The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Moel Hebog

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


It was never going to be a blue sky with fluffy white clouds sort of day, there wasn't going to be 360 degrees of grand sweeping vistas, but, on the drive over there were patches of blue sky, so we crossed our fingers and made our way through the mountains. As luck would have it, and it usually does, upon automobile disembarkation in Beddgelert, the mountain, Moel Hebog, was almost completely hidden among the clouds. But, brave and hardy souls that we are, we carried on regardless. Over the river, over the railway tracks, and off up the hillside, it didn't take long to get into the clouds, and once in them, we stayed in them.
As you get higher the path crosses rocky outcrops rusty in colour and full of rock balls, like cricket ball sized tektites. I thought of taking one home with me, but when climbing a big mountain the last thing you want is rocks in your pockets.

The path was easy enough to follow, but even so, when a well waterproofed walker passed us coming down I had to ask him if it was far to the top, 15 minutes he said, them turn left, or something like that. He was wrong, perhaps it took him 15 minutes to get down, but it took us longer than that. Or perhaps we're just old and knackered.
After a certain amount of time it feels like the top is approaching, there is grass once more underfoot, long drifts of snow persist out of the suns sight. The rest of the world still remains out of sight, it's out there somewhere, one presumes.
When the wind picks up, it really picks up, it's hard to stand still and even through so many layers I can still feel the cold in the wind. It isn't and hasn't rained the whole time but the wind ravaging around in the clouds hurls the mist at you at many hundred miles per hour, threatening to penetrate even the so called waterproofed outer layer.

Throw your arms aloft and shout victoriously into the void, for we have arrived at the top. There are what looks like over half a dozen cairns on the wide short haired mountain top. Coflein says four or five are part of the bronze age cemetery, the rest are walkers cairns. The only definite cairn is the big one under the trig point, half of the cairn abuts against a massive drift of scree, that side of the cairn is far too windy for me, but thesweetcheat braves it for a minute or two. My side of the cairn, the north side seems to have some kerbing still in tact, it could be a fortuitous later arrangement, but I'm willing to look on the bright side, even on a day like today.
After huddling on the wind free side of the wall to consume much needed butties, I set about the mountain top with my camera. Usually, on a good day on the mountain I could easily take four hundred photos, but today I'm barely up to fifty, and half of them are a tad blurry. We've taken on the mountain and the weather and come out on top, but barely. After no more than half an hour we follow the wall back down towards Meol yr Ogof, on that good day, we'd have scaled that mountain too but the harsh wind and swirling mists have gotten the better of us. We could have stayed and appreciated the otherworldliness a bit more I guess, but I've seen otherworldly enough for today and there are places we could go to after getting back to the car, like Llangernyw Yew tree, the oldest living thing in Wales.
En route back down we came across a strangely magical place, we called it the valley of big rocks, it doesn't do it much justice, but it is what it says it is. Giant house sized rocks with there own little ecosystems on top, one balances precariously on the edge of a cliff, it was just on the edge of the clouds and visibility was beginning to return. We decided it should be marked on the map, but as it wasn't and seeing as the place seemed to have a magical quality we deemed the place as to not occupying a real place in our universe but was actually and decidedly other worldy.
And then we were down, the car park was free.
postman Posted by postman
8th March 2015ce
Edited 8th March 2015ce

Comments (2)

We escaped through the portal, unlike Daft Jim. And a visit to hidden Moel y Ogof has now acquired a bit of additional impetus it might not have had before. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
9th March 2015ce
Ha, I'd forgotten about him, he's still up there now. postman Posted by postman
9th March 2015ce
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