Quick Trip up Penygadair

It isn’t very often that I get out in the hills on a weekend; I am usually too busy at home doing the domestic necessities. As I work from home and that is only sporadic, then I usually escape during the working week.

But as Mrs. R was going to be holed up doing her university assignments all weekend (I vant to be alone) and I saw the weather forecast was excellent, I decided on a quick trip to the hills.

Preferably during a normal April Saturday I would have combined it with an overnight camp but as we are on the verge of the new ice age I planned a day trip instead.

I set off early from home leaving the snoreheads behind and headed to my beloved Wales and was soon driving through Welshpool and well on the way. I intended to try a walk in the Rhinogs but as I drove over Bwlch Oerddrws on the A470 I saw Cadair Idris beaming at me in the rising sun and changed my plans.

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I have slept on its summit several times and I am rubbish at poetry (must be mad then?!) and only climbed via the Minffordd Path so I decided to take the easy way up and try The Pony Path from the north side for once.

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Ty Nant

It was still early when I arrived at Ty Nant and the small car park, with only a few cars in it and not a soul around. On the plus side the NT pay and stay machine was out of order so I saved myself 4 squid to boot. On a day like today I would have happily parted with the cash but hey ho, on we go.

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Pony Track

The track is very well marked and very well trodden but there are repairs ongoing further up before the main ridge to prevent erosion, so I guess the money is being spent wisely.

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Gaining the Ridge

Lots of deep snow patches lay on the path on this north facing side but it was fairly easy going up onto the main ridge before turning east onto the saddle.

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View North

There were some great views north towards the Rhinogydd range and beyond.

I continued on and then saw two figures descending towards me. Two guys stopped to chat saying, “Where is everyone?” They said there was nobody on the summit so I plodded on hoping the situation would stay the same.

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The Summit Ahead

The summit trig point was just visible as the sun started to rise and I was the warmest I had been in ages despite the altitude. I had been wearing my newly acquired RAB Vapourise Lite top up to this point but now it had to come off. The wind was very light and all in all it was a gorgeous morning.

Still no one else about as I climbed onto the final ridge and gained the trig point cairn.

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Looking north to Barmouth

Only a pair of ice climbers emerging from a gully on the north face surprised me as I walked to find a spot for my brekky feast!

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Breakfast Stop

The views all around were stunning and I could see/hear approaching climbers via the Mynffordd Path to the south.

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View South

I settled down to eat and savoured the silence for now until more climbers joined me on the warm and surprisingly balmy summit.

I decided to have a wander down the east ridge and bag another summit, Mynydd Moel at 863m. As I did so I considered descending on the Foxes Path but the lack of spikes/crampons changed my mind.

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Mynydd Moel

  So I climbed back up to the summit and started down the Pony Track again and admired the views north as I went.

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Llyn y Gadair

I took a short detour via The Saddle and then picked up the Pony Track further down the ridge.

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The Saddle

The sweating hordes were approaching as I hopped and slid down the now thawing path to the car at Ty Nant. An early start was a good idea.

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View back to Summit

It wasn’t until I saw myself in the rear view mirror that I realised I should have put on sun screen and maybe a hat! Mrs. R called me a beetroot! How very dare she!

Where Typhoons Roar

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‘Cadair Idris Range from Cribin Fach above Bwlch Oerderrws’

Had a short walk up onto the ridge above Bwlch Oerderrws, from the car park on the A470 between Dinas Mawddwy and Dolgellau today.

We are in the heart of the ‘Mach Loop’ low flying zone where military jets from all over come to test their low flying skills in the welsh valleys.

This car park is usually full on weekdays as the jet snappers get here early on good weather days and stake their claim on the various pitches above ‘The Bwlch’ as it is called.

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‘Looking back down at the car park on the ascent’

I cannot match the skills and high level equipment of these fanatical snappers (yet) and I make no apologies of recommending a fantastic site where the quality of images can be seen.Visit www.mjaviation.co.uk for some highly recommended images.

Two Typhoons and a T2 Hawk trainer came up the valley from Dinas Mawddwy and roared below me as I made the climb up to the ridge. Sadly no pics this time but I will return for a shot soon.

My task was alot simpler: to test out the new LEKI walking poles and also get some landscape shots of the hills; including Cadair Idris and The Rhinogs.

Cadair Idris from A470

Its a steep and boggy climb up onto Cribin Fach but a well laid path eventually finds a boundary fence on your left and then just follow this upwards. Beware in mist or cloud as there is a VERY deep old slate quarry just to the right of the fence line when heading south west and I sheltered there for lunch as the clouds rolled in for a while.

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The clouds agreed to part a little and I was able to take some shots with my tripod in between the clouds rolling in. The sun was a little too high in the sky though and I had some lense flare. Ideally a shot of Cadair would be at sunrise. I made a mental note to try and have a wild camp one night and hope for a clear dawn.

I have posted a screenshot of the OS map showing the car park and place where the images were taken, below.

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There were some spectacular views west of The Rhinog range and The Snowdon Horseshoe and Arans.

The whole set of images are on my Flickr page at www.flickr.com and you are welcome to take a look. They are in the ‘mountain walks’ set and also in the photostream.

There are some great ridge walks once up on top and I recommend a days walking up here; preferably when the weather is clear! I was lucky as the sun set and made it back down before the clouds rolled in again.

My new Craghoppers Climaplus jacket was excellent too; very light and warm. It was a bargain in the sale at £25 squid. Wished I had bought two as they are nowhere to be seen now!

I sort of got used to the poles and will persevere as I aim to try out the new DD Tarp soon.