I had a really great day today, I didn’t quite have enough time to achieve everything that I had hoped for, but I wasn’t too far away.
The pre-event forecast had not looked too great prior to heading out to Wales, and the weather was neither great nor atrocious on the way in. We were dropped off at Nebo at about 10:45, and the weather at this point was quite cloudy, and I was quite prepared for a day spent battling through the cloud. We promptly set off up the country roads towards Llyn Cwm Dulyn.
I was on the coach with WBMC, and I knew that the ‘led’ walk were heading up Garnedd Goch, and completing the ridge from there. The first target of the day was to ascend Mynydd Graig Goch, and beat them to the top of Garnedd Goch!!!
Rather than descend back down to Llyn Cwm Dulyn we jumped the fence at Pant-y-gog, and followed it along to another fence, where we climbed out over a gate and on to the open hillside. From here the ascent of Mynydd Graig Goch is quite fierce, although the gradient remains predictably constant. In fact it is just easy enough to avoid the need to contour. Guy and myself lost a few minutes by climbing up the first outcrop that we came across, and when the others had joined us we proceeded around a large wall which we had to climb to get to the summit.
Rather promptly we set off down to Bwlch Cwmdulyn. I could see that the main group had not progressed far beyond the Bwlch and were following the nose along the wall. Neil, Guy and I battled through the heather and scree on the South face of Garnedd Goch, arriving only a few minutes later than the main party.
It was this section of the walk where things became confused, and which ultimately cost me the chance the ascend Mynydd Mawr at the end of the day. We paused here to have lunch, Andy, Guy and Darren leaving us at this point. When we left Garnedd Goch we quickly homed in on the led group, catching them on the summit of Craig Cwm Silyn. Having been in front of my group, I had not seen them walk beyond me, and only after walking about 300m back to the start of the summit area did it become apparent that they had passed.
At this point I quickly ran back over Craig Cwm Silyn, and down the first 50m of the nose. During this period I overtook the majority of the led group, and I could make out Mike and Emily about half a mile in front. I reached a rockier section where I caught up with Neil, and there was a group of about six other people in front of us that we could not pass. As soon as we reached Bwlch Dros-bern I resumed my run, catching up with Mike and Emily about half way up Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd, to my surprise Neil had followed, and he was only about 100m behind.
Pressing onwards we soon came up to the obelisk on top of Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd, upon which Andy was climbing. I didn’t fancy following suit, although there were plenty of foot and hand holds had I wanted to do so.
Having caught up with Andy, Darren and Guy we continued up to Trum y Ddysgl and Mynydd Drws-y-Coed. We scrambled down from there towrds Y Garn, and I felt that my scrambling had benefited greatly from my rock climbing weekend last weekend. At one point I was doing the splits in mid-air above Emily which could have made for an interesting photo.
Before long we were posing for a group summit photo on Y Garn, before what can only be described as a knee crunching descent to Rhyd Ddu.
About 200m from the coach a torrential rainstorm started, although I was on the coach by the time it reached any great ferocity. Unfortunately, I felt that I needed at least two hours to ascend Mynydd Mawr and return to here, if not slightly more, so got changed. I was changed for 16:15, and proceeded to the pub, not liking their prices very much I returned to the coach to sleep. The remnants of the ‘led’ party returned at about 18:00 at which point everybody was dragged out of the pub and we set off home. Ironically, had I know that we would leave at 18:00 I would probably have run up Mynydd Mawr, although it may still have been a little too tight.
Weather:Cloudy start, brighter interim, showery finale
Accompanied by:Mike, Emily, Guy, Andy, Neil, Darren
Estimated ‘Dead’ Time:1hr
0734m Craig Cwm Silyn
0709m Trum y Ddysgl
0700m Garnedd Goch
0695m Mynydd Drws-y-coed
0653m Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd
0633m Y Garn
0609m Mynydd Graig Goch