The idea of this trip to North Wales was to incorporate some hillwalking into the week. As you can see from previous recent posts, the photographic touristic carrot dangling in front of me seemed greater than to risk no photos up on top of a cloud covered mountain. This particular day, believe it or not was the best day available in the mountains.
As I was staying only a 10 minute drive from Bethesda, it seemed right to utilise this as a starting point for the walk. As this was the first and indeed the only walking I did in the week, I opted for something ... a bit gentle.
For the benefit of hillwalkers reading this ... if any ! ... I made a decision to avoid Carnedd Dafydd at the bottom of the map (a future target from Ogwen cottage to include Pen yr Ole Wen) in favour of Yr Elen which may seem isolated on it's own for another occasion. I have to plan these walks carefully as it's not often that I can come to this location .... with suitable weather ( I managed Elidir Fawr in 2002, Glyder Fach in 1997 and Snowdon in 1996, a poor return for the car mileage !!)
On leaving the edge of Bethesda (where incidentally I bought my sandwich every day at the Spar shop!!), I followed the road for a bit further past a few farms and out into the open countryside. The long gentle path down the valley reached was bordered by my targets for the day on the left and Carnedd Dafydd on the right.
At the end of the valley, the path somewhat disappears a little and becomes a faint track that goes off up the hill to the left. There was time to stare in awe at the imposing cliffs of Carnedd Dafydd.
.... and look back to the light shining on it's descending slopes to the right.
|1950 air crash wreckage, Bethesda and Anglesey in the distance|
A rescue helicopter on a training run up and down the valley. I was spotted and it turned to go back to base.
A bit more ascent and I had made it to the top of the second highest mountain in Wales for the first time. Notice the strip of water in the distance which is the Menai Strait.
From the safety of my lunch stop shelter. I noticed two walkers who had to shout at each other to make themselves heard as the wind was so bad.
Onwards towards the lesser summit, but by no means less spectacular of Yr Elen ...
... and the view under the cloud towards Menai and Anglesey
I took a slight de-tour without covering the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn again and re-joined the path at the aircraft wreckage to retrace my steps along the valley. There is a circular route back to Bethesda but didn't like the idea of getting my feet wet in the river today !!
Time for a last look at Yr Elen in the foreground, the dark shape of Carnedd Llewelen in the background and some other friends I met near the end ...