Snowdonia 2011 – Day 7

The Nantlle Ridge

The whole trip has been built around doing this and it’s my last day so it’s obvious what walk to do. I deliberately left this to last because today had the best weather forecast and it’s also the hardest walk – in that it’s an all or nothing walk and although there are escape routes none of them are that convenient for buses back.

I get off the bus at the Rhyd-Ddu car park and walk across the fields heading straight for Carn Drws-y-coed (Y Garn on the map). Unusually you can see the summit from the road and there’s a lovely patch of blue sky helping it look good.

I start slogging uphill and am soon overtaken by a group of 4 chaps, who I saw in the car park and just assumed they were heading up Snowdon. They’re really quite light in terms of gear – one of them has no rucksack and is just wearing a base layer. It’s not surprising that they leave me for dust pretty quickly and when I next glimpse them they are summitting the second top.

As I near the top I also see another half dozen people following me and catching me – I’m determined that they won’t catch me before the summit and it actually takes them until summit 4.
I don’t spend long on Y Garn and strike out to follow the wall to Mynydd Drws-y-coed. This soon disappears as the ridge narrows and becomes a rocky scramble. I don’t linger as I’m exposed to the full force of the wind and it’s a bit cold. So I descend to the col and grind my way up the side of Trum y Ddsgyl, opting not to take the ridge line itself. Hearing my pursuers coming I head down to the next pass and then the short slog to the top of Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd where I cower out of the wind for lunch and am soon joined by my stalkers.

I stand up to move on and see my shadows are doing the same thing – I let them go, which is not difficult as I’m so much slower descending than they are.

I reach the col at a height of 515m and am now faced with a climb of nearly 220m to get up Craig Cwm Silyn – pretty hefty for just after lunch. I’m really slow but somehow catch the group of 6 at the summit. They’re heading down now but I’m carrying on and I now don’t see anyone at all until the end of the walk.

An easy descent over grass before I slog up onto the rocks at the top of Garnedd-goch. Now it gets hard with a steepy descent over heather and rocks to the next col at the corner of a wall.

I cross the wall and before me is number 7 – Mynydd Graig Goch which only “became” a mountain in 2008 when it was measured at 2000.49 feet. It’s quite a long slog up over the grass until I reach the rocky top and then I have to work out which is the summit as it’s pretty close between 3 clumps of rocks.

Having done this I now have quite a high wall to cross and manage to use the rocks on either side to help me get over. Then I descend steeply over heather, grass and bilberry to Llyn Cwm Dulyn and then trudge slowly along the road to Nebo.

It’s just as well this is my last day as I think my knees have just about had it.

Distance: 14.96km
Ascent: 920m
Descent: 905m
Duration: 6 hrs 30 min
Summits: 7

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