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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Friday, 25 September 2020

September in Snowdonia (25-28 September)

21/9/20 Update:

Only a few days to go now....but given the on-going evolution of Covid restrictions, please keep checking on status....

I have sent an email to everyone that I am aware is planning to attend with some final logistics and other information. If you are planning to attend and have NOT received this email, please send me an email at goepfertkarenATyahooDOTcom.

2/9/20 Update:


A few updated points.....

1/ Train schedule -- the outbound train schedule on Friday has been changed since the suggested trains were posted. The new recommended trains are:

Friday 25 September -- London Euston 9:40 AM, arriving Bangor 13:39
Monday 28 September -- Bangor 18:10, arriving London Euston 22:04

I will note that noises are being made about further alternations to train schedules this weekend....so keep watching this space... 

2/  Walks Program 

a/ Friday -- with the later train arrival, the Friday walk will convene at 2:30pm

b/ Saturday/Monday -- the suggested walks for Saturday and Monday may be swapped in an effort to avoid the weekend crowds on Snowdon, with an early start should still be ample time for Snowdon on Monday.

As usual, suggested walk program subject to change based on weather...Please make sure you bring the correct map and compass. Also as per usual SWC protocol, these walks will not be officially led, but will be done collectively on a map-led basis.....

26/7/20 Update:

At long last the Snowdonia trip is in the not too distant future....at present it all seems full steam ahead, as Wales has begun reopening....Fingers crossed that further progress is made between now and September.....

I have been monitoring the train ticket situation and unfortunately Avanti West Coast has NOT offered any Advance Tickets for this route on the relevant dates.  Although they do not seem to participate in National Rail's Groupsave ticketing scheme, they do offer a 20% discount on tickets purchased for groups of 3-9 (see https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/tickets-and-savings/group-travel) on pre-specified trains.  Having reviewed the train schedule, I would suggest the following:

Depart: London Euston Friday 25 September 9:10 AM, arriving Bangor 12:19
Return:  Bangor Monday 28 September 18:17 -- last train with sensible travel time

If interested in group travel, please let me know. 

I will also add that it looks like the bus service has been reduced somewhat radically.  Bus 5C which runs from just outside the Bangor train station to Caernarfon (where you catch bus S4 to Beddgelert (also reduced)) current runs only on an hourly basis.....which of course does not connect with the train.....So for those traveling on the recommended trains, I would suggest we share some taxis which will have the benefit of being faster...and likely not much more than the bus fare once shared among the group....

Proposed Program (weather permitting):

Friday:  Following arrival and dropping off bags, re-group about 1:30 PM for afternoon walk up local mountain -- Moel Hebog (Hill of the Hawk), providing great views of the weekend in store...

Saturday:  Snowdon circuit/traverse -- various options available...plus some swimming ops....

Sunday:  Tryfan and Llyn Ogwen area outing...scrambling and swimming ops....

Monday:  Nantlle Ridge from Rhyd Ddu....not far from home base with various options available....

This is just to whet the appetite...more details to follow (plus some GPX files)....please either have printed maps for these areas or purchase OS Map OL17 which covers all of these routes...As mentioned before, these will all be map-led walks....

More updates to follow.....


********

As a first, the SWC will be making a long weekend excursion to Snowdonia, North Wales. The weekend will be based in Beddgelert, a charming village in the shadow of Snowdon with immediate access to some interesting hills. The routes will be map-led and as with the Scottish trips one needs to come prepared for high mountain terrain and the risks associated with it.

Beddgelert is accessible by public transportation -- train to Bangor and bus. Accommodation in the village is available in various pubs, B&Bs and self-catering cottages. For further information, please contact goepfertkarenATyahooDOTcom.

13 comments:

Thomas G said...

As a taster... BBC4 today at 19.30: Iolo's Snowdonia

Thomas G said...

having now seen 3 parts of Iolo's 4-parter of Snowdonia through the Seasons, I find it astonishing that it never seems to rain out there! and yet the streams and waterfalls are gushing... leave your waterproofs at home!

Anonymous said...

If you have time, I'd recommend a visit to Gelerts Grave see
https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofWales/The-legend-of-brave-Gelert/ I'm sure some of you will have heard the tale in your waely school days

d2g said...

Hi all,

I hope you all are keeping safe.

I am pretty much looking forward to this trip however I do not have experience with the risks of high mountains. I am confident that keeping up the pace wouldn't be a problem so I wondered if this type of trips are suitable for profiles like mine.

It would be my first diving-in.

Thanks in advance.
Daniel.

Stargazer said...

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your message -- all well thanks.
A hard question to answer definitely, I am afraid...
I will say that Snowdonia is rugged high mountain terrain, more akin to Scotland than the Southeast. As such, you would need to be properly prepared for the environment with good boots and proper good quality rain gear.
I will also add that the group planning to come does include a range of abilities and walking speeds -- so I would envisage walks of different levels would be available on each of the days.
Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I am interested in attending this walk, and wonder how to contact the organizer. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

@Stargazer how to join your group? - Maggie

Gabriella said...

I just looked online, and the suggested outward train is now showing a price of £ 341 (!) and the return looks no longer available for purchase.
Better bets seem to be the 09.40 arrive 13.39 out on the Friday , with the return on Monday departing 17.18, arriving 21.06.
Is anyone else going for that option ? It would be handy to have one or two others all on the same trains so that we can share the costs of a taxi from Bangor. Buses seem to be few and far between indeed.

Walker said...

I agree the 9.40 looks better: you are then in off-peak, which is £102 or so return London to Bangor.

Stargazer said...

For those looking for contact details, it is at the bottom of the original post.

Also, see updated suggested train times -- the original proposed train is no longer running....

Andrew said...

You could get the train to Porthmadog instead. Its closer, cheaper - £89, but takes 6+ hours :). The last bit of the route hugging the welsh coast is really nice though. You go thru Aberdovey & over the Barmouth estuary bridge.

Stargazer said...

Following an initial scare of a train cancellation, 11 train travelers arrived in Beddgelert about 15 minutes later than planned, but in time to meet 5 others at the appointed meeting place. Later in the evening 3 more arrived via car and during the course of the weekend 2 further regulars who were camping nearby were spotted on the hills (and in the pub), together with 1 former SWCer who now resides in Snowdonia and her mother who made a cameo appearance with us on Snowdon, we were a total of n=23 on this inaugural trip to Snowdonia with w=initially-windy-but-then-mostly-fine-conditions. More detail to come....

Stargazer said...

On Friday, after quickly dropping our bags at various places 16 set off to do the Moel Hebog short route in windy, but initially sunny and clear conditions....A strong head wind made the ascent hard going...and two opted to turn back when some dark clouds moved up the valley and brought a sharp shower of rain and hail...Fortunately, the shower moved on and we were treated to the most amazing complete and very vibrant rainbow....eventually the slower group made the summit for stunning views out to sea and across to Snowdon and the Nantlle Ridge (our targets for the coming days), as we descended, we were somewhat alarmed to see what looked like the advance party heading up the next hill on the longer version of the walk! We made our way down through the forest, returning to Beddgelert just as it got dark with the advance group arriving about an hour later after a fairly adventurous descent...

On Saturday, 18 set off under bright clear (but breezy) skies to tackle the Nantlle Ridge.....the car drivers kindly shuttled the cars around to near the end point, so the longer walkers could walk the whole ridge while the rest of us set up the first hill...The faster walkers carried on ahead and the car drivers eventually caught up with the slower group a top the first peak where we divided into 2 groups -- with 4 of us heading off after the 6 in the advance group on the long walk and 8 opting for the shorter circular walk....The second summit required some airy scrambling and 4 of the short walkers decided to retreat the way they had come...(with the remaining 4 continuing)...The two groups doing the full traverse eventually regrouped about half way along the ridge and enjoyed the fine day with fine views...We found the cars without problem about 5:30pm with one who had done an extra top appearing shortly afterwards....Back near the start we found one of the short walkers, concerned that the 4 who had continued along the short circular route had not returned yet...After some calling, contact was made and a couple of us walked back in along their return route to find them emerging from the woods near the end -- just as it was getting dark -- they had inadvertently done the long circular version of the walk!

Sunday was sublime...clear, warm skies with hardly any wind....As most were keen to bag the big one, 20 headed up Snowdon on the less frequently used Rhyd-ddu path....which provided great views and passed over the top of some vast gulleys and crags on the impressive flanks of this massive mountain...The summit was the predicted circus with a rather long (and not very socially distanced) line for the actual summit stone...We enjoyed our lunch and the views, before heading down the Watkin Path (often described as the most beautiful route) as it eventually follows a pretty stream and valley...Towards the end near a small pool with a little cascade, 3 went for a swim, 3 paddled and most sunbathed....before our final stretch through a beautiful (and less frequented) valley to the outskirts of Beddgelert in the lovely early evening light....

On Monday, the Welsh weather arrived....low clouds with drizzle.....after paying our respects to the village namesake...16 set off on a short walk through a stunning gorge along the banks of a beautiful river....at a look-out point over a bridge, the drivers and their passengers headed back to the village to start the journey home and the train travelers carried on around a small hill through undulating terrain made very atmospheric in the soft mist...We returned to the village in time for a late lunch before our chariots whisked us back to Bangor for the train home...

All in all a very action packed and full weekend, certainly making the most of the daylight hours we had available....