big feller, aka my chauffeur, couldn’t motivate himself to drive to Snowdonia. Luckily he could motivate himself to drive the shorter distance to the Horseshoe Pass near Llangollen. It was chucking it down so waterproofs were the order of the day. When we pulled up in the layby opposite the Ponderosa Cafe the weather was a bit naff still but we were all set for a short jaunt into the hills.

Should we stay in the car?

My human still has a knee problem so the plan was to walk up the closest hill to our parking spot and then to decide what to do next. The hill in question is called Moel y Faen and has a couple of well trodden paths to the summit. We chose a direct grassy route straight to the top. It was a bit slippery for the old man but as there were no sheep on the hill at this time of year, I was given a moment of freedom from my lead. After a few stops on the way up, allegedly to take photographs and definitely not for my human to catch his breath, we joined a wider track that was easier for him to get some traction.

Heading to the clouds
Looking back over the Moel y Faen quarries

The clouds drifted down to the level of the path as we walked but we were rewarded with some awesome views of the Moel y Faen quarry lower down to our right. On reaching the summit of our first hill we could see the Berwyn Quarry and momentary glimpses over to Llangollen in the Dee Valley. As the clouds lifted we could see a way ahead to Moel y Gamelin along a well walked track.

Berwyn Quarry from Moel y Faen

My tone-deaf human usually sings to himself as we hike. Today’s noise was ‘Why Does it Always Rain On Me?’ by Travis. I’ll tell him why. Because he chooses to drag us out in all weathers. That’s why!

Toward Moel y Gamelin
No avoiding the puddles!

We decided to take the track to the top of the hill and to then choose our next steps when we were at the summit. The rain was pouring down as we dropped into the valley between the hills. There was plenty of large puddles on the track for my human to try to avoid. My route took me straight through the middle of them and taking a quick slurp from each as we walked. The wind was starting to blow a bit more as we hiked up the hill. As we climbed the clouds drifted by us and the views were non-existent. When we reached the summit we stopped for a few seconds before choosing to retrace our steps back to the Horseshoe Pass.

Clouds lifted for a while
A bit breezy and wet
Moel y Gamelin summit
View from the summit 5 minutes later

On a day with better weather we could have chosen from several other options that would take us across the peaty moorland back to the car but with Hopalong struggling a bit we selected the easier option. My human had wanted to photograph the Lonely Tree at Llyn Padarn but he had to be satisfied by taking a snap of a lonely tree on the slopes of Moel y Gamelin. It was a sorry looking thing standing alone on the moorland. The rain had even produced tears on its branches. I didn’t even try to pee on it! I thought it was brave to stand alone in such an inhospitable place so, well done lonely tree!

The very lonely tree

As we returned down the track from Moel y Gamelin I spotted a bird flying low above the heather so, as I do, I chased after it. My human was calling me back but I pretended not to hear him. Needless to say, I didn’t get anywhere near the bird, but I did get well away from my human. I eventually returned to him and he was not amused. I was yellow-carded this time and told to walk to heel for a while. This didn’t last for long as I spotted another of those pesky winged beasts flying close to me. It was obviously taunting me so I set off in pursuit again. The big feller was even less amused this time and after much calling from him I gave up the chase and returned to the red-faced ogre. I was immediately sin-binned and returned to my lead. He needs to realise that I always return, eventually, and I had my GPS tracker on, so what is his problem?

The Ponderosa Cafe

Once we were at the summit of Moel y Faen again I was released from my shackles. The weather had improved slightly and the rain reduced to a fine drizzle. We could plainly see the car parked opposite the cafe and the track leading to it. My human took it slowly walking down the rain soaked path as he complained about his iffy knee. I did nothing of the sort and had a good sprint around the areas that had been cleared of heather to prevent fire from spreading in dry periods. It certainly hadn’t been dry on this day. We were soon back in the dry car and on our way home. Till next time!

4 thoughts on “Moel y Faen and Moel y Gamelin

  1. You are certainly intrepid walkers in such foul weather. Nothing to chill the bones like cold rain in North Wales!! Take care of your iffy knee! Hope you gave Joe a nice warm shower when you got home! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Great to be reading your blog again ,and very very impressed that you both had a decent hike ,shame the weather wasn’t kinder . Happy hiking New Year to you both .

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