North Wales 25/03/18

Sunday the 25th of March, and a few of “our little group” had arranged to meet up for a day’s greenlaning in North Wales…
Starting at the Ponderosa Cafe at the top of the Horseshoe Pass just north of Llangollen (bottom right on the map above) and ‘laning west and then north to end the day at Henryd!…
Alan had plotted the route on paper maps and I had transcribed it onto MemoryMap to email the route out to the others…
We arrived at 8:40am to find everyone else already there! They were keen! πŸ˜‰
From left to right then… Alan and I leading in the S200KYS Jimny, Brett in the Jalapeno Green Jimny (bringing up the rear for once), Kev and his dog “Freyja” in the dark blue Jimny, Riccy in the dark silver J999MNY, and Steve in the big red Jimny.
Time for a nice good value breakfast in the Ponderosa then! πŸ˜‰

Brett’s Introductory Video of us leaving the Caf’

Along the C-roads to the first ‘lane of the day…
…not this one close-by though, as it’s still closed for repairs, as an email to the main man at Rights of Way had recently confirmed.
So, on we went on the yellow C-road south on the map* above, to our position at the crosshair where we were to drive the inverted W of ‘lanes…

*Maps… there-in lies a recent discussion on one of the 4×4 related group pages on Facebook, someone questioned, and a debate started, on whether we should be showing maps of where we were when greenlaning. We’ve discussed this ourselves too, and we believe it is in the interest of our hobby to show these maps of where we were, we have always hoped that people (you lot!) πŸ˜‰ enjoy reading our blogs, and hope that it shows that we do it in a very responsible manner, and that others will be inspired to do the same. Greenlaning has long been seen as a behind-closed-doors secret society where we couldn’t possibly tell you where these ‘lanes are. So others have to go out and look for them, and may end up driving ‘lanes that are not legal rights of way, impassable, sensitive or subject to restraining orders, etc… So we believe it is in the interest of our hobby to promote and educate based on how we do our hobby. And as is often said “use them or lose them”, our blogs are also catalogues of usage of greenlanes over the years…

Anyway, on with the blog πŸ˜‰
Looking back on one of the hairpins at the others behind… Kev must be rounding the bend, as that’s Riccy, Steve and Brett at the back.
There’s Kev behind us… His Jimny ‘only’ has a 2″ lift and tyres, no traction enhancing devices and no winch, so we positioned him behind us as S200KYS has a rear winch as well as a front one, so we could help if out if needed… πŸ˜‰
Another hairpin and there he is again, with his faithful dog “Freyja” in the back…
And Steve behind.

Brett’s Video of the first bit of these ‘lanes
And up the second half as you can see in –

Brett’s Video of the second half of these ‘lanes…
A new one for us, Alan spotted this one in a Total Offroad magazine, in one of their ‘Roadbooks’.DSCN7460.jpg
Tarmac turns to three-ply…
And we’re through the gate and…
… up a mostly flat ‘lane, BUT, it was on the way, and as said earlier, use them or lose them! πŸ˜‰

Brett’s Video of this, the second ‘lane of the day.
The third ‘lane, down from Gwyddelwern, north of Corwen.
I see Brett’s booked the weather again πŸ˜‰
A bit scratchy, as you can see in…

Brett’s Video of this, the third ‘lane of the day.
If we go back to the map above, it appeared that the ‘lane would finish when we got off the UCR (Unclassified County Road, a “white”) with ORPA (Other Route with Public Access) dots on it… But, Alan had been looking at “Streetview” again, and the yellow C-road on the other side of the crossroad looked very green and narrow? So it was worth a look…
Hmmm, tarmac gives way to a three-ply again…
Blimey! No-way this should be a yellow C-road on the map! Don’t follow SatNav down here! LOL
Here we are on the map again.
DSCN7469.jpgFlooded corner

Brett’s Video of this smashing yellow C-road!
Next, another UCR with ORPA dots…
Pretty flat, but again, on the way!

Brett’s Video of it.
Lovely series of weirs along the way.
And then, a bit of an eyesore, but probably the future?, a field of solar panels!
A quick trip west on the tarmac and we’re heading north to Bettws Gwerfil Goch, another UCR with ORPA dots…
Passed the meditation centre… “HUMmmm”! πŸ˜‰

Brett’s Video – at 1:14 you can see we pass the right fork we should have taken, and we end up…
Slightly west of where we should have been, by the river, and looking into…
… a field!
We debate what to do, and decide there’s nowhere to turn round, and if we did it would be hard to swing onto the fork we missed, so we all reversed all the way back to…
… the right fork we missed…
On we go…
A bit tight along here, bigger 4x4s watch out!
And up to the village.

Brett’s Video, starting again at the right fork we missed earlier.
Next! I forgot to take a photo of the iPad screen, so here’s a map extract.
Again, leaving the road…
Oooh! Remnants of snow.
Kev behind coming through a stream.
A narrow gateway onto more open land…
The others behind in the sun πŸ™‚
Yet there’s still snow on the ground?
Alan opening yet another gate!

Brett’s Video up to said gate…
Standing water, and a new shiny wind generator in the distance…
Looking back again (arm-out-of-the-window photography!)
More snow…

Brett’s Video up to the point where we emerge onto…
where the ‘lane has been widened and graded for access to that new shiny wind generator behind us… I hope the whole rest of the ‘lane isn’t like this? 😦

Brett’s Video along the graded bit…
Flat and wide to allow the sections of the generator to be brought in by lorries.
Aha! The new access road sweeps left, as we go right to rejoin the ‘lane… πŸ™‚
Up to “Ty Mawr” (Literally translated as Big House) in the distance…

Brett’s Video of the rest of the ‘lane.
ORPA dots running west below Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr (easy for you to say!)
Joining the ‘lane…
The second lot of gates are twined together, Alan manages to pick most of them, but we carry cutters and spare twine to gain access and make good as we go…
Another gate, but with a big drop just before it, as you can see in…

Brett’s Video of the rest of the ‘lane, with Alan directing us safely off the ‘lane.
A few road miles, and we’re at the next ‘lane over to Ysbyty Ifan.
Hmmm, as you can hear on the video further down, all the gates are open? So we decide to leave them as we found them…
Fantastic views await us…
And lungs full of fresh air too πŸ™‚

Brett’s Video up to before the gate ahead of us.
Dropping down and a gang of Flossies are having a sunbathe on and around the ‘lane…
They stubbornly move and as sheeps do, they run along in front of you?! Daft! They eventually decide to run off to the right though, up the bank to safety, but not before running straight down the ‘lane for a hundred yards πŸ˜‰

Brett’s Video of the middle bit of the ‘lane…

And again, Brett’s Video to the end of the ‘lane through the two little ford before the farmyard…

Approaching Ysbyty Ifan and a voice from the back asks us to pull over for a bit?! Huh? Brett-who-rarely-stops wants to refill his coffee thermos mug πŸ˜‰ LOL
Lined up for a quick break then…
The pink ORPA dots heading west away from Ysbyty Ifan, leaving the tarmac again…
And a nice stoney climb up to…

Brett’s Video up to the rock step
Here in front of us…
A couple of attempts to get the right line, and we’re up and over, and pull over…
… incase Kev behind us needs a hand. Hmmm, there’s plenty of hands pointing for him there though! πŸ˜‰
Yup, quite a step! Shown using Kev for reference πŸ˜‰

Brett’s Video of Kev having a damn good go at it… But it’s best to…
…have a tug up rather than break something…
I can see him coming up in my door mirrors as I operate the winch with the dashboard switches as the others shout instructions…
Behind Kev, Riccy makes it look easy with his twin ARB airlockers!

Brett’s Video of Riccy coming up… blink and you’ll miss it! πŸ˜‰
Steve next…

Brett’s Video of Steve coming up…

Brett up easily, so he decides to remove the rocks and have another go! πŸ˜‰

Brett without rocks! LOL
All safely up…
Brett shutting the gate behind us
And onto the next bit of the ‘lane towards Ysbyty Ifan
DSCN7527.jpgMy favourite sign!
Here we are
Lined up at the little bridge and gate πŸ™‚

Brett’s Video of us up to this point.
Another narrow “Suzuki Gate” πŸ˜‰
And over the top, more stunning views…
Dropping down towards the end of the ‘lane…

Brett’s Video of the rest of the ‘lane
A few more road miles and we’re lined up for Dolwyddelan down to the outskirts of Betws-y-Coed…
Off the road again…
Pulled over for a group of ten ‘crossers to pass…
Onto the ‘lane proper…


Brett’s Video up towards the gate in the middle…
Another narrow gate that keeps swinging closed…
“Alan, deploy the new gadget!” πŸ˜‰
I’ve been making a few bits in the garage recently, and knocked up this gate prop!
Complete with comedy pointy-finger hand and thumb, which can be used to hold various gates open by having it either way up…
Brett retrieves the gate prop when we’re all through, without someone having to hold the gate… I made it as we sometimes ‘lane “just the two of us” which is awkward as I have to hold a gate for Brett, he has to then get out and hold the gate for me, etc…
Nuclear devastation? Or de-forestation? πŸ˜‰

Brett’s Video of the middle of the ‘lane, and…

… more
… to the gates at the top of the drop down to (the outskirts of) Betws-y-Coed…
DSCN7544.jpgDog walkers ahead!

Brett’s Video to the bottom, much better coming up, but today we’re doing it downwards…
Next ‘lane, round towards Capel Curig on the road and then over the top again and down back to Dolwyddelan…

Brett’s Video of him following Steve up…
… to the rock steps above.

Brett’s Video to the gate top / middle

Brett’s Video to the gate off the moors

Brett’s Video to where we stop for the lone lady walking up the ‘lane from Dolwyddelan.

Brett’s Video to the end…
Next! The ‘lane up from Llanrwst Cemetery…
DSCN7551.jpgOooh! That’s a bit low, and indeed the waffle boards on my roof protector bars take a hit.

Brett’s Video up and passing the two groups of four walkers.
Next, down south-west to Llanrwst…

Brett’s Video of it… odd how it pops out at the end of a residential street?!
Uh-Oh! We’re getting nearer… We have a love/hate relationship with “Henryd”, lots of panel damage and snapped driveshafts over the years, but we keep going back now and again to re-conquer it πŸ˜‰
Onto the beginning of “Henryd”.

Brett’s Video of us through the gate
Ok, up we go then…

Brett’s Video up to the first corner, where we get out to let the others have a look at what we’re up against…
Kev’s dog “Freyja” having a look round… But our eyes are on the rocks that shunt you left into a big rock that stops your front left wheel…
Ah well…
I’ve got my line in my head and return to S200KYS…

Brett’s Video ofΒ  me going up… first time! Probably easier going first before everyone else has polished the rocks, and lucky I got the right line…

Brett’s Video of Kev’s first attempt…

And his second attempt, ending up in a good place and line up ready for…
My rear winch to haul him up…

Brett’s Video of me winching him up… it’s loose, rocky and steep, and Kev’s Jimny has a 2″ lift and no traction aids (ARB / Lockright / LSD), so he did well all day following us around… I’ve often said we’ve over-specified our Jimnys, I think Gary was right when he said we just need some good tyres, a 2″ Lift, a rear Lockright, and a winch to get us out of any trouble we get into…

Brett’s Video of Kev coming up behind me after winching, I must admit I didn’t think he’d get going again up there, but he did!

Brett’s Video of Riccy’s first attempt, as he says on the VT “A bit slow for my liking” πŸ˜‰

Brett’s Video – Ricky straight up on the second attempt, a bit more power! πŸ™‚
Steve next!

Brett’s Video of Steve’s first attempt, as I said at the start of this section, the rocks throw you left into the big rock that stops your progress…
Backing down Steve gets into an iffy position by the edge of the ‘lane, so we guide him up and down at various steering locks until he is safely back in the middle of the ‘lane, and ready for…

Brett’s Video of Steve’s second attempt…
If in doubt! Steve winching up…

Brett’s Video of his attempts – you can see at 2:00 that the front of his Jimny gets thrown left into that big rock.and then I here his winch power out and come to assist…Notice theΒ  “I’m not coming down” comment at 4:50 πŸ˜‰
Here’s a photo I took of that rock that stops your progress…
Brett winching up the first corner…
Hmmm, second corner, I hate this one more that I hate the first one…
And Brett hates coming down it more than I hate going up it! πŸ˜‰

Brett’s video of the second corner… power on and keep steering! Urggh! I hate it!…

Brett’s video to top of ravine section… I was waiting at the top expecting to have to assist Kev, but his Jimny appeared under it’s own steam! Amazing! A credit to his driving skill no-less!

Brett to the top and chatting at the top by the little church…
A photo I got of the group…
We were turned round and about to head down… But, time was ticking away, it was nearly five, so we decided for once, to head…

Out passed the little church for once…

Here’s Kev’s video of his ascent of “Henryd”, you can hear at about 4:00 that he mentions about whether he can get moving again, and at about 9:00 you can see us waiting for him, but we weren’t needed! πŸ˜‰ Nice one Kev! πŸ™‚
Another little UCR with ORPA dots on the way back to civilisation… πŸ˜‰
Nice leafy ‘lane towards the end of the day, a vast difference to “Henryd” πŸ˜‰

Brett’s Video of this the penultimate ‘lane…
Hendre next then, an old favourite…
A scratchy tight ‘lane behind a property that encroaches onto the ‘lane…

Brett’s Video of this lovely ‘lane…
And that was it, I pulled up to unlock my free wheeling hubs ready for the journey home, and the others began doing the same, and then airing up their tyres for the long journeys home, which eventually brought the homeowner out, and I assumed he was going to “kick off” about the noise and why had we stopped there, but instead he stayed for a good jangle, and in the end we had to make our apologies and slip away, as he wanted to keep talking 4x4s, and we needed to be heading home, especially as some of the lads lived miles and hours away..

Brett’s Closing Remarks, indeed another fantastic day…
NOOOooo! Riccy had a lift home! 😦 An RAC flatbed (saves on fuel though!) had to take him home as a rear bearing failed…

APART from that, another great day, THANKS to all! Alan for plotting and navigating and opening all the gates, Brett for videoing and closing the gates, and Kev (and “Freyja” of course) and Riccy and Steve for making it another excellent day’s greenlaning in North Wales! πŸ™‚


4 thoughts on “North Wales 25/03/18

  1. Following your comments further up, I would like to thank you for producing these blogs as I find them very useful. I find them helpful in finding new lanes to drive and can see condition of the lanes and helps decide whether I want to drive them or not. E.g. if overgrown and scratchy I won’t go and try them in my shiny series. And if too difficult wouldn’t attempt on my own as have no winch, and likewise can judge ground conditions depending on recent weather. So minimises damage to lanes and also prevents driving lanes then finding them blocked and having to try and turn round in very tight tricky spots.

    So thumbs up from me Thanks


  2. Wow this is great. This is what Glass should be doing. I am new to GreenLaning and want to do the right thing. But even after joining GLASS and the many Facebook sites have found it really difficult to know whether I am legally allowed to use a lane or not. Even between areas of Glass its very much like a secret society that won’t share maps or the condition of roads. I applaud You.


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