My Pyrenees HRP Diary - Introduction

This blog was begun in 2015, to record my walk along the Pyrenees HRP from Hendaye to Banyuls. If you want to read about that, I suggest you start here.

But that is all in the past now, and I have expanded the blog a little to cover more recent events.. such as:

Snowdonia Way
Hebden Bridge
Equipment Reviews
North Downs Way

and also, one day:

Pennine Way .. which I am due to walk for the third time in 2019, this time from N to S I think

I hope you will find something interesting. Please do provide a little feedback or comment, and if you are interested in something that I didn't say enough about, please let me know .. happy walking!


Sunday, 16 July 2017

Snowdon Day 8

Bethesda - Old Llanberis, 9.6 miles
Well, I might have walked less than 10 miles, but nevertheless this was a very hard day.
I elected to sleep in the barn at Joy of life, but for some reason I didn't sleep very well. I got up not long after 5am, and walked back into Bethesda to go to the Tesco there, which opens at 6am. I got some food items and set off again, feeling rather sluggish. It was cloudy and overcast but not raining. 

The first part of the route was to walk along the valley for a couple of miles, and then climb a steep hillside up to the summit of Carnedd y Filiast, 826m. I had a great deal of trouble finding the right path up the hillside. I could not easily enlist the help of the guidebook, as I was doing the route back to front. Also, the higher I got, the wetter, windier, and mistier it got. I did finally get to the summit, which had a small circular stone shelter. You could see why - by now the cloud was thick and it was raining steadily, but it was the wind that was concerning me most. I don't think it was quite gale force, but it felt as if it was. When a gust came, you had to stop and brace yourself, and wait for it to die down. I decided to carry on, if only because I didn't at all fancy scrambling back down that steep, slippery hillside ridge that had taken me the best part of two hours to climb.
So off I set, hunting through the mist for the stiles and other landmarks that would indicate I was heading in the right direction. I was high enough now that the terrain was a mixture of grassy bog and stone outcrops, but as I approached Y Garn (947m) the path got clearer and easier to follow. But by then I decided that I had had enough mountain walking for one day. It wasn't fun, what with the rain and the thick cloud, visibility 10m or less, but mainly, i was concerned that the wind was starting to reach dangerous levels. Of the two remaining peaks, Glyder Fawr was over 1000m and Glyder Fach I had already been up on day 5. Still, I might have continued if I could have walked across easily from y Garn to Glyder Fawr, only 50m higher - but no, I would have to go down 250m and then scramble steeply up 300m, and it just didn't seem worth the risks given the lack of visibility.
I saw that there was a footpath marked that went straight down the mountain to a point beyond Nant Llanberis, and took it. Even then the mountain wasn't finished with me, because the path was on the map alright, but could I find it on the ground? No. So I floundered down the hillside through the gorse and heather and bog, finally staggering out on to the busy A4086 about 3.30pm and walked back to Old Llanberis, which is like the actual Llanberis only without facilities. It did however have a pub and a campsite, and I made use of both to get a meal and an early night. The campsite had several very noisy tourist families, so did they keep me awake? No, not for a minute. 
NOTE: I am sorry that this blog has fallen behind a few days. The reason for this is that my lovely new but rather fragile Samsung S8+ phone fell out of my rucksack half way up Snowdon and is now not working properly. And it has all my photos on it! So now I am using my old phone.
Setting off up the hillside, looking back at Bethesda.. weather not promising!

Bilberries! Like blueberries but much tastier. Must have eaten pounds of them over the fortnight

The summit of Carnedd-y-Filiast, 821m. Shelter was needed!

Summit of Y Garn, 947m. I did not continue towards Glyder Fawr because no visibilty, and concerningly high winds

Coming off the mountain towards Nant Beris.. campsite visible in the left middle. Lower parts of the Snowdon massif behind

Looking towards Snowdon!

At the campsite, my tent at left

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