Featured post

Snowdonia Peaks

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Cadair Idris Celebration 18-8-2012

Saturday August 18th saw me back in Snowdonia and a walk that was to be a bit of a celebration for a mate and fellow member of the Walking Forum, Robbo. I'd had this booked in the calender for a few months and was hoping to be camping over the weekend but work and 'things' got in the way of that for me.  The reason for the meet was that Robbo was celebrating his 60th and also ticking off his last Welsh Nuttall, Cyfrwy aka The Saddle, which is part of Cadair Idris. We all met in the car park at Ty-Nant around 9.15am on what was a damp morning with a bit of drizzle in the air. As well as myself and Robbo, there were 6 other members of the Walking Forum plus members of Robbo's family. We set off up the pony path about 9.30 hopeful that the weather would improve as the day went on. Although the weather wasn't the best it was still quite warm and spirits were high as we started off up the Pony Track

As we climbed higher we could see that the weather was steadily getting worse as the mist started to roll in over the surrounding hills down towards Barmouth and the Mawddach Estuary

just a little more height was gained before all views dissapeared as we hit the cloud base and also the drizzle decided to get a bit more persistent!

It stayed like this all the way to the summits and was also quite breezy but not enough to knock us off our feet. It may off been a bit on the wet side but spirits were high as we reached our first summit of the day and the one where we celebrated Robbo's completion of the Welsh Nuttalls with a glass of bubbly and a cake :-)

After the celebrations, we made our way down and over towards the highest summit of Cadair Idris, Penycadair, where the summit shelter came as welcome relief for half an hour as we had some lunch and also another glass of bubbly.

This is where I had a personal celebration as my daughter phoned me to say that her boyfriend had proposed to her while out walking around the Ingleton waterfalls in the Yorkshire dales :-) What would we do without mobile phones eh!! There was also a big pat on the back for another member of our party, Paul, who had made it to the summit and was feeling very proud himself. All in all we had quite a few celebrations between us :-)
We made our way over to the next summit of Mynydd Moel with the mist still swirling around. Thankfully at this point the rain had stopped and we were hoping that the promise of better weather during the afternoon would soon arrive

As we got to the the fence line and style just before the summit of Mynydd Moel there was a glimpse of brightness in the sky, but unfortunately it didn't last long

We decided that we would make a full day of it out on the mountain so we headed straight off the back of Mynydd Moel and down towards the small summit of Gau Graig. It's quite a steep path down with lots of loose scree and care should be taken. Fortunately for us this is where the sun decided to finally break free of all the cloud and the views started to open up

Looking back towards Mynyn Moel with the summit becoming clear of cloud as blue skies begin to take over

As the sun was now begining to take over from the damp conditions of before, so the waterproofs and layers were coming off as it warmed up nicely. If only it had done this a couple of hours ago!! The views were also opening up all round as we continued our descent of the steep and winding path

After a quick stop for refreshment at Gau Graig and a check on the map and surroundings to make sure we took the right path, it was down towards to lower farmland and fields while taking in the views of the surrounding mountain ranges

And Mynyn Moel was looking great as a backdrop against the now clear and warm conditions

It was now just a matter of walking through the lower fields and woodland while passing plenty of old buildings that added an interesting end to the walk


We even came across this old car but didn't have a bucket and sponge at hand :-)

it was now just a case of walking the last few hundred metres down the lane and back to the car park where we then made our way to the Gwernan Hotel for a post walk drink and also to see Robbo get presented with a fantastic birthday cake

Well what can I say about the day. Started out misty and cool, then the drizzle came and tried to put a dampner on things and then the sun came out to play and warmed everything up a treat. With the conditions just about perfect and the hotel lake looking calm it was time to say bye and thanks to Robbo for organizing such a great day out in the Southern Snowdonia mountain range of Cadair Idris.

Whilst on the summit of Cyfrwy I took this small video of the opening of the champagne

Friday, 17 August 2012

Blencathra via Sharp Edge 15-8-2012

It's hard to believe that my daughter turned 25 the other day, yes 25!!! Good god, it only seems like yesterday that she was being pushed along in the pram and then telling us that she won't walk to the shops or back from school. Walking, why walk when you can sit down in comfort and get taken everywhere!! Well, how time has moved on. She now loves to be in the mountains when ever she gets the chance, few and far between at the minute as work, coursework and relationship get in the way, but luckily August 15th was to be one of those days. We should of been out two weekends back doing the Snowdon Horseshoe but the weather got in the way. Again, we penciled the 15th in for the horseshoe but again the forecast was not in favour so we opted for the far northern fells of the Lake District as this area was to be clear of rain for most of the day. We got off to an early start leaving home at 6am in clear, warm conditions. It stayed like that all the way to the start point at Scales. We got parked up, got boots on and made sure we had everything we needed and headed off in bright warm sunshine at 7.40am. We headed off up the track that leads on to Mousethwaite Comb

As we made are way up we soon reached the high path and got our first view of our destination with a bit of cloud hanging around

As we got nearer the cloud had lifted and it all started to get a bit exciting as sharp edge started to dominate

We made our way up the steps by the beck that bought us out by Scales Tarn below the summit of Blencathra. All was clear and looking great in the warm but breezy conditions

We rested here for 15 minutes as it was quite warm and a thirst had built up. We also needed a bit of time to asses the conditions as the wind was blowing quite strongly and we were a bit unsure wether to do sharp edge. I have done it a few times before but Terri hadn't done it. She has done Striding Edge and some scrambles in Snowdonia but this is very exposed. Anyway we headed on and decided that we would go for it thinking that we would turn back if it got to hairy. As we made our way to the start the cloud started to roll in across the summit

We started off on the crest but soon found that we weren't going to go anywhere but over the edge using that route, it was very windy. We decided to use the path that runs about 20feet below the crest that gave us some shelter from the wind until we came up further down the crest where there are plenty of foot and hand holds. We weren't the only ones doing this as everyone else we saw went the same way. It was very dry and despite the wind we felt in no danger at all as we scrambled across and up the rock face that bought us out on the summit plateau.

As luck would have it, the cloud had come right down and all the views had all but dissapeared. The wind was quite strong across the open plateau but was still quite warm. We just had time for the summit photo before we headed off down across the broad path over Scales Fell

As we made our way down there seemed to be a lot of dark clouds gathering and we thought that the promised rains of the afternoon had come a few hours early. There was a few glimpses of brightness but it seemed like we might be putting on the waterproofs a bit earlier than planned

We got to where various paths meet at the crossroads to Scales Fell, Souther Fell & Mousethwaite Comb and decided that we would carry on to Souther Fell as it was quite pleasantly warm. The threat of rain seemed to be passing over the far western fells so off we went again to 'bag' another one. This time its a straight forward walk along a broad grass path that seemed longer than it looked. Quite a change to the rocky windy scramble that we had just done.

We decided to have a lunch break on Souther Fell as here the wind wasn't that strong and it felt quite pleasant having a picnic lunch in the warm conditions looking back across to the moody looking summit we have just left behind

After our lunch stop we had a wander to the end of Souther Fell before heading back. When we got to the crossroads we noticed that the summits were all becoming clear of cloud again and looked like it was clearing up nicely. As it was only about 12 noon we worked out that it would take us about 3 hours to retrace our steps back up to the summit of Blencathra and back down to the car. So without further ado, that's what we did!! Must be mad but it was early and it was turning out to be a really great day out. Onwards and upwards again then

This time it was to be clear all the way to the summit and we did have the views although that threat of rain seemed to be getting rather close

The wind this time was just as gusty so again we and the four other people that were going this way all went on the low path before picking up the edge. the wind had changed direction and was now blowing up behind us. Again we felt safe and as long as you respect the place and take care there shouldn't be too many problems. There is always the option of turning back.
The views were so much clearer and more than made up for missing them the first time round

At the summit the wind had became really strong, in fact at one point it blew me off my feet. We had a bit of trouble staying upright as it was blowing up from scales Tarn with tremendous force. For some strange reason there is something quite funny about being blown about. At one point it was like sticking your head out of a car window as it zooms down the motorway at 70mph. Talk about gurning!!
A quick summit photo shows the oncoming rain getting closer so we didn't hang about

We came down in warm and clear conditions and despite the wind we had a fantastic day and at least we did have some views in the end. A fantastic place and even the wind didn't get in the way. The sky stayed bright for most of the descent which gave us a great look back to this great walk along Sharp Edge and up onto Blencathra,

descending down Scales Fell

before turning off at the crossroads path at the bottom of Souther Fell

before making our way down the path that took us back to the car

 Another great day out and which marked a bit of a milestone. Happy 25th Terri x

 A short video from the summit