Author Topic: Snowdon from the doorstep  (Read 402 times)

WhitstableDave

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Snowdon from the doorstep
« on: 19:00:33, 23/08/19 »
I live in Kent, Im retired and I do a lot of walking. My wife still works, joins me on a weekend walk every week and hates hills. So I was amazed and delighted when, last October, she agreed to a walking holiday in Snowdonia. We dont have much in the way of high hills around our way, let alone mountains, so our priority was to climb Snowdon partly for the bragging rights (its important for people to have at least heard of a mountain) and partly because we thought that if we can do Snowdon then other big hills should be a doddle!

We were incredibly lucky to find a self-catering cottage in what has to be the perfect location. Clogwyn Cottage is one of two cottages on a working farm at the foot of Snowdon. And its on the quieter west side of the mountain with the Rhyd-Ddu path passing close by to the south and the Ranger path about a mile away to the north. Better still, the land in between the paths belongs to the farm, so we could take any direct cross-country route we wanted.


Our route (the summit is east of the cottage!)


Soon after setting off. Clogwyn Cottage is the yellow building on the far right

The weather forecast said our first day would be the best day of the week so, with some trepidation, we headed for the Rhyd-Ddu path and up the mountain. The views became increasingly wonderful and brief photo stops were the only breaks needed. There was a clear path with some steepish bits but also more gentle ascents and very few people.



Nearing the summit we negotiated the narrow ridge called Bwlch Main. Fortunately, because this could have been the point of return for my wife who doesnt like heights, the drop on the steeper side was obscured by clouds that appeared at just the right moment, and we crossed it without really knowing what wed just done!


Approaching Bwlch Main...


Clouds making a timely arrival!

The summit was, predictably, very busy. It was also in the clouds, but we were under them almost as soon as we set off down the Ranger path and the magnificent views were back. Heading north, several paths leave the summit as one and it was busy for a while, but once on the Ranger path we were again almost alone. This path was easy a bit rocky in places, but a few mountain bikers passed us and that always bodes well!


A very quiet Ranger path

We left the Ranger path before it reaches the main road and headed back to the cottage. Our route took us across boggy terrain and between and over some huge slate piles, but having just climbed our first mountain, nothing was too much trouble now.


Crossing a slate pile. Behind is Mynydd Mawr which we did a few days later - the wind, rain and cloud made for a far tougher climb!

Actually, although wed just completed a nine-mile loop that we werent entirely sure wed be able to manage, our elation was slightly tempered by the knowledge that it wasnt particularly difficult after all. In fact, ten months later and many more big hills conquered, we look back at Snowdon as being relatively straightforward and know now that climbing a pathless lesser hill in poor weather is infinitely more challenging!

Mel

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Re: Snowdon from the doorstep
« Reply #1 on: 22:11:29, 23/08/19 »
Oooh, thank you for posting this.  It's the exact same route as I'd like to do Snowdon by but, like your wife, I'm a bit apprehensive about the narrow bit (Bwlch Main).  At its narrowest, how wide would you say it is and is the scary bit very long?


Your pics have just whetted my appetite again  :)



It's good to know there's accommodation on the doorstep too - this is something I shall look into now.
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WhitstableDave

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Re: Snowdon from the doorstep
« Reply #2 on: 22:52:46, 23/08/19 »
Oooh, thank you for posting this.  It's the exact same route as I'd like to do Snowdon by but, like your wife, I'm a bit apprehensive about the narrow bit (Bwlch Main).  At its narrowest, how wide would you say it is and is the scary bit very long?

Your pics have just whetted my appetite again  :)

It's good to know there's accommodation on the doorstep too - this is something I shall look into now.
Hi Mel,

I'm afraid I can't remember how wide the path across the ridge is, only that it never felt dangerous. It wasn't windy though so we had it pretty easy. I'm sure someone else will have a better answer.

I had no idea about the length of the scary bit... then I had a brainwave! I'd recorded the track with my watch and have it on Google Earth, so it was just a case of using the ruler (yellow line). Apparently it's about 280m long.  :)


Mel

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Re: Snowdon from the doorstep
« Reply #3 on: 22:12:30, 24/08/19 »
Thanks for that info (and ace 3D map drawing!).  I'm guessing if it's a quite route up then nobody would see me crab-walking on all fours over the narrow bit  :D
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clyoung

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Re: Snowdon from the doorstep
« Reply #4 on: 13:22:15, 25/08/19 »
Great trip report. I did this route in 2016 with my family, but we rented a cottage in Rhyd Ddu so started the circuit there. I was lucky though that I got to do both Snowdon and Mynydd Mawr in good weather - the main problems were the heat and flies!

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Snowdon from the doorstep
« Reply #5 on: 13:50:57, 25/08/19 »
Thanks for that info (and ace 3D map drawing!).  I'm guessing if it's a quite route up then nobody would see me crab-walking on all fours over the narrow bit  :D


No shame in going on all fours on narrow bits. I must admit I did this on my first traverse of Crib Goch. Exposure can be reduced by familiarity. You can gradually build up to narrower, more exposed routes.

Mel

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Re: Snowdon from the doorstep
« Reply #6 on: 22:11:45, 25/08/19 »
I'd probably be better at true scrambles because of hands on rock thing.  This head-swimmy vertigo I get is when I have to stand on my own two feet on narrow ridges or at the very tops of cliffs.  Sitting down stops it dead, as does holding on with my hands, hence the crab-walking comment.  My walking staff goes some way to help too.


Aaaaanyway, back on topic - everyone - read WhitstableDave's lovely trip report  :)



No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/