Sunday, 18 October 2015

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Elenydd


25.09.15  Cefn Alltwinau (SN 865 496) and Garn Dwad (SN 872 486)  

Cefn Alltwinau (SN 865 496)

The two hills of Cefn Alltwinau and Garn Dwad can be combined in a good small walk when approaching from their west, combining them from the east is more difficult as the Irfon Forest swamps much of this land.

I parked beside Gelli-felen which nestles above the Afon Irfon in a valley that today looked almost alpine like with blasts of sunshine cascading through steeply wooded hill sides.  Before visiting the hills I wanted to knock on the door of Llwyn-gwychwydd, which is the farm that I’d been recommended to park at.  Mrs Watkins answered the door and we chatted for a few minutes, she directed me to the adjacent house where her son lived, I thanked her and tried to find her son, no answer at the door, but as I could hear a quad bike on an adjacent field I suspected he was out working in one of the fields.

I continued up the narrow paved road beyond Llwyn-gwychwydd toward Alltwinau only to encounter a large herd of sheep munching on the rich pickings of the adjacent grass verge beside the road, I stopped and took a photograph.  A sheep dog then darted amongst the sheep and was obviously being directed to push them down the way I had come, not wanting to disturb them I stood above the road and waited for the sheep to be driven.  Geraint and Siân Watkins soon appeared, Siân on the quad bike and Geraint giving instruction to his sheep dog, and within a few moments the sheep had been pushed past me down the road, all a very skilled procedure between man and dog.

Rounding up the sheep

I stopped and chatted with Geraint and Siân for ten minutes about the names of the two hills I planned on visiting, the best route up and surprise, surprise; Welshpool.  Geraint’s brother worked in the town and Siân had been to Llanfyllin high school with my ex’s sister, tis a very small world we live in.  They kindly posed for a couple of photos and said it would be OK for me to publish one on this blog – thanks.

Geraint and Siân Watkins

The afternoon was proving warm in the sunshine and I made slow, but steady progress up the field onto the track that continued toward the ruin of Blaen Gwennol.  From here a quad bike track continued up toward the land between the two hills.  I left this track before its high point and headed directly up the hill following sheep tracks.

Garn Dwad from the ascent of Cefn Alltwinau

This last bit of ascent was steep on tussocky and wet ground but soon I arrived on top and after a few minutes assessing the summit I chose the position for the Trimble and had it placed on top of my rucksack gathering its customary five minutes of data.

I looked out from the summit of Cefn Alltwinau on a land of seemingly unending tussock grass which was only interrupted by the large Irfon Forest, such a waste of beautiful and wild land that now looks almost inaccessible and resembles a devastated land when tree felling has taken place.

Gathering data at the summit of Cefn Alltwinau

Once the Trimble had been packed away I followed a vehicle track down toward a gate which gave access toward the bwlch between the two hills.  This descent proved much easier than my ascent when I had left the vehicle track and ascended on steep tussocky ground, must remember to follow these vehicle tracks when in this countryside as they give relatively easy passage between the hills.

The bwlch was situated beside the boundary of the forest next to a gate and a puddle, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to work out where the actual critical bwlch lay, once happy with my decision the Trimble did its stuff and was then packed away for the ascent to the summit of Garn Dwad.

Gathering data at the bwlch of Garn Dwad

The vehicle track continued up toward the summit of Garn Dwad and gave easy passage through the morass of tussock grass, now all showing the first signs of its rusted tips as late summer turns to autumn.  The vehicle track continued south just on the western part of this hill’s summit area, I left it as it did so and walked over the tussocks to the remains of what was once an old cairn positioned on the summit of this hill.

I picked the spot for the Trimble and set it on the ground to gather data, and stood back to admire this land.  The Elenydd is a marvellous place of open and wild countryside, underfoot conditions can be rough at times, but this seems to add to its qualities.

Gathering data at the summit of Garn Dwad

As I packed the Trimble away I looked back on this land and promised to re-visit some of its more remote spots and then set off back to the connecting bwlch between these two hills, and then followed a good path down to a steep and rough track which met a high paved road near to Pen-y-banc.  It was now only a short distance back down the narrow and steep road to my car parked next to Gelli-felen.


Survey Result:


Cefn Alltwinau

Summit Height:  448.2m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 86535 49694

Drop:  55m

Dominance:  12.27%



Garn Dwad

Summit Height:  446.0m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 87231 48604

Bwlch Height:  373.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SN 86989 49106

Drop:  72.6m

Dominance:  16.28%



For further details please consult the Trimble survey spreadsheet click {here}




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