Tal Y Fan from Rowen.
|11.89 km||587 m|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
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Tal Y Fan from Rowen. Route Map and GPX Download
Tal Y Fan from Rowen. Details
Her: “I’m going to the Hairdressers, it’s costing £60…”
Me: Splutters coffee across room
Her: “I’ll drop you off for a walk on the way”
Me: “Oh, all right then”
The Route So it was that I ended up on a frozen morning in Rowen in the Conwy Valley. I got dropped off as high as the car would cope with the road, which was half way to the youth hostel. The route stats are for an ascent from the village itself, from where you follow the minor road uphill (sharply in places), following the sign for the Youth Hostel. Rather a souless start, but you are quite soon at the end of the road and you join up with the minor road that goes up to Bwlch y Ddaeufaen (SH731 714). From here you can see the footpath sign pointing up at Tal Y Fan. Yes, those crags to your right are actually the summit crags, meaning the trip from her to the top is rather quick.
The track is easy to follow, and is a pleasant green trail that takes you to the col below Tal y Fan. It was clear that the wind was a northerly today, as it only became apparent when the col was crested, giving a significant wind chill. Turn right at this point, and follow the track to the top. You can trend right and follow the proper path, or trend a little left and get your hands on a bit of rock, but nothing to get excited about. The first top is a false one, as you will have to descend a short way before then ascending to the summit cairn.
From the top you have extensive views of the Conwy valley and the Northern Carneddau. Today though, it was a little hazy and not good for photos. There was something faint on the northern horizon, which i worked out later had to be the Isle of Man. This can be seen quite clearly on some days from northern Anglesey at sea level, so at this altitude it’s perfectly feasible.
Descent takes you straight down a steep path north, where a path will eventually lead you to cross the main path. This is the same route as taken on the Aber to Tal y Fan route, which has more details. However, you need to aim for a pair of sheepfolds that lie just beyond the path, and are not labelled on the map. You join the path at SH 726 732, and the map shows two objects within 100m to the NW of this point but does not label them, these are the sheepfolds.
Just a little attention needs to be paid to junctions now. The path is generally easy, if wet, and you need to make sure you veer left after a kilometer or so (SH 734 736), where the track splits complexly. Follow this track downhill, and you eventually reach the North Wales Path. There are a number of different tracks along this part, and the GPS log shows I followed a different track for some of the way. I won’t give any guidance, just follow the map and make sure you’re going in the right direction, the paths tend to end up in the same place. Once on the North Wales Path, its a little easier, but at one point the direction of the marker post is unclear. I went the wrong way (right instead of straight on) and ended up with a viable shortcut!
All too soon you end up at Pen Sychnant, which is the highest point on the Sychnant Pass. It is a beautiful spot, and all the tourists who flock here in the summer would agree. If you have time, you can take an hour or two following the NWP to Conwy. I didn’t have time, so ended up strolling down the pass to Dwygyfylchi and the Fairy Glen Hotel for a pint of something dark (cola this time…).