Planning the Cambrian Way – Part 6: Devil’s Bridge to Dinas Mawddwy

A quick section to plan this one. On paper of a similar length to the previous section, I knew I could knock this one out quickly, so that’s what I’ve done. It may be longer and hillier (slightly) than stage 3, but it’s not caught my imagination in the same way.

In part this is because the star of the show, Plymlimon (or Pumlumon) has been done before, on an Easter walk with the last remnants of snow on Y Garn and at the very source of the Wye. So there’s less to look forward to here, and the rest of the stage after the Pumlumon massif doesn’t look so interesting. This could well be the stage where it’s time to get the head down and push to get it over with. Snowdonia is coming, and I should be able to see if by the time I get to Mynydd y Cemmaes ( a wind farm). Hopefully the excitement of seeing Snowdonia will keep me going.

Cambrian Way stage 4 profile

Cambrian Way stage 4 profile

This stage didn’t have obvious overnight stopping points and they’ve worked out simply as the point that looks most sensible near to a doable mileage for the day. Day 12 is a morning finishing off stage 3, and then a long afternoon walking to and then ascending the Pumlumon massif. So that night’s camp will simply be wherever I find that looks ok. I have one spot in mind, but if I tire early then I’ve identified an alternative spot that looks reasonably flat.

Looking up to the Pumlumon ridge

Looking up to the Pumlumon ridge

Source of the Wye

Source of the Wye

Day 13 sees me complete the Pumlumon ascent which should be done before anyone else arrives at the summit, then it’s a long descend north over the subsidiary tops, with a detour to the source of the River Severn (seems rude to pass within a few hundred metres and not stop off to say hi). It’s at this point that my planned descent to Dylife deviates from the main route, as rather than walk over pathless ground I may just follow the fence down, hopefully successfully cross the stream at the bottom and rejoin the main route. This will shave a little off. From Dylife it’s a long climb up to Moelfre, and the target is simply to get as far as I can before pitching for the night.

Day 14 involves a descent to Commins Coch, then the climb up over the wind farm ridge and then down to Dinas Mawddwy. That’s possibly an over-simplification of the day’s walking which may see me use the access land to take a more direct line over some of the terrain. It also includes a fair amount of road or track walking. Head down and yomp. Ideally, I’ll find somewhere to stay in Dinas Mawddwy, but if not there are a couple of camp sites or some promising looking hillsides nearby.

Checkpoints

  • CP18 Pontbren Pwlca
  • CP19 Plynlimon
  • CP20 Dylife
  • CP21 Dinas Mawddwy

Hills (* if already bagged)

  • Y Garn (684m, Hewitt, Nuttall)*
  • Pumlumon Fawr (752m, Trail 100, Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall, County Top)*
  • Pen Pumlumon Llygad-bychan (727m, Hewitt, Nuttall)*
  • Pen Pumlumon Arwystli (741m, Hewitt, Nuttall)*
  • Pumlumon Cwmbiga (620m, deleted Nuttall)
  • Moelfre (469m, HuMP)

I’ve tried to get excited about this section, but can’t. Pumlumon will be fine, and I’m quite happy to walk that again, but after that it feels like it’s about getting to Dinas Mawddwy as efficiently as I can. All long distance walks have parts like this of course, and in this case it’s in the sure knowledge of what lies ahead. For soon a major tick on my todo list awaits – Cadair Idris.

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