Author Topic: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?  (Read 959 times)

slowlife

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Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« on: 12:24:52, 18/12/18 »
Hi all, I've got some winter gear on my birthday this year, and have planned on going on a few walks over the winter. Earlier in the month I did Yr Aran, Y Lliwedd and Gallt y Wenallt, But as conditions are likely to become more difficult, I'm looking for some easier walks I could do. Preferably looking for good paths and not too long distances. Any suggestions, considering I am an unexperienced walker?




pdstsp

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #1 on: 09:20:28, 19/12/18 »
Morning slowlife - have you thought about parking at the small car park above Abergwyngregyn, starting off up the old Roman Road, cutting off on the path ("fairly" clear on the ground but not marked on OS) onto Foel Ganon, Yr Orsedd and Pen Bryn Du - lovely easy ridge on a good path with stunning views then continue ontoo the path to Drum.  This gives a lovely introduction to the Northern Carneddau and gives the option to continue to Foel Fras and onwards, or to cross to Llwytmor (though this can be boggy), or merely descend via the easy path back to Aber.  Lovely quiet area and, if you get back towards the car and you've still got a couple of hours and some energy, the walk up to Llyn Anafon is a nice easy stroll in great scenery (you can also descend or ascend to Drum from this lake, though the path above the lake is indistinct).








richardh1905

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #2 on: 17:57:30, 19/12/18 »

Welcome to the forum, slowlife. :)


Does your winter gear include an ice axe?

Obligatory, I would say, if you are going above the snowline. As is knowing how to use it.


As for easy mountain walks, pdstsp's suggestion is a good one - nice rounded hills, fantastic views. You can also park at Bwlch y Ddeufaen at the other end of the Roman Road (above Roewen in the Conwy Valley), and head south up the ridge to Drum from the top of the pass - or follow the old Roman Road until you come to a Landrover Track that climbs right up to the summit (I mountain biked this once - or rather pushed my mountain bike up this once).

And Llyn Anafon is a lovely spot.
« Last Edit: 18:02:09, 19/12/18 by richardh1905 »

richardh1905

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #3 on: 17:59:09, 19/12/18 »

Also, the Moel Eilio horseshoe south of Llanberis. You could include Snowdon via the Ranger Path if conditions and fitness allowed, or can cut back down to Llanberis just before Snowdon.


edit - maybe best not to include Snowdon unless you are with a more experienced walker.
« Last Edit: 18:05:00, 19/12/18 by richardh1905 »

richardh1905

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #4 on: 18:01:01, 19/12/18 »
Moel Siabod from Capel Curig makes a good half day too.

slowlife

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #5 on: 21:38:35, 20/12/18 »
Hi, thanks for the replies! Which car park would be the one above Abergwyngregyn? That sounds ideal.

Do not have an ice axe. It doesn't look very snowy on the peaks this year, would one still be required?

The Moel Eilio Horseshoe is certainly an option too, do you have any idea how long it should take if I were to exclude Snowdon?

richardh1905

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #6 on: 08:04:07, 21/12/18 »
Happy to help.

I suspect that pdstsp is referring to the small car park up the hill to the east of the fork in the valley (correct me if I am wrong, pdstsp)

If you are not going too high, and there is no snow on the hills, then, no, an ice axe should not be necessary.

Regarding Moel Eilio - I don't know how fast you walk or how often you like to stop, so cannot give you a time, but I would have thought that the horseshoe without Snowdon would be a good half days walk.
« Last Edit: 08:14:17, 21/12/18 by richardh1905 »

pdstsp

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #7 on: 08:10:30, 21/12/18 »
That's the one Richard.  Word of warning, slowlife, it's very small, holding 8/9 cars.  If you get there late you'd need to park at the falls and walk up, which is a slog!

richardh1905

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #8 on: 08:20:38, 21/12/18 »
@slowlife

Another walk that I would recommend, that doesn't take in a mountain top but does take you into some fine wild mountain scenery, is the path along NW shore of Llyn Cowlyd.
You could turn this into a good day's walk by starting at Capel Curig, walking along Llyn Cowlyd, and then following the (very) minor road, dropping down to Trefriw (good pubs), before returning via the beautiful Crafnant valley to Capel Curig. Allow a day for this one.


PS - I lived in Trefriw for 7 years, and did this walk many times.
« Last Edit: 17:18:17, 21/12/18 by richardh1905 »

Jim Parkin

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #9 on: 08:38:02, 22/12/18 »
If you are inexperienced, then going out in the winter on the hills without any more experienced people to help is a really bad idea.

Once you have the skill and confidence, then it is a different matter. 

How about finding a group? 

And even if you are experienced, you need to think how you'd get off the hill if you twisted your ankle where there is no mobile reception, for example. 
« Last Edit: 08:54:42, 22/12/18 by Jim Parkin »

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #10 on: 20:53:16, 24/12/18 »
I would certainly second the suggestion of the Northern Carneddau.
The only real issues, is the much shorter daylight hours, with darkness descending on us at around 4pm, or slightly earlier depending on weather conditions.
Not that it will discount any venture into very  remote regions of Snowdonia, but if you can park your transport above the main Abergwyngregyn Aber falls car park, near the power lines, its possible to reach Foel Fras, and back in around four to five hours.

In the depth's of Winter, this would make a great introduction to Winter walking.
Obviously you would do the walk in the company of someone more experienced, but the Northern Carneddau, are like a glorified version of the Brecon Beacons.

Well defined paths, and in good visibility, very easy walking.

Even in well settled snow, the traverse of Foel Fras and Drum, from above Aber, is within most walkers capabilities, even a total novice.

There are no sheer drops, or any uneven pathway's, just good solid ground, amongst some of Snowdonias remoter countryside.

If your blessed with one of those glorious cold sunny days, with high cloud, the Northern Carneddau come highly recommended, but its not an area to explore by yourself, in the depths of winter, as its very remote, and desolate.

richardh1905

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #11 on: 17:59:26, 28/12/18 »
If you are inexperienced, then going out in the winter on the hills without any more experienced people to help is a really bad idea.



I've thought about this for a while, Jim, and I have to say that I do not agree. Yes, if above the snowline, or up into the higher hills, but on the lower easier hills that slowlife has in mind, I see no harm in going for it as long as the clouds are not down and the forecast is decent.


I remember well my early hillwalking days - I had it drummed into me that you MUST NOT go on the hills alone if you were inexperienced, but how on earth do you get the necessary experience of solo walking without going for it? So one fine summer day I walked up the road from Trefriw where I lived at the time, and climbed Pen Llithrig y Wrach, and returned along the shores of Llyn Cowlyn. What a magnificent day - the only person I saw all day was an angler, and what a liberation! This was a real threshold for me, and I haven't looked back since.
« Last Edit: 11:55:53, 29/12/18 by richardh1905 »

redeye

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Re: Beginner Winter Mountain Walks in Snowdonia?
« Reply #12 on: 19:38:16, 28/12/18 »
Is it winter or spring/Autumn at the moment in late December?? Was up Snowdon yesterday with only a stiff breeze, no snow, no views, no frost or anything that resembles winter. Today I believe was a bit wet. I'd get out now if I were you in this winter before the summer gets here  ;) O0