Feb 09 15
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We have some long fell races coming up, so wanted to get out and run a long distance in the mountains. Accordingly, we decided to spend the weekend in mid-Wales and our friends Juhan and Eneken decided to come along too.

Saturday the four of us headed up Cadair Idris on the path from the South side that climbs up past the waterfalls. We ended up in thick hill fog for a lot of the climb, and barely saw the lake before we were standing on the beach. Surprisingly, there wasn’t all that much snow until we were approaching the summit.

As we reached the summit there was a small break in the cloud and for a few minutes we were walking in a small clear pocket with clouds still above us and below us. However, it didn’t last long and we were soon down to only a few metres visibility as we headed back down.

Rachel in the gap in the clouds

Rachel in the gap in the clouds

After the walk we headed for Dolgellau to find somewhere to camp, catch the second half of the rugby and enjoy a romantic four course valentines day meal for four!

The weather forecast for sunday was for showers clearing through the day so, encouraged by clear views of Cadair Idris we opted for a long run around Aran Fawddwy (Juhan and Eneken opted for a shorter walk in the same area). It was quite nice when we set off from Cwm Cywarch but we were again quickly in hill cloud as we ascended the first pass.

Juhan, Eneken and Rachel awaiting jellybabies

Juhan, Eneken and Rachel awaiting jellybabies

The spectacular ridge from Drysgol to Aran Fawddwy was unfortunately in thick cloud so we didn’t get to see the spectacular drops on either side, and as we reached the final climb to the summit the rain and wind came in. We scrambled through the snow drifts, driving rain and low visibility along the summit ridge and eventually managed to find the summit cairn. We decided to continue along the ridge and try to drop down to Creiglyn Dyfi, the lake one thousand feet down below the summit, to escape the wind and rain. Unfortunately there was a lot more snow on that side of the ridge, and neither Rachel nor I fancied a steep descent in low visibility with not much idea what was below us. Instead we headed back to Aran Fawddwy and back south along the ridge. Thankfully the weather improved and the rain stopped and apart from a short diversion to see some old lead mine levels we were soon descending the steep path from the col beneath Glasgwm, where we caught up with Juhan and Eneken. Cake was in short supply in Dinas Mawddwy and Welshpool, but fortunately Rachel came to the rescue with a personal best in Victoria Sponge creation! Yum.

Rachel's Victoria Sponge

Rachel's Victoria Sponge

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