Featured post

Snowdonia Peaks

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A Walk On The Wildside, Snowdonia 22-1-2012

This walk was organisied by members of the walking forum and took in the Summit's of Drum, Pen y Castell Foel Fras and Llwytmor. It was quite windy with the wind speed on Drum in excess of 60mph. With the cloud remaing high above the summits, apart from a brief spell on Foel Fras, it remained clear all the way and with no rain, it was another great day out in this wild part of the Carneddau.
We parked in the top Aber Falls car park at the end of the single track lane and got going about 10am steadily making our way along the well marked path.
A look back at the path that rounds the bottom of Yr Orsedd & Pen Bryn-du
We made the steady climb and Llyn Anofon came into view, flanked with our final two summits of Foel Fras Llwytmor
The summit of Drum proved to be very winy and I found it difficult to hold the camera so no summit photo. We decided to take in the outcrop of Pen y Castell where it was quite boggy in places
and a very different landscape to the high rocky mountains further west.
There were good views down to the Conwy valley from the summit
 As we made our way back towards Drum there was some dramatic looking landscapes over towards Cefn Tal-llyn Eigiau and beyond as the sun tried in vain to break out

Carnedd Llywelyn remaining in low cloud
Looking down on Llyn Anafon from the path between Drum & Foel Fras
The walk between Drum and Foel Fras was the hardest part, a right old slog with the wind blowing and quite boggy underfoot.

It wasn't much fun and the the mist came down on the appraoach to Foel Fras summit.
It wasn't thick mist and it cleared up enough so we could see where we were going and have a few decent views from the summit

even as far as sunny Llandudno
We took shelter from the wind to have a well deserved rest and a bite to eat

After a 20 minute break we made our way to the final summit of Llwytmor where a few months earlier, another walking forum meet, was getting blown all over the mountain by gusts of upto 80mph and driving rain!!! This time there was no rain and the wind was slightly less gusty. At least we could stand up! It was looking rather grey towards Anglesey as we made our way off Llwytmor

As we made our way down, the cloud started to roll in over Bera Bach and the high Carneddau

but remaing clear for our way down. We noticed a fire had started just a way down from the car park but thought nothing of it as it looked like a farmer was just doing a bit of clearing up!

We made our way straight down the grassy bank of Llwytmor towards Afon Anafon, which was a bit of a killer but provided a great view up stream into the valley
We soon learnt that the little fire wasn't so little any more and that with the help from the wind, the smoke soon filled the valley, and the flames were spreading close to the path and away from the car park

As we got to the car park, in the fading light, the fire services arrived to hopefully get it under control and put it out. There was no sign of any farmer or other person any where so not sure how it got started. Thankfully the wind was blowing it away from the cars otherwise it could of been a lot worse

So another great day out, in the company of good members of the walking forum, in a less poulated area of  the Carneddau, Snowdonia

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

MOEL SIABOD 16-1-2012

With the recent weather being a bit of a bonus, we decided to take full advantage of our day off and head to Snowdonia and an old favourite of mine, Moel Siabod. After checking the forecast for any unlikely major weather change, we were packed and ready to leave just before 7am. Just short of two hours later saw us parked up at the Plas y Brenin Mountain Centre for the first photo of the day looking across the twin lakes of Lliynnau Mymbyr with just a hint of ice on the water and with next to no breeze making it a calm start to the day.
We made our way back to the cafe car park on the A5 at Capel Curig, parked up, got boots, hats & gloves on, then started on our way at 9.10am. Across the road, over the bridge above the Afron Lugwy and up the steep climb of the farm track. 15 minutes later saw us come out of the shelter of the trees over the kissing gates and on to the well defined track
Moel Siabod looking as grand as ever in the bright January sun and clear blue sky
As we made our way along the not so muddy track which was frozen, the unamed Llyn soon came into view, sparkling in the morning sun and it's surroundings still frosted over where the sun had not yet reached
We made our way round to the old slate quarry buildings and had a break among the ruins taking in the views of the Llyn and beyond
We then made our way up past the deep quarry pool
and followed the dried and slightly iced over rough track,
that brings you up to the top, over looking Llyn y Foel
and the bottom of the Daear Ddu Ridge which was to be our ascent up to the summit
After making our way around the bog field, which was still quite boggy in places despite the otherwise frozen conditions, it was time for the exciting scramble up the Daear Ddu Ridge
This is a great way to be adventurous in that there are quite a few lines of ascent. I stuck closer to the edge than Jill as she made her way up one of the many gullies and picking up tracks with plenty of foot and hand holds.
We reached the summit after one and half hours taking in all the splendid views as we climbed. The views from Moel Siabod summit on a clear day like this are second to none. All the major massif's in clear view, with the Snowdon Horseshoe the most eye catching
Looking north, across towards the Glyders, Tryfan and the Carneddau
Looking back towards a more hazy looking Southern Snowdonia
Considering the bright and sunny weather, there was quite a breeze blowing on the summit with quite a bite to it so we took refuge in the shelter for a hot drink and a bite to eat. We made our way down going over the humped ridge which is primarly made up of boulders and in this sort of weather is the most rewarding descent with the whole of Snowdonia and more in view, making it one of the more pleasent ways down a mountain. There are one or two places where you go up and down which adds to the fun to be had.
Once we get to the end of the ridge its mainly straight down following a slight path and stream bed. Its a bit rough in places with loose scree and a few rocks and boulders and in this weather there was quite a bit of ice. It is straight forward but care must be taken. Again the views make it more enjoyable and you are soon back down and joining up with the same path as the ascent.
We joined the the main track that takes us back towards the car park just as the sun was dissapearing behind Moel Siabod
We crossed over the bridge and back to the car at 15.40, so a good six and half hours on this great mountain with the most fantastic views of the majority of Snowdonia
We had time to get another photo of the Snowdon Horseshoe as the sun was going down to finish a perfect day out one what has become my favourite Snowdonia mountain, Moel Siabod.
A short video on reaching the summit