Walk/hike/run with Matt X & Mark Bottomley (part) from Dolgellau to Machynlleth as a recce of the first part of Dragon's Back 2017 Day 3 (except bit from Cymer Abbey to Dolgellau).
Moving time 7:18:21 according to Strava
Total time: 8:40:05 (Diff 1hr:22m approx)
Learnt a lot from this as summarised below:
- Bwlch-coch (SH743158
): we took the restricted byway heading instead of the bridleway heading south! The path to the house platform wasn't clear either and we had to scout around for it.
- Ascent to Gau Graig Carn from House Platform (south of above). I tried to follow the route on the GPX provided by Shane Ohly online. But this veered away from the quad track that Mark and Matt took. My route was more of a scramble whilst theirs was easier underfoot in comparison. I suggest not crossing the 2 fences (as done in Shane's GPX).
- Mynydd Moel
. I contoured around the side of this at about contour 810m. The problem was that we had to cross a fence with no stile which may not be allowed in the DB event. Will need to look at this again.
- Approach to Penygadair
. We all went a little too far north here which resulted in a route which was a little rockier and not as flat maybe.
- Descent off Cadair. Is there a parallel track which might be smoother and faster. Google maps suggests so?
- Tyrrau Mawr
. The GPX route from Shane O takes the runners over this peak which we thought adds unnecessary ascent. So we explored different options. I followed the bridleway south from the track junction at the saddle then contoured around in calf deep grass 500m to meet the track at SH682129
. It wasn't too bad. Mark and Matt tried to follow the double dash lines to the same point but from a point further up. They arrived before me even though they said the grass was waist deep. Might be worth trying heading up to the cairns at Carnedd Lwyd then contouring around?
. No point contouring around this.
- Descent off Twll yr Ogof
. The GPX route takes you over rough ground to the footpath/gully crossing
. We decided to follow the fenceline as it looked easier underfoot and less likely to twist an ankle. This made it longer and and we also missed the footpath. So need to try a different way next time.
east of Bird's Rock. The GPX file provided takes the route to the west and south of this property however there is a footpath which takes you through it. I followed this and was met by the property owners. They explained that the footpath had been diverted to the north and I later saw some "unofficial" footpath signs. However Matt took the "official" route and he said it was relatively flat and easy.
- Tarrenhendre ascent
. Up the long gravel track then leave it at 410m contour (before stream crossing) and head ESE. Got this right on the day but it was clear.
- Tarrenendre to Trig 667. Avoid going through the trees as we did in the ITERA. Stay right of the Foel y Geifr
fenceline. Avoid the knoll by keeping south of it then over the saddle.
- Trif 667 to Mach. Be wary of overgrown footpaths and stick to gravel roads but keep checking compass as some head the wrong way. Note two buildings at