Summer Walk Review

By Norma Stockford

Whenever I read the SCoM newsletter I often wish I could take advantage of the many events and activities that take place. I was delighted, therefore to find that the summer walk on 20th July was taking place in the Arenig hills, a half-hour or so drive from my home in Barmouth.

The walk leader, David Shepherd, had arranged for us to meet in a small car park off the A4102 on the road between Bala and Trawsfynydd. I arrived at 09.30 and was glad to see a few familiar faces among the fifteen Ski Club members who turned up. The forecast was clear with fresh winds but the threat of an occasional shower was not ruled out.

The walk took us past Llyn Arenig Fawr, a lake and reservoir which supplies water to the nearby town of Bala. The ascent onto Bwlch Blaen-y-nant was relatively easy, but fairly strenuous for those of us "of a certain age" and I was glad of the occasional stop. In addition to the trig point at the summit is a memorial to the US crew of a Flying Fortress bomber which crashed there during the Second World War.

The views from the 850m summit of Arenig Fawr were stunning and we were permitted a hazy but brief view of the Snowdonia range before the weather closed in, forcing us back down to the lower slopes. (I think we had the only showers in Wales that day.)

It was decided not to extend the walk to take in Moel Llyfnant which would have added another one and a half hours to our trek and in cloud too. The more direct route back, avoiding the remains of a long abandoned boundary fence and wires, took us down over the ridge of Craig yr Hyrddod (Ram Rock) to the valley below, past disused quarrymen's houses and along the dismantled railway line back to the car park for 14.30.

A small group of us finished off the day on the shores of Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) in the Leisure Centre cafe renowned for its excellent apple pie. Several people indulged themselves and were not disappointed.

It was a very enjoyable day and an urgent reminder of the need to get fit again before my next ski holiday. It was also, for me, a great opportunity to meet Club members who I look forward to seeing again on the Val d'Isère holiday in January. Many thanks David, for planning, leading and organising the walk.