With Christmas done and dusted for another year and both having the week off work, David and I decided to travel to North Wales for a day trip.
Llyn Gwynant at sunset
We returned to Llyn Gwynant and the surrounding area. I found a moderate walk on the National Trust website that overlooked Llyn Dinas.
It was a beautiful winters day. The rugged Snowdonian landscape looked like Martian terrain in the golden light.
It was pretty evident that many people had also decided on visiting Snowdonia National Park, rows upon rows of parked cars lined the verges. Luckily we managed to find parking ourselves (outside Caffi Gwynant Café) before we embarked on our walk.
The first part of the walk began on the Watkin Path, deemed by some to be the hardest path towards Snowdon, due to loss of defined path and loose scree near the top.
The Watkin Path
Afon Cwm Llan waterfalls
The walk meanders through ancient oak woodland, before approaching Cwm Llan, with well defined paths that follow the fast flowing Afon Cwm Llan waterfalls.
Somehow we missed a turning, (there weren’t many way-markers,) so we continued along the path in front of us which wound through the valley. We past a commemoration plaque stating the opening of the route in 1892 by the then Prime Minister, William Gladstone, then on towards the old ruins of a slate quarry before the path drew steadily upwards.
Ruined quarry buildings
By this time we knew we had taken the wrong path, and had walked further than we ought, but as the path was not too steep we decided to keep going.
David on the path to Snowdon
On our walk we saw many other people traipsing the same path towards Snowdon, and drawing higher, we heard the whooo of a train from the Snowdon Mountain Railway (even though they say on their website that they are closed!) Perhaps it was a phantom train? As the summit of Snowdon came into view, I could see the train station and visitor centre. It was quite exciting being on a walk we had not planned.
View from Watkin Path
At some 800m above sea level, David and I sat down to have lunch. We pondered on how much further it was to the top and would we get there before sunset. We also had to consider our ability. I am not the best walker/climber. So we decided not to aim for the summit but to go to the ridge and see what was on the other side.
We found Llyn Llydaw on the other side, stretching out far below us. I was ecstatic. Llydaw is one of the llyn’s I want to swim in 2017!
From the ridge we turned back and started our descent. It took us another good two hours to walk back to the car park. We were both buoyed by the walk, amazed that we had managed to get 3/4 of the way up the tallest mountain in England and Wales. Today however, we are stiff and sore.
Accidentally taking the path towards Snowdon has made me realise that maybe some tarns in the Lake District are not so unachievable as I believed. Roll on spring/summer 2017!
Have you managed to climb Snowdon? If so what path did you chose, apparently there at six paths?
Thanks for reading,