Arenig Fach - needs a few more activators

I see that 30 people have activated Arenig Fach. Well you haven’t left much trace of your passing. My walking partner and I were unsure of the best access point, but on driving along the A4212 we found a small sign on a gatepost saying “This path has been created for your enjoyment with the permission of the landowner…” (826400). Obviously a good way up. The path turned out to be waymarked with posts at intervals until a gate in the intake wall. Here the trouble began. We were faced with steep heather and no path. A better man than I has described the heather as having “made things difficult”. I found it very difficult indeed. I don’t mind being “off piste”, but knee deep heather, hidden rocks and a steep slope was very trying. Then miraculously I found a path after the south subsidiary summit. I followed this N until it disappeared near the real top, but by then it didn’t matter as the heather was mostly replaced with grass.

I had a good activation on an ideal summit, with trig point, shelter and no other walkers for me to worry that I was in their way. The view is brilliant, with most of the N Wales mountains spread out at all points of the compass.

On the way down I was determined to follow the path wherever it went, rather than face that heather again, but unbelievably it ends on the subsidiary summit. How can there be a path that doesn’t go anywhere? So I had to plod through the heather again, only marginally easier downhill. And the final frustration, I fell over when only metres from the intake wall and sprained my ankle. No harm done, but still a painful half mile to the car.

What route have the other activators taken? Can I suggest that a few more might like to beat a path through the heather as it is just such a superb summit and I would like to re-visit.



In reply to MW6BDV:
I think I followed your instructions Barry.

Leave the road at the stile at SH 826 400. Follow posts with orange markers uphill (steeply in places) through the fields on a permissive footpath to a gate in the top wall of the enclosure at approx. SH 822 403.

You are confronted with a steep heather covered hillside in front of you. Instead of tacking this head on turn left immediately after you have passed through the gate and contour around the bottom of the heather. You will then find a number of very small tracks/paths which follow the small stream NW. If you stick to the stream eventually you come to a grassy ramp which trends up right (NE) somewhere around SH 820 407. Follow this right, through more small tracks until you emerge onto the shoulder and find the main path to the summit around SH 823 409. This can then be followed easily to the summit.

You will not find an “easy” route, there is definitely plenty of long grass, bogs, holes and heather even on this route. But it is easier than tackling the initial slope above the wall.


In reply to 2W0GDA:
Indeed Gerald - thats my route but you have put in much more detail - thanks!
Also thanks for the s2s Saturday.
I have done this hill many times over the years from every direction and can confirm there is no “easy” route.