If you spend enough time with Londoner or those in the UK for that matter, you will notice how much we go on and on and on and on again about the weather. This summer like every summer everyone is was dusting off their bikinis and flop flops in search for sunny horizons (we all know those don’t really come around the UK that often or long enough). Booking holidays to Spain, Greek Islands, Caribbean islands. Having just taken on the heat wave in New Delhi and Agra this May, dosed up on sunshine sailing around Santorini and while exploring Athens in July, I was in the mood for something different. Say, a little adventure close to home. Climbing Snowdon was very much on the list by way of a hike to Cadair Idris.
One of my boyfriend’s friends had been trying to get a group of us to go away on a hiking trip for a long time now and after voting on dates when everyone was available and it was then time to decide on
whether to head to Lake District and Snowdonia National Park (think soaring mountains with peaks playing hide and seek in the clouds). Lakes spread across national parks, hiking routes with breath-taking views, small towns filled with cozy little cafes with local pubs and traditional food. Yep, I was up for all of that and then some. It was as if the stars seemed to have aligned as everyone’s diaries cleared up for the long August Bank Holiday, which also happened to be my boyfriend’s birthday week.
Friday came and the road trips started for a weekend climbing Snowdon, with a meeting point set for a beautiful house by the lake side and overlooking the Welsh mountains. With people driving from London and one as far as Cornwall(another place I want to visit next summer). My boyfriend and I got delayed so we didn’t leave London until later in the evening and then 20 minutes into the drive we punctured a tyre just before we joined the motorway out of London, which put us an hour behind schedule and a climb to Cadair Idris in jeopardy. In a way it turned out great as we had the roads to ourselves for the rest of the journey into Wales when we go underway. And as if being guided by the light, I remember us driving way past midnight, the sky was pitch black, the moon was high and really really bright as if guiding our path into the Welsh countryside.
We were the last to arrive at close to 2am in the morning, we were met with a quiet house, but the stairs
where decorated with little paper arrows left behind by friends to direct us to our room as we didn’t know which was left after everyone chose a room. When morning came I was greeted with views of the lake and mountains right from our room!…Let’s just say I was sat there in awe for a while until I
had someone bring up a cup of tea to rustle me out of the room.
The last time a group of us made a similar trip was for another birthday trip camping (with a dash of glamping) in a beautiful part of the English country side.
This time around we were going to be climbing Snowdon, taking on Minffordd Path trail to Cadair Idris. There are many routes you can take to the top and each with varying degrees of difficulty depending on your fitness levels. For anyone taking to the mountains, you should always come prepared with the right equipment as well as making sure you take safety precautions, but I will share in another post some of the things to consider taking with you.
One the reasons I was dying to see this part of Wales is due to its beautiful elevated lakes that you have to hike up to first then a further hike up another thousand meters you get a birds-eye view of the elevated lakes. We hiked up to have lunch close to the lake but as the clouds were starting to move in so we moved on to get to the Cadair Idris peak before that was totally covered in clouds. We then made another stop for a cup of tea with views of the mountains to one side and on side with views of the sea miles into the horizon. I always try and encourage visitors coming to the UK, especially if you love the outdoors, to visit not only city limits but to go beyond that as UK has some of the best landscapes out there but a lot of people don’t usually venture out past Big Ben, which is a real shame. There is so much to see and do…and Wales, as the pictures below show, will hopefully show you is just a marvel for those seeking an adventure with mother nature’s of eye-popping, mind-blowing views while climbing Snowdon. You will definitely want to stay longer and pitch up a tent to further cling to the calming surroundings before you. Who needs the city anyway when you have these views?!…
Above is Llyn Cau – A huge, dramatic glacial cwm in the crater of Cadair Idris set beneath 400m high mountain walls. (You also have to hike up to get to it. Its an elevated lake)
Climbing Snowdon | Hiking Trails To Cadair Idris Summit
This part of Snowdonia National Park is known as Cadair Idris. It lies at the southern end of the Snowdonia National Park near the town of Dolgellau. The peak is one of the most popular in Wales for walkers and hikers, with classic glacial erosion features such as cwms(starting point of a glacier), moraines, striated rocks, and roches moutonnées. From what I have heard in colder months climbers come here for ice climbing too or at least with more complicated gear than a hiker.
There are several walking trails in Cadair Idris. I can’t even remember which one we took but had to change trails as the weather was starting to change and we were getting tired with another person having also sprained an ankle. The map above(in my Instagram picture), which we bought from Ellis Brigham has several options for trails. Some of which my friends took on the second day while I went solo on a more flat route along the lake. Below are some of the trails you can find, but I would highly recommend you by the map or print a few options before heading out.
This route, which begins in the north from either Dolgellau or the Mawddach estuary, is the easiest but the longest of the main trails. Its length from the mountain’s base is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) with a 600 metres (2,000 ft) climb.
This is the most direct way to the summit as the trail leads straight up the northern face. The 3.8 kilometres (2.4 mi) ascent involves a climb up a 310 metres (1,020 ft) cliff-scree face. However, this part of the Fox’s Path has been heavily eroded in recent years making the descent dangerous.
This route starts on the southern side of the mountain near the glacial Tal-y-llyn Lake. Hikers using this ascent climb past Llyn Cau and along the rim of Craig Cau (rockwall) to Penygadair. Its length is 4.4 kilometres (2.7 mi) and involves two climbs of over 300 metres (980 ft).
The Reward After The Hike – The Perfect Sunset
Sunset Views From Outside Our Lakeside House Overlooking Welsh Mountains
The Drive Back To London
England On The Left and Wales On The Right
The Excitement of Realising You Are Standing In The Road That Separates Wales From England.(We found out by mistake when we got lost trying to keep our car convoy together on the way back to London )