A quick look at the area map and I spotted two solitary peaks near to Llyn Celyn reservoir, both possessing a decent ascent and some interesting features. At 689m & 854m, both Arenig Fach & Arenig Fawr offer good elevation and therefore provide a good hike, but it was Arenig Fawr that really caught my eye. The higher of the two with an interesting ridge and association to the origin of Noah and his Ark, which in the current British weather seemed very apt, became the obvious choice for a Sunday hill walk.
As the evening drew in it was back to the tent for a spot of route planning and research regarding Arenig Fawr, the focus of the next day’s walk. Regarding myths & legends, there was not as much found about Arenig Fawr as usually comes with welsh mountains. I did, however, find a story about Llyn Arenig Fawr having fairy’s in it that once stole a farmers herd or something, and that brief mention association about Noah and where he built his ark, but that was about it.
An interesting fact though, was that it was the site of an American B17 Bomber that crashed into the mountain in 1943, and there is now a memorial at the summit.
Just after Pant-yr-Hedydd I went through the gate to the right of the road onto the track that headed South East at a steady gradient leading up to the Llyn Arenig Fawr Reservoir. The peak was quiet except for the throaty call of the ravens and the sky larks darting about and the only people I saw were a group a fair way ahead of me making for a peaceful and solitary amble. Having passed over a stream via a ladder the path takes you up a fair gradient up passed Carreg Lefain and up to Y Castell. At this point a glance behind you brings the most spectacular views across south Wales taking in the Rhinogs and peaks over toward the Clwydian Range. This is when I realised I was in for a treat as I hadn’t even hit the summit yet and I was experiencing a visual feast.
After a quick hello I reached the trig point where I came across the Air Crew Memorial, scattered with poppies in front of the plaque that listed the airman’s names who died in the crash. Alongside it there were bits of twisted metal, and what seemed to be broken bolts. I assumed these must be parts of the wreckage which made the sad story all the more real.
After a fair time appreciating the view I said my goodbyes to the lone painter, left his studio leaving the summit in the north east direction. The descent was a fairly easy affair until I dropped down the cwm to the west which was uneven ground full of hidden rocks and holes, thus slowing my pace down. As I headed in the direction of the small reservoir where the streams meet, the grounds became boggy under foot leading to that ‘Ah crap’ moment when your foot goes down and you end up mid calf deep in a bog, After pulling out a now soggy left foot and a ‘bog limp’ I followed the stream until I came across the wall with a gate followed by a path leading passed a building ruins and eventually bringing you to the road. I turned Right onto the road and continued a brief walk until I came back to the quarry where I had parked my car opposite. The sun was still shining at this point and the birds of prey were soaring above the quarry crags.