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davidx Beddgelert - A travel report by David
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Beddgelert,  United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom
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davidx's travel reports

Not so minor giants [mainly for walkers].

  14 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
You may have taller ones but to us the mountains of Snowdonia are giants. I’ve written on the ones over 3000 feet. You might think of others as minor. Some of them are great if not big – not so very minor!


Snowdonia’s highest don’t have to be combined into a single trip. The Snowdon Horseshoe, the Glyders and Tryfan are among my favourite mountain walks – but they aren’t alone. Of the others most are south of the summit of Snowdon, but Both Creigiau Gleision and Penllithrig-y-wrach (1) are east of the Carnedds and the nearby presence of delightful Llyns [lakes] Cowlyd, Geirionydd and Crafnant adds to the ease of devising a splendid walk in that area. One I don’t know except for the view from the bottom is Moel Hebog near Beddgelert. (2) but this looks and is said to be good. My favourites, which will get more particular treatment, are Cadair Idris near to Dolgellau (3) and in the far south of Snowdonia and Cnicht near to Croesor (4) and the Rhinogs near Harlech. (6), followed by the Moelwyns near Tanygrisiau, (5) Carnedd Moel Siabod near Capel Curig (1) and the ridge near Nantlle (7) If you want to find these on a map, I think by far the best is http://www.ordnances-urv ey.co.uk/oswebsite/g-etamap/ [then click on Get-a-map].For those marked (1) above put Capel Curig in the search box and then select the third circle down. That will give you two and if you click the map to the right of the lake, you will get Creigiau Gleision as well. Do exactly the same with Beddgelert for (2), Dolgellau for (3) and Croesor for (4). The third size seems particularly useful for locating places but of course you can click on the place you want and get more detail on one of the larger scale maps. You will need to for. (5) Get Tanygrisiau, go to the third circle and click on Moelwyn Mawr to get all the Moelwyns on the second size. Finding the Rhinogs properly is hardest of all. Get Trwsfynydd and go down two sizes. Click on Rhinog Fawr at the bottom and then on the stream to the south of Rhinog Fawr and you’ll get Rhinog Fach as well. For 970 go to nantlle and down two but you’d do better also to look at http://www.walkingbr-itain.co.uk/wa lks/walksv1/vw090.sh-tml

Favourite spots:
I can’t choose between the first three I mentioned above so let’s go far south to Dolgellau and look at Cadair Idris. The name means Chair of Idris [a legendary giant]. It took me several gos to see it without mist but it was always etched out as clear as clear when I had arrived back at the road. At last I struck lucky. A wonderful route up is from Mynffordd on the A487 to Llyn Cau and then up steeply to your left to the ridge to circumnavigate the lake via the summit. This is a glorious horseshoe and you can drop down again to Llyn Cau from the other side. Don’t forget to detour south before you go north to the summit along the ridge – for a superlative view. If you can arrange transport for both ends, you may prefer to descend from the summit via Fox’s path that starts approximately NW with a general direction north. Non-walkers can spend the time waiting on the lovely narrow gauge Talyllyn Railway [www.talyllyn.co.uk]

What's really great:
I take the Rhinogs first because you pass near them and see them on the way to Dolgellau. If you don’t like rough walking, this is definitely not for you as uneven rocks and long heather stalks make it about the roughest in all Snowdonia. If that doesn’t put you off, you can enjoy some fabulous scenery and extend the walk either north or south if you must. I reckon the best route up is by the so-called Roman Steps [http://freespace.vi-rgin.ne t/stones.ukp/steps.h-tm] and make your way to Rhinog Fawr. Then down to the particularly attractive Llyn Du and up to Rhinog Fach. Cnicht [the knight] is only a short walk from Croesor although a bit of route finding is needed to avoid some tricky rocks. Cnicht is shaped like a perfect cone from this side and is prominent in many distant views. Another great route up is from an unclassified road from Nantmor via what are called the Dog Lakes but this way you won’t get the impression of ‘The Welsh Matterhorn’

Sights:
For the Moelwyns you are perhaps best off starting at Tanygrisiau . There is a hydro electric power station here. I believe it may still be open for visits – in which case it’s really good and anyway it provides some interesting scenery in which industry combines with nature. Part of the appeal of the Moelwyns is provided by the relics of a once massive slate industry and you may well feel restricted without a good torch. Even with one make sure you are going to be able to find your way back before you venture into any of the old workings underground.
Carnedd Moel Siabod is difficult on the capel Curig side now and you do better to arrange a route from Dlowyddelan on the south side, where you have the ruins of an ancient Welsh castle [as opposed to an English one to keep the Welsh subjected.] The top is perhaps the very best place for a view of the Snowdon Horseshoe.

Accommodations:
As well as the more normal forms of accommodation, for groups you may want to consider a bunkhouse [put ‘snowdonia bunkhouses in a search and you will find a lot. For those who don’t want to spend an inordinate amount there is a very good range of youth hostels. See http://www.yha.org.uk/

Hangouts:
I suppose it’s less than a hundred years since I had a drink in Snowdonia but I was always very fond of the Vaynol Arms in Nant Peris, near Llanberis and the Gwydyr at Dolwyddelan.

Other recommendations:
I found the ridge at Nantlle a bit overrated. I’ve only done it once so it may have been my mood. It’s not much lower than some of the others here but to me it FELT low in a way they didn’t. Moreover, not being a climber, I like ridges to be walkable and I had to help my much smaller friend a number of times. I suppose it’s excellent practice for anybody fairly tall who wants to try a sharp ridge without going too high – but that says it all.
They’re not really either giants or in Snowdonia but the Rivals on the Lleyn peninsula provide a wonderful view and you can get fairly high to start by car.

Published on Wednesday July 13th, 2005


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Wed, Jul 13 2005 - 04:53 PM rating by rangutan

Useful information on a seemingly wide area to enjoy a lot of walking, escaping the city an ones weekday routine. Long weblinks dont seem to work well in GLOBOreports yet, members try www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk and www.walkingbritain.co.uk both very helpful in planning walks, great tips.

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