Day four of our Llyn short trip / walking tour recce. And day four of me lugging both our food, water and other kit around. Today was planned as mountain day plus recce for a shorter half day walk should I encounter bad weather (which you never ever get in North Wales… ever). All together it would sum up to 12k and 800m elevation gain roughly.
I hadn’t slept too well at all waking up grumpy after annoying dreams way too early at 6am. With a mountain day ahead I chickened out of another recce run in the morning and instead sat once more in the lounge reading and glancing out of the window towards Snowdonia every now and then.
Breakfast at 8, then packed and checked out. Quick stop in Portmadog for fuel and to grab something for lunch later. Once more drove along those awesome twisty roads between Tremadog and Beddgelert and parked up at the car park at the foot of Watkin Path 10:30am.
Well, let’s say there were some official spaces and some unofficial ones. It was rammed this early in the morning and as long as you paid your fee an unofficial space was fine.
So what was the plan for today? Heading up Snowdon like every man and his dog today? Hell, no! Instead walk up into Cwm Llan, a stunning valley with Snowdon at its very end and towering mountains along the sides, then loop back to the foot of one of those towering hulks and climb it. Y Aran.
Saddled up (well I did 😆) and off we went up, up, up the Watkin Path, the least popular of the paths up Snowdon.
Well, it was certainly popular today, but probably nothing compared to the mayhem on any of the others.
My legs were tired and the backpack felt heavy, but with the sun once more in the sky and views getting more dramatic as we climbed, I hardly cared. I was quite glad however, that I had given my morning run a miss.
Cwm Llan is a stunning valley, it really has to be seen. I hope the photos do it at least some justice.
Turned off the Watkin Path after some derelict slate quarry buildings and had a quick break before heading back down to complete our little loop of Cwm Llan.
Then picked up a rough path up Yr Aran’s Eastern flank. I had a description of the path from a walking magazine and it was spot on. The path was rough and steep or wet in places but with enough car quite easy to find. Especially with such fine weather as we could make it out way ahead.
Eventually, we reached the crest of Yr Aran’s Eastern flank and climbed along it all the way to the top. It was hard work not just because it was a constant climb up, but because it was blowin’ a hooley up here! So much so that we really had to be a bit careful with our footing.
Funny enough, the wind lessened at the very top and we found a great spot for lunch that was a bit sheltered.
Views all around us where simply amazing! The who is who of Snowdonia: Snowdon, Crib Goch, Moel Siabod, the Glydders, the Nantlle ridge, Moel Hebog, the Moelwyns… Oh and Caernarfon in the haze and even Anglesey and the Menai Straight.
We stayed for a bit enjoying a fine day on a fine hill. Thinking of the 4.5hrs drive home we reluctantly headed back down at 2pm once more braving the strong winds on Yr Aran’s flank.
Chose a different path down to make it a loop before we got back to the Watkin Path and finally the car only 1.5hrs after leaving the summit. Not bad!
We were knackered though and instantly set off onto the long drive home to Bristol.
What a fantastic four days it’s been! Brilliant B&B, brilliant walks, brilliant weather. You rarely ever get four days like this in a row. Over a bank holiday even rarer. I’m pleased with having covered five and a half days walks for my group in just four days. I will come back end of May to cover off the remaining one and a half day, hopefully my lucky weather streak will prevail.