Snowdonia 2011 – Planning

In a mad rush just before I disappeared to the North York Moors, I managed to make travel and accommodation arrangements for a week-long trip to Snowdonia taking place in early May. Now all I’ve got to do is work out what walks to do.

After my recent 10 day Cumbria Way trek, I fancied a change this time and specifically to base myself in one place and just do day walks – no heavy pack and the flexibility to adapt my walk programme as I go. Oh, and also, not having to sleep on a barn floor.  Coupled with the feeling that my original idea of doing the Cambrian Way wouldn’t be quite right done in two chunks (as I would have had to have done).  And Snowdonia is the part of that walk I was looking forward to, but even so I’d still have had to make some difficult choices about what route to take through there.  So I think a focussed trip to Snowdonia itself is actually what I want to do.

Added to this, I’ve really not done that much walking in Snowdonia – my “bag” consisting entirely of the 3000ft mountains and nothing else.  I seem to have placed so much focus on the Lake District, that nothing else has had much of a look-in, particularly Wales.

So it’s time to expand my experience in this area. A series of day walks will give me the opportunity to knock more off and also to do some bigger walks. Hopefully, I will have retained some of the hill fitness that I’ve built up in Cumbria.

But how to decide what to do ? I’m travelling up on 5 May and arriving around lunchtime, so I will actually have six and a half days of walking available, before returning home on the 12th. My first half day walk is also constrained by having to kill enough time to check into the youth hostel no earlier than 5pm. So I can’t go there, dump my stuff and then go for a light walk – no instead I’ll probably have to lug the full week’s kit. That means two things: (1) I need a relatively light walk, but one which still includes a peak or two, and (2) it constrains how I pack for the whole trip.

A further complication is that I’m only in the hostel for one night – the next 6 are in a B&B down the road – so a further complication is moving my stuff on day 2, but at least I have negotiated to drop my stuff off first thing in the morning, so I’m not lugging it around all day.

So, these complications aside, I have 6 days to fill with walks, so I’d better set some objectives / parameters to help me make the most of the trip….

  1. The Nantlle Ridge is a definite for one day.
  2. Each day’s walk will ideally be based around one of the Trail 100 that I haven’t yet done.  This will help ensure the quality of the walks.
  3. All walks will be from the accommodation door or using local Snowdon Sherpa buses.
  4. I’ll try to maximise the number of peaks I do, but without leaving too many stragglers for the future, or compromising the quality of the walks.

So I’ve come up with the following shortlist:

  1. Nantlle Ridge
  2. Moel Hebog and neighbours
  3. Moel Siabod
  4. Cnicht and neighbours
  5. Moel Elio to Yr Wyddfa
  6. Yr Aran and Y LLiwedd
  7. The northern Rhinogs
  8. Mynydd Mawr (this might be my day 1 walk-in)
  9. Pen yr Helgi Du
  10. The northern Glyders
  11. The eastern end of the Glyders

Now all I’ve got to do is pack, which was a bit of a nightmare last time…

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