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Snowdonia Peaks

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Glyder Fach 15-3-2014

This was one of those unexpected days out as earlier in the week it looked like I would be working but with a sudden change of plan and Jill being off it was decided to take advantage of the fair weather forecast and do something that Jill had wanted to do for some time, stand on the Cantilever Stone on Glyder Fach. I was last up this way last year in the summer when me and my daughter missed out due to the weather, low cloud and poor visibility meant we went off piste by a hundred metres or so, no chance of that this time as we were treated to clear blue skies on the summit. It wasn't all like that though as the mist did roll in and out all day and we were treated to a cloud inversion going on around the Pen y Pass side with Snowdon peaking out once as well as Y Lliwedd. In fact we had a real mixed bag weather wise, with warm sun, cool winds, mist and even a brocken spectre :-) Our route took us from the car park on the A5 next to Llyn Ogwen following the outflow from Llyn Bochlwyd on to the path to the shore of Llyn Bochlwyd. This Llyn has the nickname Australia Lake, as seen from above it resembles the shape of Australia.
Our route for the day

Steep climb from the car park
One lonely tree
Llyn Ogwen & the Nant Ffrancon valley
Glyder Fach all in cloud
Ater a short break by Llyn Bochlwyd we took to the path that takes you up the ridge of Y Gribin. A fairly straight forward path before you get to the more rocky scrambling side of things. There is a path of sorts that takes you below the actual ridge and then a scramble up near the end and this is the route I took as there was quite a wind blowing up the side plus the mist had rolled in so I thought I'd keep things a bit more simple as this was Jill's first mountain day for a couple of years. She only has short legs as well so a bit less stretching and hauling up and over too many rocks :-) As a treat, we were treated to a brocken spectre as the mist rolled in and out between the sunny spells.
On the shore of Llyn Bochlwyd
Llyn Bochlwyd from above
View up the Y Gribin ridge
Llyn Bochlwyd from higher up
Llyn Idwal down the other side of Y Gribin
Brocken Spectre
Last of the scramble
Into the mist on Glyder fach
As we followed the path round the mist started to disappear and the way ahead became nice and clear with blue sky above us. Down to the right of us and in the Pen y Pass valley below us was full of cloud with Snowdon and Y Lliwedd poking through now and again. Now this is the first proper time I have seen an inversion like this and we just stood around taking it all in as the clouds seemed to be poured into the valley out of a giant jug. I climbed to the top of Castell y Gwynt aka Castle of the Winds, to get a birds eye view
Castell y Gwynt
Snowdon just poking through the cloud Inversion
Enjoying the views
Y Lliwedd just poking out
Getting up the "Castle"
Views from the "Castle"
looking over to the Cantilever from the "Castle"
Looking down from the "Castle"
Castell y Gwynt
Valley full of cloud
Pano from the summit
We made our way from here to the Cantilever and has luck would have it there was a someone there who took our photo in clear blue skies, a great moment for us. I have been here a few times before but to be here with Jill in good clear weather was a real bonus. As it happened, after we had our lunch, the cloud had rolled in and made it a bit more challenging to make things out but cleared up again as we made our descent.
On the Cantilever Stone
And it all goes misty
One in the mist
One in the mist
All clear on the descent path
The way down was straight forward enough and in good clear weath until we got to the path going down towards Tryfan. This is when we hit the wind and mist on the slopes of Glyder Fach. which takes you to the wall at the south side of Tryfan. We then picked up the path that leads us back to Llyn Bochlwyd and back to the car park
the misty descent path
Not very happy about another climb :-)

Coming out of the mist

Nothing to see here
Llyn Bochlwyd
Llyn Ogwen with Pen y Ole Wen looming large
Cloud covered Y Garn
Carefully does it
Y Garn
Llyn Ogwen

Don't jump!!

Another great day in Snowdonia. A day where we took our time and ended up with some great views and a mixed bag of weather. Hats & gloves on then off then on again, coats unzipped, then zipped up again but luckily the waterproofs stayed in the packs. Just what the doctor ordered. A trouble free drive home and then to the local for a curry and a few beers, nice :-)


Friday, 14 March 2014

Wet & Wild Snowdonia Walk 10-3-2014

After a great walk on Cadair Idris on Saturday and a bit of a mixed bag on the Sunday I decided that I would visit an area I had penciled in for sometime. As the others had left the cottage on Sunday afternoon to get back to there respected homes for work on Monday morning, hard life for some :-), I decided that this day would be the one to visit a quieter part of Snowdonia. Again, it's thanks to a member of the Walkers Forum, Tabbycat, who has put up various trip reports around this area that has inspired me to visit this quiet & wild area. I hadn't really got a plan for the day, more like just see how things pan out as I was in no rush to get home. After packing everything up and saying goodbye to the cottage I drove the 15 minutes to a small car park on a single track lane tucked away in a valley close to the village of Nantmor. I was parked, booted up and set off down the lane by 9.30am in very pleasant sunshine with just a hint of a chill in the air. It was very still, very quiet and very nice to be off walking instead of working and what turned out to be one of the warmest days of the year so far.
A half mile walk down the lane saw me turn off and onto a track that took me on the outskirts of a wooded area, gaining height to an old crumbling building in a area that was quite boggy. In fact for most of the remainder of the day, the ground was to be just that, boggy!! The views though made you realize just why we do this, walk for hours on end in wild places where the only sound to be heard is running water and the early spring bird songs, brilliant :-)
My route for the day @ approx 10 miles
Looking back along the lane
Start of the walk proper
Over the stile or through the gate??
The old building
The old building with Snowdon as a backdrop
Boggy ground around the building
 The path from the house led me towards a wall that I followed for a bit before moving into a rocky gully following the Afon Llynedno as it tumbled its way down the valley towards the Afon Glaslyn. A great river walk that provided some spectacular views back towards Llyn Dinas and the Hebog Range. This looks like it would be a great place to visit when all the trees and flowers are in full bloom on a warm sunny summers day as there seemed to be a great variety around. The sound of the waterfalls just added to the scene.
Looking back down to the old building and wall from the gully
Following the Afon Llynedno
Looking back towards a distant Llyn Dinas and the Hebog Range
And from higher up
Following the Afon Llynedno
Another superb look back
Yr Aran & Snowdon come into view
By this time the views back had really opened up as the Snowdon Horseshoe and the Carneddau had now come into full view. The views were taking my mind of all the squelching going on underfoot as I made steady progress upwards trying to miss out any bog monsters that lay in wait. Unfortunately one got me as I took my eye off the ball for a second. It's a good job I had gaiters on, as I sunk down nearly to knee high!! Oh well, it was a first for me so it's not too bad and the gaiters earned there money :-)
Pano of Moel Hebog, Yr Aran, Snowdon Horseshoe & Distant Carneddau
More wet ground ahead
1-0 to the bog monster :-(
I got to the top of the gully without anymore mishaps to be greeted with a fine view of Moel Siabod and also my first summit of Moel Meirch. Not much in the way of a trig point or anything special but it does have a grandstand view of most of the main northern summit's all laid out in front of me in glorious sunshine with a blue sky as the backdrop, superb
Moel Meirch Summit views of the big guns
Towards Moel Siabod
Snowdon Horseshoe
Llyn Edno from Moel Meirch
This was a great place just to sit and have a good look round taking it all in especially with views in all directions and the sun beating down. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a chilly wind but not as bad as on Friday. I did spend about 30 mins or so here before moving down to Llyn Edno and more wet and boggy ground. This was becoming a permanent feature of the day that wouldn't go away! There is a fence line that I followed round to my next summit of Ysgafell Wen which is marked by a large cairn with Cnicht & the Moelwyns as a backdrop
Llyn Edno
Fence line and boggy ground ahead
Back down to Llyn Edno
One of the Llyns in Llynnau r Cwm
And from above
Ysgafell Wen summit with Llyn yr Adar, Cnicht, Moelwyns & Porthmadog coast line in the distance
Another great vantage point and one where I hung around for a bit. It was at this point that my mind was toying with the idea that I should make a visit to Cnicht as it seemed only a stones throw away. It was in fact a 45 minute slushy, boggy walk away but well worth the effort. I had time on my side and as I was sort of making my walk up on the way round it just seemed to fit in with my no plan of a day. Cnicht is the place where I saw the only other people out on the hills today, an elderly couple enjoying the delights of the day as they made there way round to the old Croesor quarries.
Llyn yr Adar
Llyn yr Adar with Snowdon
Cnicht summit
Porthmadog coastal view from the summit
Hebog range from the summit
Llyn yr Adar was the place where there was a forum wild swimming race in the summer of 2013. Various members of the Walkers Forum stripped off and took part in an impromtu dip. A good way to cool of then as it was hot but a day like today would of been a tad cooler so I left that to the seagulls.
I was now on my ascent back to Llyn yr Adar and from there I picked up the path that made its way through the crags of Craig Llyn-lliag and Y Cyrniau and down to Llyn Llaig. This is quite a distinct path in places and then it seems to disappear in the boggy ground and then re-appear further down. A sure sign that this isn't a overly popular place.
My way down through Craig Llyn-lliag & Y Cyrniau

My descent towards Llyn Lliag
Sun rays over Llyn Lliag
 Looking back up to the ridge of  Craig Llyn-lliag, I was wishing that I had paid that a visit and made my way over the ridge and then down. Oh well, another day looms :-)
Pano of Craig Llyn-lliag
It was now just a steady descent through bog, path, across streams, past old buildings and past a couple of cottages to get back to the road. Quite a varied ascent really and the views in front of me made it very pleasant indeedy :-)
Old building with Y Aran & Snowdon as the backdrop
Outflow of Llyn Lliag
Outflow of Llyn Lliag
Another old building
Passing two cottages
Looking back from the lane up to the ridge of Craig Llyn-lliag
Just a short walk back down the lane to the car park where I got back about 5pm, so a good 7 & 1/2 hours in this wet & wild corner of Snowdonia. A leisurely drive up to Plas y Brenin for a photo of the sun going down behind Snowdon finished the day off perfectly.
Sun going down behind Snowdon
Yet another brilliant day out in Snowdonia and the end of another brilliant weekend :-)