Cadair Idris is a mountain in North Wales. It sits within the confines of Snowdonia National Park…’
|Baaah!! What are you looking at?
I started my walk after being dropped off at the Co-op for my sandwiches before crossing the road and heading towards Dolgellau Hospital. I went past the hospital on my right and as the road climbed it split into two roads-I took the road on the right.
I continued the ascent and I was met by a small waterfall on the right and a telephone box on the left. The road steadily got steeper until I reached Bwlch Coch where the tarmac ends.
Through a gate, I walked up a rocky path and continued the climb towards Gau Graig. The path became less distinct as I ascended, but there was a wire fence all the way up and found that by keeping to the right of this would lead me up to this grassy plateau known as Gau Graig (684metres/2244ft).
|The walk from the hospital to Bwlch-coch and continues towards Gau-Graig (below)|
|Walk from Gau-Graig heading east to Mynydd Moel and then towards Penygadair|
To the east, Mynydd Moel could be seen, literally translated as ‘bare mountain’ since nothing grows on its bare north face cliffs. Another steep climb ensued as I approached the summit of Mynydd Moel (863metres/2831ft) and looked north over the town of Dolgellau.
I scoffed on a sandwich and watered it down with some orange barley water before heading east to the summit of Cadair Idris, Penygadair (893metres/2930ft). I still hadn’t encountered a single human being since I left Suzanne, but met half a dozen cows and around 50 sheep. This would soon change…
|Exiting Penygadair by heading eastwards along the Pony Path|
|Looking east from the cliffs at Mynyyd Moel – Barmouth and Cardigan Bay in the distance, Llyn Gafr just above the left foot and the north face of Penygadair on the left with a small glimpse of Llyn y Gadair just below it.|
Penygadair is the reason why tourists climb Cadair Idris, and a lot of them come from the ‘Pony Path’ (north face approach). I met people and dogs of all ages who came up this path. People used to bring their ponies up this path, hence the name. The summit is marked by a cairn and there is a sizeable stone built hut, which comes in handy should one encounter bad weather.
From the summit, a short walk to the South gives you excellent views of Llyn Cau and to the North you will find Llyn y Gadair. Luckily for me, there was barely a cloud in the sky, so views of Barmouth and Cardigan Bay could be seen from this summit.
After soaking up the fantastic views and finishing off my packed lunch, I headed east along the well marked ‘Pony Path’ and followed the path to Tynyceunant. Rather than trying to head back to Dolgellau, I decided to walk to Barmouth via the Mawddach Trail, where I would then arrange my lift back home.
|Salt marsh just north of the path.|
The walk continued to Morfa Mawddach railway station, a station mostly used by travellers to Barmouth from the south of the estuary.
The railway along with a pedestrian walkway crosses a bridge over the estuary (which can be seen from the summit of Cadair Idris on a clear day) into Barmouth. On my arrival to Barmouth, I rewarded myself with a big fat ice-cream whilst I waited on Suzanne to come and rescue my weary legs.