Cadair Idris

September 14, 2008

After all hotel breakfasts is it nice to have a breakfast 'at home'. After breakfast we drive to Minffordd, south of the massif Cadair Idris. From here the route called the Minffordd Path goes to Penygadair peak which is 893 meter high. Here is a car park with toilets, the path begins behind the toilets. At first it is a steep climb beside a stream through a forest.There are steps cut into the track that help. It levels off somewhat when we leave the forest. Llyn Cau lake is in a hollow below the massif, on three sides of the lake are steep slopes. We take a break and enjoy the nice weather and scenery. We continue up on the ridge west of the lake. It is sometimes rocky and steep. J decides not to continue but to turn back and wait for us further down, our plan is to come down from the east at Mynydd Moel. To the right of us is a steep slope down to the lake. Sheep graze on the sparse grass. The first peak is at 791 meters. Clouds look threatening. After the peak there is a fence with a stile, from the fence is it slightly downhill through a field, then again uphill on a stony cairned track to the rocky summit of Penygadair. Before we reach the summit the clouds descend and hide everything, we see nothing of the view. We find the top cairn, below a building can be seen through the fog and the misty shapes of some figures are moving around. The building can be used as a shelter in bad weather. We abandon our idea to continue along the eastern ridge, there is no sense in this fog. We decide instead to go back the same way.

A takes the same path, while K takes a different one and says it is a better path. They both disappear in the fog in different directions, I follow A's choice. Despite all the rock the track is visible, it has been well trodden by many feet and large stone cairns line it. I catch up with A, we shout for K and get no answer. When we are just below the cloud we wait. But no K shows up. He is probably walking on the Pony Path which is a good path but which, for us, is completely wrong. He will turn around when he realizes his mistake. We meet hikers on their way up and ask them to tell K, if they see him, that we are slowly going down.

We wait for a moment on the 791-meter peak. In the saddle between the peaks a man appears from the clouds that hide Penygadair. Suddenly he disappears. We go to see where he has disappeared to, he goes straight down the steep slope, down to the lake. There is a narrow gorge-like passage that looks viable, but still, it looks difficult! We watch how he slowly descends, he reaches the lake safely. K doesn't appear. We continue on the normal path and eventually find J sitting on a rock near where we originally intended to come down. She is sitting and chatting with two women. Then K shows up, sauntering down the path. He had, after a while, discovered his mistake and joined a party of hikers and found himeself up on the still foggy summit again. At five, we are back at the car.

I feel tired with a cold and mild fever. It is raining in the evening. Dinner is prepared and served in the cottage. I am not technically intelligent enough to understand the washing machine, it is A that solves the mystery of it.


Steep climb

Llyn Cau





Top cairn

Intended come down