Sunday, 25 September 2016

October 2016 The final Welsh Nuttalls

Walk Summary 
On 02 October 2008 I walked up Simon Fell, my very first English Nuttall.
That was before I even knew what a Nuttall was, let alone heard of Peak Bagging.
On that very same day I was looking beyond to the imposing mass of Ingleborough thinking "...this hill walking lark is OK, may look to do a bit more." Wondering if I would have the courage to tackle this monster in front and promising myself "...if I need a rope today or any other day I will not be going there".
Well that was at the beginning of this journey. Since then I have been up over 900 different hills all over Great Brtiain, even two in Iberia. I have learnt many new outdoor skills, travelled to places I have never been before, met many people along the way - and yes I have needed a rope and more importantly "gone there". Including ridge walking on the Isle of Skye, summitted Pillar Rock and even learnt Winter Mountaineering Skills roped up equipped with crampons and an Ice Axe. In essence it is my "Man on the Moon" project, by setting a goal that you have not done before, without the necessary skills, and refusal to not accept excuses for not achieving that goal what ever the reason.
On 06 November 2016; 8 years, 1 month and 4 days later I intend to walk up Arenig Fach the 444th and final English/Welsh Nuttall. It will of course not be my final hill because that is the beauty of this great outdoor pursuit. Not the ticking of summits off a list, but the access to new experiences and adventures introducing you to new interests such as geology, history, nature and fauna. All of which I know bugger all about but does not stop me asking questions and finding out answers. In fact I am finding these final few hills a pain since with so few left it is restricting me where I can actually go. But on the other hand it is providing a focus to complete something before going on to the next challenge. It will of course mark the end of this particular part of the journey. But what it has done is open up a world of experiences I never thought of having, would want to have, or be capable of achieving.
The next challenge?
Effectively my "Man on Mars" project to complete all of the GB Marilyns. All 1556 of them, including 202 of the 282 Munros (so I might as well do the lot) as well as the lesser known Corbetts and Grahams.
Not achieved by anyone until October 2014 first by Rob Woodhall then 1 hour later Eddie Dealty still only achieved by 10 people as of October 2016. The most recent being Rick Salter and the first lady Jenny Hatfield in September 2016.
My only regret is I cannot persuade my wife and soul mate to share in these new experiences and access to new interests. To me it is the elixir of life a reason to get up in the morning and something to look back on and say that is what has been done. It provides;- Purpose, Challenge, Adventure and Achievement.
Anyway before that there are 27 other Nuttalls including the recently added Calf Top in Cumbria necessitating a slight detour on the way to North Wales from Suffolk, which will now be my final English Nuttall instead of Pillar Rock which I eventually got round to climbing last June 2016.
Fail to plan and plan to fail - well that is not the plan. The overall objective is to complete all Nuttalls bar the final one , leaving time for recovery and hopefully a peak bagging day with fellow baggers on the Saturday before completion on Sunday 06 November.
A 25 Day plan to complete 15 walks leaving 10 days for rest days and travelling days. The bad weather days will of course coincide with these days as planned so you can reliably expect each walk as listed below to take place on the planned day below. NOT. But at least the plan demonstrates it is achievable without being too challenging.
(13 October2016 V4) 7 days into plan actual distance/ascent walk date included + proposed date of remaining walks
Yorkshire Dales
01-Calf Top
Starting from most convenient parking spot near Mill House have planned a clockwise route following the farm track to Calf Foot, ascending the Calf and bagging what will now be my third "Final English Nuttall, after Catstye Cam (NPR) in Aprl 2013 and Pillar Rock more recently in June 2016. Returning to Mill House after visiting what is now the isolated Dewey of Castle Knott.
I have planned this route as what I think will be easiest in terms of rate of ascent. However I intend to drive from Suffolk via Barbondale to check out the gradient and may be tempted to access from the steeper east side.
4.72 miles, 515.87m ascent, 3 hour 21 mins @ Av pace of 1.70mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent
02-Gallt y Wenallt
Just a straight there and back walk from YHA Pen y Pass along the Miners Track to collect the summit I did not have time to do at the end of The Snowdon Horseshoe back in May 2016. 
5.92 miles, 624.15m ascent, 4 hour 07 mins @ Av pace of 1.70mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent
03-Yr Aran
Identifying Nantgwynant as the most convenient start point for a there and back walk to Yr Aran also alerted me to the possibility of access to Gallt y Wenallt. I will therefore check this out with a view to bagging both peaks as part of the same walk thereby saving a day and possibly a fiver by not having to park at Pen y Pass for planned walk start to Gallt y Wenallt.
5.56 miles, 762.28m ascent, 4 hour 02 mins @ Av pace of 1.70mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent
The Moelwyns
04-Moel Siabod
Yet another there and back walk this time starting from Moel Siabod Cafe Hoping to get an early start by taking advantage of parking there overnight the night before. will check this out with the Cafe.
5.60 miles, 724.27m ascent, 4 hour 02 mins @ Av pace of 1.70mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent
05-The Cnichts
A short circular route starting from Croesor in an anti-clockwise direction. Following the PROW up Cwm Croeor than the wall towards the north summit looks easier to navigate than up the ridge to the main Cnicht summit in a clockwise direction. Besides for some reason most of my routes are anti-clockwise, they just are.
4.20 miles, 583.66m, 3 hours 02 mins @ Av pace of 1.7mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent
06-The Manods & Moel Penamnen from Blaenau Ffestiniog
This looked like it may be easier to do as two short walks but as multi Nuttall walks are becoming few and far between have decided to start anti-clockwise from Blaenau Ffestiniog for both Manod Mawr summits then east and north round Graig-ddi slate quarry towards Moel Penamnen and the two nearby Deweys.
2.44 miles, 310.96m, 1 hour 53 mins @ Av pace of 1.75mph  & + 1 hour/per 600m of ascent
07-Moel Hebog
I admired these three summits from The Nantlle Ridge back in April 2016. It looks a splendid day out if the weather is good. This time in a clockwise direction from Beddgellert following what I hope is a well trodden and easily navigable path to the first and highest summit of Moel Hebog.
7.14 miles, 946.68m, 5 hours 09 mins @ Av pace of 1.7mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent

08-Five Nuttalls of the South Rhinogs
If the terrain lives up to its reputation and is anything like the ground I covered for the two northerly Rhinog peaks I reckon this will be one of the hardest walks of this trip and possibly of all the Welsh Nuttalls. There is a possibility I may be able to include Rhinog Fawr at the end of the walk after Rhinog Fach but with a planned duration of 8 hours 25 minutes I am not sure there will be enough daylight hours at this time of year, let alone energy left on my part.
11.91 miles, 1380.06m, 8 hours 26 mins @ Av pace of 1.7mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent
09-Rhinog Fawr
Not much chance of including this at the end of the South Rhinogs walk so expect to be doing this the day after that walk or two days if as I suspect is more likely a rest day is needed. This was a candidate to be my final Welsh Nuttall but because of the chance it could be part of another walk as well as not being sure of the route through the pine plantation I decided to go for an alternative summit.
5.49 miles, 489.64m, 3 hours 43 mins @ Av pace of 1.7mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent
10-Pen y Garn
For some reason I try to concoct circular walks or lassoo routes as I have coined and that has been my preference, where practcable throughout my Nuttall bagging journey. Hence as this route was planned some time ago we have a circular route for Pen y Garn. However I have spotted a closer start point near Bryn y Gwydd at the road junction with the Borth to Devil's Bridge to Ponthydfendigaid Trail. If there is adequate parking looks like it will be another there and backer.
7.04 miles, 388.39m, 4 hours 33 mins @ Av pace of 1.7mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent
11-Gorllwyn & Drygarn Fawr
A long hard day if what I am led to believe is over boggy ground. Had hoped to do this one during a hard winter when the ground was hard but I have had enough of those to have taken my chance so looks like I will have a boggy slog. Reckon the 10 miles in the planned 6½ hours could be a little longer.
12-North West Arans

7.14 miles, 946.68m, 5 hours 09 mins @ Av pace of 1.7mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent
13-Rhobell Fawr & Dduallt

2.44 miles, 310.96m, 1 hour 53 mins @ Av pace of 1.75mph  & + 1 hour/per 600m of ascent

14-Foel Goch and the four Deweys from Bala C&CC campsite

7.14 miles, 946.68m, 5 hours 09 mins @ Av pace of 1.7mph  & + 1 hour/per 900m of ascent