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WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby weaselmaster » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:56 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Gwenllian (Garnedd Uchaf), Carnedd Llewelyn, Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl, Elidir Fawr, Foel Grach, Foel-fras, Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr, Pen yr Ole Wen, Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa, Tryfan, Y Garn (Glyders), Yr Elen

Date walked: 04/07/2016

Time taken: 28.25

Distance: 63.8 km

Ascent: 4938m

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Well this is a first - never posted in the "Outside Scotland" box before. A Meet arranged by the one and only Mountainstar in Wales on what was a holiday weekend for me - what could be better? Up until now I've had a very empty column under the "Furths" and this would be a chance to populate that with most of the Welsh 3000s. I'd been in London all week at a conference, having gone down on the Sleeper Sunday past and arrived back in Greenock from the airport at 4.30 on Thursday to do a quick turn around, get the stuff and Allison in the car and head off down the motorway. Judging it too much travelling to make it to Capel Curig in one go, we stopped off at a service station overnight before rising early and getting down to our destination for around 10 ish. I'd hoped to do the Carnedd hills - well 4 of them today, the Snowdon Horseshoe with the group on Saturday and 4 of the Glyders on the Sunday. Unfortunately with being away in the lead up to the meet I'd paid scant regard to routes.

We drove along to Llyn Ogwen, having decided to make a start up Pen Yr Ole Wen. Parking near the eastern end of the Llyn ( I want to call it "Loch") we marched along the road to the visitor centre at Idwal, passing a couple of folk fishing, crossed the road and found a track leading up the hillside. Steeply! A little bit of scrambling right away and Allison is in her element: "I'm liking Wales" she announces. Behind us is a splendid little mountain (turns out to be Tryfan). we gain height, sometimes on a clear path, sometimes with a scramble, with the view over the Glyders behind us improving all the time. After a bit we get to the flatter top section of the mountain, boulder strewn, and make our way up to the summit. We are buffeted by a strong southwesterly wind and seek shelter for lunch.

Starting up Pen Yr Ole Wen
ImageDSC01115 by Al, on Flickr

View over to the Glyders
ImageDSC01117 by Al, on Flickr

Toward Anglesey
ImageDSC01120 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01122 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01125 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01126 by Al, on Flickr

To the north we can see the Carnedds sweeping outwards: Daffyd first then Llewelyn, with Yr Elen outlying on a western spur. We press on, past a giant cairn/shelter that looks like a dragon's nest on the way to Daffyd where we meet a couple of guys heading the opposite way then on easily to Llewelyn. By this time the weather has deteriorated with a cold wind carrying hailstones that batter against our faces and hands. We meet a guy out on a training run who isn't very impressed by the weather either. We continue out along the western ridge to Yr Elen. It isn't clear which one of the three cairns is the highest point so we visit all in turn. We are doing ok for time so far and I suggest we try adding on the three northern outliers - there looks to be little drop between them, although the addition will incur another 9km to our day. Allison puts up no resistance to the idea and we return toward Carnedd Llewelyn, contouring round the northwest of the summmit to join a clear path heading for the first outlier, Foel Grach.

Carnedd Daffyd
ImageDSC01127 by Al, on Flickr

Dragon's nest
ImageDSC01129 by Al, on Flickr

Tryfan in backdrop
ImageDSC01130 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01132 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01133 by Al, on Flickr

Weather starting to close in
ImageDSC01139 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Llewelyn
ImageDSC01140 by Al, on Flickr

Out to Yr Elen
ImageDSC01142 by Al, on Flickr

Foel Grach
ImageDSC01145 by Al, on Flickr

The next section of the walk has little to commend it except for summit bagging. The top of Foel Grach is strewn with boulders. We descend to find a shelter on the ENE side of the hill. Clag is around us and we cross to our next target, Carnedd Gwellian over increasingly wet and boggy ground. Again, scattered jaggy boulders litter the summit. From here it's another 1.5km to the final hill, Foel-fras which is reached by even boggier ground. There's a trig point to the west side of a stone dyke and we grasp it greatfully as another band of hailstones descends upon us. Returning along our outward path we meet several guys in the clag/rain who ask - cheekily - if they're in Scotland :lol: We pass a larger group of hikers on the top of Llewelyn who are carrying big packs and look knackered. I'd originally planned to ascend Pen Yr Heldi Du - Hill of the Black Hound (fitting given that we started on Hill of the White Slope) but that was before the other 3 Carnedds were added on - so I decide instead to descend to the marked track to the SW of the linking ridge - Bwlch eryl farchog. This provides some steepish sections needing a little care, but easily accomplished even with tired legs. From here it is onto good track past the reservoir and down to the A5. We have another few km to walk back to the car, with Tryfan stealing the show in front of us (we still haven't realised that is what the hill is, nor that we'll be climbing it the following day :lol: )

ImageDSC01147 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Foel-fras
ImageDSC01152 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01154 by Al, on Flickr

Regiment of Sea Turbines
ImageDSC01156 by Al, on Flickr

Some scrambles on the descent
ImageDSC01157 by Al, on Flickr

Tryfan again
ImageDSC01159 by Al, on Flickr

And again
ImageDSC01161 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01162 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the car it's been a long day, 28km and 7 Welsh Munros :D We drive the few miles back to Capel Curig and then have the job of trying to find the campsite. Mountainstar has posted that he'll be in the Byrn Tyrch Inn. We spot signs for a campsite just over the road from the inn and wonder if that's the one (I've forgotten to check, thinking there'd only be one campsite in Capel Curig, and of course there's zero signal to check on the phone). An investigation reveals that no, this isn't the campsite we want, and we drive back east through the village to another site, spotting several familiar faces walking the othr way to the pub :lol: We pitch and make food before walking the 1.72 miles to the pub, past two other perfectly good looking hostelries :twisted: Wales are playing Belgium and we arrive midway through the second half - to find Wales in the lead :D A quick pint, some chat then a run back from Sue, much appreciated as it starts to bucket down just as we get back to the tent.

ImageDSC01163 by Al, on Flickr

Most of the group have decided to do Snowdon via Crib Goch on Saturday. However, we decide to head off to the Glyders with Scoob & Fi, leaving Snowdon for Sunday. I'm a bit apprehensive about climbing Tryfan, having been impressed by its character yesterday, but it always helps to have a bit of experienced company along. We park at the campsite at the north of Tryfan and walk through the site to the mountain path. There are folk out climbing on some crags at the bottom, plenty of other people heading up the hill. Clag is sitting on the tops of the surrounding hills, but looks like it might clear as the day progresses. We pick a path up the mountainside, past The Cannon which of course Scoob has to have a clamber on. We continue on up the northern tower. There are a couple of awkward moments as we scramble up, mostly because the rock is so polished, but Scoob is patient with my collywobbles. Gaining the top of the northern pinnacle we downclimb a little and join a large group heading up the main thoroughfare to the summit.

Campsite at Tryfan
ImageP1130280 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130282 by Al, on Flickr

The Cannon
ImageP1130284 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130285 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130286 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130287 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130289 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130293 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130294 by Al, on Flickr

The huge blocks that are Adam & Eve stand at the peak. I'm content just to touch the top, but a certain someone has to jump - ok stride - from one to the other and back again as if it's nothing :wink: There is a strong gusty wind blowing, to add to the excitement. We continue over the south peak and down to the bealach with Glyder Fach where we hide behind a wall out of the wind for lunch. Ahead we can see Bristly Ridge, but decide against taking that on - it has taken us quite a time already and we still have 3 peaks to climb - Scoob and Fi planning on going over Foel Goch whilst we take on Glyder Fach, Fawn and Y Garn. So we begin up the scree slope to Glyder Fach turning onto the steeper section as we gain height and coming out onto the ridge anyway. The summit plateau is strewn with giant stones of all shapes and sizes, in places resembling Triceratops. It is an incredible and strange landscape. We pass the cantilever stone and make for the jumble of monoliths that mark the summit. A squadron of kids run past us scrambling gleefully over everything until they are sitting along the summit boulder. Honestly, no fear :) Some of them can't get down as they've only got wee short legs :lol: We continue down to the Castell, where we part company and make our way to Glyder Fawr. More jagged shattered stones in clusters. From here there's a drop of around 300m to Llyn y Cwn, over scree. We see Elidir Fawr, the final 3000 top in the Glyder range away over to the SW. Although tempted to tag it on from Y Garn I note from the map that it looks quite far as you have to go right round the dogleg (4km each way with a fair bit of ascent) so really don't feel that it should be added on today. We climb up the grassy slopes to Y Garn and make our way down steeply to the NE where we pick up a track that descends to the northern shoreline of Llyn idwal and back to the visitor centre, passing across a bridge made of the thickest slate slabs I've ever seen. Then it is back along the road to the car and thence to the campsite.

ImageP1130295 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130296 by Al, on Flickr

Bristly Ridge
ImageP1130300 by Al, on Flickr

View back to Tryfan
ImageP1130302 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130306 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130308 by Al, on Flickr

Fi on the cantilever
ImageP1130313 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Glyder Fach
ImageP1130316 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130318 by Al, on Flickr

(Big) Kids!!!
ImageP1130322 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130324 by Al, on Flickr

Pen yr Ole Wen
ImageP1130326 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130328 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Glyder Fawr
ImageP1130330 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130331 by Al, on Flickr

Track to Y Garn
ImageP1130334 by Al, on Flickr

View back
ImageP1130335 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130337 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Y Garn
ImageP1130339 by Al, on Flickr

Circuit continuing to Elidir fawr
ImageP1130340 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130343 by Al, on Flickr

Slate bridge
ImageP1130344 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130345 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130347 by Al, on Flickr

Another walk up to the Byrn Tyrch Inn for the evening's entertainment, thanks to Quizmaster Graeme. We leave quite early, having decided to make a day of it on Snowdon tomorrow.

ImageDSC01165 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01166 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01167 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01169 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01172 by Al, on Flickr

Sunday starts overcast, with the promise of sunshine later on. We have heard of the £10 parking fee up at Pen y Pass - eek :shock: Graeme suggests we start from the roadside on the A498 just south of the junction where it is only a snip to park at £4. For a roadside!! As it happens, it's actually free as the ticket machine is out of order :lol: We walk along a good track to the mobbed car park at Pen y Pass and start off up the Pyg Track. Although it is reasonably early (9.20am) it's busy as we walk along with all sorts of walkers. Fortunately it quietens considerably as we turn off to the Crib Goch track - a bit like turning off for the CMD route on Nevis. I haven't really looked at the route or what we will encounter - which is probably just as well as it turns out :lol: My nerves might not have coped at all had I known what lay ahead. The early sections are fine, some pleasant scrambling with plenty of good holds. We reach the upper section of Crib Goch which involves stepping up over knobbly slabs then we reach the start of the ridge. Oh boy! There are a couple of folk ahead of us but not the queues that had been feared. We set off, myself managing largely on all fours - I have renamed it Crab Goch in honour of my technique :lol: Anyway, suffice to say it is a little bit exposed on both sides and once you have started along it you just have to keep on going. I'm a little terse with Allison as she asks if I'm alright. However, I manage it, mostly by trying not to look down into the abyss. I wouldn't fancy it in the wet.

ImageDSC01176 by Al, on Flickr

to Crib Goch
ImageDSC01178 by Al, on Flickr

y Lliwedd
ImageDSC01179 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01180 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01183 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01185 by Al, on Flickr

Approaching the ridge
ImageDSC01188 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01189 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01190 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01191 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01192 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01194 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01196 by Al, on Flickr

Reaching the end of the ridge we cast about for the best way and descend into a scree gully, traversing round a rocky cleft, although we later see people keeping high. From here we join a clear path that creeps around under the rocks of Crib y Ddysgl. It becomes apparent that this is a bypass route, so - as we need to be at the top of Ddysgl we head steeply up scree slopes to regain the ridge crest and wander along to the trig point. Good views to the Lleyn Peninsula and Anglesay - how flat is the land around. We can see (and hear) the train coming up onto Snowdon. This is just bizarre - it's the top of a rather impressive mountain and there's a train - and a cafe. Not right. There are armies of ant people all the way to the top of Snowdon from here and the walk becomes a trudge. All the kinds of people that I normally go up hills to avoid are milling around and generally getting in the way. We touch the cairn, fighting our way through the masses and drop down to the Pyg track for a long and joyless trek back to the car. I'm regretting my decision not to complete the horseshoe over Y Lliwedd which would have avoided the multitudes, but that's the choices you make.

ImageDSC01198 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01203 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01205 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01208 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01211 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Snowdon & the masses
ImageDSC01212 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01216 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01217 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01222 by Al, on Flickr

Allison is looking tired and again I question the decision to make for Elidir Fawr. Reaching the car a bit after 3pm we have plenty of time to take in the final hill. It is hot and sunny now as we drive down the Llanberis Pass to Nant Peris. A few wrong turns looking for the best place to start - we settle for a parking layby at the east end of the reservoir and take a private road up to a cottage beside the giant quarry. This is probably not the best route to use and we end up crossing over to Fron and joining a bulldozed track that keeps to the right of the spoil heaps. We turn onto a path that follows the stream up with the intention of continuing up this track (a track on the map more than in reality) up the Afon Dudodyn. The ground becomes increasingly boggy, the track invisible and neither of us can bear the prospect of continuing this line to the valley head. So it's a case of steeply up the grassy hillsideto our left below the scree/crags of Elidir Fawr. Allison is really struggling by this time but is stubborn enough to force herself onwards. Fortunately we meet a path at around 700m that eases our journey to the summit. Impressive views down to the Marchlyn Mawr reservoir and the other Glyder hills from the top.

Elidir fawr hiding behind the quarry
ImageDSC01223 by Al, on Flickr

Train going up Snowdon
ImageDSC01225 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01226 by Al, on Flickr

Crib Goch
ImageDSC01228 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01231 by Al, on Flickr

View north
ImageDSC01232 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01234 by Al, on Flickr

Marchlyn Mawr Reservoir
ImageDSC01235 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01239 by Al, on Flickr

We follow the path down - boggy in the lower sections, and cross the river at a small bridge, rejoining our outward route. It is still a wonderful evening, low sun striking the slopes of Crib Goch. We drive back to the campsite for a late meal, a chat with Graeme & Sue and sleep. Monday turns out to be a beautiful morning rather than the bands of rain that were forecast - typical - we could have left Elidir Fawr til today after all :roll: It does allow us to have a leisurely drive up the road however. So a great weekend's walking in Wales - fantastic hills and well worth a re-visit.
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby malky_c » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:28 am

Ah home sweet home :D . Would love to have gone on this meet but it was a bit of a trek. Good photos, and sounds like you made short work of the 3000ers.

The key to getting more peace and quiet on Snowdon is to go up there at odd times of the day. Midweek after school used to be a favourite of mine when growing up - don't think I've ever paid for parking there 8)
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby Broggy1 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:44 pm

Great report and nice to see you guys down in some more familiar territory for us English. :clap:

You got GREAT weather for three days in Wales. It's usually the wettest place in the country (I think Crib Goch actually is statistically).

As you say the horseshoe is preferable to the Pyg Track as a descent route but with you guys adding Elidir Fawr on you probably saved yourselves a bit of time to do that one.

Snowdon is a fab mountain with some brilliant routes but yeah - being on the top is never that pleasant because of the crowds. It makes Helvellyn look practically empty.

Glad you enjoyed Tryfan - its a special little hill for sure.
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby mountainstar » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:04 pm

I great report on "my" mountains :clap:
Congratulations on doing all the 3,000 footers in 3 days, especially adding Elider Fawr on the end of Snowdon and Crib Goch (Although you could have done them all in one day don't you know! :wink: )
Thanks for making it down, we'll always keep a welcome in the hillside. :)
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby ChrisW » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:02 pm

Now that is a getaway WM, great achievement in grabbing all the 3000's, good to see Scoob and Fi enjoying the trip (can't keep Scoob off those rocks...the guy will climb a drainpipe if there's nothing else around :lol: )

Fantastic report with beautiful pics all the way :clap: :clap:
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby scoob999 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:37 pm

Nice one, great report :clap:

I would never have guessed you weren't to keen on scrambling recently if you hadn't said :shock: You took it all in your stride 8)

Always a pleasure to get a walk with you and Allison :D
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby scoob999 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:39 pm

ChrisW wrote:Now that is a getaway WM, great achievement in grabbing all the 3000's, good to see Scoob and Fi enjoying the trip (can't keep Scoob off those rocks...the guy will climb a drainpipe if there's nothing else around :lol: )

Fantastic report with beautiful pics all the way :clap: :clap:

We love Wales :D

Gotta love a good scramble, and it's good practice for our Canada trip in September :wink:
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby ChrisW » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:38 pm

scoob999 wrote:Gotta love a good scramble, and it's good practice for our Canada trip in September :wink:
You look disgustingly fit and healthy mate, I don't think you need practice :lol:
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby Scotjamie » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:48 am

Excellent effort both of you - great pics :clap:
Now even more gutted I missed the trip!
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby basscadet » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:17 am

Looked brilliant - Allison looks so deliriously happy in all the pics 8)
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby Sick Kid » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:46 am

basscadet wrote:Looked brilliant - Allison looks so deliriously happy in all the pics 8)

You'll have that look on your face again soon enough BC :D
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Re: WH Meet (Wales Division) and the Welsh 3000s

Postby goth_angel » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:27 pm

Good report, enjoyed reading that.

The car park at Pen y Pass is a non starter unless you get there stupidly early. Snowdon is the busiest mountain I've ever been on by a mile and I quite agree the train and cafe are just odd. I had to queue for the trig and this was on a claggy day! By contrast I got Crib y Dysgyl to myself.

Compared to Snowdon Scafell Pike a couple weeks ago seemed deserted (though I did start out very early)
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