The Vault Regulars

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cadair Idris round Day 2.

 Post evening meal we had a walk up to the Lyn which was formed by a Cirque glacier. The Lyn is supposed to be bottomless, but we know that’s just myth.
It was a bit of a surprise to find 14 tents in a large group and one lone chap a little further round. The midges were out and Mike wore his net. I thought it was a bit excessive. I personally think he had hair rollers in.
Edging the water Mike tried to engage the lone camper in conversation but nothing was forthcoming. He had this same problem in Scotland too. There’s a bit of a trend going on here.

 We retired shortly afterward and i slept with the tent outer door full open. It was a warm night and i used the full zip of the sleeping bag in the open position, acting like a quilt. The insulation in the Exped UL7 being enough to keep me warm.

 I was hoping to watch the stars during the night but it clouded over.

 I awoke to the smell of sausages cooking and before i got my porridge sorted Mike said "have some of these as we need to cook them today". Never being one to refuse a good offer, i obliged, obviously.
Unfortunately in the excitement, the bacon was forgotten. But i enjoyed them washed down with my morning brew of ginger, lemon and honey tea.

 Our path today was the Minffordd track which is gained by heading up to the Lyn on the LHS, then as you approach a flat grassy area with a large 45 degree slab boulder, the path turns 90 degree south and steeply upwards.
 Mike decided it was too good an opportunity to show us he’s still 15 yrs old really.
 The track has had some management done to it to stop spreading erosion but it’s still rough in places. Small cairns guide you upwards in poor visibility. The Minffordd is the shortest route up to Penygadair although with the most ascent.
 Reaching the first level point is a good place to stop and take in the views south, glacial Tal-Y-Lyn, the valley through to Machynlleth and the steep north side of Graig Goch take the eye.
Lyn Cau and the southern slopes of Penygadair.
 Lyn Cau and Panygadair
The view south west over Graig Goch from the Minffordd track.

Although undulating, the way upwards is relatively easy and fun can be had along the way with some scrambling on easy outcrops. (Don’t do this at home it can be dangerous). At one point Mike thought he had bitten off more than he could chew.
Mike being 15 again.
 Waiting while Mike reclaimed his youth and getting safely down i had a faff with the camera, just as the roar of the RAF planes flying very low level screeched past. The pilots must have been having a great time throwing those aircraft from one side to the other. The planes looked like they were F22 Raptor with the dual tails. It was just great watching. Luckily they did a second pass and so camera faff over i did manage to capture a shot. Not good enough to post though.

 Looking back up to where we were heading, the top of Craig Y Cau, we could see quite a few people already in situ. For a Monday it was quite busy.
Craig Y Cau, 761 metres, bathed in sunshine. This the back of Idris’s chair from folklore.
Idris, in Mythology is supposed to be a giant who lived up here.

 Lyn Cau from the summit of Craig y Cau. The boundry fence stopping in mid air. So don’t handrail here or the plunge is about 400 metres.
The summit was quite a busy place and it was here that the elders of the group camping at the Lyn were met. The kids in groups of 5 had gone off earlier in a different direction. All to meet up later.
It could well have been DofE but i didn’t ask.
 Penygadair  893 metres, from Craig Y Cau
 Our next top at the end of Craig Cwm Amarch. 766 metres.
 View south from spot height 766 metres with Tal y Lyn in the valley.
Looking back at Craig Y Cau (Right) and Penygadair (Left) from spot height 766M.

 Mike duly got out the marker pen and did an in air large tick. He was having difficulty remembering if it was 23 or 24 more to go until he had completed all the Marilyns, Hewitts, Nuttalls, Herberts or Wally’s, i’m not sure which and i’m not getting into the tick thing. But Mike was very pleased. Bless him.

 So there was only Penygadair to go, on our ramble. A fence line follows the ridge of Craig Cwm Amarch but we didn’t want to head back to Craig Y Cau. Over the stile and on the north side of the ridge we contoured North east until we picked up the wide track up to Penygadair. 
 The back of Idris’s chair with the soggy seat.
 Craig Y Cau from the approach to Penygadair
 Craig Y Cau and the Minffordd track from summit of Penygadair

 Mike at summit about to get the marker pen out before realising it already had a tick on it.
 It was now time for lunch and just below the summit is this hut. It’s a bit smelly and damp although spotlessly clean. We decided to forsake it and eat outside in the sunshine.
It would be good place in stormy weather though. I presume it had it’s origins with the survey teams but that’s a guess.
 Our route back follows the edge of the broad ridge which leads to Mynydd Moel. We stayed as close to the edge as possible which meant undertaking a small bit of scrambling down at one point. It also afforded a good view of the Cyfrwy Arete (Above) with the popular climb known as “The Table”.
A climber can be seen in the centre of the photo. (Red top.)
 Cyfrwy Arete taken without telephoto lens.
 And below the Arete is Lyn y Gadair. 
 Our scramble route down from Penygadair.
We could have gone over to Mynydd Moel again and followed the fence line down as per yesterday but there is a path lower down, not on OS maps but clear on the ground. This contours the Cwm and arrives at a stile at around 750 metres. Then it’s the steep rough track down into the valley to cross Nant Cadair.
 Back at camp, i spent an hour just watching the scene change as clouds moved South to north. With the clear skies and warm sunshine it was a pleasure to reflect on a superb days walk.

I’m not sure what Mike and Dawn had for tea but i had Adventure Foods Mince Hotpot. Lots of potato and the mince was compacted like meatballs but the size of chick peas, there was also diced carrot, onion and herbs. It was ok, edible, tasty even but not as good as the previous nights meal. 
There again, it was a bit cheaper and i have no complaints at £4.50.

I still had some whisky left but Mike had, well none left. Being a good Samaritan i offered Mike half of it. I hate to see grown men cry.

Another superb days walk.



afootinthehills said...

Hi Alan

I think the lack of willingness to engage in conversation with other walkers is more than a trend and has almost become the norm. Sadly, I've become so used to it now that I either avoid others, if I can, or wait until they make the first move, thus risking being classed as one of the 'non-engagers'! It was a pleasant surprise to find so many friendly people at the Inverie campsite, though not all were. One never spoke to us on the site or when we met him on the hill.

No-one values solitude more than I do, but chatting to fellow hill-goers or backpackers, even briefly, is surely an enjoyable part of the day or trip. Mind you, there are a lot of people these days who don't seem to be enjoying themselves on the hills. I've seen more smiles on a Monday morning at work!

Anyway, nice post and great photographs.

Phil Ross said...

A great days walk that, done it a few times myself, I also like the route straight up at the end of Llyn Cau, some easy and enjoyable scrambling to be had towards the end before you reach Craig Cau. I believe and don't quote me on this that the summit hut was originally a tea hut like a 19th centuary Snowdon cafe. Regarding the engagement of people, I always make a point of saying hello to the people I see out and about in the hills, Sometimes it ends up in a chat sometimes I just get a grunt back, each to thier own I suppose.

Andrew W said...

Definitely on my list of somewhere to go in August.
Welsh Hills.

Gonna happen! :)

markswalkingblog said...

Good report there Alan. I am glad you included plenty of photos. When I walked Cadair I couldn't see a bloody thing, the cloud was so low !

Mike Knipe said...

I thowt it were a poor do....

AlanR said...

Hi Gibson, There is no excuse for ignorance even if solitude is an objective.
Thanks for kind comments.

AlanR said...

Hi Phil,
Yes i read that on Wiki, but it seems a large structure just to sell a few teas so i have my doubts. I could be wrong though.

AlanR said...

Worthy of being on a list. Splendid area.

AlanR said...

Cheers Mark,
Sheila has just booked Gairloch for August so looking forward to that.

AlanR said...

There’s always one in a crowd.

afootinthehills said...

You may not want to say, but is it Gairloch Sands site or the one in the village? Have a great time both of you.

AlanR said...

We are taking Sheila's mum and so we have booked a cottage for the week.

Dawn said...

Mike does have a habit of wearing rollers Allan, nothing to worry about though. My suspicion is that Mike has been snaffling Bruno's Bob Martins?

Dawn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AlanR said...

Hi Dawn,
Good to meet you btw. I got a bit worried when Mike was boiling the water and i asked if it was for a brew and he said NO, its for my hair.

markswalkingblog said...

Gairloch, fingers crossed for god weather

-maria- said...

Looks like an area I would enjoy!

I'm quite confident that the guy with the lack of willigness to talk was just a little bit afraid as he thought he had met Father Christmas on his summer holiday! You should behave yourself during the summer, too, after all... (Mike's beard definitely looks very fatherchristmassy!) - But yes, I think that a brief chat with a fellow walker is always in place. And not only with a fellow walker but a fellow human being in general, whether in town/in the great outdoors.

Happy midsummer to you, Alan & Sheila. It's hard to believe but from now on, the days are getting shorter and shorter! Not really something I'm looking forward to, but that's how it goes...

AlanR said...

Hi Maria
Mike would make a good Santa. That is so funny.
Midsummer. It's like winter here. Dreadful weather with lots of flooding.

AlanR said...

I hope it will be a bit better than we are having at the moment.

Martin Rye said...

Gibson is spot on. I think its sad to see miserable people in the hills. Anyway a great trip you had. Nice views and Mike is a bit of a demon on a rocky scramble, that I noted walking up Red Pike with him.

AlanR said...

Thanks Martin,
I think it depends on if he’s had his Bob Martins.

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