Finally fate forfended a finish to the fortnight on a far flung top of Cadair Idris – (OK, that’s enough of that..) – one Craig-y-Llyn – the crag being the crag above the little tarn called Llyn Cyn – possibly quite a nice place to camp.
I parked the knipemobile on the National Trust car park at Llynau Creggenen, a fishing spot dominated by the Matterhorn-like silhouette of Pared y Cefn Hir and it’s heathery pal of equal height Bryn Brith – a twin HuMP, no less. The first looks quite fierce from the car park and as I set off on my short round to bag Craig-y-LLyn, it seemed likely that at the end of the day me and superdawg would be testing our scrambling skills on it’s steep ridge.
But first, we had an appointment with the far-Western end of the very lovely Cadair Idris ridge.
Luckily, there’s a path from the road which climbs steeply up onto the ridge. It’s then an easy matter to plod along the ridge to the top. This ridge, though, is quite fabulous and wot a jolly jape it would be to walk the whole thing from end to end from Gau Craig to Pen y Garn armed only with a huge amount of camping equipment and a litre of fine malt. There’s a path over the estuary at Barmouth and the Mawdach Trail leads the intrepid alcoholic to Dolgellau, where I expect there are friendly pubs and then hill paths would take the survivors up on to Gau Crag to start the jaunt. There’s a fine path along the coast to take you back to Barmouth where I expect it’s possible to arrange a short celebration and get the train home. It’d take a few days, I expect. Just an idea…..
Anyway, after bagging our tick and completing Cadair Idris, we bagged Craig Cwm-llwyd, a little Dewey with a fine view of the Mawdach estuary. The black road (FFordd Ddu) took me back to the start and the prospect of a clamber on Pared y Cefn Hir.
This is only a tiddler as far as Welsh hills is concerned, being just 383 metres high and with an alpine start at the airy altitude of about 240 metres, the maths indicate the scale of the job in hand (143 metres ish)
There’s a good path and about halfway up there’s a rocky slab to climb and then a short arete before the top is reached. The ridge continues rockily and delightfully with short scrambles here and there and rocky nobbles and a fine view of Cadair Idris. What fun. The hill is the only one I‘ve been on with an artist on the top. He had his chair and easel and special artist’s hat and seemed to be waiting for inspiration or something…..
But, in order to have the tick, I had to bag Bryn Brith and this consisted of a short, brutal and steep series of lunges and wobbles through thick heather to attain a small cairn on the top. The view from the top now included the opposing ridge complete with it’s artist, now, apparently painting furiously in the fading light. I hope he got down OK.
Not too long later and we were back at the car and on our way back to Barmouth Co-op for more celebratory supplies.
We did about 9 miles today with 2250 feet of uphill.
But, if you’re in the area and the hillfog is sitting squarely on Cadair Idris, you could do no better than have some rocky fun on Cefn Hir. This is possibly one of the best little hills in Wales. This is Bruno’s opinion, obviously…