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Hiking through disused quarries on the edge of Snowdonia NP

Hiking through disused quarries on the edge of Snowdonia NP


Postby When Adventure Knox » Sat Mar 12, 2022 8:18 pm

Date walked: 02/06/2021

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Last spring, I went on a hike through some of the disused quarries on the edge of Snowdonia National Park - the old quarrymen's houses were especially fascinating. Lunch was enjoyed in Llanberis before heading back up the hillside to where we parked the car past the very cool looking Vivian Quarry lake. As I often do, I filmed this hike and have edited together a video of it. If you choose to watch it, I hope you enjoy it.

When Adventure Knox
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Re: Hiking through disused quarries on the edge of Snowdonia

Postby Skyelines » Sun Mar 13, 2022 4:42 pm

Well that brought back some distant memories.
Before the Dinorwig Power station was built and Llyn Peris was still a small attractive lake one could wander anywhere in the quarry with no wire fences to keep one to a specified route. Fences were put up around the construction site but one could bypass these easily. From the video it seems there are now a lot more.
I remember one big hole in the ground where there was an explosive store. Access to the hole was by a short tunnel. The store is round building and has very thick walls and a thin roof so any accidental explosion directed the force upwards rather than sideways.
An alternative route out of this hole involved a 20-30 foot climb up a vertical old ladder secured to the wall which with its missing rungs made an interesting climb.

The trackways you mention were for lowering slate and were gravity driven, laden wagons going down pulled the empty ones up and the speed was controlled by a brake on the winding drums at the top of the incline.( the ones in the video.) It was against the company policy for workers to ride the wagons but they did and a few horrendous accidents occured when the brakes failed.

In around 1986 or 7 the quarry was used as a set for the film Willow and a huge facade of a fort was built and a white cottage on the opposite hill had to be painted green so it wouldn't show up on the film. At the time they were advertising for extras who were short, long haired and bearded - though clearly qualified I didn't apply, I was working and supposed to be writing up my masters thesis.
Skyelines
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Re: Hiking through disused quarries on the edge of Snowdonia

Postby When Adventure Knox » Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:41 pm

Hi Skyelines

Thank you so much for sharing al of that. It's funny how as it was my first time visiting, I thought it was strangely freeing how you could wander most parts, but it certainly sounds like they've put up more fencing from when you've been in the past. The facts about the explosive store are fascinating, I wish I'd come across it on my hike.

Very interesting to hear that workers couldn't ride the wagons, but they would anyway, and gory to know there were bad accidents! :shock:
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