Monday, 26 September 2011

Penmaenmawr Mountain 13.9.11

                           4.3 Miles 1-2 hours

We were staying in Llanfairfechan with family, and I had planned to do a trek from the village up to mighty Foal Fras, a mountain which stands about 9 miles to the south west of Llanfairfechan. But the weather put this trek on hold for the time being thanks to very strong winds which were battering the whole country - the tail end of a hurricane I believe!
 So after a very windy Monday in Llandudno, of which we tried to scale the Great Orme, but became far to dangerous, we decided to leave the hiking out. The Tuesday however was much calmer, and so we decided to take a morning stroll to the hill at the back of where we was staying. An interesting hill, which is locally known as Penmaenmawr Mountain. If your driving along the A55 towards Bangor, you will pass through a road tunnel just before reaching Llanfairfechan, this tunnel cuts through the rocky hill. It is quite a distinctive hill, due to the quarry workings that adorn its top. Most notably the old winding house which is visible for miles around, and is a famous landmark in the local area.

 Starting from Llanfairfechan station take the lane right, and follow it down to the promenade. 

Here looking towards Penmaenmawr Mountain from the Llanfairfechan Promenade...
Walk along the prom, until you reach an underpass which takes you under the A55. This brings you out onto Penmaenmawr Road. Turn left here, and follow the road past the traffic island for the A55, until you reach a lane leading steeply off to the right called Penmaen park. Continue up the lane ignoring your first right, where the lane turns right at the top, take the track straight up...
After about 100 yards, take the sign posted footpath on your right...
Follow this pathway up through a heavily wooded area until you reach a cross roads...
At this point my parents who had decided to go as far as a viewing area, which looks out high over the village, left us here to continue. We turned right here...
 The pathway splits again after another 300 yards or so. Turn right here...
 Some steps take you past Henar Farm on your right hand side, go through the gate and continue upwards...
 At the top of this bank, the pathway turns sharply left uphill...
 Heather takes a breather with the local wildlife...
 After the left turn, continue upwards until you reach another old kissing gate. Pass through this...
From here you start to get some great views across Conwy Bay towards Anglesey and Puffin Island...
 And also towards the mighty Carneddau range...
 Take the pathway that goes steeply up to the left here...
Nearing the summit now...
 Cutting up through the bracken and thorny bushes, you get a glimpse of Llanfairfechan below...
 Heather striding on...
 The path starts to level out a little here, you can just see in my pic a wooden farm gate, pass through this...
Just after the wooden gate, which you can see a bit clearer here, take the path up to the left...
 Looking towards Drum, Foel Fras, Moel Wnion and Llwytmor...
 The pathway becomes more rugged here, and not for the faint hearted, with some high cliffs below. We were sheltered from the wind for most of the way up, turning onto this part of the path however the wind was really fierce!...
 On reaching the summit, I was surprised to be above the old winding house. This seems very high up from the village, so felt like quite an achievement at this point!...
 Some more old quarry buildings being battered by the intense wind on the bleak summit plateau...
 Heather happy to have finally reached the summit...
 Fantastic views towards Bangor, over to Anglesey, and Llanfairfechan now far below...
On the return to the station, rather than taking the same route. When you get to the lane that cuts out onto Penmaenmawr Road, take the second right and cut through Penmaen Park itself. From there you get some good views of what you've just climbed...
A nice easy one this for a Sunday stroll or something at just under four and a half miles. But remember this is almost three hundred metres of ascent, as your almost starting from sea level! In my case this was a recce for taking in what peaks to climb in the area next visit. Those mountains look mighty tempting now!! :)
Thanks for reading.
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