Author Topic: Bwlch Main in the Dark  (Read 1403 times)

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Bwlch Main in the Dark
« Reply #15 on: 16:56:44, 12/10/18 »
If your ascending Snowdon in the dark, ALWAYS use the most direct and easiest routes to the summit.
As we all know, the Summer weather can be unpredictable, so ascending Snowdon via a route that is very exposed in poor conditions, may put pay to any attempts on a 3000s in a day.

I can remember back in the early 90s, making my way up the Llanberis path in June , for an early start on the 3000s, but the weather was so windy, that it was impossible to stand above Clogwen, even though the visibility was good, that put pay to any attempt on the 3000s.

If you miss Elidir Fawr, and use the Miners track from the Pen Y Gwrydd then the whole 3000s will be a waste of time, as you will have missed several summits along the way, making route planning and timing more important for a successful very long day out.

Its 15 summits or nothing, there's no point in adjusting the route to suit your mood, because if its the Welsh 3000s you intend completing, Elidir Fawr, Y Garn and the entire Glyders must be traversed.


I obviously won’t miss the Glyders. From Bwlch Tryfan it would be a ‘quick’ up and down of Tryfan via the south ridge and then a reverse of the normal route over the Glyders and Y Garn to Elidir Fawr. Descent to Ogwen would then be via Cwm Cwyion or Y Garn NE ridge. To me that is more interesting than the road plus the normal route up Elidir Fawr. I know it will add some distance, but long walks are as much about the mind as the body.


I haven’t settled on a fixed route as yet. I may have a preferred route and a plan B if the weather is not so good. If the weather is even worse, Plan C would be to do something else, as the mountains will still be there in the future.


In the end I will choose a route that has a balance of interest, challenge and possibility of finishing.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Bwlch Main in the Dark
« Reply #16 on: 17:27:53, 12/10/18 »
This will place so much unnecessary distance on an already very long day.
The best route for the 3000s is to use the tried and trusted direction as far as Tryfan, then depending on the walkers stamina and energy, to either use the Glan Denna route to reach Pen Yr Ole Wen, or the energy sapping direct South ridge.

Ive now completed the full distance, five times, and one can only really experiment on differing route possibilities after the completion of Tryfan.

Unless your confident on doing the entire round in under 11 hrs, then swapping and changing the route is virtually destroying any possibilities of a successful attempt in a day.


Navigation in the Carneddau in pitch darkness is far from easy, far harder than on Snowdon.

The entire route from Llanberis or Pen Y Pass, to Abergwyngregyn is near enough 37miles of the toughest walking in Southern Britain.

When i managed my first successful day outing, in just over 17hrs, it was using the quickest direction, from  Snowdon to Foel Fras, the route you have decided upon, and that was  without stopping, apart from refilling my Camelbak in the waterfall behind Ogwn Cottage.

All my eating was done whilst i was in motion, because i knew a successful one day 3000s could not be achieved in daylight hours if one wasted time scoffing food at a cafe.


I realise most people start early, just as dawn is breaking, but its far better to finish such a huge adventure in the daylight.


Walking around with legs that can barely move, in pitch darkness on top of Foel Fras, is not advisable, especially when you still have nearly six miles further to crawl.

I did finish in the dark, simply because i got badly dehydrated, and was totally spent by the time i reached llewellyn, but all my other successful attempts have been in daylight hours.



All this is fine if the weather is good, but unless you live on the doorstep and can choose the perfect conditions (Cool and sunny), then any attempt at a 3000s

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Bwlch Main in the Dark
« Reply #17 on: 17:59:50, 12/10/18 »
When I mention starting in the dark I mean at around 0200. So, the ascent of Snowdon will be in darkness and sunrise somewhere around the summit.  I expect to take more than 11 hours including the walk in and walk back out. In the summer days will be long, so I would expect to be coming off the Carneddau before total darkness.  When we get to Pen Yr Ole Wen, we will make a decision about continuing. This will take into account time of day, weather and condition of the group. On my last attempt we stopped here. Perhaps we will do so again. If so, we will still have had a good day in the mountains. We will start intending to finish, but the journey is more important than the destination.


Perhaps in the end I will follow the traditional route, but I am not one for doing something just because everyone else does it, or taking the easier option. I am taking the time now to explore all the options, before settling on a favourite. I quite like Owen’s suggestion of starting with CG and descending directly to Nant Peris. I would obviously start later if taking this option.