Cadair Idris

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ForestB
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Cadair Idris

Postby ForestB » 09 Feb 2011, 22:23

I very much want to climb Cadair Idris and down to Llyn Cau and spend one night on the mountain and probably one by the lake. I was at the base of the mountain last May but did not have time scheduled in my trip to do it. I hope to be in Wales again most of May 2011. I am 57 years old and healthy but not used to much climbing as I live in very flat Florida. I have read what I could find on hiking the mountain but I have not found the best plan for a novice who wants to go up the mountain AND down to the lake in one go. I would love to communicate with someone who has done it and can let me know the best way to go about it.
Also- I have done some wilderness hiking here in Florida and have all the equipment but I'm unsure of what I need to bring with me. I'll be flying into Manchester and renting a car and spending some time in Bala.
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Claer
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby Claer » 10 Feb 2011, 13:13

As a student, I lived in North Wales and did climb Cadair Idris a few times. There are several paths up it, but I have only ever used two - the Pony Path and the Minffordd Path. The first is the longest, but I found easiest, but I would recommend the second for the views you can get (but not always due to weather!) and for the easier access down to Llyn Cau.
The path is explained most at this website: http://www.trekkingbritain.com/cadairid ... ddpath.htm However, I would also recommend that when in Wales, you visit either the tourist information places, or local hiking places for up to date maps and local advise regarding paths and weather condition (which are not always easy to read when you visit).
When I was doing my walking in this area, the Fox's Path was the most direct way - but because of scree faces, also the most dangerous (I never attempted this, as I am not an experienced mountain walker).
May be I just have a limited sense of adventure - but I would very strongly advise you not to contemplate spending a night on the mountain or by the lake. The weather can change so quickly in these mountains even in the summer, and experienced climbers and walkers have died before now. Please, don't take the risk, and think of the rescue crew that may have to risk their lives to come and get you!
These wonderful mountains can demand respect, and I have learnt the hard way not to arrogantly think I would be OK and safe on them. My experience of 8hrs onTryfan when a mist came down low on a late May day taught me that in scratches, bruises, fear and blood.
If you plan to do the walk alone, it would be best to also let the local hiking/outdoor centre, hotel/B&B, mountain rescue know of your plans just before you set out. They never mind this.
Apologies if this seems too many warnings, but I hope you get to enjoy this place and the mountain in a safe way. I loved my walks on Cadair Idris, and found it less "busy" than some other mountains. If it helps explain why I urge safety and caution - I lost a friend in the Carneddau range who could not get down to safety in bad weather. Here's hoping you have a wonderful (and safe) trip. Looking forward to hearing all about it!
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ForestB
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby ForestB » 10 Feb 2011, 16:52

Thank you Claer, I will definitely proceed with caution. What is it about the weather that kills people? Do they freeze to death? Get blown off? What precautions had they taken for the weather?
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby Mountainheart » 10 Feb 2011, 18:05

Thank you Claer, I will definitely proceed with caution. What is it about the weather that kills people? Do they freeze to death? Get blown off? What precautions had they taken for the weather?
In May it can still get well below freezing in Wales: plus it rains there all the time! So if you are going to stay out over night you'll need at least a four seasons sleeping bag plus plenty of waterproof clothing and layers. It's also important that you are very circumspect about how you use your head-torch etc: if people see a flashing light during the night they are quite likely to call out Mountain Rescue to search for you.

I'm a Mountain Rescue team member, by the way. But not in that area.

Thx
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby Heddwen » 10 Feb 2011, 21:25

Hi ForestB. There are local mountain guides and local walking groups that could help. I think that Cwm Cau is part of the nature reserve so I'm not sure if camping is allowed...but there are wild camping opportunities on the north side of the mountain. There are campsites at Minffordd, Dolgellau and at the foot of the Pony Path. If you've got transport you could traverse the mountain going up the Pony Path and down the Minffordd Path or vice versa. Care needs to be taken on the Minffordd Path as there as some big drops close to the path particularly in mist or cloud. Heeding the advice of the other posters makes good sense along with being proficient with a map and compass. The weather can change very quickly on the mountain, so taking enough warm and waterproof clothing, food, liquid and a whistle and head torch is essential. The Pony Path is less strenuous, my daughter did it when she was 9. Good luck I hope that you have a wonderful time in Wales and enjoy the mountains as much as I do. :)

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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby ForestB » 14 Feb 2011, 16:36

Thank you. I am listening closely to all of the advice. I will not go until and unless I know I am ready and can do so safely and without needing to be rescued. I got lost once in the wilderness in Florida, in bear country, and certainly do not want a repeat of that or anything like it again.
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby Roost » 22 Apr 2011, 19:40

Well one thing you don't have to worry about in Wales is bears (maybe the odd sheep following you though) :grin: But definitely heed the advice above - often it's the mist and fog coming in suddenly that can be a huge problem, it's easy to lose your bearings and fall off an escarpment :blink:

Make sure you have clothes for all seasons in your pack, even in summer. Walking in Snowdonia I've gone through spring, summer, autumn and winter in an 8 hour walking day, mind you, I've had the same thing walking Pen-y-fan in the Brecon Beacons and even in my local hills here in Pembrokeshire :)
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ForestB
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby ForestB » 03 May 2011, 19:46

Thanks to all for the great advice about Cadair Idris and hiking in the Welsh mountains in general. I leave for my trip in two weeks. I have all the necessary clothing and equipment and, most importantly, a positive attitude, common sense and just the right amount of caution. I'll let you know how it goes.
Forest /|\

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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby Claer » 09 May 2011, 11:29

I hope you have a wonderful trip, and it is all you hope it will be - or more!
Safe travels and walking.
Claer /|\
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby Corwen » 09 May 2011, 15:16

I have spent the night in all sorts of places you aren't supposed to and it is very rewarding, especially the dawn hours when you have the place to yourself, so be sure to set your alarm to wake up at first light and make the most of those precious 2 or 3 hours before those who set off at dawn reach you. Pack out what you pack in (including poo, take a few big ziplock bags), keep quiet, make an effort to blend in so as not to scare the wildlife or damage the site (no camp fires when camping in a fragile place) and what's the harm?

I've also spent the night by the lake on Cader Idris. According to folklore spending the night up there will result in you becoming either a poet or a lunatic, you can make your own mind up about which I became...
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby wolf560 » 10 May 2011, 17:36

Not counting all the places the military sent me...

...my favorite was the Grand Canyon in winter.
Hiking down the Canyon you find yourself in thick layers of winter gear but about halfway down you are already switching to shorts and a t-shirt.

Camping at the bottom you find the choice of paying to stay in a log cabin or just stretching out in a cavernous tunnel with a little stream bubbling alongside you.

Halfway down is a place called 'Indian Gardens' which is a wonderful little copse of trees for some shade before you either head down the Canyon to your camp site or head back up the slope for your final ascent out of the Canyon.


The most spectacular sight however is both sunrise and sunset; the sides of the Grand Canyon are a variety of shades of red, brown, yellow, and black but at sunrise and sunset these colors LEAP off the walls and shimmer for about 30 minutes. Everything seems to almost glow as the sunlight strikes it and it actually takes your breath away even if you know what is about to happen.

My favorite thing to do is to sit at the edge near Yavapai Point and take out my red wine and some cheese and dangle my legs over the edge... and look below my feet to the bottom of the Canyon 750(+) meters below...
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby Explorer » 10 May 2011, 20:58

Also- I have done some wilderness hiking here in Florida and have all the equipment but I'm unsure of what I need to bring with me. I'll be flying into Manchester and renting a car and spending some time in Bala.
The major killer is usually hypothermia, and it is surprisingly easy to fall into that trap, even in summer.
So whatever you take with you, make sure that you always have the possiblity to wear dry clothes and get out of the rain/wind (like a lightweight cheap emergency shelter). The rest won't kill you, unless you are very stupid and step off a cliff, this is Wales, not Alaska. Have loads of fun!!
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Re: Cadair Idris

Postby Halen » 27 Mar 2012, 13:03

Hi, I live between Cadair Idris and the Sea and walk the mountain regularly. There are many places to visit, the remnants of an ancient forest which is 3,500 years old on the Tally Llynn side of the mountain, many standing stones and several lakes. There is a a legend that a Celtic Tribe, before a great battle hid their gold on the mountain but all were slain. Unfortunatley this attracts metal detector enthusiasts every year. A gold torque has been found off one of the old pathways many years ago! The whole area is full of raw energy and it was the mountains and the druids that called me to live in Wales. There are many basis of round houses left at various places over the mountain. Bala is half an hour away. I have lots of information on the area too much to put in here. There rangers over the mountain thro the summer, the main danger is when the cloud drops down and visability can diminish very quickly and it can be cold even on a hot day on the top of Idris. Take enough drinking water with you. Ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer them. I take my drum up the mountain and journey, it is a powerful place!

In Peace, Halen
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