To Wales

Each summer I get together with a few school mates for a reunion. We all have a common bond in walking but our careers have spread us out across the north of England so we don't see each other too often. We usually meet up for a weekend at a pub in one of the quieter parts of the Lakes. This year we headed instead for Wales.

We had grand plans for Grib Goch and Snowdon but the weather was pretty much the same as the rest of the country and no one fancied anything too difficult in the wet. Instead we headed for Beddgelert and set off down the Aberglaslyn pass which after the recent rains was quite spectacular.


I had never actually walked the pass before. I used to go through the old railway tunnel but as this is now in the process of being restored is closed to casual walkers.

We then made tracks for Cnicht, a mountain we had all climbed in our youth and being of a lesser stature, probably more achiveble. Our plan was to take the most direct route which involved crossing two smaller ridges en route. The first was easy and we stopped for lunch in a small wooded valley. At this point the group split, three returning to Beddgelert and the remainder of us attacking the steep slopes of Yr Arrdu. This involved following an indistinct path through lush bracken that was at time six or more feet high. The bracken gave way to heather slopes and the path disappeared. We toiled upwards and after negotiating several wet slabby sections finally came out on top of Yr Arrdu.

I think I can honestly say this is the first time I have ever stood on top of a summit (there was a small cairn) and seen absolutely no sign of a path in any direction. Cnicht was now just across the valley. We descended, far more easily, crossed the valley bottom wetly and headed for the ridge and a much better path. However at this point, thoroughly wet, the concensus was that there was no insufficient time and we headed back to Beddgelert and some excellent ice creams.

Despite the weather and the lack of a notable summit we had had a truly interesting walk. You don't always need to actually get somewhere to have a satisfying day in the hills.