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Snowdonia Peaks

Sunday, 3 March 2013


Saturday March 2nd 2013. Well what a day this was. I went expecting cloud inversions but came back with a bit of sunburn on my head!!. Clear blue skies all the way and very warm for the time of year, especially as there had been freezing temperatures for days before. There was still patches of snow and ice but not too much to cause great concern. I did use my micro spikes on the descent off the summit for a few hundred metres or so as a precaution but there was enough patches of dry rock, scree and grass to use. Looking across to the Pyg Track and the zig-zags tells a different story as they are out of any direct sunlight and so remain snowed and iced up for longer periods. The summit steps were also very icy and one or two people ended up on there backsides but nothing more than a bit of hurt pride.
An early start on the drive down saw me parked up and ready to set off from the Rhyd Ddu station car park at 8.30am. It was clear skies, sunny but still a nip in the air. There was just a slight breeze but still enough to get a good reflection photo on Llyn Cwellyn a mile or so down the road.

The Rhyd Ddu Path is known to be the quietest of the routes upto Snowdon and it certainly proved it today as I was the only car to be parked up at this time. I turned off this path at the stile crossing and carried on towards Yr Aran to make my way to the start of the South Ridge Route and I didn't see another person until I had got to the old quarry ruins below Yr Aran
The walk up offers some great views back towards Llyn Cwellyn with Mynydd Mawr on the left and Foel Goch, Foel Gron & Moel Ellio on the right
 And also across to the Nantile Ridge & Moel Hebog group above Beddgelert
The old ruins proved to be a good place for a rest and a look around. I like these places as there is a bit of atmosphere around them and also so much history about the place. It was also eerie quiet, not a sound, with no wind and no other people.

 I found a small tunnel that led me to a large open quarry pit that felt like being in some sort of secret place. Not sure how many walkers find this but I guess most just pass it by

After 30 mins or so it was time to move on so I thought I'd cross the stile that takes you to a quarry pool under Yr Aran for a view from there and what a great view with my ascent route up the South Ridge to Allt Maenderyn, Snowdon and also looking across to the twin peaks of Y Lliwedd all in clear blue skies, wonderful
It had warmed up very nicely by now and hat, gloves and fleece were now firmly tucked away never to be seen again that day :-) I got to the path crossroad at Bwlch Cwm Llan where the views down into the National Nature Reserve and old quarry were a bit hazy but clear

It was a case of onwards and upwards the steep laid out path
 I found this quite tough as I'm not as young as I used to be plus it was still very warm and I had all me winter gear on so quite a few stops were required. I didn't really mind as the views were great and worth stopping for.

And also Y Lliwedd & Crib Goch of the Snowdon Horseshoe looked very inviting today and very quiet. I hope its going to be like that the next time I decide to do it, sooner rather than later

 I was soon getting on to the ridge which isn't as exposed as it looks and in this weather was a joy to do. A little mild scrambling but for the most part just a good ridge walk with great views. It was also where I came across the last remaining patches of snow. Not difficult to get across as there was lots of rock and grass to use. Just made the place a bit more atmospheric

 It was also another good place for a rest and take in the views down to the four Lakes in Cwm Clogwyn
 It wasn't long now till I topped out just below the summit cafe and joined the crowds of party goers:-) Well there was a hen party & stag party up there as well as serious climbers who had climbed up the Trinity Face, mountain bikers, and all manner of folk. There was some amusing moments when one or two slipped on the compact snow and ice but to my knowledge no one came to any injuries, just hurt pride. A little bit of cloud had rolled in but it soon dispersed to leave everyone with great views all round. It was pleasantly warm and very little wind so it was a case of find a spot sit down and enjoy :-)

 A good 45 minutes had passed before I decided to make my way down and thought it best to put on my micro-spikes as a precaution against the snow and ice and they certainly made a difference going down. Although they weren't a necessity, I did feel safer on the patches of ice and snow and didn't fancy the embarrassment of ending up on me backside infront of the watching millions :-) Just as I was coming off the summit I bumped into JC and his better half, Deb, who had made there way up from Ryhd Ddu. read his excellent blog here
A really nice couple who love Snowdonia as much as me. After swapping tales we went on our separate ways, they to join the crowds and me to get back to solitude. To be fair I don't mind the crowds that much and because it was such a great day weather wise it was a good relaxed summit. More relaxed than when the trains bring all the hordes so I guess folk were making the most of the exceptional weather conditions.

The way down was by the Ryhd Ddu Path that snakes around the Llechog Ridge and down through Cwm Caregog and back to the car park. A easy to follow track and very, very quiet. In all I saw two other people descending off the Rydu Path after it splits away from the South Ridge route.
The Llechog Ridge falls steeply in to Cwm Clogwyn and the four lake below

Laid out in front of me was a great sight as I made my way down. The mountains, sun, blue sky and the coast line were there to be soaked up and there was quite a few people just sitting on the ridge line and doing just that. A great view that I had all the way back down
The view behind me wasn't too bad either as I looked back to this popular mountain
A very leisurely walk back to the car saw me get back about 4.30pm so a good eight hours in great weather in this great place was had

I decided to drive home the more scenic way by going through Beddgelert and up past Lyn Dinas and Llyn Gwynant and stopped off at the Plas y Brenin Mountain centre for a last photo as the sun was going down behind Snowdon. Always a great place to see the whole of the Horseshoe

Another brilliant day out in brilliant weather :-)


  1. Looks like an almost perfect day for walking! Never managed Snowdon views like that.
    I had a great walk from Rhydd Dhu last year along Nantlle Ridge. Worth a look anytime

    1. Cheers mate. Couldn't of been more perfect to be honest and lets hope we have more than one or two days like this in the coming year. i have done the Nantile Ridge and it's another great place.
      Cheers :-)

  2. What a great day, stunning views. I really like the route up from Rhydd Ddu it is so much quieter than the otherside.

    1. Phil, quiet wasn't the word, it was silent, infact it was a bit eerie at times with no wind and no ravens harking on :-) A great day

  3. Brilliant pics and write up of a stunning day. Great to bump into you up top! We went back down via Moel Cynghorion - tiring but a glorious day to be out.

  4. Cheers JC, and great to see you two as well. Not done Moel Cynghorion so another on the never ending list. Might tie it in with Yr Aran for a good long summers day :-)

  5. Stunning reflections Andy. Wonderful pictures.

    1. Thanks Leslie. This was a day to savour :-)