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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The views all around were stunning and I could see/hear approaching climbers via the Mynffordd Path to the 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.
So I climbed back up to the summit and started down the Pony Track again and admired the views north as I went.
I took a short detour via The Saddle and then picked up the Pony Track further down the ridge.
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.
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!