|Tarren y Gesail from
Tarren y Gesail
|Estimated net time||2½-3 hours|
|Difficulty||No technical difficulties except for some fence climbs.|
|Drinking water||Running water from the stream parallel to the path down in the valley.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage at the start and at the top of the route (December 2013).|
|Parking||Room for a few cars at trail head.|
|Start height||41 metres|
|Vertical metres||640 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||9.8 km|
From where road A493 turns west from A487 just north of Machynlleth, drive A493 25.9 km (16.1 mi). Turn right onto road B4405 and drive 8.4 km (5.2 mi) to Abergynolwyn. Turn right where signed for "Community centre" and drive 70 metres up the road. Park on the right hand side of the road, where there's a car park for approximately four cars.
Start your walk by following the road 120 metres uphill and turn right onto a path. Follow this path 1.3 km along the left side of the stream, and head uphill when the path doesn't continue any further along the stream. Walk 130 metres uphill and turn right when you meet a farm road. Follow this farm road 750 metres, almost up to a barn. Leave the road and head directly uphill, towards the forest. This will leave you with a relatively high fence to climb, but you can avoid this by finding a route on the right hand side of it from down by the barn. But whatever route you choose you will be left with a low (barbed!) fence that needs to be climbed. When you get to the forest find a part of the forest that looks less dense than other parts and continue straight up. The forest offers an OK crossing, and it's only a couple of hundred metres wide. When through the forest you need to cross a low fence and continue up to the south-west ridge, where you'll hit a path that will take you to the summit cairn.
Descend by reversing your ascent route, or you can turn right when you get out of the forest, onto the forest road, and follow this road north and south-west back down to a little below the barn you passed while ascending. This route is also suitable for ascent, and will leave you with only a low fence to climb, above the forest. The farmer is likely to be more happy with hikers following this route.
07. December 2013
I had done two hikers earlier this windy and misty Saturday, and concluded that I should be able to do also Tarren y Gesail before it got dark. This worked out fine time-wise, but it was a strenuous hike, and I wasn't happy with having to climb several fences during my ascent route (unhappy because I knew the farmer would be unhappy). Hence I did an alternative route while descending.
The summit was windy, and there wasn't anything to see, so after a couple of photos I headed back down in order to complete the driving up to Bala before it got dark. In Bala I managed to get a room at the White Lion Hotel (my third stay there), and went straight to the Chineese take-away to quickly get some food and a Coke.