Weekend with The Junior Sherpa – Carneddau   6 comments

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Whilst the Funster cats were away the Sherpa mice did play! Left to our own devices while TBF went along to a choral singing event we decided on a weekend of relative luxury (Premier Inn, Conwy) to get some walking in. Forecast was ok if a little bland so we hoped to pick off some longer routes. TJS has now paid a visit to the Snowdon and Glyders range so this time it was the third of the main Snowdonia ranges, the Carneddau. A round of Cwm Eigiau seemed appropriate from our northern base and we were up at the car park just after nine. Just in time as it turns out. A large group had pretty much filled the car park and were making a bit of nuisance about setting off (one bloke who loved his own voice and a woman putting on her boots in the middle of the road being the prime culprits). I paused to see where they were heading and went in the other direction

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The weather had looked grey when we set off and rather than clearing like we’d hoped seemed to be getting greyer as we headed into Cwm Eigiau

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We were taking in the two bonus Carneddau of Pen Llithrig y Wrach and Pen yr Helgi Du. They are well worth the extra effort with fine views and much quieter than the higher summits in the Carneddau on the Welsh 3’s list

The summit of PLYW was swarthed in cloud and things did not look promising. Rather than one of the UK’s classic rounds it seemed more likely we’d press on until we got bored walking in fog and head down. As we reached the col before the climb to PYHD we came out of the cloud and things looked a little more promising

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I fully expected to climb straight back into the cloud but it lifted as we climbed and we were almost out of the cloud on PYHD

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We stopped for a short break and things improved dramatically. Blue sky and some watery sunshine appeared and most of the tops cleared from cloud. It was all very impressive and moody

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The views across to Craig yr Ysfa were especially fine

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We descended the steep and narrow ridge from PYHD and climbed the short scramble over the rock of Craig yr Ysfa without incident and found an excellent grassy perch complete with a rock back-rest for lunch. Combined with some dramatic views that’s a measure of a good day in my book

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The climb to Carnedd Llewelyn is longer and further than it looks and by the time we reached the summit I was pretty knackered. There were loads of people on the summit, looked like some kind of organised challenge walk – you can always tell by the large numbers of seriously unhappy looking people with a face that says “this is much harder than you said it would be”

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The cloud had lifted off the summits but it was overcast with a few bright patches. It made for some dark and atmospheric views

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We were planning on bagging the outlier of Yr Elen but after looking down at the low col and realising we’d have climb back up again we thought better of it and headed off to bag Foel Grach

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We paused on the summit for more snacks and considered taking in the smaller Foel Fras but it was getting late, we were both pretty tired and my left knee was causing me some severe discomfort. After a cursory look at the dark and depressing emergency shelter on the summit we headed down. Very slowly in my case

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We caught some decent views on the way down and its a very enjoyable walk down over Craig Eigau. The little dragons back of rock is an entertaining scramble but I had no will or energy for it today

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I was hobbling badly by the last stretch down the track and TJS reached the car several minutes before me. Still it had been a grand day out. I was just worried about the price I’d have to pay for it as I could barely walk when we finished

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12 miles and 3300 feet of ascent is pretty big day for both of us. A classic of North Wales

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More Snowdonia adventures to follow

6 responses to “Weekend with The Junior Sherpa – Carneddau

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  1. The Slippery Hill of the Witch and the Hill of the Black Hound those first two, I believe. Top notch hills, mostly ignored. Looks like a classic circuit, sorry to hear about the knee. That’s an awful lot of up and down given that you managed to find a gratifyingly high start.

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    beatingthebounds
    • All that up and down caused rather more damage than I thought. Prompted the eventual purchase of the bike to keep fit and get outdoors and try and protect the knee. Most people, me included tend to neglect the Carneddau, eyes drawn to the more dramatic peaks, but there are some fine ridges and corries and I really enjoyed tis day apart from the last hour of pain!

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      • Having to continue when a knee or ankle is b******d is purgatorial. The bike looks like fun. TBH tells me that if I don’t start using my Mountain Bike (I was given it) then B is going to have it. I’ve explained that it’s way too big for him, but think I better stir myself.

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        beatingthebounds
        • It hurts pretty much permanently now rather than just when I go walking. More bike background and plans in an upcoming post. A Peak District cycling weekend is planned on the various old railway line trails (nice and easy!)

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  2. Very jealous, looks a cracking route that

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