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To Ogwen and back

To Ogwen and back

Postby snowdonia7 » Sat May 19, 2012 4:59 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewelyn, Pen yr Helgi Du, Pen yr Ole Wen, Y Foel Goch

Date walked: 19/05/2012

Time taken: 7.4

Distance: 25 km

Ascent: 1884m

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Today's objective was to find a route that would take between 7 and 8 hours and lose a lot of height en route to test the legs. We settled on a route from Capel Curig (behind the Pinnacle cafe) out towards the Glyders, then drop down to Ogwen before re-ascending Pen yr Ole Wen and returning via the carneddau.

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From the car park the route heads up an easy grassy and very wet climb.

First climb of the day.JPG
First climb of the day

Looking back down towards Capel Curig.JPG
Looking back to Capel Curig

As we gained height we entered the mist and visibilty became less; however for the most part the path was easy to follow initially eastward then north east towards Y Foel Goch (the same route described by Foggie climber on his trip last week). We took a slight detour to take in the minor peak at 739m before heading to y Foel Goch; the lack of shelter convinced us to continue towards the Glyders. the path drops slightly and continues eastward passing a number of small pools (although the entire route was completely waterlogged).

Our plan was to descend north before we reached Glyder Fawr then after losing 200m of height head NW to the saddle between bristly ridge and Tryfan then continue past Llyn Bochlwyd and on to Ogwen.

About to descend to Ogwen.JPG
Ready to descend to Ogwen

However, as we got out of the clag and got talking again we took our eye of the ball and just kept decending. Before we knew it we had missed the path and were down below heather terrace. Neither of us fancied climbing back up just to pick up our intended route, so decided to continue down to the A5.

It was busy alongside Llyn Ogwen with many heading up Tryfan, whilst we walked along the main road towards the YHA at Ogwen. En route we passed a small waterfall at the side of the road and I thought I'd try my hand at a nature photo.

Waterfall alongside the A5.JPG
Waterfall beside the A5

We were also able to look across Llyn Ogwen towards our first objective in the second part of the route; Pen yr Ole Wen.

Across Llyn Ogwen to Pen yr Ole Wen.JPG
Looking across Llyn Ogwen to pen yr Ole Wen

We sat down outside the YHA and had a qick lunch (and wrung our socks out), before heading for Pen yr Ole Wen. We were tackling the SW flank of the mountain, which starts at the west end of the lake. The route initially follows a well constructed stone footpath.

Ascending Pen yr Ole Wen.JPG
Climbing Pen yr Ole Wen

This allows you to gain height fairly quickly and offers a good view back down to Ogwen and over towards Devil's kitchen.

Looking back down at Ogwen.JPG
Looking back to Ogwen

After the stome path the route becomes steeper and usually requires some easy scrambling; however I chose a route that stayed more on a steep gravelly path; the type where it is tricky to get purchase with your feet (one step forward then slip backwards). Without poles this certainly offered a good workout for the legs and I started to tire. Once again I hadn't kept up the fuel intake en route and the chesse sandwhich at Ogwen hadn't give me the energy I needed. As a result I was soon flagging and Neil passed me and pressed on for the summit. I meanwhile descended into that trudge where the arms hang limply by the sides and feet continually trip over or kick rocks as they are not being lifted.

I rested in the summit shelter and took on some fluid and food and we headed off for Carnedd Dafydd. I started to feel better as we went and the short climb to this summit was over quickly and I was feeling quite good.

Carnedd Dafydd.JPG
Carnedd Dafydd

From Carnedd Dafydd we headed east then north for Carnedd Llwellyn following the clear path all the way. The pull up to Llewellyn is longer and zig-zags through the shale. Neil was knocking out a good pace; I think with a view to leaving me behind, but I was able to just about match him (although I was very grateful that it wasn't much higher).

A few minutes in the summit shelter and exchange pleasantries with a couple of other walkes before heading off SW down towards Pen yr Helgi Du (the top of the black sheepdog). This is a great walk in clear weather along a nice ridge with great views; however today we couldn't see much at all in the clag.

Ridge on Pen yr Helgi Du.JPG
Pen yr Helgi Du

From the flat grassy summit of Pen yr Helgi Do we planned to continue to Pen Llithrig yr Wrach (top of the slippery witch), which meant heady in an easterly direction. the route passes some impressive looking cliffs as it gently loses height.

By the time we reached the foot of Pen Llithrig yr Wrach, neither of us fancied the climb even though it was only about 150m, so we set off contouring round in a southerly direction. The route follows a fence line all the way to the southern tip of Llyn Cowlyd, although it was just a sheep track and quite wet. At the southern end of the lake we picked up a more clearly defined path that would take us down to the A5 and as we descended below the clag the views opened up across to our first climb of the day.

Final descent - looking across to the first climb.JPG
Descending towards the finish and looking across to the first climb of the day

We continued on the boggy path, although there were a number of duckboards over the boggiest sections. We eventually arrived at the A5 and forced the pace back towards Pinnacle Cafe arriving back after 7 hours 40 and knowing we had had a good workout.
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