Snowdonia 2011 – Day 5

Snowdon’s south east ridge

Today, I’m up, breakfasted and ready in time for the bus as I have a potentially long walk ahead of me – from Nantgwynant over Gallt y Wenallt, Y Lliwedd, Yr Wyddfa and Yr Aran.

It doesn’t start well with the bus driver dropping me off ¾ mile beyond where I wanted. But it’s good to warm the legs up although it eats into the time and weather window I’ve got.

I cross the river and head steeply uphill through the farmland, pass through a gate and head east up through the trees across the flank of Y Lliwedd until the path ends at an abandoned mine.

I crossed the stream and headed up the grassy slope of Gallt y Wenallt, heading for the summit. As I gain the summit outcrops, I’m hit by the wind, so don’t linger and make for Y Lliwedd. I toil into the wind and eventually am nearing the top of Lliwedd Bach when the rain comes. I duck behind a large rock, get the storm shelter out and take an early lunch break. It soon passes and I carry on to the summit, before moving onto the main, twin, summits, again right in the teeth of the wind which is of lung-crushing ferocity.

I reach the top of the western summit, my key objective for the day and look over Bwlch Ciliau and the 300m of ascent that I’ll be faced with to get to the summit of Yr Wyddfa. But first I have about 100m of descent to do, and as I start the rain resumes and doesn’t let up.

I’m soaked and wary of my footing and it takes me 45 minutes to get down to the top of the Watkin Path. By this point I’ve decided to call it a day and turn left to follow the Watkin all the way down to Nantgwynant. Everyone I encounter on the way has also turned back.

I make it back to Nantgwynant in time for the last bus and get back to the B&B just in time to avoid the hailstones, thunder and lightning.

Distance: 13.93km
Ascent (and descent): 895m
Summits: 4

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