Walking Weekend In Wales

Walking Weekend In Wales

I was going to do this post in parts but decided I would never get round to doing them all so here’s an account of or Walking weekend in Wales, it’s a bit long so go and grab your self a cuppa and choccy biscuit and settle in.

After our beery trip to Chester and a day having a wander round Llangollen, which was a really pretty place and had a couple of great pubs along with an old house, steam railway and horse drawn canal boats, we decided to head off for a couple of days in the tent and to climb a couple of mountains (you can read about the beers here)

We called in at Betsw y Coed for a cuppa and a quick look in the shops before heading for Tryfan, a mountain that’s been on my tick list for a very long time, mainly due to the photos of people jumping across Adam and Eve.

Emily and Andy next to Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve (the rocks not us)

Tryfan is often considered the only real mountain in Wales, it’s apparently the only one that requires the use of your hands to reach the summit, not having climbed many Welsh mountains I have no idea if this is true or not. It’s also said that you can climb Tryfan dozen’s of times and not find the same route, I can now see why.

We parked up in a little car park just by the side of Llyn Ogwen, the sun was shining and it was baking hot so we packed some extra water and headed along the road to the outdoor centre. Just after the centre we took the path on our left, heading for Llyn Idwal, after crossing the stepping stones we followed the faint path up the ridge by the side of the wall before heading across to Llyn Bochlywd, we stopped for a quick drink before heading up the slope to a wall before turning left and picking our way to the summit, It was a bit of a scramble in points but nothing too exposed or difficult.

On reaching the summit I took one look at the drop on either side of the standing stones, Adam and Eve, decided there was no way I was taking the leap of faith from one to the other.

View from Tryfan

View from Tryfan

We sat enjoying the amazing views, it’s not often we get to the top of somewhere and can see anything other than cloud or mist, after a quick chat to some guys we met a the top Emily decided she didn’t fancy descending the North Ridge, I think their stories had put her off, not wanting to make her uncomfortable I agreed to go back down the ridge we had come up. Although not the exact same route we weren’t far out and we safely scrambled our way back down, past the two lakes and back along the road to the car.

I’ve uploaded the route here in case anyone wants to give it a go, it’s in GPX format but needs unzipping.

On the way to the campsite we popped into the PEN-Y-GWRYD HOTEL for a couple of beers and in search of food, we didn’t get any (you can read why here) so ended up at the campsite with our Expedition Foods

Our pitch for the night was the Llyn Gwynant Campsite, it’s been a while since we stayed on a campsite as we usually end up camping somewhere high up in the hills. As far as campsites go this was a good one, It was well kept and tidy, It even provided trays for campfires/BBQ’s if you wanted. There was a lovely view of the lake one way and the mountains the other. It was a little noisy at times but everyone stuck to the rules come 23:00…although that could have been down to the rain more than good manners.

The next morning we were up bright and early, packed up the tent before it got too wet and headed off on our mission to summit Snowdon.

We had planned to do the Crib Goch ridge but with the weather being wet, windy and rather misty we decided to opt for the easier/safer option ascending via the Pyg Track and then descending via the miners track.

In all honesty the ascent was a lot easier than we had expected, taking us less than 2 hours to get the the top, that included a few minutes waiting for the hordes of people who’d just got off the train to dissipate.

The track was pretty clear all of the way up, there was a little bit of slippy clambering to do but again nothing difficult.

Not being able to see anything other than mist from the top we nipped into the cafe for a cup of coffee and a pasty, the coffee was OK, the pasty was delicious…and huge. Despite being in the dry, warm surroundings of the cafe, I couldn’t help but feel it was a bit of a blot on the landscape and took some of the feeling of achievement of walking up a mountain away…although after seeing the prices of £25 per person for the train I am more than glad we walked up.

Snowdon summit

Snowdon Summit

The descent was just as straight forward, again the path was clearly marked and for the first part followed the way we had came, before splitting off right down the hill as the weather cleared slightly and along the brightly coloured lakes at the bottom, past some mine workings before heading back to the cafe and car park at the start of the Pyg track.

You can download my route here, again its GPX and has been zipped.

On getting back to the car we popped down to Pete’s Eats in Llanberis for a pint mug of tea followed by a quick wander round the town and a shufty in the gear shops before droving across to another campsite just outside of Betsw y Coed, called Rynys Farm and visited a village we’d been recommended, unfortunately the place we’d been told to eat was closed so we ended up in another pub, the name of I can’t remember but the food and beer was delicious and just what we needed.

The campsite it’s self was great too, it had fantastic views, plenty of flat places for pitching and nice clean toilets and showers, It was also nice and quiet, if all campsites were like the two we had stayed I could get used to staying on them again.

Not long after getting back to the tent the heavens opened again so we decided to call it a night and get some well deserved sleep. The rain and wind kept up all night, even though there is something quite therapeutic about the sound of rain on the tent it does get a bit boring after a while.

The following morning our fellow campers were surprised we had lasted the night in the tent, they were all in caravans and motor homes and said it was bad enough in there.

It was our last day in Wales so we nipped to a cafe in Betsw y Coed for a slap up breakfast and a couple of Welsh cakes and some supplies for later

The plan was to call into Llandudo on the way home to have a look round and maybe a go on the cable cars, on the way we called in at the Conwy Brewery so I could get a few bottles of ale for when we got home, It was easy enough to find and had a nice little reception area covered in dried hops.

llandudno pier

llandudno pier

Unfortunately when we got to the cable cars they were closed because of the wind, so we had to make do with just having a walk along the beach and round the town, LLandudo was much bigger than I expected and somewhere I would like to go back to and investigate more, it looked like it had some nice restaurants and pubs.

All in all even with the rain we had a fantastic time in Wales and will be making time to go back soon, especially to climb some more mountains and visit the coast further down.

For those interested gear used on the trip was as follows

Tent: Terra Nova Laser Large 3, Sleeping bags: Alpkit pipe dream 400, Rab Neutrino 400, Mats: Alpkit Slim Airic, Stormlite mat, Stove: Jetboil PCS, Waterproofs: Rab Super Dru, Montane Air pant, Montane Superfly, Montane venture trousers. Other bits: Berghaus Tech-T, Rab Aeon Tee, Montane Terra Converts, north face paramount trousers, Aku Vertigo GTX, Solomon Relax shoes, Asolo Fugitive boots, X-socks, 1000mile socks, Alpkit Gourdon 20, OR dry rucksack. Timex Expedition watch, Garmin GPS 60

2 Comments

  1. kevin
    Jun 29, 2011

    can you drive to the top of these hills,,,,,?

  2. Moggy
    Jun 29, 2011

    hah Kevin, fortunately not!

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