Description: A circular walk to the summit of Glasgwm from Cwm Cywarch.
Parking Information: Donation car park and toilet at the start of the route.
Despite its fairly short length, this is quite a strenous walk and not easy to navigate at times. There is a good car park (space for around a dozen cars) with a portaloo at the beginning of the route; along a narrow minor road at Cwm Cywarch, near Dinas Mawddwy.
It was a sunny and warm day at the beginning of October when I tackled this route. Right from the start the scenery was stunning, and ample reward for the effort to come. Leaving the car park you head north and follow the footpath that bypasses Blaencywarch farm – the path was very wet with running water, so could be tricker after a spell of wet weather. A short distance along and our route leaves the track, crossing a ladder stile on the left and following a grassy track up the hillside through bracken, before dropping down to cross the river on a fairly new looking footbridge.
Once across the river, the path heads uphill again but it becomes quite difficult to see, so the best advice is just to keep the river on your left, keep heading uphill and pick your way up as best you can, using the GPX route for guidance. Further ahead you follow the fenceline, again keeping it to your left. The ground eventually levels off and the summit of Aran Fawddwy appears off to the right. Keep following the fence until it reaches a small stile crossing another fence. Here you turn left and follow this fence up to the summit. The climb up to the summit gets steeper and steeper, but the views open up so it’s a good excuse to pause and take them in.
I reached the summit and stopped for lunch. Sheltered from the light breeze by the summit cairn, with the sun warming my back, it was quite tempting to stay there for a long time admiring the views and trying to identify the many mountains of Snowdonia visible from the summit. There were also views across to the Irish sea.
From the summit I headed south, towards and over a ladder stile, then around the left of the pretty little lake. There is a track across the grassy top here, but it’s unclear and boggy in places. Follow it roughly south, heading for the fence to use as a guide again (keep it on your right). After a little while the path drops steeply downhill and comes to another ladder stile on the right. Don’t cross this, but go over the small stile straight ahead. There was also a gap in the fence here that I could use, but the farmer was out repairing the fence so it may not be there for much longer and so the stile should be your target. Carry on straight ahead, until the narrow track shortly becomes a wider grass and slate track, which drops steeply downhill again. Follow this track all the way down to the road you drove in on, then retrace your steps to the car park. Before the track reaches the road, it fords a river. I was sure I was going to get wet feet, but managed to avoid doing so. I was hesitant about crossing though, as it was quite fast flowing and looked deep enough to go over the tops of my boots – after a lot of rain I can imagine that it might not be possible to get across, so take this into consideration when deciding to do this walk.
I thoroughly enjoyed this walk, even though at times the path was unclear. The fantastic weather certainly helped. I’ve rated it as ‘hard’ despite its short length, because there’s little respite – you’re either climbing steeply or descending steeply, both of which are energy sapping and tiring. Sitting alone at the summit in the warm sunshine surrounded by the stunning views made it all worthwhile.
Buy the OS map covering this route: