The web site Caledonia Hilltreks details my ascents of the Munros, Corbetts, Grahams and New Donalds. The blog, Scottish Sub 2000 Hills describes my ascents of the Scottish Marilyns below 2000 feet. This blog will detail my ascents of the English, Welsh and Irish Hills.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Northern Carneddau, Wales

Garnedd Uchaf

Garnedd Uchaf and Foel-fras, Carneddau, Wales.
Height – 926 metres and 942 metres.
Map – OS Landranger 115.
Climbed - 3 November 2010. Time taken – 5.75 hours.
Distance – 17 kilometres. Ascent – 850 metres.
Trip Report Details:

The forecast was for another wet and windy day in North Wales so we decided to climb the two Northern Carneddau 3000 feet mountains, starting from the small village of Gerlan, above Bethesda. The roads were quite narrow here but I did find a parking space just beyond the now closed down Spar shop.

On leaving my vehicle we walked up the narrow street called Ciltwillan past several houses and eventually to the road end where we crossed a stile and entered a field containing numerous sheep. They appeared to be gathered here for the tups.  We walked through the sheep and headed uphill crossing a couple of stiles.

This led to the open hillside and an ascent of Gyrn Wigau, where it was raining quite heavily. A short descent was followed by some more climbing to reach a vehicle track which ran below the south side of Drosgl and Berra Bach. This track became quite wet and boggy before a path was followed below Yr Aryg still on the south side. The cloud occasionally broke to give us views of the mountains we had climbed three days earlier, Carnedd Dafyyd, Carnedd Llewelyn, Yr Elen and Foel Grach.

Eventually we reached the rocky summit of Garnedd Uchaf where we stopped in the rain for a coffee break before following a rather wet path towards Foel-fras. A stone dyke was reached but it didn’t afford much shelter from the rain and also now a strong wind. The trig point was reached but there was no value in lingering here so we returned by the outward route stopping on Gyrn Wigau for lunch as the rain had ceased. From here we had views of Bethesda and out to Conway Bay.

Unfortunately the weather was to deteriorate over the next few days so that was the end of our trip to Wales. Another visit will be required to climb the 3000 feet hills of Snowdon.

Photos taken on walk.

Elidir Fawr, Wales.

Elidir Fawr

Elidir Fawr, Wales.
Height – 923 metres. Map – OS Landranger 115.
Climbed - 2 November 2010. Time taken – 5.25 hours.
Distance – 8 kilometres. Ascent – 810 metres.
Trip Report Details.

It was a wet and very windy morning when we drove along the A4086 to Nant Peris, south-east of Llanberis. Parking was quite limited within the village but I did manage to find a space on the main street.

The rain had ceased as we walked along the narrow road to Fron and just before this farm a signposted route took us up the side of a field and to the Afon Dudodyn. The track was reasonable but once we entered Cwm Dudodyn the underfoot conditions were pretty awful. My map showed the path crossing the stream and following the west bank but it wasn’t obvious on the ground. However there was a wet and boggy All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) track on the east side of the stream which we followed until it later disappeared.

Higher up the ground was a bit drier underfoot and we climbed to Bwlch y Brecan where there were views across to Pen yr Ole Wen. Here there was a path, which we followed west, and commenced the ascent of Bwich y Marchlyn looking down to Marchlyn Mawr Reservoir. The views were short lived as it started to rain and the cloud lowered. It was still windy. The path was followed to Elidir Fawr although the last few metres to the summit cairn were over wet and slippery boulders.

There wasn’t much chance of the cloud lifting and as it was very wet and windy we retraced our steps back to Nant Peris. Not long after leaving the summit we passed a group of walkers and a guide. Lower down we emerged from the cloud and the rain stopped.

Photos taken on walk.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Glyders, Wales.

Y Garn

Tryfan, Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr and Y Garn, Wales.
Height – 915 metres, 994 metres, 999 metres and 947 metres.
Map – OS Landranger 115.
Climbed - 1 November 2010. Time taken – 8.25 hours.
Distance – 12 kilometres. Ascent – 1230 metres.
Trip Report Details:

We returned to the A5 and parked midway along Llyn Ogwen in an official car park, which I was surprised to discover, was free. Again we were the first vehicle there although a few minutes later another car arrived.

It was a lovely sunny morning when we crossed the stile over a stone dyke at the back of the car park and climbed steeply on a man made path. As the gradient eased there appeared to be several routes towards Tryfan, which was our first challenge for the day. We selected the route that took us to and across the Nant Bochlwyd. This stream was followed up the west side of the waterfall and onto Llyn Bochlwyd where the adjacent hills were reflected in the water.

The path was followed to Bwich Tryfan where we crossed another stone dyke by a stile. It was a bit cooler here and there was an increase in the amount of cloud which was a bit disappointing. We followed the dyke towards Tryfan but discovered that it was best to be on the west side so re-crossed the dyke by another stile and made an approach to the rocks of Tryfan.

We commenced the ascent of this mountain with a few scrambles but as height was gained we realised that the further west we were the less scrambling was involved and in fact there was some scree paths to follow. Another stone dyke was reached and after a bit more scrambling we arrived on the summit with its two large boulders, Adam and Eve.

Shelter was found for a cup of coffee with views down to the north ridge before retracing our route to Bwich Tryfan, avoiding most of the scrambling. By this time the cloud had covered the top of Glyder Fach. A scree path led up the north ridge and into the cloud.  Rocky outcrops including the Cantilever Stone were passed before a massive area of boulders was reached. On taking advice from a guide, who had just left the summit with his group, we approached from the west side, which was apparently easier, and scrambled over the boulders until the highest point was reached.

The cloud broke briefly to give us a view of the west ridge and of Castell y Gwynt. We descended this ridge and by-passed these rock formations to the south and onto Bwitch y Ddwy-Glyder where a path was followed to the summit of Glyder Fawr. Here it was cold and windy and we sought some shelter for a late lunch. Afterwards we descended steep scree paths to Llyn Cwn. We expected an easy climb to Y Garn but the wind had increased speed again and it was now quite strong with some heavy rain showers.

Once we reached the summit of Y Garn we retraced our steps to Llyn Cwn before making the descent of the Devil’s Kitchen by a well engineered path which still required a lot of care. Eventually we reached Llyn Idwal and followed the path along its east bank before descending to the A5 at Idwal Cottage as dusk fell. It was then a short but wet walk along the side of the A5 back to the car.

Photos taken on walk.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Southern Carneddaus, Wales.

Carnedd Dafydd

Pen yr Ole Wen, Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewelyn, Yr Elen and Foel Grach, Wales.
Heights – 978 metres, 1044 metres, 1064 metres, 962 metres and 976 metres.
Map – OS Landranger 115.
Climbed - 31 October 2010. Time taken – 9.75 hours.
Distance – 19 kilometres. Ascent – 1350 metres.
Trip Report Details

This was my first adventure to Wales and I was hoping that in six days I would manage to climb the fifteen Welsh Furths, or as some know them the Welsh Munros, mountains over 3000 feet.

The clocks had gone back an hour during the night so we managed an early start. We found our way onto the A5and just east of Llyn Ogwen, parked at the side of the road. There was no other vehicle there so I was bit concerned that parking wasn’t permitted at the edge of the roads in Wales but a chap from Cheshire arrived a few minutes later and parked behind us.

We crossed the road and followed the marked path passed a bungalow and on towards Tay Llyn Ogwen. Just prior to this farm the route was signposted up the side of the burn, Afon Loer. The path was wet and muddy in places and we forded the burn a couple of times. There were views back across Llyn Ogwen to Tryfan but they were short lived as the cloud soon lowered and engulfed us. We followed the path which led to a rocky gully and involved a bit of scrambling. Once above the gully there was an obvious path that took us onto the summit of Pen yr Ole Wen. On this section of the ascent the cloud broke briefly and we had a view of the top of Carnedd Dafydd.

With no views from the summit we descended Pen yr Ole Wen’s north-east ridge where we saw a couple of Brocken Spectres. We were passed by a large group of youths as we climbed to the cairn at Carnedd Fach where we stopped for a coffee break. After this break we headed along the ridge, Cefn Ysgolion Duon, where we saw several Brocken Spectres, although the photos don’t do them justice. Another ridge, Bwich Cyfryw-drum was climbed before we reached the second Furth, Carnedd Llewelyn.

Visibility was poor on this summit so we took a bearing and descended north-west following a path then climbed Yr Elen. I found it difficult to decide which was the summit but once we were satisfied that we had been on all the high points we returned to Carnedd Llewelyn.

The weather hadn’t improved and we headed down Carnedd Llewelyn’s north-east ridge but lost the path and went slightly off course. Once relocated, we climbed to the summit of Foel Grach, the final Furth for the day, as we had insufficient time to continue to the northerly two.

We returned to Carnedd Llewelyn and as we approached the summit for the third time the cloud started to be break up a bit and we spotted some ponies. The south-east ridge was located and we descended Bwich Eryl Farchog with glimpses of the nearby hills as dusk approached. The descent involved a bit of scrambling before following a steep and eroded path to Ffynnon Llugwy Reservoir. The path continued along the east side of the Reservoir before joining a tarred access road which led to the A5. In darkness we walked back along the main road where occasionally there were sections of pavement.

Photos taken on walk.