Wednesday 18 April 2018. I met Linda at 10am near her campsite. The weather hadn’t improved much and low cloud obscured the hill tops. It was forecast to improve so we stopped for coffee in Beddgelert to kill some time. I had thought of doing the Nantile Ridge, which is a very challenging walk, but I felt that it would be too much for me and opted for an easier low-level route. Linda stuck with the original plan and, when I’d finished my walk at 4:30pm, I got a text from her letting me know that she’d reached the Obelisk on Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd (2,142ft). I’d had my phone switched off to save battery for most of the day so don’t really know what time she sent me her text.
My route, which was devised on the hoof, took me through the northern part of Beddgelert Forest before circuiting Y Gyrn. I took the wrong path for a short while but soon realised that I was heading in the wrong direction. The bonus was a better view of the Nantile Ridge. I had thought of crossing the southern edge of Beddgelert Forest (path marked in purple on my map) but found that this path had been closed for more than a year to allow for the felling of trees. I continued on the closed path for a short while before detouring north on forestry access tracks to pick up my intended route near Pont Cae Gors. I don’t think that it added very much to the overall distance of my walk which turned out to be 7.4 miles with a total ascent of 1,400ft.
The weather improved considerably in the early afternoon and I was glad that I’d applied sunscreen and had my sun hat with me. The section of my route in the old quarries near Y Gyrn was most enjoyable. I didn’t see another walker until I was within sight of the car park.
I tried and failed to do Yr Aran last year because of my sore knee. Having now seen it from a different perspective, I feel that I must summon up the energy to give it another go.
Y Gyrn circuit – walk route
Tuesday 17 April 2018. What a wild 24 hours it has been. The weather forecast was for strong winds and heavy rain. They weren’t wrong. At about 5pm yesterday the wind was gusting so strongly that I thought it would rip the awning off the side of my caravan. I had no option but to take it down. Doing so in the middle of a gale was something of a challenge and, rather than neatly packing it away, I threw it on the back seat of my car until the weather calmed down a little.
The gales continued into the early hours of this morning and I spent a restless night with the caravan rocking as if it was on a storm-tossed sea. I woke at about 2am and decided to listen to the radio through my satellite linked TV. There was no signal. It was easy to see why so I got dressed and went outside to right my satellite dish which had been blown over by the wind. Soon after, the heavens opened up with torrential rain that didn’t stop until after lunch today.
I had anticipated the bad weather and, taking pity on Linda, had invited her to join me in my caravan rather than sitting in a soggy tent all day. She arrived just about noon and we then went off for a pub lunch in nearby Caernarfon. We then had a quick walk around the town. Whilst it remained dry, the wind was still strong so we did no more than a circuit around the Castle. The weather forecast is much better for the rest of the week so it should be back to walking for the two of us.
Monday 16 April 2018. Linda has joined me for a few days and this morning I picked her up from her campsite with the intention of doing a walk from Nant Gwynant. My idea was to try Yr Aran again having failed due to a sore knee last May. Linda had thought about doing Snowdon but it was shrouded in cloud and there was a strong wind blowing in the valley which would no doubt be worse at 3,600ft.
We both decided to change plans and to tackle Cnicht (2,260ft) instead. I had reached the top of Cnicht in June 2012 when accompanied by Bea and thought that it would still be within my capabilities. I couldn’t really remember too much about the previous ascent although some details were to come back to me as the walk progressed.
We started at Bethania (240ft) and followed a narrow winding lane for almost 2 miles. The lane seemed steep at times but we had only climbed 300ft by the time that we picked up the mountain track at Blaen Nanmor/Gelli-lago. Part way along this lane we saw what we took to be a dead lamb in one of the fields. Thankfully, it was only resting. We assumed that it was very newly born as it was still very wobbly on its legs as it tried to suckle from its mother.
The lane wasn’t the best for driving and I remarked that “I wouldn’t like to bring my car up here”. It only became apparent to me when we reached a small car park that I’d driven up here when doing the Cnicht walk with Bea. Had I done the same today, it would have saved me from 3.5 miles of road walking.
I can just about keep up with Linda on the flat but as soon as any hills are encountered then our difference in fitness and capability is cruelly exposed. I was only slowing Linda down and suggested that she should go ahead and I would plod on at my own pace. Linda was going to do a 10 mile or longer route and I was only doing a quick (do I mean slow?) up and down.
By the time that I’d reached 1,000ft above sea level I was only at the half way point and still had another 2.5 miles and 1,400ft to go to reach the summit of Cnicht. It was here that my willpower/determination gave out and I decided that was enough. In my current poor state of fitness I don’t mind admitting defeat and perhaps avoiding further risk to my health. My curtailed walk turned out to be 4.8 miles with a total ascent of 1,000ft. Had I done the full route then this would have been 9.6 miles with 2,400ft of ascent. Perhaps I need to do more modest walks for the remainder of this holiday??
Cnicht – walk route
Saturday 14 April 2018. I think that in common with much of the UK, Llanberis was shrouded in cloud with drizzle or rain for most of yesterday so I took a rest day. It was good to see the return of the sun today and it almost felt like spring has sprung.
I didn’t want to do too much today as my weekends are normally dedicated to watching sport on TV. With this in mind, I decided to have a wander in the hills and abandoned slate quarries at the back of my caravan site. It was a totally unplanned walk, some of which was off-piste. I wouldn’t have been quite so adventurous without the aid of my GPS and once away from the road, I didn’t see any other walkers. Although the walk was only 3.5 miles, I still managed to climb a total of 700ft.
Caravan Site – walk route
Thursday 12 April 2018. The weather today was very odd. It was 12c and sunny in Llanberis this morning when I set out for the drive over the Llanberis pass to Nant Gwynant on the other side of Snowdon. By the time that I got to the top of the pass the temperature had dropped to just 6c and all of the hills were shrouded in cloud. I descended part way to Nant Gwynant but could see that the weather wasn’t improving so I turned around and came back to the caravan.
Just after noon, I decided that I’d have a drive up to the car park just outside Dinorwig slate quarry. It was only 5 miles or so but saved me a climb of 600ft. I only walked a mile and quarter to the viewpoint and back. Visibility was no better than this morning and it wasn’t much warmer. Had it been better, then I might have trespassed to climb up through the now disused quarry towards the top of Electric mountain but that can wait for another day. On reflection, this was a good decision as it started to rain quite heavily by early afternoon.
Dinorwig – walk route