Saturday, 12 March 2016

Cadair Idris + two outliers to the west from YHA Kings

Walk summary
Cold cloudy with damp drizzle on Cadair Idris summit.
Descended to left for early lunch,
change of base layer and extra layer in nearby mountain hut
Scope of this planned walk to climb the two westerly outliers of the Cadair Idris massive has been extended to include Cadair Idris and the two nearby Nuttalls due to not visiting these as part of the Mynydd Moel & Gau Graig route walked the day before yesterday.
Plan is still to ascend and descend via the Pony Path but instead of turning right towards Craig-las [Tyrrau Mawr] will first turn left towards Cyfrwy, then on to Cadair Idris and finally on to Craig Cwm Amarch before returning to the Pony Path and the 'there and back' walk to Craig-y-llyn via Craig-las [Tyrrau Mawr].
At nearly 13 miles and 1400m of ascent I expected it to take at least 9 hours so an  early start was essential.
With fine drizzle giving very wet conditions and low cloud base obliterating any chance of views I reckon I had chosen possibly the worst day for weather on what would be the marquis walk of the trip as well as the longest and most challenging.
Turned out the Pony Path was a much easier route than Foxes Path used two days earlier resulting in me reaching Cadair Idris after only 2½ hours by way of Cyfrwy the days first Nuttall, on the way. Not a lot to see due to the low cloud but did spot the mountain hut nearby NE of the summit.
It was only 11:30 but the best chance I had of finding somewhere dry to eat lunch all day. 10 minutes later I was ready to set off for Nuttall No3 of the day Craig Cwm Amarch and set off, quickly returning to change base layer top, hat and gloves due to feeling well chilled off. All the years I have carried spare clothing and not needing it, today it was needed and if I had not, would have had to head downhill quick forgetting any chance of more Nuttalls for the day.
Visibility was no better at Craig Cwm Amarch so I set off more or less back on myself looking for the fence to follow back to the pony Path. I did not bother with the two nearby ex-Nuttalls; Craig Lwyd and Mynydd Pencoed, as I could not see them and wanted to save spare time made up for contingency if required later in the walk.
I set myself the target to be back at the Pony Path before 3pm if I was to go on to the final two westerly outliers of Craig-las and Craig-y-llyn. It was 1:40pm so off I head for Craig-las expecting to be back at the Pony Path in about 2 hours. 
Quite an ascent to Craig-las as it is a HuMP but otherwise straight forward following the fence keeping it to my right. Then straight over the summit, continuing to follow the fence and down hill to the final summit of the day which is also a HuMP.
The final summit was non descript without any marker but a good wander round near the summit would ensure I had set foot on the high point.
Now all that remained was to descend for the final time of the day and head for the road to the right via the ladder stile spotted on the way in the col between Craig-y-llyn and Craig-las. This would avoid the reascent of Craig-las and more importantly reducing distance to walk. Still 4 miles back to the hostel but all down hill to the road and the final 3 miles along the road then riverside path.
Back at the hostel 1½ hours ahead of schedule and time to reflect that it may be possible to do all 7 Cadair Idris Nuttalls from the Hostel or Gwernan Lake Hotel by using unmapped path up Gau Graig as the ascent route.

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (189W - 443E&W)
Cyfrwy (103W - 356E&W)
Cadair Idris - Penygadair (104W - 357E&W)
Craig Cwm Amarch (105W - 358E&W)
Craig-las [Tyrrau Mawr] (106W - 359E&W)
Craig-y-llyn (107W - 360E&W)
Hewitts (138W - 317E&W)
Cyfrwy (73W - 252E&W)
Cadair Idris - Penygadair (74W - 253E&W)
Craig Cwm Amarch (75W - 254E&W)
Craig-las [Tyrrau Mawr] (76W - 255E&W)
Craig-y-llyn (78W - 256E&W)
Marilyns (175E - 1556E,W&S)
Cadair Idris - Penygadair (67W - 228E&W)
Deweys (181E - 422EW&S)
HuMPs (444E - 2975EW&S)
Cadair Idris - Penygadair (79W - 307E&W)
Craig-las [Tyrrau Mawr] (80W - 308E&W)
Craig-y-llyn (81W - 309E&W)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
W: Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
09th Cadair Idris Nuttalls east of A487
10th Mynydd Moel & Gau Graig
11th Craig y Castell
12th Cadair Idris + two outliers to the west from YHA Kings
14th Cwm Cywarch ring from Glasgwm to Pen yr Allt Uchaf

Walk Statistics
Walk Date -12 March 2016
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - YHA Kings
Start Point - YHA Kings  (SH 68362 16014)
Start Time - 08:57
Finish Point YHA Kings  (SH 68362 16014)
Finish Time - 16:35
Total Duration - 7hrs 38mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.73mph
Total Distance Walked - 13.22 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1399.30 metres

GPX can be downloaded from
More Photographs
Right at farm along road then immediatly left up Pony Path. Cadair Idris cloaked in cloud
Click on photograph to view slide-show