Snowdonia 2011 – Day 1

Llanberis to YHA Snowdon Ranger

I was greeted in Bangor by grey skies and a few spots of rain. The bus turned up late and took nearly an hour to wend its way to Llanberis. After a quick lunch, I headed up the road to the youth hostel, although I still hadn’t chosen my route from the 3 possibles I’d looked at:

  1. over Moel Elio and down the ranger path;
  2. around the base of Moel Elio;
  3. the direct route up Maesgwm to the bwlch and down the ranger path.

 

As I gained height on the steep road the rain got harder and the wind stronger and I reluctantly went for the safe but long option – around the lower slopes of Moel Elio. So reaching the end of the metalled road, I swung right onto the bridleway that took me north-west, undulating but climbing overall to about 360m at Bwlch y groes between Moel Elio and Cefn-du. Then I descended skirting the north edge of the forest until I picked up a road.

To save a bit of time, I took a combination of footpaths and tracks that cut off the corner down to Waunfawr and then hit farm fields as I cut down to the A4085. Pure guesswork was needed here as after the initial sign there was no help in pointing the way. One indication as to how near to the path you are is how surprised the sheep seem when you appear – and on this occasion they scattered in all directions and I crossed the field with continuous bleating ringing in my ears. At one point I found myself facing a 15ft wide river with only a rusted set of parallel bars as a crossing. They were wet and slippery so I tried inching along on my backside but very quickly I realised that I was so unstable with my huge rucksack that I would end in the river. So I cut back up the fields and eventually found the right way.

Then there was the final long slog along the main road to the youth hostel, which I reached at about 5:45 in time to order a meal.

Summits: none
Distance: 13.78km
Ascent: 320m
Descent: 262m
Time: 3 hour 10 mins

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