Author Topic: First time The Crimea Pass has beaten me  (Read 940 times)

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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First time The Crimea Pass has beaten me
« on: 17:34:01, 08/12/17 »
Winter has really arrived with a vengence, its the first time ive not been able to reach the top of the hill, approaching the Crimea Pass, above Blaenau Festiniog.
I was off to visit friends in llanberis, at Petes eats, but two Llew Jones coaches had totally blocked the road, approaching the Crimea,unable to get up the hill, and i recon not enough grit had been placed on the road. :o


As the snow and sleet kept falling, the road was disappearing, with three cars having lost control, one in a nearby ditch.


I tried to make the top of the hill, but my car was skidding wildly, so it was a very lengthy detour via Porthmadog and Caernarfon, and apologies arriving at Petes's over two hour late.


Ive seen heavy snow in this area before, but ive never had to turn back, or failed to reach the top.


 :o



Penygadair

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Re: First time The Crimea Pass has beaten me
« Reply #1 on: 12:15:52, 09/12/17 »
The Crimes Pass is always the first main road to go out when there's snow. Best just avoided.
Did you used to cope with the road before it was upgraded?

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: First time The Crimea Pass has beaten me
« Reply #2 on: 14:21:24, 09/12/17 »
With two Llew Jones coaches right at the top of the hill (Blaunau Festiniog side), neither of them could move, because of their limited traction, how they made the hill in the first place, is a real mystery.
There had been a forecast of snow, but i recon Gwynedd council had been caught out, as the road was quickly getting covered in snow, and it was settling very quickly.
Cars coming down, were slipping all over the place, with three cars having lost control altogether, one landing in the ditch.


Half the Crimea is in Conwy, the other bit in Gwynedd, so i recon the gritters had been busy in Conwy, but not in Gwynedd.

I tried to get up the hill, but a little way past the slate quarries entrance, my tyres were skidding on a ungritted road surface, and thankfully i was able to turn around in the road.

In nearly 40yrs, this is the only time ive failed to make the top of the pass, and required a lengthy Porthmadog detour.
« Last Edit: 14:24:42, 09/12/17 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

fernman

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Re: First time The Crimea Pass has beaten me
« Reply #3 on: 14:29:36, 09/12/17 »
My 1.2 engine always struggles up there without any snow :D Particularly going southwards towards Blaenau. If I'm unlucky enough to get stuck behind a slow lorry I'm in 2nd gear by the time I get to the top.
Equally bad, I find, is going westwards up Bwlch Oerddrws on the A470 between Dinas Mawddwy and Dolgellau, where I nearly always seem to find myself crawling up following a motorhome or a caravan.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: First time The Crimea Pass has beaten me
« Reply #4 on: 14:38:46, 09/12/17 »
I quite agree, that Dinas Mawddwy hill, a mile up the road from Cross Foxes, is brutal.
Thank goodness there is a small pull in 3/4 the way up the hill on the Dinas side, as about five years ago, i was having turbo activator issues with my small Smart ForTwo owned by my mother.
As the car had a special electronic gearbox, it was screaming away in first gear, once the turbo lost all boost power, and as the car did not have a clutch pedal, that little pull in, saved the day.
I just recon Gwynedd council forgot to grit the road in time, as ive never seen cars skidding in slow motion down the Crimea pass before.

Penygadair

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Re: First time The Crimea Pass has beaten me
« Reply #5 on: 18:37:46, 09/12/17 »
.
Equally bad, I find, is going westwards up Bwlch Oerddrws on the A470 between Dinas Mawddwy and Dolgellau, where I nearly always seem to find myself crawling up following a motorhome or a caravan.


Yep with a 1.2 engine you are boogered (as Beefy says) but once you've got over the initial 1 in 7 grade, the road eases and I can normally overtake any road slugs. 50 mph  and 5th gear up to the Bwlch hairpins and that's with a 1.6 diesel. I won't mention overtaking going down eastwards but beware of the speed van at the bottom

Penygadair

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Re: First time The Crimea Pass has beaten me
« Reply #6 on: 11:32:50, 10/12/17 »
OK, i know this is a walking forum but as Fernman has mentioned Bwlch Oerddrws Pass may I be permitted a little anecdote.


When we moved to our present house in Dolgellau 16 years ago our next door neighbour was the retired town undertaker known to all and sundry as 'Ffred the Death'. Whilst he catered for local needs, his business premises were in Dinas Mawddwy and therefore all his customers had to be transported over Bwlch Oerddrws and then returned to Dolgellau on the day of the funeral.


Now Ffred was as tight as the proverbial ducks whatsit and was always looking to maximise his profit. Once the A470 had been realigned to the present route he found he could save a thimble full of fuel by blipping the accelerator at the top of the pass, putting the hearse into neutral and letting momentum do the rest.


Locals were used to this but visitors were occasionally shocked to be overtaken by a laden hearse travelling down the pass at well in excess of the national speed limit.

fernman

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Re: First time The Crimea Pass has beaten me
« Reply #7 on: 21:22:02, 10/12/17 »
Not walking-related but it was a lovely bit of social history that is now preserved in the annals of The Walking Forum, where it is available for the rest of the World outside of Dolgellau. If they can find it.
Thanks for sharing it.