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Snowdonia Peaks

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Easter Bunny of The Carneddau 17-4-2017

I wanted to take advantage of the Easter break with a visit to an area I hadn't been to for seven years, 2010 being the last time I was in this valley and always vowed to re visit for a longer day out. I have wanted to do the Cwm Eigau Horeshoe since then after seeing a few reports about it and thinking that it would be a great mountain day out. Monday seem ed like it was to be the best day weather wise, as well as being the most favorable day for me to get out as Jill was working so the date was set. CWM EIGIAU sits at the end of a single track road that needs a bit of care but worth the effort to get there. One of the more quiet and wild parts of Snowdonia sits on the Eastern edge of the CARNEDDAU MOUNTAINS The weather wasn't at it's best and I sat out a heavy shower before setting off along the path that takes you towards the LLYN MELYNLLYN. Thankfully the rain had eased off and it was more of a mixture between light drizzle and low cloud coming and going for a few hours. A stiff breeze would come along now and again so it was waterproofs, hat and gloves for the best part, quite unlike my last two days out where sun cream and sun hats were the order of the day!!
My route for the day
Looking down in to Cwm Eigau and the return route
Straight out of the car park towards Clogwynyreryr
Looking back down towards the car park with Moel Eilio as the backdrop
I headed round the path to the stile and fencline junction where I headed off straight down towards the Afon Melynllyn which I had to cross. Despite the rain it wasn't too bad and I managed it without any mishaps :-) A straight plod up the bank following the fencline proved to be a bit tiring as it is longer than it looked, as is always the case. It was also quite boggy but I managed to avoid most of the really wet areas, apart from the stuff coming out of the clouds!! Hood up, hood down, hood back up, the weather didn't really know what to do and it teased with a couple of glimpses of blue sky, more in hope than anything. One thing that did look OK, was that despite the light rain, the cloud was generally off the mountain tops so all was not lost, yet!
Straight down and straight up :-)
All the tops looking ok for the time being
Easter Bunny by the Afon Melynllyn
Afon Melynllyn crossing point
Looking back on the route so far
Following the fencline
Cloud coming in
Easter bunny showing the way forward
The fence bought me out on the ridge between Drum & Foel Fras and also in the clag that had come down and was now rather damp!! Not what was in the forecast but hey, it'll soon clear, won't it???
A straight forward walk along the fence, then wall, to the summit of Foel Fras where that pesky Easter bunny was waiting on top of the trig, how she got there I don't know but at least we were still smiling :-)
The last clear look back of my route
In to the mist
Approaching Foel Fras
Foel Fras rocky summit
Easter bunny trig attack!
A straight forward and damp walk to the next rocky summit of Carnedd Gwenllian before a wrong turn in the mist nearly saw me heading in the direction of Bera Bach!! A quick look at the GPS app on the mobile soon put that one right! Easily done and I know where I went wrong but the excitement of the day nearly cost me an extra hour or two!! Another learning curve and this time without getting panicky about it. Not too many photo's going across from one summit to the other as the drizzle kept coming and going plus no views of any sort apart from the path way and rocky tops.
Follow that path
Carnedd Gwenllian rocky summit
Easter bunny on Carnedd Gwenllian
After my short mishap, it was on to the summit of Foel Grach and a chance to take a bit of refuge in the emergyncy shelter for a bite to eat and welcome hot coffee. It was here that I decided not to carry on with the whole horseshoe route and to head off the misty tops and make my way down in to the valley for a look round the old quarry. I don't like missing out on such a good route but as I have done all the summits before on different occasions I just didn't fancy walking round in the clag and damp conditions when I had the choice of being lower and having a look round the Cwm. Just means I have to come back in better conditions for the full round and it won't take me seven years next time
Foel Grach emergency shelter
Easter bunny in the emergency shelter
Foel Grach wet summit
Follow that stream
Making my way off Foel Grach
The last time I was here I made my way up from the Cwm so knew I'd be able to get down OK even though it was a bit off piste. There is a path but I was quite a way off that so it was another river crossing, waterfalls and what looks like a bit of plane wreckage. There are quite a few crash sites scattered round the area and I have come across one or two small pieces before and also memorial sites but this piece was quite large and just lying in the stream. I didn't see any other pieces or any indication of a memorial.
The way down
A piece of plane wreckage
The way down
Looking down on Cwm Eigiau and the old quarry
Looking down on Cwm Eigau and the old quarry
Afon Eigiau
Afon Eigiau
Cwm Eigiau
Although there was still a bit of mist on the tops, it was slowly clearing and by the time I'd got to the quarry it was looking quite clear if still a bit on the amp side. One of the good things about this area is the quietness as not many folk seem to venture down here. It is a bit of a walk back to the car park so anyone coming this way has about an hour's walk from the car but at least it's all relatively flat. Another feature of this area is the presence of the wild Carneddau Ponies, although today I only had distant sightings across the valley. They do roam more or less freely all over the Carneddau and I have come across them quite regulary when in the area. There is also quite a bit of rock climbing going on, on the crags of Craig yr Ysfa but no one out today, probably because of the wet conditions.
Carneddau Ponies
Mist lifting from the quarry
Craig yr Ysfa the climbers playground
Old quarry houses
I had a good look round the quarry buildings that sit directly under Pen yr Helgi Du as I've not visited these before. I did pass them on my last visit but didn't really have a proper look round. Not much in the way of old workings or tunnels that I could see but interesting all the same. There is another site just down the valley and you can see where the workings and rail tracks were on that site with the old incline going up the bank to the ridge between Pen Llythrig Wrach & Craig Ffynnon.
Eigiau quarry pit
Eigiau quarry
Eigiau quarry
The golden egg @ Eigiau quarry
Eigiau quarry
Disused quarry showing the incline
A straight forward walk back to the car passing the reservoir, Llyn Eigiau with the collapsed dam wall. CLICK HERE

Llyn & Eigiau & Craig Eigiau
Breached dam wall
Looking back down in to Cwm EigiaU
Blue skies over the Conwy Valley and beyond
Well, another great day out and this is one place that I'll definatley be returning to later this year to do the Cwm Eigiau Horseshoe proper

Cheers :-)

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