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Snowdonia Peaks

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cadair Idris 8-3-2014

I met up with three walking buddies that I have met and walked with a few times off a couple of walking forums I'm on. Back in November 2013, a chat about a cottage I have stayed in before, became a mini meet within the hour and all was booked and looking forward to a couple of days walking, talking, drinking, and looking forward to some decent weather. The weekend of March 7th-9th was set and the Friday evening was taken up by a few drinks and a good old catch up sat round the open fire in the cottage sitting room. It was decided that the Saturday would be a good day to do Cadair Idris , in the Southern part of Snowdonia National Park, as two of the party hadn't done it and as it turned out, the weather this weekend had taken a change for the better and was looking more like a good spring day rather than the wet damp grey days of late. A bit late setting off plus quite a bit of road works on the way meant that by the time we had parked up and booted up at the start of the Minffordd Path, it was about 11am. The plus side was that it was a good bright sunny day that meant we had plenty of daylight hours as the forecast was set fair for not only the day but the whole weekend.
Our weekend base
Our route around Cadair Idris
Information board at the start of the walk
The start of the walk is very pleasant as it goes up through woodland on a well laid out path and follows the Nant Cadair as it tumbles it's way down through the trees with some impressive waterfalls and after some heavy rain the last couple of days it seemed to be in full flow. Once at the top of the falls, it's a steady walk along a well defined path through the nature reserve towards the bowl of Cadair Idris and Llyn Cau.
Nant Cadair
On the path through the nature reserve
Craig Cau on the left and Penygadair on the right, loom large over Llyn Cau
After a rest for drinks, chat and photo's it was time for a bit of leg work as the next stage was quite a bit of steep ascent that took us up and along the ridge to the pointy summit of Craig Cau, with it's steep and verticle cliff face. There is an interesting looking way up, by way of a scree and rocky slope in the far corner. We looked at this and thought it would be a good alternative when we next decide to visit. On the ridge round to the top there are some great views down on to the Llyn and although the sun was shining and quite warm in the bowl, the wind had picked up and was begining to pick up strength.
James enjoying the views
Craig Cau & Penycadair loom large
A steep gully down to Llyn Cau
Resting on Craig Cau with Penycadair as a backdrop
Steep drop to Llyn Cau
Steep cliffs of Craig Cau
A wind blown Llyn Cau
Distant views over to the Cardigan Bay
After a good rest it was onwards and upwards to Penycadair, the summit of Cadair Idris. By this time the wind had really picked up and some of the gusts were trying there hardest to really blow us off our feet but we stood firm. There was also a chilly bite to the wind and this is where the right gear comes in to it's own. Hat, gloves and a good windproof jacket all help to keep the elements out.
Coming off Craig Cau and up the rocky ascent to Penycadair
Susan & James at the trig
Donna on the final approach
Susan & Donna hanging on in the high wind :-)
Myself & James playing it cool :-)
We took shelter out of the wind for about ten minutes before we made our way down the large wide plateau towards another summit on Cadair Idris, Mynydd Moel where we then followed the fence line down the steep and rocky descent path to join up with the ascent path at the top of the waterfalls.
Leaving Penycadair summit with the stone shelter on the right
The wide flat plateau towards Mynydd Moel
A look back along the fence line descent route
The descent path is quite ardious although there are stone slabs in place but also plenty of churned up turf that can get very wet & boggy. Today wasn't too bad but care needs to be taken.There are also some fine views to be had across to the days route and the high horeshoe that we had completed. the sun was going down so the photo's are a bit hazy but with the wind still blowing around the bowl shaped nature reserve, any waterfalls were being blown backwards. Quite a spectacle really.
Cadair Idris Horeshoe  from the ascent path
James on the rocky descent path
Waterfall being blown back by the strong winds
Looking down onto Tal-y-Llyn
Sun disappearing behind Craig Cau
Into Cadair Idris nature reserve
Donna on the stone bridge at the path junction
All that was left now was to follow the Nant Cadair back down to the car park and we got down just as the light was fading so a good 7 hours spent around this great place. We got back to our base and tucked into a splendid sheperds pie washed down with some acholic drinks till the early hours, splendid :-)
Nant Cadair
Nant Cadair tumbling down through the woods
Nant Cadair tumbling through the woods
Back into the car park at dusk
Great day, thanks to James, Donna & Susan.
Till next time, Andy :-)


  1. It's a great hill and looks like you did well with the weather! Long may this sunshine continue!

    1. Cheers mate. Weather was just the job apart from the strong wind on top.

  2. nice one andy. tommo

  3. Lovely. Great weather for it. Love the blown back waterfall!

    1. Cheers JC. We were nearly following the waterfall at one point. Very windy at times!

  4. Great days walking, gorgeous weather, really good fun with good friends, glad you enjoyed my Shepherds Pie, thank you Andy :)

    1. Cheers Donna. Pie was excellent, weekend was excellent, thanks :-)