clock-wise from Mon
|Estimated net time||2½-3 hours|
The route is a little steep up along the east ridge, but only strenuous and not difficult.
|Drinking water||Access to running water from the stream down in the valley but the number of sheep should probably make you sceptical to drink this water.|
|GSM coverage||No coverage down in the valley, else OK (March 2012).|
|Parking||Room for one or two cars at trail head.|
|Start height||158 metres|
|Vertical metres||575 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||8.2 km|
From Birmingham head west on road M54 and then A5, approximately 60 km from junction 10a on M6, to the A5/A458 junction west of Shrewsbury. Drive A458 approximately 67 km to the A458/A470 junction by the village Mallwyd. Turn right and follow A470 3.7 km, and exit left onto a road signed with a dead-end sign. If you arrive from north this exit is 9.5 km east along A470 from the A470/A487 junction.
Drive this narrow road approximately 650 metres, to where you see a small lay-by on the left hand side of the road, in a soft right curve. Park on the lay-by. Note that this is approximately on the highest point of the road, before it starts to descend to the small bridge crossing the river.
Start walking by following the road a few tens of metres, to where a farm road forks left, and there is a gate. Follow this farm road, cross the gate, and follow the path (sheep track) approximately 800 metres. You now have a small forest on you left hand side. Leave the path where you see fit, and descend down to the river. Cross the river and head off-path uphill towards the east ridge of Maesglase. There are some wet sections before you cross the river, and it's worth avoiding these since the rest of the ascent is likely to be across dry land. Approximately 100 vertical metres above the river you have to cross a barbed wire fence, and you are likely to have to do some searching before you find a suitable place to cross. There is the obvious possibility to cross this fence wherever you meet it, but the fence is a touch higher than what a 6' person will manage without (at best) ripping a hole in the trousers. The best option is probably to head right to where this fence meets another fence going perpendicular downhill, and hence you have fences at right angles, making climbing easier and minimising the danger of making damage to the fence.
There is no path up the east ridge, and it's a strenuous section through heather and grass, but there are no difficulties. When you get up onto the large summit plateau you will find a path, which you can follow right (west). This path will take you up to what's marked as the summit on the maps, but towards west you will see a bump that definitely looks higher. To get across to this point you follow the left side of the fence 500 metres, cross the fence, and aim for the point with a small pile of stones one of several summit candidates. This is probably the highest point.
From the summit head back south to the fence, and then follow the path south, on the left hand side of the fence, all the way to the spruce forest. Turn left (east) here, and follow a vague path along the forest and back down to the valley. Then continue along the valley and back to your car.
30. March 2012
I had been to a two-day workshop outside Telford. The workshop finished a little early, in order for the Germans to catch a flight home, but for someone going to Sunnmøre things were not so easy. Hence I had decided to spend the week-end in the UK, and more specifically to hike some Welsh mountains. After the workshop I hit M54 west, and aimed for an evening hike before finding a B&B somewhere. I also managed to throw in a bonus stop at Shrewsbury, allowing me to finally get hold of a pair of Inov-8 RocLite 400GTX. Throwing in some more stuff to the shopping basket entitled me to a discount, only to prove that I can shop if I hit the right shops ...
Locating the Maesglase trail head proved a little difficult, and after three stops and having spoken to three persons (who all gave me correct information), I was finally at the trail head. My intention was to hike Maesglase by heading in to the end of the valley, and then turn right and gain the summit from south. But not long into the hike I noticed a possible route up along the east ridge, and started considering this option. It looked very steep, and there was a river crossing with some question mark attached to it, but after a bit of internal debating I decided to have a go. This proved to be an OK route with two small exceptions; I had to do a major de-tour in order to find a place where I could safely cross the barbed wire fence (I headed left), and it was very strenuous.
At the top of the ridge I found a path, which I follow to what I thought, and the map told me, would be the summit. From this summit I could clearly see that the point 500 metres further west was higher, which was later confirmed when I checked my GPS readings. Hence I headed across to this point, which was marked by a small pile of stones. After taking a number of photos, despite the haze, I continued south in order to have a variation to my ascent route. This part of the route enabled some easy running, and took me nicely back to my car.
Next on the agenda was the task of finding accommodation for the night. I knew
my hiking plans for the next day, but didn't have much idea about where to get a
B&B or a hotel. At the end I drove north to the village Bala, which proved to
satisfy the requirements; a room, fish&chips, and a good pint of dark beer.