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Snowdonia Peaks

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Snowdon 23-11-2013

Back to Snowdonia again and this time to go up Snowdon via the South Ridge from the Ryhd Ddu car park and descending via the Rangers Path then cutting through boggy ground, pass the old slate quarry and back to the car park. This walk was organized by a fellow Walking Forum & Walkers Forum member who had to be rescued by the Llanberis MRT back in the summer after falling ill on his way to the summit from this route. After making a full recovery he asked members if anyone wanted to join him as he wanted to complete the route that he started out doing and so seven of us met up at 8.15am on a cool and sunny early winter morning in the car park at the small welsh village of Ryhd Ddu. Shortly after his rescue, a few members off the forum did a sponsored walk to raise money for the MRT by going up and down Snowdon by six different routes, three up and three down, all in one day! A fantastic effort that has raised over £1000.00 to this day http://www.justgiving.com/Nigel-Laughton
The weather couldn't of been any better as we set off from the car park along the Ryhd Ddu path where we headed for the old slate quarry under Yr Aran
Our route for the day @ approx 10 miles
On the Ryhd Ddu path with Y Garn (Nantile Ridge) as a backdrop
The slate quarry with the Nantile Ridge as a backdrop
Looking down on our route from the quarry
Ice covered slate along the path through the quarry
 There was quite a bit of ice covering the ground here as it was still in the shade and made for one or two tricky steps of the Torvil & Dean variety but thankfully no mishaps. We made our way through the quarry and to the wall at Bwlch Cwn Llan where it meets a path that branches of the Watkins Path, coming up from Cwm Llan and another old quarry right under the twin peaks of Y Lliwedd. We rested here before the steep climb up to Allt Maenderyn
Looking back down on the icy quarry
View down Cwm Llan and quarry's under Y Llwiedd
Rest on Allt Maenderyn with a snow capped Snowdon in the background
Good clear views over Southern Snowdonia
As we hit the snowline we were still in good clear weather and it was still quite still apart from a stiff breeze blowing up and over the ridge every now and again. The tracks were in good condition along the snow and we didn't encounter any problems as we made our way along the ridge line. This is where we put on our mircrospikes and crampons for added security and it's suprising how much more confident you feel with then on. More of a precaution as anything but it left you to enjoy the views and the ridge walk a lot more.
Hitting the snowline
Along a snow covered South Ridge
Easy does it
Snow & ice covered rocks against a now grey sky
The final approach to Snowdon Summit
Looking back along Y Llwiedd
Looking back from the steps of the Snowdon Summit Cafe
As luck would have it, the blue sky that we had enjoyed all morning was now slowly being taken over by more grey looking cloud. At one point it did feel and look like we were about to get a bit wet but thankfully the threat of any more snow/rain didn't come. There was a bit of low cloud that spoilt any clear views but it did add to the winter atmosphere. At least the wind stayed at bay on the summit so it didn't really get too cold. In fact despite it looking like the inside of a freezer, it didn't feel that way as plenty of people were sat/stood about having something to eat and drink and just chatting away. A very relaxed summit. After our intake of food we headed off and up to the summit of Garned Ugain just for the hell of it and also because Nigel hadn't visited this summit before. Now this one felt more like a winter walk as it was shrowded in mist and the trig had quite a lot of ice on it. It was I suppose my first taste of a proper winter summit as we were the only ones there and it just felt so different to the hustle and bustle of a fairly busy Snowdon. So quiet and so isolated.
View over to Crib Goch from the summit
The very tricky snowy and icy zig zag section of the Pyg Track under Garnedd Ugain
Snowdon Summit Cafe and a distant sunny Cardigan Bay
Snowy train track
View down to Glaslyn & Llyn Llydaw form the Garnedd Ugain path
Snowdon & busy Pyg track
Out of the mist on Garnedd Ugain
Icy trig Point
Garnedd Ugain Summit
Crampons at the ready
Descent off Garnedd Ugain

We made our way off Garnedd Ugain and made our way onto the Rangers Path for our descent back to Ryhd Ddu. It was still quite icy as we made our way out of the remaining mist as we approached the last of the snow and got back onto a more familiar rocky scree path. This was another first for me as I haven't been on the Ranger path before. I found it OK going down but I don't think I'd like to make an ascent from here as it's too much like hard relentless rocky scree. Not really to my liking. As we got into the more colourful surroundings it seemed like a differnt world again to the snowy summit. It was also quite breezy with a bit of a bite to it and also a lot different to the blue sky morning we had a few hours earlier.
Our descent down the Rangers path and out of the winter conditions
Back on more familiar ground
Great views over to the Nantile Ridge
Beams of light everywhere
Llyn Ffynnon y gwas (reservoir)
It was quite a trek down the Rangers Path before we turned off and headed across farmland and over stiles towards more old quarry's. It was quite boggy in places as we crossed various streams and man made bridges and it was also getting quite dark.
Snowdon from the boggy fields
Over a bridge on the way to the quarry
Old quarry buildings
Old Quarry building

Back on boggy ground

One of the many stream crossings
Getting dark as we approach Ryhd Ddu
We eventually made it back to the car park dead on 4.30pm which was great timing as it was just about getting dark.
Back at the car park in the fading light

Another fantastic day out in this great part of the world. My thanks go out to my companions from the walking forum's, Kirsch, Joe, Foz, Chip, Woz and Archie the dog :-) Also a big pat on the back to Nigel who completed his mission and also organized the day


  1. What a fantastic write up
    really enjoyed it

  2. great tr mate...clive

  3. Looks a cracking walk there Andy and very cold :)