Saturday, 14 January 2012

Cadair Idris via Minffordd

Well, you don't get many days like today to the pound! Clear (-ish), bright and seasonably cold, I returned to Cadair Idris.  Last time I walked this route, low cloud and fog reduced visibility, but that was not a problem today.

Cadair Idris is one of my favourite mountains.  Being short of the mystic 3000 ft (Cadair is 893m, or 2,928 feet), this magical peak is far less visited than Snowdon, or even the Carneddau.  Once believed to be the highest place in Wales, the birth of modern surveys instead bestowed this crown on Snowdon.

Cadair Idris translates as Idris's Chair, and may be named after Idris Fawr (Idris the Great, or Idris the Giant), a ruler of Meirionydd in the late 6th to early 7th centuries.

I chose the Minffordd Path today, one of the more interesting routes up (in my view!) and descended via the East Ridge.  The complete distance is a little over 9 miles/15 kilometres.

And it's also the first walk for my new boots.

Pictures below:

 I began the walk in the dark.  At this time of year, when it's dark almost to 8am, I feel an early start is sensible, particularly if the walk begins low.  This picture is of the east ridge during my walk in.  The sun is already touching the tops, but darkness reigns in the valley below.

Looking towards Corris (not in sight).  Am on the Minffordd Path now, steadily gaining height.  Despite the chilly start, I've already got a sweat on!

Llyn Cau, nestled in Cwm Cau, a nice picnic spot... in summer! The sun rarely penetrates far here in January.

Looking across to Penygadair, the summit.

View towards Tywyn, from the summit.

Looking west to Barmouth and Barmouth Bridge.  The Pony Path to the summit rises over the peaks between me and the sea.

Looking towards my next objective: Mynydd Moel, at the far end of Cadair's long summit ridge.

Looking north to a distant Snowdon, little more than a smudge on the horizon.

Retrospective view of Cadair Idris summit (Penygadair).

 Another northwards shot, this time towards Diffwys.  That's my shadow in the foreground.

Another shot of Mynydd Moel.  It's not looking any nearer!

Looking back to Penygadair from Mynydd Moel, showing the undulating summit ridge.  The Minffordd Path comes up from the left (along the hill on the far left, in shadow).

Looking towards Barmouth Bridge from Mynydd Moel.

 After a delightful romp down the East Ridge, I can finally strip off half the layers of clothes and relax.  This picture shows part of the East Ridge.

View from the car while changing my boots.  The lake in the distance is known as Tal-y-llyn, though its proper name is Llyn Mwyngil.  If anybody uses MS Windows 7, this lake features as one of the wallpapers (the one of the boats on a lake foreshore).

All in all, an enjoyable day!  My new boots are now well and truly christened, they even have mud all over them.

Until the next walk, be well all.


  1. Your pics are stunning, Nicholas. And it sounds like you had a really good day! Enjoy your boots!

  2. Thank you. And I couldn't have hoped for better weather.

  3. Great photos, Nick--through your blog I've gained some (much-needed) idea of what your corner of the world looks like. And you're a fantastic photographer :) Glad to hear the boots are broken in--may they accompany you through many a lovely walk!

    1. Thank you - it's always a pleasure to share the pictures with others!

      And the boots don't know what they're in for... yet!