Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Bochlwyd Horseshoe

Walk Summary
The Cantilever
One of my best days ever in the hills. Especially as it was not one of the planned walks for this trip.
I met this really nice chap out on the hill during last Mondays walk around Dulyn reservoir. He thought I was a new trig point as he approached Foel Grach summit and I thought he was a ghost as he appeared from nowhere out of the fog, near the summit cairn.  We stopped for lunch in the mountain shelter, where amongst other things we chatted about hill-walking and found we had quite a lot in common, not least the fact that it seemed we were the only fools out in the hills in these inclement bleak conditions. Certainly the only ones we could see.
Because of the excellent weather (apart from today) I explained I was two days ahead of schedule and quite fancied going up Tryfan but did not think I was experienced enough to tackle it on my own. When I found out he was local I tongue in cheek asked if he fancied joining me.
We agreed to meet at Idwal YH at 09:00am then drove to the roadside car park next to Llyn Ogwyn before crossing the road and setting off up the north ridge.
Any way turns out whilst chatting on the descent down the south ridge of Tryfan he is a qualified member of the AMI so he was assessing me all the time about what I was capable of doing, hence ended up doing things I would never have done on my own. 
At the beginning of the walk he said "...the best advice on the ascent is; if there is a route choice, generally stay left". So I kept wondering why we kept going right. Did some epic scrambles using techniques I had not heard of which no way would I have done on my own. In fact it is quite likely I would have had to give up and go back down with my tail between my legs.
On top of all that I managed to pose on the canon and when we came across the cantilever, I felt I had been given my Xmas present early and was having the guided walk of a lifetime. I had seen photos many times but had not realised it was near Tryfan let alone Wales.
On top of all that it was a brilliant chance to not have to worry about route finding, Geoff knew the terrain like the back of his hand. He acted as a body double jumping between Adam and Eve so all I have to do was add a suitable caption to the photo explaining it was me!!. 
I was also shown the best route to scramble up Castell yr Gwynt and after finally bagging the 4th Nuttall of the day guided me safely down the precarious path on Y Gribin.
An iconic mountain with other iconic features that just turned out to be icing on the cake. Thanks again Geoff for a brilliant day and experience of a lifetime, if you ever come to Suffolk I would be only too pleased to guide you round some of our local ridges.

As an after thought I definitely know my original assessment about not being an experienced enough scrambler to tackle this mountain on my own was and is correct. Anyone thinking of tackling this route should not take lightly the effort and skills required to bag this peak via the north ridge. Whilst knowing our own capabilities should bear in mind it is probably the only mountain in England and Wales (with the exception of Pillar Rock) that cannot be summitted without any scrambling whatsoever.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 03 December 2014
Walkers - Steve Smith, Geoff B

Accommodation - Betws-y-Coed Youth Hostel
Start Point - Lay-by on north side of A5 next to Llyn Ogwen (GR - SH 66094 60275)
Start Time - 09:19
Finish Point 
Lay-by on north side of A5 next to Llyn Ogwen (GR - SH 66094 60275)
Finish Time - 15:55
Duration - 6hrs 36mins
Average pace - 0.83mph
Distance Walked - 5.48 miles
Height Ascended - 1151.45metres

Other walks on this trip
27th Creigiau Gleision & Craiglwyn
28th Carnedd Dafydd, Pen yr Ole Wen & Foel Meirich
29th Carnedd Llewelyn, Yr Elen & Pen yr Helgi Du
01st Dulyn Reservoir round + Llwytmor
02nd Beras Bach & Mawr +Drosgl & Gyrn Wigau
03rd Bochlwyd Horseshoe
05th Drum, Pen y Castell & Carnedd y Ddelw + Tal y Fan
06th Pen Llithrig y Wrach

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (190W - 444E&W)
Tryfan (56W - 309E &W)Glyder Fach (57W - 310E &W)
Castell y Gwynt (58W - 311E &W)
Glyder Fawr (59W - 312E, &W)
Hewitts (138W - 317E)
Tryfan (41W - 220E &W)
Glyder Fach (42W - 221E &W)
Glyder Fawr (43W - 222E, &W)
Marilyns (158W - 1550E,W&S)
Tryfan (16W - 109E,W&S)
Glyder Fawr (17W - 110E,W&S)
Deweys (241W - 427E&W)
HuMPs (364W - 2977EW&S)
Tryfan (24W - 172E,W&S)
Glyder Fawr (25W - 173E,W&S)
W: Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

GPX can be downloaded from
More Photographs
Llyn Bochlwyd (Australia Lake) from Bwlch Tryfan
Click on photograph to view slide-show