Author Topic: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?  (Read 1337 times)

Mel

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Rather than further hijacking Whitstable Dave's trip report I thought I'd start a new topic to ask the question as the "up the Rhyd-ddu / down the Ranger" path is my preferred choice when I get round to doing Snowdon.


So, can anyone tell me how airy Bwlch Main is?  As a point of reference, I've "seen" Blencathra's Sharp Edge from the top (and seen people beetling along it from across Scales Tarn) and wouldn't attempt that but if anyone could make a comparison in terms of width of the path before it plunges down into nothingness on either side that would really help me decide whether or not I need to have a re-think about my route planning.


Ta muchly in advance for any comments  :)


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ninthace

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #1 on: 23:16:56, 24/08/19 »
I last crossed it in 2011 Mel.  It does not stick in the memory so I would put it in the "no big deal" category.  There was a drop but it was far enough away not to bother me and I have a fairly low "pucker factor" but these things are a matter personal taste.
Try YouTube e.g.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f1Szvlfb6k there are others.  I liked this one from 2:58 to 4:54  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adi-cVwWdXE
« Last Edit: 00:00:49, 25/08/19 by ninthace »
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vghikers

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #2 on: 06:28:56, 25/08/19 »
You can see exactly for yourself by walking along it 'virtually' in Google Streetview.
Apparently not many people are aware that Google have lugged their Streetview cameras along various mountain paths to give a first hand view.

fernman

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #3 on: 09:10:27, 25/08/19 »
Thank you, Ninthace. I'd be petrified of tripping or stumbling and going over the edge. I'll add it to my list of ones not to walk, that includes the narrow bit between Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd and Trum y Ddysgl on the Nantlle Ridge, and my bete noire Bwlch Eryl-Farchog that links Carnedd Llewelyn with Pen yr Helgi Du. Please let no-one even mention Crib Goch.

ninthace

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #4 on: 12:33:53, 25/08/19 »
To be honest it was only after I looked at the videos on YouTube that I remembered much about that particular section.  Yes there is a bit of a drop off to the side but the path is good and solid and is well walked by the world and his wife.  I would not do it in a high wind or if it was iced over but otherwise it is just a question of a modicum of care when placing your feet and enjoy the views which are truly spectacular.
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Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #5 on: 12:56:46, 25/08/19 »
Blwch main is perfectly safe and straight forward, and the only time it could be considered unsafe or unsuitable, would be in high winds, but that could be said for any exposed ridge path near the 3000ft contour.


There"s nothing at all challenging about Bwlch Main, i would cross it, any day of the week, and there are no severe  drops like Crib Goch.

To put it this way, i hate heights and exposure, and i find Bwlch Main perfectly acceptable, when Crib Goch, which is less than half a mile distant, on the other side of the mountain, fills me with dread.

Theres a perfectly safe path that you can follow over Bwlch Main, and the ridge itself is quite short in distance.


On a scale of 1 to 10 for severity and exposure, i would give Bwlch Main maybe a 2 or 3, and Crib Goch a 10++.
« Last Edit: 13:02:47, 25/08/19 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #6 on: 13:27:02, 25/08/19 »
Mel said we shouldn’t even mention Crib Goch (oops  :-[ ). If Bwlch Main is a 2 or 3 compared to Crib Goch, then it shouldn’t be too much trouble. I have crossed the unmentionable ridge a few times in both directions, including the north ridge and while there is exposure, I didn’t find it too terrifying after my first crossing. Exposure concentrates the mind and provides focus. I find I am more likely to have a stumble on easier sections.

fernman

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #7 on: 15:07:03, 25/08/19 »
Look at all those rocks sticking up out of the path in the video  :o   Plenty there for me to trip over. You've clearly forgotten the "I took a tumble today" topic that I started recently, when I fell over a tiny little tree root!

Mel said we shouldn’t even mention Crib Goch (oops  :-[ )

Mixing me up with Mel  :(   I think she might have something to say about that!

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #8 on: 15:41:09, 25/08/19 »


Mixing me up with Mel  :(   I think she might have something to say about that!


Oops  :-[

Mel

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #9 on: 21:58:07, 25/08/19 »
Ninthace - thank you for those links.  I'd forgotten about trawling the wonderful yooochoob although fish-eye lenses do seem to make things look narrower than they are.  Made me laugh on one of the links the guy turns the camera round on himself and says "oh my god" when he approached it  ;D


The jury's still out as to whether I (as in me personally) would find it too narrow to not get head-swimmy though  :-\


Vghikers - you are correct.  I did not know that Google Street View had been up Snowdon  :o  I shall add it to my arsenal of future walk research stuff  O0


and..yet again, the jury's still out as to whether I'd find BM too narrow  :-\ :(


DA - it's not so much I'd find it scary - more narrow paths with steep drops on one or both sides bring on my vertigo (head-swimmy feeling).  Comparing it (or not) to Crib Goch is pointless as I've never seen CG so can't use it as a point of comparison in my "mind's eye" - though I guess others may find the info useful.


sooo.... the jury's STILL out, blah, blah, blah  ;D   >:(


Bigfoot Mike and Fernman -  :D ;D  ... obviously I'm the better looking one  :P   ::)


Thanks all for the comments and links.  One thing's for sure, after hearing some excellent heavy breathing(!) on one of the youtube vids (think it, don't say it  :D   :P  ), I need to be a lot hill fitter than I am at the moment.  A goal to aim for next year when there's tonnes of daylight in a day me thinks.  I might even post it as a forum meet if I decide BM is wide enough for me not to feel head-swimmy :)



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https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/

fernman

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #10 on: 22:48:11, 25/08/19 »
No doubt many of you would have crossed this makeshift bridge in the Rhinogs in about five steps (it was longer than it appears in the picture), but I'm not ashamed to reveal that I shuffled across it on my hands and knees. I could pretend it was because I was carrying a weighty rucksack on my back, but to be honest I would probably have done the same without it.



Sorry the photo isn't sharp, few of them were on that trip. The camera's autofocus became faulty and it was the last time I used it.

ninthace

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #11 on: 23:20:02, 25/08/19 »
I find poles help.  I am far more confident approaching and looking over edges if I feel I am braced and less likely to slip.
Fernman, if a clapper bridge is an obstacle, I agree, you are probably beyond redemption. I do know a nice walk on Dartmoor that involves 5 sets of stepping stones, some of them requiring a degree of commitment.  You could practice on that - not far to fall and a guaranteed soft landing.  :)
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rural roamer

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #12 on: 14:44:15, 26/08/19 »
Mel, we did up Rhyd dhu, down the Ranger, and we found it perfectly ok, but then neither of us have any problem with heights, so that doesn’t really help much!  ;D  I think if it was really exposed I would have been a bit wary and I probably wouldn’t really think of tackling Striding Edge or Crib Goch. From what I remember there were a few bits where hands were needed, but I never felt as though I was in any danger. There were always rocks about to grab onto, and it’s not really narrow. Certainly do it on a decent day so it’s not slippery.






Mel

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #13 on: 14:54:42, 26/08/19 »
I'm not scared of heights RR.  I suffer with vertigo (I get head-swimmy and lose my balance easily) - so your mentioning that there are always rocks to grab onto is actually the perfect solution as I apparently need more than my two feet as a point of contact in certain situations (even going downstairs I have to be able to either use a handrail or touch the wall).


Plus, after watching Glyno's little Crib Goch vid and comparing the difference in path width, Bwlch Main looks like a [censored] motorway  ;D


And Ninthace - my trusty walking staff would most definitely be accompanying me on this walk!!


...I think you have both just talked me into this ...  :D



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Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: How narrow is Bwlch Main (Rhyd-ddu path up Snowdon)?
« Reply #14 on: 19:33:08, 26/08/19 »
I’m not sure a walking stick or poles would be so useful on the unmentionable ridge. Although I enjoy walking narrow ridges, I do get some sensations of vertigo that Mel mentions. I definitely experience a bit of ‘head swimming’ and can feel the drop plucking at the edges of my perception.