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Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris


Postby poppiesrara » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:18 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Cadair Idris - Penygadair, Craig Cwm Amarch, Cyfrwy, Mynydd Moel

Date walked: 30/05/2011

Time taken: 4

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 1090m

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Picking the best part of a rather mixed day and just about skirting the mists and rain, a slightly extended version of a classic route up a terrific mountain.

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From the car-park to the east (£2 for up to 4 hours, which should be enough for most people following the main route) the Minffordd Path up Cadair Idris is a constantly interesting one. The path – at least to the top of the first peak - is extremely well-stoned, almost paved; although you gain a lot of height quickly, it’s rarely more difficult than, or too different from, climbing flights of steps. The Nant Cadair falls – in noisy tumbling spate this day – are a constant companion as you climb steeply through the woods, and then the walk into open country is enlivened first by Llyn Cau in its mountainous bowl and then the impressive crags up to, and of, Craig Cwm Amarch. The last stretch up to the peak, over loose scree-ish rock far enough from the edge to have lost the views, is the only slightly unpleasant part, but generally it’s a really good couple of miles of climb all the way.
5 Nant Cadair falls.jpg
Nant Cadair falls

7 Mynydd Rugog.jpg
Mynydd Rugog

12 Craig Cwm Amarch.jpg
Craig Cwm Amarch

14 Llyn Cau below CCA and Cadair Idris.jpg
Llyn Cau below Craig Cwm Amarch and Cadair Idris

17 Ridge of ascent between Craig Lwyd and Craig Cwm Amarch.jpg
Ridge of ascent between Craig Lwyd and Craig Cwm Amarch

21 Corris valley.jpg
Corris valley

24 Craig Cwm Amarch.jpg
Craig Cwm Amarch

31 Craig Cwm Amarch.jpg
Craig Cwm Amarch

32 Llyn Cau.jpg
Llyn Cau

37 Cadair Idris from Craig Cwm Amarch.jpg
Cadair Idris from Craig Cwm Amarch

After a sharp drop to the col, the main route on to Cadair Idris is very clearly laid out in front of you; the pathless contouring route to the Pony Path and on to the outlier Cyfrwy rather less so, but – even in a brief but thick mist – it was easy enough to pick a route through following a bearing. Cyfrwy is a stony little peak with dramatic cliffs plunging down to the north and tantalising glimpses of the coast through the clag – quite probably a great view of Cadair Idris too, but not today... Another good path leads to the main peak of Cadair, which – improbably enough on a generally warm and dry bank holiday – was absolutely deserted for a good ten minutes or more, even if the shelter below was packed.
38 Llyn Cau & Craig Lwyd.jpg
Llyn Cau & Craig Lwyd

39 Back to Craig Cwm Amarch.jpg
Back to Craig Cwm Amarch

43 Craig-Las & Barmouth Bay from Cyfrwy.jpg
Craig-Las & Barmouth Bay from Cyfrwy

46 Cyfrwy east face & ridge to Cadair Idris.jpg
Cyfrwy east face & ridge to Cadair Idris

50 Cadair Idris summit, in a rare quiet moment.jpg
Cadair Idris summit in a rare quiet moment

In contrast to the steep rises earlier, it’s a gentle rolling walk along the cliff-edge to the next rise of Mynydd Moel, which belies its appearance from the approach by revealing sharp crags on the far side. Gau Graig way down below looks a tempting little onward spur from here, but in truth the flat walk from the foot of the descent of Mynydd Moel is a bit of a slog, very boggy and quite treacherous in a manner quite out of character for this area, and the peak – despite good views of the best aspect of Mynydd Moel and the hills to the north, perhaps not quite worth it....
54 Mynydd Moel.jpg
Mynydd Moel

55 View NW from Mynydd Moel ascent.jpg
View NW from Mynydd Moel ascent

66 Gau Graig.jpg
Gau Graig

68 Mynydd Moel.jpg
Mynydd Moel

70 Southern Arenigs from Gau Graig.jpg
Southern Arenigs from Gau Graig

71 Mynydd Moel from Gau Graig.jpg
Mynydd Moel from Gau Graig

72 Dyfi Hills from Gau Graig.jpg
Dyfi Hills from Gau Graig

There’s apparently a route onward and down to the main road from Gau Graig, but the shorter return is back to the col (having tested both sides, the south side of the fence is very marginally less horrible) and then fairly easily down through the grass and short heather to intercept the main path down from Cadair Idris and back through the woods.
77 Llyn Mwyngil.jpg
Llyn Mwyngil

80 Nant Cadair.jpg
Nant Cadair

Although it seems very difficult to see it on a clear day, Cadair Idris makes for a great and justly popular mountain walk, even if the ‘bagger’s extensions’ to Cyfrwy and Gau Graig, while fair enough little peaks and viewpoints in their own right, perhaps don’t add all that much to the short natural route around Llyn Cau.
Last edited by poppiesrara on Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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poppiesrara
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby ChrisW » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:03 pm

Great report poppiesrara and some stunning pics, the ones with low cloud really add atmosphere, the start looks a bit steep - how much is the car park for 5 hours :lol:
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby poppiesrara » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:07 pm

Thanks, Chris - might have preferred less low cloud and less atmosphere though!

It is pretty steep in places, certainly on the map, but the path is so well and kindly stepped that it's never really at all difficult - you see plenty of families and quite young children there. I'd say it'd be a really good 'first mountain' to try to sell someone (young or old) the idea of hill-walking.
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poppiesrara
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby VAL13 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:31 pm

Thanks for GPS map! We walked the same route and used your GPS map on way down from Gau Graig.
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