Ascent of Rhiw Gwraidd on 2018-04-14

Climber: David Howells

Date:Saturday, April 14, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rhiw Gwraidd
    Elevation:1450 ft / 441 m

Ascent Trip Report

Gwastedyn Hill 477m and Rhiw Gwraidd 442m

This was a foray back to the Rhayader area to pick up the last two Marilyns on the outskirts of the village in one go on a long day hike. This was quite a long day and I could write a turn by turn narrative but there would be simply too much to write on a day like today with its infinite amount of turns and paths so I will condense it to the main directive points to watch out for. In the main follow the gps route and you won’t go far wrong. All references to distances are taken from the map diagram appended on my blog entry only.
The sun was shining for the first time in a week so I parked up in the leisure centre car park for the princely sum of £3.20 and off I went. Firstly you head south on the A470 and turn right as soon as you get to the bend in the river but don’t do as I did and turn first right as there are two turns, take the 2nd one (15m past the first one). Follow the river path, round the sewage works (lovely), cross the A470 and start heading steeply uphill (SE). After a few well fields there is a wide path you follow that takes you up to a rock band. You have fine views of Rhayader and the Elan valley behind you (north) and Elan Valley to the west.
You now start to head SE crossing some fields with a number of imposing cairns widely dispersed. I veered across to the impressive solid cairn and beacon at Disgwylfa (A subsidiary top far more impressive than Gwastedyn Hill) where there are more fine views to be had. I then crossed a large open field where I had to hop over the fence to gain access to the top of Gwastedyn Hill proper (4.5km from the start). I then headed NE again for 5-600m until I hit a forest path that took me south for nearly a km. This path borders the woodlands and there is farmland below you. I followed it until I hit the style that takes you into the fields of Pen Y Ffynnon farm. Here I had my first break of the day.
Heading south I cut down to the road where I was waylaid by an elderly farmer who asked me to give him a hand herding some sheep that was being moved by his equally elderly better half to the tune of “Come on you f*&*ers move your scraggy arses” (seriously). Anyway I had a good giggle with these two before I headed down the road to Nant Glas (7km) turning left (north) to the cross roads of Bryn Canol (8km). Here I turned south on a wide track that follows the border of a forest for about a Km.
Anyway here (9km) you will see the gps ‘up’ route merges with my ‘down’ route. I would follow the route down on the way up as well as it is much easier so follow the route that takes you along a farm track (at the km15 marker on the map) not the side of the woods. Follow the gps route through the forest until you get to the uninspiring slopes of Rhiw Gwraidd and make your way steadily upwards to the trig point (11km). Now I went across past the TV mast to the west top too crossing a number of fences as I did so. I am very conscious of this as the reality is it is private land with no footpaths or styles.
After Rhiw Gwraidd simply follow the route back down until you get to a footpath that heads west (near Llyn Gwyn). Now the next five kilometres to Doldowlod (15-20km) are not going to be so descriptive so basically follow the gps route. However you will end up having to cross fences that have been put across public footpaths where there are no styles, meander through a large Hippie commune (16km) where the route gets a little confusing and you will have a little difficulty finding access to some footpaths due to overgrown hedgerows and barred gates. Now that may sound a tad too much hassle but the reality was it was not and if you want to avoid it all simply walk around it to the north on the road via Nant Glas.
Eventually you will hit the main A470 again where you cross over the road to the hamlet that is Llanwrhwl and head north out of the village on a footpath (part of the wye valley walk) that joins onto a back road that takes you the two km’s to the quaint Elan river footbridge (22.5km). After the footbridge I just continued on the most direct route (back roads) to Rhayader some four kilometres away to the finish (26.5). Now you don’t have to do the road sections if you wish as the Wye Valley Walk offers off road sections for you that goes a little bit further west. This applies before and after the footbridge. It adds a more interesting finale but I was just running out of time! I was soon back at the finish and another day was done.

Parking and Access: All day parking is £3.20 at the car park and there are toilets. This is a large car park.
Route Summary: Back roads, paths, open moorland (a little) and forest trails. Mostly good but I came across a reasonable amount of fences across public rights of way, a couple of barred gates and a hippie commune. All in all though not much difficulty. The route is 26.6km with 840m of height gain. This was done in 6hrs 45min.

For fuller details, photographs and other parking information see my blog or wikiloc account.
Click on the links below and put a search in for the appropriate hill or mountain.
My blog - mountain nomad
My wikiloc - David Howells
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2756 ft / 840 m
    Grade/Class:Hard hike
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Nice spring day
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2756 ft / 840 m
    Distance:16.5 mi / 26.5 km
    Start Trailhead:-1306 ft / -398 m
    Time:6 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by David Howells
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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