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Not the Paddy Buckley round

Not the Paddy Buckley round

Postby StevenF » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:46 am

Date walked: 06/04/2013

Time taken: 4

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After finished the WHW in 2011 (see http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=47815) I started looking for another +-5 day walk in Scotland. Ideally it should be a high level route (lots of summits) but not too far from “civilization”. As this was to be our first with consecutive wild camps we would feel safer knowing possible rescue, resupply wasn’t too far away :-) After looking at some possible routes in Scotland and not really finding anything that fit those criteria I stumbled on the “Paddy Buckley” round in Snowdonia. It had the additional advantage that it is close enough to drive to (starting from Brussels) so it would allow for additional flexibility when planning.

Timing was to be easter holidays 2013, there was a lot of snow (see: http://www.llansadwrn-wx.info/ice/snow12.jpg) that year, so just before taking of we decide to purchase some “yaktrax” snowshoes thinking that would be enough for crossing the few patches of snow that were remaining when we did the walk :-)

Start of the walk was to be LLanberis, first mountain to climb Elidir fawr. We went through the Dinorwig quarry (impressive!) and then straight up Elidir Fach. The weather was verrrry good (no cloud in sight) but the slopes on Elidir Fach were very icy. The snow had melted and refrosted a couple of times I think and at times it was more ice then snow.
At one point I decided to turn around and look for a less steep ascent, at exactly that time my walking partner fell and slid down the side of the mountain. I saw him sliding for +- 100 feet and finally stopping when he hit a rocky outcrop (ouch). After he stopped his wallet (not stored in his backpack but in his back pocket…) kept tumbling down the mountain, at some point I saw all the individual items fall out of his wallet and being spread over the mountain side.

The damage turned out not to be too big: a bloody scratch on his forearm and he was shaken so decided to stay put for a while. In the meantime I collected his wallet and managed to find his ID (making the return trip easier :-)). I looked and found a less steep ascent route, dropped my backpack at the summit of Elidir Fach and went back to find my walking partner. I said there was a less steep route up the hill and took his backpack and together we got to the summit.

We rested, treated the arm wound and ate something, enjoying the views. We decided to try and ascent Elidir Fawr. 30 feet below the ridge we got stuck on another ice patch and decided that we needed better equipment to tackle the hills in these conditions and went back to LLanberis to buy microspikes and an Ice Axe.

All in all a good walk with good views and a story to tell the grandchildren :-)

Entering the quarry
Dolbadarn Castle
Quarry barracks with snowdon range in the background.
Icy slopes of Elidir Fach
Moel Elio and snowdon (and others)
The yacktrax (not up to the task)
Elidir Fawr

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Re: Not the Paddy Buckley round

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:15 pm

Some lovely wintry pics, glad it all turned out OK in the end :thumbup:
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