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Snowdonia Peaks

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Moel Siabod 26-8-2017

Well another re-visit to my favourite Snowdonia mountain and this time doing it t'other way round. Most people tackle it from first going over the Daear Ddu Ridge before dropping off the rocky East Ridge and back to Pont Cyfyng or by taking the grassy path down through the forest and to Plas y Brenin. Now I'd seen one or two folk going up the East Ridge, passing them on my descent and always thought that it looked a good way to ascend, going over the rocky ridge rather than on the rough path. As it was Bank holiday weekend and the weather for Saturday was set fair, I decided to take advantage and set off at 7am, and was booted and ready to go for 8.45 in good clear warm conditions. Up the lane past the cottages and farm and heading up the easy wide path that leads to the disused quarry under the East Ridge. Before the quarry at the gate I made my way up through the heather following feint sheep tracks and path that lead me on to the small ridge of rock & boulders
My route for the day
Early morning photo of a cloud covered Snowdon
Moel Siabod ahead
Moel Siabod
Making my way through the heather and onto the left hand ridge
Looking down on the disused Rhos Quarry
Disused quarry on the main path
Looking across to a cloud covered Snowdon, Glyderau & Carneddau Massiff's
Despite some high cloud knocking about and also the main Glyderau, Carneddau & Snowdon massif's being in cloud, it was warm and tee shirt & sun hat were the order off the day as well as plenty of liquid in take. Although there is plenty of heather about, there was also plenty of rocks to get a good firm grip making the going very good, a lot better than following the rough track as it winds itself up. The views were also good as was the small bits of cheeky scrambling to be had. Another bonus is that all other folk seemed to going the traditional way, far below me. I only saw one other walker on my way up and along the ridge and he was descending by the path, so a good quiet warm few hours was had :-)
Hands on rock time
Sticking to the left of the rocky scramble
Looking down on the quarry and my ascent route
Looking across to the Daear Ddu Ridge
A cloud covered Snowdon Horseshoe
Looking down on Garth
After a rest and a chance to take in the fine views I made my way over the rocky East Ridge that is a great way as you clamber over rocks and boulders with a few minor dips in places. There are one or two gullies that you have to look out for with big drops down to Llyn y Foel but with plenty of room on the ridge they are easily avoided. The views from up here are great and you get a full on look at all the main areas of this great place. The cloud was staying away from Moel Siabod, that is until I reached the summit when it changed in an instant. From tee shirt and sun hat it was now fleece and jacket as I took shelter out of the wind. Typical!!
Looking back along the rocky ridge
My way forward to the summit
Llyn y Foel below one of the gullies
Up to a clear and quiet summit
Clouds rolling in
Clouds rolling in
Although there is a summit shelter, I decided to find a spot with a view of sorts while I had some lunch and hung about for about 45 minutes hoping for a break in the clouds. There was one or two breaks that offered views of my ascent route but not much the way over towards Snowdon and the Hebog range over Beddgelert. In the 45 minutes that I was on the summit, no-one else was there making it one of the quietest I have spent up here. The sun was trying it's best to burn off the clouds and as luck would have it, it started to clear as I made my descent by way of the path that takes you back under the summit area and diagonally down towards the Daear Ddu ridge and Llyn y Foel.
A clear Moel Siabod summit
Moel Siabod summit shelter
Not so clear over towards Snowdon & down towards Bedgellert
Across to a cloudy Cnicht & Moelwyns
As clear as it got over Snowdon
My clear way down
Looking back up to a clear Moel Siabod summit
Llyn y Foel coming into view
I got to Llyn y Foel and thought I'd go round the back on all the rocky outcrops as this way gives you a great view of Moel Siabod and another way that most people miss out on, deciding to stick to the main path that takes you right under Moel Siabod and so miss out on some good views. It also gives you the chance just to sit on the shore of Llyn y Foel and take in the shear peace and quiet this place has. Some quality time in a quality place.
Looking up the Daear Ddu Ridge
The outflow for Llyn y Foel
Moel Siabod and Llyn y Foel dam wall
Admiring the views
Moel Siabod & Llyn y Foel
I made my way across all the rocky outcrops and down to the unnamed quarry pool before heading down for a look round the disused Slate Quarry before making my way back to the main path and the car park.
On the approach to the unnamed Llyn
One lonely tree
Moel Siabod from the unnamed Llyn
All clear in front
Looking back to the route up Moel Siabod
Slate Quarry
Slate Quarry
Quarry pit
Moel Siabod from Slate Quarry
Slate Quarry


So another great, warm and quiet Saturday in August in this fantastic place :-)

Monday, 28 August 2017

A Grisedale Round 13-8-2017

I'd looked at this walk for sometime, after doing St SUNDAY in the snow last November and wanted a revisit in the warmer months of the great British summer! I thought I'd tie it in with a re-visit to HELVELLYN, via STRIDING EDGE, as I'd not been up here for a few years and just fancied a nice bit of scrambling along with everything else that this walk threw at me. A lot of up and down and some fine views. Sunday seemed to be the pick of the weekend weather wise so an early start on empty roads saw me parked up at GLENRIDDING for 8.30am in good clear sunny conditions that stayed for the most part, only clouding over around midday for a few hours. The route I took was out of Glenridding following Mires Beck and up to RED TARN where I headed along Striding Edge to Helvellyn. Along to NETHERMOST PIKE, HIGH CRAG, DOLLYWAGON PIKE, down to GRISEDALE TARN, up on to St Sunday and back down into Glenridding. Around 10 miles in good clear conditions. :-)
My route for the day
I'd forgotten how hard it was making my way up the road, past the houses and following the beck and it required a few stops along the way for liquid intake. Despite Glenridding car park being quite busy and also Gillside Campsite being full, there wasn't that many folk making there way up here. It was quite surprising given the weather conditions as the last time I was here it was very busy in similar conditions. Some good views back to Glenridding the higher I got before reaching the top of the wall where you get a good view of the Helvellyn Range and also across to my descent route of St Sunday.
The warm and quiet way ahead
Looking back down on Glenridding
The Helvellyn Range
Looking across to St Sunday
On my approach to the "Hole in the Wall" I noticed a group of about 10 just setting off on their way along the edge so this was a perfect time for a good rest to let them get ahead before making my way over. There are two ways to do Striding Edge, the more direct way is straight over the crest keeping as high as you possibly can or the more safer and less exposed way is to stick to a path a few metres below. In this weather and for more excitement, I took the high route and as there was no wind it was a comfortable walk/scramble to do. As always on these ridges, care must always be taken as there are steep drops and accidents can happen but with care and confidence all should be fine.
After about twenty minutes rest I started on my way by first following the fient path up the grass bank and getting amongst the boulders and rocks early on as a few others stuck to the path below. Another reason to go higher is that you get more views of the surrounding fells and valleys and in the clear conditions made it more worthwhile. Going this way you will also come across a memorial to commemorate Robert Dixon from the nearby village of Patterdale who fell to his death on the ridge back in 1858. The inscription on the memorial plaque reads: “In memory of Robert Dixon of Rooking, Patterdale who was killed on this spot on the 27th day of November 1858 following the Patterdale Foxhounds”. A kindly reminder that it can be a dangerous place.
Setting off along the grass bank with the main path below
Getting amongst the rocks and boulders
The Dixon Memorial
Striding Edge
Looking back along the Edge with the main path below
There was a bit of a hold up at "The Chimney" as you come off the Edge as folk take a bit more time to negotiate the climb down. Just a bit awkward as you find the right foot and hand holds and can prove to be a bit of a sting in the tail at the end of the ridge. This part also signals the climb upwards as you scramble up to the summit. Again, not difficult in the conditions but in wet and misty weather extreme care should be taken. As you top out there is another memorial that was erected in 1890, in memoriam to a fatal accident in 1809. Charles Gough was a Kendal man who was out for a walk with his dog, when he was killed in a fall on Striding Edge.Another timely reminder...............
The Chimney
Scramble up to the summit
Looking back down on Striding Edge and Red Tarn
The Gough memorial
The plateau of Helvellyn is a long and wide flat place that offers 360degree views that can stretch all the way to the coast of South West Scotland, Isle Of Man and even North Wales. Although it had been a good clear blue sky day up till now, high cloud started to move in that restricted any far away views but at least all the tops were well clear and it was still quite warm with very little wind. It was also a very quiet summit which is a surprise as Helvellyn is quite possibly the most visited of all the Lake District fells, and it's only the third highest @ 3117ft behind Scafell @ 3163ft and the Highest summit in England, Scafell Pike @ 3209ft. A relaxed summit with folk making their way to different points, people taking in the views and some taking in a summit pic-nic. After taking in the summit views I made my way to the next target of Nethermost Pike.
Summit views of the high peaks of the Scafell & Bowfell range
Summit view down to Red Tarn with Striding Edge on the right & Swirral Edge on the left
Helvellyn Summit Trigpoint
Helvellyn Summit
Helvellyn Summit
From here I followed the straight forward path taking me to another flat summit plateau of Nethermost Pike. With the cloud cover and a bit of a breeze, the temperature had come down a notch or two enough for an extra layer and it was also the first time on the walk that I was completely alone. There is another path that seems to divert away from the true summit area and there was one or two people taking that route. I stuck more to the ridge line following that round and indeed the next two summits of HighCrag & Dollywagon Pike, I was the only one on them at that time. Turning out to be a very quiet Sunday afternoon :-) It's a downward spiral all the way to Grisedale Tarn as you come off the summit of Dollywagon Pike, a drop of about 1000 ft and it certainly takes it out on you, it did me , that's for sure and it was a welcome break of about half an hour sat next to the tarn. One way of getting down is on a bike and two mountain bikers looked like they were having fun making their way down, certainly quicker if a bit bumpier but they seemed to enjoy the ride!
Looking over to Striding Edge with a few more people on it
Zoomed in on Striding Edge
Nethermost Pike Summit Plateau
Nethermost Pike Summit Plateau
Looking back at Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn & Striding Edge from High Crag
High Crag
Looking over to Dollywagon Pike from High Crag
Dollywagon Pike Summit with High Crag in the background
View down on Grisedale Tarn with the MTB'ers on their way
The zig zag path down to the tarn is hard going, as for the most part it's stone steps all the way so a bit hard on the old knees. It does drop quite sharply and I did pass a few people making their way up which I would of found hard going so I took comfort at that and also being able to have a good rest at the tarn before heading up a relatively easy sloping path beneath Cofa Pike taking me onto Deepdale Hause and onto St Sunday Crag. I wasn't alone at the tarn as its a place where half a dozen paths meet from different directions making it an ideal place to rest before continuing on your chosen journey. It wasn't overly populated with only half a dozen of us taking in the relative peace of the place. A really nice place to have a leisurely late lunch :-)
Grisedale Tarn with Seat Sandal as the backdrop
My way up to Deepdale Hause & St Sunday Crag
Looking back down on Grisedale Tarn from the path

A Panoramic view of my route from Striding Edge on the right to Grisedale Tarn on the left
Grisedale tarn from Deepdale Hause
My way up St Sunday Crag from Deepdale Hause
The path up to Deepdale Hause is straight forward enough and going up at an angle gives a bit of a rest bite than going straight up and as there is one more push up to the summit of St Sunday that was a bit of relief. a feint path in places but easily picked out. The path up St Sunday is also straight forward enough as it heads up the ridge offering good views all round. From here it was down towards Birks before heading off to the left and following the path going under Birks and this is where me knees started to feel todays outing. Not painful, more uncomfortable as the path goes from rough scree, grass and stone steps and it is quite a long way down so plenty of stops were needed and I was glad to get down on more level ground.
Looking across to Fairfield
Looking down in to Deepdale Common
On the way to St Sunday Summit
Summit view down to Ullswater
View down to Birks and my way off the summit
Looking back to St Sunday
Looking back at my high level route
Grisedale Bridge
Ullswater with Place Fell as the backdrop
A road walk back to Glenridding and the car left only one thing to do as it was such a good warm afternoon and that was to have a ice cream while sitting and relaxing for a bit next to Ullswater. A perfect end to yet another perfect day :-)
Perfect End

Video of Striding Edge and Helvellyn Summit

 Cheers :-)