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Walking

Snowdon – 1st January 2002

A walk up Snowdon

This was to be a nice, relatively gentle stroll to celebrate the start of the new year. Just over a year previously, I had gone up Snowdon, ascending the Rhyd Ddu path, and descending the Snowdon Ranger Path. Because variety is the spice of life, I decided to do the same route in reverse this time. I parked the car at the Youth Hostel nice and early in the morning, and we (the dog and I) set off, with clear skies above us , and a thin layer of snow on the ground. As we climbed through the fields, and Snowdon came in to view, I was grateful that I had brought the camera.

Snowdon from the Snowdon Ranger Path
Snowdon from the Snowdon Ranger Path. Again.

Snowdon from the Snowdon Ranger Path, one more time.

The ascent to the summit was trivial. The snow obviously got thicker towards the top, and while a few people had crampons on, it was perfectly fine to continue without them. We met a few people on the path up, but upon reaching the ridge, it became clear that if you want isolation and peace and quiet on Snowdon, New Year's Day is not the day to go! However, the number of people around didn't bother me when I saw the view. There was barely a cloud in the sky, and the only issue was that the trig point was rather crowded. We stayed at the top for half an hour, while we ate our lunch.

Crib Goch and Garnedd Ugain from the summit of Snowdon

Moel Hebog and Bwlch Main from the summit of Snowdon

The summit of Snowdon

Crib Goch from Bwlch Glas

After lunch, we looked towards the Rhyd Ddu path for our descent, but last time we climbed that way, and then there had been a small amount of snow on the path, which made me nervous for the dog, as she has a tendancy to rush around. In addition, a descent to Rhyd Ddu would have meant a couple of miles walk along the road to the car, so we decided to play it safe, and return down the Snowdon Ranger Path. The only issue we had on the descent was that the dog had to keep stopping, as she was getting snow balled up between her toes. While on the descent, we came across an interesting impression in the snow…

An interesting snow pattern...

Snowdon from the Snowdon Ranger Path

Snowdon from the Snowdon Ranger Path. Because you haven't had enough already.

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Walking

Carneddau – 16-17th November 2001

A walk in the Carneddau

This walk was based upon a walk featured in Trail Walker magazine, September 1992 issue.

The walk starts from the village of Bethesda. I was dropped off around 9:00am (Thanks Dad!) A narrow path leads into the woods, and you soon arrive at a junction. Both paths lead (according to the map) to the same destination. The left hand fork is slightly shorter. The article says left, so I went left. As it had been raining a lot recently, and the left hand path includes a section of ascent over some large rocks and mud, the ground was slippy. Not too surprising then that I slipped and got my hand covered in mud. The dog also had rather muddy paws by this point, not that it bothered her. When you emerge from the woods, you are presented with views up Nant Ffrancon, with Pen yr Ole Wen on the left. As you can see from the picture, the peak was already in the clouds.

Looking up Nant Ffrancon from above Braichmelyn

The Trail Walker article mentions walking alongside a wall until the 700 metre contour. What it doesn’t mention is that this is over 3 kilometres, that you have to cross a couple of streams, or that there is no path on the ground. Pen yr Ole Wen sits in plain view, teasing you, saying “Look how far away I am, and see how steep my sides are”. The ascent starts off very easily.

Pen yr Ole Wen from Cefn Orsedd

By the time we had reached the 600 metre contour, the cloud had come down sufficiently for us to have less than 50 metres visibility. It’s at this point that things stop being horizontal, and the altitude starts to climb. I was continually checking the GPS, both to make sure I was on track, and to see just how much further we had to climb. The article says continue in a straight line to the ridge, but in such poor visibility it was hard to know whether you were going straight or not, especially when you reached some rocky sections. In time however, we reached Bwlch yr Ole Wen, and met a group of about a dozen other young men. These were the first people I had seen all day, and it was comforting to know I wasn’t the only person strange enough to be out on the hills on a cloudy November Friday. From Bwlch yr Ole Wen a quick stroll along the wide path led us to the summit of Pen yr Ole Wen. As you can see, the views were non-existent, though you could just tell that there was a steep drop to the North.

The summit of Pen yr Ole Wen

The summit of Pen yr Ole Wen. Again.

From Pen yr Ole Wen, the path led us back to Bwlch yr Ole Wen, then bacame more vague as we passed over Carnedd Fach, and climbed up to Carnedd Dafydd. The map makes it look as though the landscape around Carnedd Dafydd is rather interesting. In the fog however, it’s rather bland and featureless. At the top we stopped while I put my hat and gloves on, and we actually met three more people. Down over Cefn Ysgolion Duon, and I probably went too far to the left, and spent a lot of time clambering over rocks. Having looked again at the map, it now appears that I could have taken a path 50 metres to the right and saved a lot of time and energy. Over the narrow path at Bwlch Cyfryw-drum, and finally I could fold my double-sided map back to the easy-to-fold side! All of a sudden, the cloud thinned briefly, and the sun shone through, illuminating the snowy flanks and peak of Carnedd Llewelyn. The only problem was that it was difficult to tell by eye just how far away it was. The path was clearly visible, and we hurried along with renewed enthusiasm.

Carnedd Llewelyn, sunlit through the mist

At the summit we stopped and enjoyed the barely visible view, and we were briefly gifted with the sight of a rainbow.

The summit of Carnedd Llewelyn

The summit of Carnedd Llewelyn. Again.

The summit of Carnedd Llewelyn, with a rainbow

The dog ate her lunch, and begged for a fairly hefty portion of mine. Several more people turned up, and a couple were continuing to Foel Grach, so rather than navigate for myself we followed them. They however had a small daysack between them, whereas I had a rucksack for man and dog for two days. I managed to keep up however, and it wasn’t too long before we arrived at Foel Grach. Then came the interesting bit. The article mentions that the path South-East from Foel Grach is barely visible. I didn’t expect it to exist anyway, plus in the cloud it would have been near impossible anyway. Instead I simply set coordinates on the GPS to take me to the south of the rocks on the West of Melynllyn, then round to its south side. This was basically follow the GPS and a compass bearing for a kilometre. Unfortunately the map doesn’t mention just how damp and occasionally boggy the ground is. By this time the light was starting to fade, and I was starting to worry a little about dropping down 100 metres to the shore of Melynllyn. As we came round the south of Melynllyn, we chanced upon a wide path which appeared to continue down Cefn Tal-llyn-Eigiau. This boosted my confidence, as I don’t entirely trust the GPS, and I’m wary of trusting my map-reading skills too. At the start of the descent to Melynllyn, I decided that it wasn’t too steep, so we walked cautiously down. Upon arriving at the shore of Melynllyn, I had to decide where to pitch the tent. There were no suitable places at the south end of the dam, so we walked along the shore to the north end. Lo and behold at the north end there is a nice flat patch of ground. Some pebbles had been moved recently, so I wasn’t the only one who had camped here recently. Tent up, kettle boiled, water fetched, dinner on, dog fed, map checked, in bed for 8:00pm. Anyone who knows me won’t believe that, but hey, it was dark, and I planned to get up early in the morning.

Camping by Melynllyn reservoir

Morning came, and I was up early, in order to be on the move nice and early. The cloud had risen, and it was now possible to see down to the Conwy Valley, though it wasn’t possible to see that much of it.

Looking down Pant y Griafolen from Melynllyn reservoir

The dog was ready for more walking… (she had no choice)

Waiting to get walking, early in the morning

As you can see from the article, the idea is to get back on to the ridge and continue on to Conwy. We walked the path to Dulyn reservoir, and came across the bothy mentioned in the article, just as two people were leaving it. Yet more slightly unhinged people!

Looking back up Pant y Griafolen, Melynllyn and Llyn Dulyn in the dips

The problem from this point was that the article and the map didn’t appear to agree with each other. This is because the fence mentioned in the article is not marked on the map. Unfortunately the article doesn’t mention how boggy the ground is either, so after a bit of wading through mud and a lot of head scratching we set off up to the ridge. About half way up, however, there is a very steep incline, and as my legs were aching, and I had blisters on my heels (again), I decided to wimp out and walk down the valley. The walk down to Bron-y-Gadair is actually quite a nice walk. It’s a bit muddy at times, and it had old, metal ladder stiles, with tubular rungs. The dog had extreme difficulty with these, as there was nothing to rest her paws on. I found the easiest way to get her over was to get over myself, then reach back over, coax her over and grab her collar and help when she was struggling. Once she was on top on the stile, it was easiest to stand well back and let her jump down, as she was very muddy. As you walk down the valley, you are guided by posts indicating an underground cable every 100 metres or so. These are reassuring, though it’s hard to get lost, even for me! As you get to Ffrith-y-bont the path has been diverted (or at least it had in the wake of foot and mouth) and follows a parallel track down to Bron-y-Gadair. We stopped here for a rest, while a farmer in the fields above whistled at his sheepdogs, and my dog wondered what was going on. From here it was all road walking down to Ty’yn-y-groes (where I stopped at the pub for a much-needed drink), then further along the B5106 towards Conwy, to another pub (can’t remember the name) where I had another drink and the dog struggled to keep her eyes open.

Too tired to keep her eyes open...

We were picked up from here and whisked home to soak our weary feet. Unsurprisingly the dog slept all the way home

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Walking

Glyderau – 11th November 2001

A walk in the Glyderau

We started the day by parking at Idwal Cottage, and walking up to Llyn Idwal. We crossed the footbridge and followed the path around the north side of the lake. We saw some other people taking the path up to Y Garn, a route I had not previously considered, but may in the future. The cloud was at about 600 metres, denying us a view of the the top of the cliffs ahead of us. The path up Clogwyn y Geifr is quite steep, but absolutely unmissable. There were a couple of large steps where the dog struggled, but a helpful shove was all that was needed.

Llyn Idwal from the path to the Devil's Kitchen

The path up to the Devil's Kitchen

Llyn Idwal from the path up to the Devil's Kitchen

By the time the path levelled out, we were obviously in the cloud, and the path became boggy and indistinct, as we were close to Llyn y Cwn, although we couldn't see it. A path leads south-east up the slopes of Glyder Fawr, but due to the cloud and lack of path, I simply followed my instinct. (The batteries in the GPS had run out by this time). Luckily we were in the right place, and the the path opened out into a bland, featureless terrain. The ground was stony, making the path indistinct, but thankfully there are small piles of stones every 20 metres or so, so as you reached one pile, the next pile was just about visible. As we approached the top of Glyder Fawr, the terrain became more rocky, and at what appeared to be the summit a lump of rock protruded out of the ground. As we reached it however, there appeared to be another one 20 metres further on. I still don't know where exactly the summit is. That will have to wait for a finer day. We stopped for a snack, and I wiped the mist from my glasses, while the dog begged me to carry on walking.

Waiting to get moving again.... On Glyder Fawr

From Glyder Fawr the now familiar pattern of join the dots/piles of stones continued. There was light smattering of snow on Bwlch y Ddwy Glyder, but nothing to write home about. As we approached Castell Y Gwynt the path became indistinct, and we ended up scrambling over boulders (quite difficult for the dog) for a short distance. As we came to the top of this pile, we looked back and spotted a convenient path going round the boulders! We carried on and somehow ended up just south of the summit of Glyder Fawr, so a little more impromptu scrambling saw us at the top. From here the famous Cantilever stone is a stone's throw away. As the views were none existent I considered whether to climb the Cantilever Stone, but fearing missing an opportunity, I did it anyway. The dog couldn't manage to get up, and she looked quite worried several metres beneath me, wondering where I was going. While on the stone, a brief parting of the clouds presented a slight glimpse down to the valley below, then 30 seconds later it was gone. That was the only view we saw for hours.

The view from the Cantilever Stone on Glyder Fawr

From Glyder Fach we followed the path marked on the map down a scree slope to Bwlch Tryfan. This is very steep, and soon becomes quite loose scree.

The descent to Bwlch Tryfan from Glyder Fach

Once we reached Bwlch Tryfan, which took quite some time, we stopped for lunch, then contined down to Cwm Bochlwyd, where we had been only 2 weeks previous.

The descent to Cwm Bochlwyd from Bwlch Tryfan

From Llyn Bochlwyd we took the path to Llyn Idwal, stopping to take a picture of Tryfan in cloud.

Tryfan in cloud from Gribin Facet

For some unknown reason I then moved about 3 feet and took the same picture again.

Tryfan in cloud from Gribin Facet. Again.

From above Gribin Facet we could see up and down the Ogwen valley…

Pen yr Ole Wen and the Ogwen valley from Gribin Facet

…and over Llyn Idwal to Clogwyn y Geifr and the Devil's Kitchen.

Cwm Idwal and the path to the Devil's Kitchen from Gribin Facet

Cwm Idwal from Gribin Facet

From here the descent to the shore of Llyn Idwal is quite steep, but the path joins the main path round Llyn Idwal, and the car park at Idwal Cottage is just a gentle stroll away, although the cloud lifted just long enough for a view of Tryfan.

Tryfan

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Walking

Tryfan – 27th October 2001

A walk up Tryfan

The idea of this walk was more to have a nice day out, and get some decent photos rather than to scale hills at all costs. The day got off to a relaxed start, arriving the layby by Llyn Ogwen around midday. We walked up the path from the layby up over Bochlwyd Buttress, alongside Nant Bochlwyd.

Nant Bochlwyd

Nant Bochlwyd is crossed where it flows from Llyn Bochlwyd. The rocks were a little slippy, and the dog was unsure at first, but then shot across, making me look extrememly nervous!

Tryfan from the west

Bwlch Tryfan from Llyn Bochlwyd

We followed the path up to Bwlch Tryfan, a gentle, easy climb. Looking back there were fine views of Nant Ffrancon.

Looking down Cwm Bochlwyd over Llyn Bochlwyd. Views of Y Garn and Y Gribin

Looking down Cwm Bochlwyd from Bwlch Tryfan

We climbed over the stile at the top of Bwlch Tryfan, and sat on a large stone to eat some lunch. While we were eating, a helicopter which had been flying around for quite some time winched someone in a stretcher off Bristly Ridge. After eating, we decided to have a look at the possibility of climbing Tryfan. However, it appeared that it would be too difficult for the dog to get up, so instead I thought it would be good to walk along Heather Terrace. The weather was great, and there was a clear view for quite some distance.

Looking north-east from the south end of Heather Terrace. Views of Cwn Tryfan, Y Braich and Pen Llithrig y Wrach.

On the map, it appears that Heather Terrace has a kink in it, but at this point the path became indistinct, as it was all over rocks, so we scrambled down to the bottom of Bwlch Tryfan. Photo hint – a polarizer can really make the sky stand out!

Tryfan seen from Cwm Tryfan

We walked along the path to Tryfan Bach, so we could at least say we'd done one summit, even if it was only a little one! We scrambled down the west side of Tryfan bach, to walk down the path, and found a group of climbers on the slab af rock at the base of Tryfan Bach. The ground then became all boggy, and we joined the A5. It was then a mile-long walk back to the car.

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Walking

Muncaster Fell – 8th September 2001

A walk up Muncaster Fell

This was to be a relatively relaxing day's walk, based on a a walk in "Walks from Ratty" by Alfred Wainwright. Ratty is the nickname for the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. We started the day by parking in the car park at Muncaster Castle, (which is itself a nice day out). From the car park we walked along Fell Lane, past Muncaster Tarn, and onto Muncaster Fell. The path marked on the map passes 40 metres below the summit, but we felt it was compulsory to visit it! This detour involved walking through bracken, and past a rotting sheep. From the summit, there was a good view all round – up Eskdale, out to sea, and over Sellafield (which also makes for an interesting day out).

From the summit of Muncaster Fell. Scafell is in the background. Landscape format.

From the summit of Muncaster Fell. Scafell is in the background. Portrait format.

Panorama from the summit of Muncaster Fell

From the summit we returned to the path, which is well defined, along to Ross's Camp. This is actually a stone table, which was apparently set up by the Victorians. The date on it would certainly bear this out!

Looking east from Ross's camp on Muncaster Fell

We continued along the (boggy and peaty) path to Rabbit How. the plan at this point had been to walk down to Muncaster Head, and along the path below Muncaster Fell, but this seemed a little boring, and we had plenty of time, so we carried on to Eskdale green station. We looked at the timetable for the train, and saw that we had just missed one, and there was a fair wait until the next one. For some reason we decided to walk along the road to Irton Road station, but this did mean we got to go past a Post Office which handily sold ice creams! We ate our lunch and decided what to do while we waited for the train. Having read about Dalegarth Force in several books, we decided we'd have enough time for a visit, so we took the train to Dalegarth Station. The path though the woods is unmissable, but it is narrow and slippy in places.

Bridge on the ascent to Dalegarth Force.

Dalegarth Force

On the way back to the station, I thought it would be better to go back a different way, over the stepping stones marked on the map. When we arrived at them however, the water was about 6 inches over the top of them, so we had to double back, and follow our original route to the station. This gave us enough time for a drink and a snack, before the last train of the day departed to take us to Muncaster Mill. On this particular journey, we were in an open carriage at the front of the train, which meant that we got some sun, but we also got some wind and soot!

A quicker way back to Muncaster Mill!

From Muncaster Mill the path rose and passed over the end of Muncaster Fell, leading us back to the car.

Categories
Walking

Scafell – 4th September 2001

A walk up Scafell

We (my girlfriend and I) started walking from the car park at Brotherikeld at 8:00am. Anyone who knows me understands how unusual it is for me to be up that early! The weather was not too good, overcast, with the cloud fairly low. We decided to press on nontheless. From Brotherikeld we walked along the East coast of the River Esk, through fields and below Heron Crag,until we arrived at Lingcove Bridge. By this time it had started raining lightly, enough to justify waterproof trousers. At Lingcove Bridge we crossed Lingcove Beck, and continued upstream and uphill towards Scar Lathing, following the bank of the Esk. The plan had been to cross the Esk here, ascend Little Narrowcove, then Scafell Pike, then cross to Scafell, then down over Slight Side to Cat Crag. However, by this point we were faced with very soggy, boggy ground in Great Moss, rain, crossing the Esk, the unknown of the route between Scafell Pike and Scafell, and worst of all, low cloud. The cloud was around the 500 metre mark, which meant that we could see the bottom of the Scafells, but they simply dissappeared into the cloud. The feeling of isolation in Great Moss was quite exciting, it felt miles from anywhere. We decided at this point that rather than risk life and limb for a view of the cloud, we would call it a day at this point. We crossed the river below Cam Spout Crag, passed Sampson's Stones, and headed along the path towards Scale Gill.

Great Moss, with Scafell and Scafell Pike on the left, in the cloud.

The path was indistinct in places, but it did make a relatively relaxing stroll. The descent into Scale Gill meant our feet were lulled into a sense of being near the end. We stopped for a minute to look at the falls from Scale Bridge, and continued through the fields to Taw House. From there, a footbridge crosses the Esk to take you back to Brotherikeld, and the last 50 metres along the road were steep uphill and felt like agony! We had walked over 10km, for several hours, and hadn't seen another person all day.

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Walking

Rhinog Fawr – 24th February 2001

A walk up Rhinog Fawr

This walk was inspired by a route featured in Trail Walker magazine (November 1991 issue). My girlfriend and I had attempted this walk in about 1996 or 1997, however, due to fog and indistinct paths, we didn't get far. Thankfully, this time the weather was much better, and while the temperature wasn't high (hey, it's February in Wales!) it was a clear day. Magazine articles usually refer to the Rhinogs as rocky and boggy, with indistinct paths. I would say they're right!

The drive up to the farm at the head of Cwm Bychan is an adventure in itself. After about 5 miles of a very narrow road, with few passing places, you come across a gate across the road, not at the farm itself, which seems a bit odd. The farmer provides a field for cars to park on, and asks that you put £2.00 in a box at the gate – a fair price I feel. From the car, the dog and I worked our way up to Bwlch Tyddiau and the Roman steps. The path here is obvious, and as we walked up it, we caught up with a family going the same way.
Looking back down Bwlch Tyddiau and the Roman steps Another shot looking back down Bwlch Tyddiau and the Roman steps Looking from Bwlch Tyddiau and the Roman steps to, err, nowhere really. Even the forest is unnamed
From the Roman steps, there is more than one path to Llyn Du. At least it would appear that way, for while I followed the path marked on the map, the family came from a different direction. This was as far as my girlfriend and I got when we came, and even in broad daylight it is difficult to see where the path goes. The paths up to top of Rhinog Fawr seem non-existant on the ground, so I went for the easy option, and followed the family, who seemed to have a much better idea of where they were going. Due to the cold temperatures over the previous week, there was some ice on the ground, and the dog had a bit of difficulty on some of the steeper sections. Eventually however, we reached the summit, where I stopped for my lunch, while the dog stopped for her own lunch, and as much of my lunch as she could get.
From the summit of Rhinog Fawr, looking out over Cardigan Bay (on the left), and Llyn Trawsfynydd (on the right). Gloyw Lyn is visible, as is the farm at Cwm Bychan
From the summit, we continued South-East.
From just South-East of the summit of Rhinog Fawr. Llyn Trawsfynydd is on the left. Rhinog Fach is on the right
From the east side of Rhinog Fawr, looking across to Rhinog Fach and Y Llethr
The plan was to continue to Rhinog Fach, however, trying to descend to Bwlch Drws-Ardudwy proved much more difficult than I had planned, and we wasted a lot of time around SH663284. In the end I decided it would be easier to head back uphill, and try and come down to a point higher up the Bwlch (Near where the cairn is marked on the map). By this time it was around 14:30, and as sunset was at 17:44 (according to the GPS) it was too late to attempt Rhinog Fach (and probably get lost). Eventually we managed to get back to the path next to the cairn, where a stone wall crosses the path, and we could then begin the walk down to Cwm Nantcol.
The sheep hole in the wall proves too tempting for the dog... The sign at the head of the Bwlch
This is the point where it becomes apparent that the description of the boggy paths is correct. The long walk down the Bwlch is quite relaxing, and at times the path crosses the stream, sometimes with the help of stepping stones, sometimes not. I was quite surprised to see frogspawn here, half way up a mountain.
Frog spawn
Y Llethr (I think) from Bwlch Drws-Ardudwy
Diffwys (I think) from Bwlch Drws-Ardudwy
Looking back up at Rhinog Fach, I was glad I decided against going up it, even though I did want to go and see Llyn Hywel! As we got close to Cwm Nantcol we caught up with a gentleman we had met on the summit, and we spent 5 minutes talking, where he pointed out the quicker and easier way down! He asked if I was carrying on down Cwm Nantcol, to which I replied that we going back over to Cwm Bychan. His words were, "It's a long, damp slog". Indeed, the first mile or two is very damp indeed, and I was tired and a bit demoralised by this point, especially when I was overtaken by two other walkers. When we reached the point where we heading back downhill, I couldn't see any path, so we crashed through the heather, heading down by the stream which flows into the lake. When we came across a path which had footprints in it made me feel a lot better. More boggy ground by the side of the lake was covered, then we came back across the path, which we followed across a wall, then after a hundred metres or so, we came across a much wider path, which looked familiar. Then I realised that it was the path up to Roman steps. The walk back to the car was trivial, and we arrived at the car precisely at sunset.
Looking West from Cym Bychan across Llyn Cwm Bychan. The sunset hasn't come out on the photo
I found that the car had been molested by sheep licking the dirt off.
Spot the lick marks!
On the way home, I received a phone call from my girlfriend asking if I was OK with the snow. As the weather had been fine all day, I was surprised, only for it to then start snowing quite heavily.

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Walking

Cadair Idris – 28th January 2001

A walk up Cadair Idris

The day got off to a bad, but typical (for me) start – It was late. I arrived at the Car Park at the base of the Minffordd path at 11:30am. My plan was a simple ascent of the Minffordd path, then retrace my steps back to the start. On the drive there, I noticed that some of the hills had quite a bit of snow on them. This was something I had forgotten to think about. This was also the first walk I was to do in a new pair of Scarpa Manta M4 boots.
The climb up the Minffordd path starts climbing up through the forest, with plenty of man-made steps, crossing over a stream.
Stone slab bridge across Nant Cadair
However, after only 750 metres I could feel that the heels on the new boots were starting to rub. This was despite having worn the boots around the house for several days in an effort to break them in. As you emerge from the forest, the path levels off, and you arrive at the point where you can continue on to Llyn Cau, or you can break left and climb upward further onto the ridge which curves round to Cadair Idris. By this time my heels were really starting to hurt, but I decided to continue upwards anyway. Ascending the steps to the first 690 metre peak we met one of the locals.
A friendly sheep, trying to stare out the dog
It was very slow going, every upward step causing me severe pain. At the 500 metre height, we encountered the first snow. It was not very deep, only an inch or two, but the dog loved it.
Looking South-East towards Mynydd Dol-ffanog Looking North West towards Penygadair
The snow would have made it difficult to spot the path had it been fresh snow, but luckily there were plenty of tracks in it for me to follow. Just before reaching the stile at 791 metres, I started walking into cloud, and visibility was down to around 50 metres. As I still had about 1500 metres horizontal distance and 170 metres of ascent to go, I decided that there was little point in continuing any further. It was about 2:00pm by this time (told you it was slow going), and as sunset was at 4:50pm, I would have had little leeway for getting back to the car. Besides, I hadn't had my lunch yet, and I didn't want to eat it sat in cloud. I made my way back down the Minffordd path at a much better rate, as it didn't hurt so much going downhill.
Looking back to Penygadair, the summit obscured by cloud. The top of Craig Cwm Amarch is on the left About 5 minutes later, with thicker cloud. The dog likes to stand next to huge, sheer drops. Llyn Cau is about 200 metres below
We made our way to the shore of Llyn Cau, and I ate my lunch while the dog looked wistfully at it. The descent back to the car was not too bad, I managed about the same speed I normally manage uphill! The cloud didn't lift from the 700 metre point though, so I didn't feel too bad at not having reached the summit.
On the way down, we paused at the falls in the forest for a photo.
The falls
I had also noticed that my heels had felt sort of squelchy. Back at the car, I unlaced my boots, ready for the sight, and was greeted with blood soaked socks, and also the lining of the boots was pretty filthy. I drove home in my socks, knowing that when I got into the bath the blisters would hurt like hell.
Ouch! They were worse than they look in the photo