Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Allt-fawr – 31 August

IAbove the slate quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog are a number of ridges twisting away from the A470 to Betws-Y-Coed and of these one is of interest today. Having identified the place to park and having found the ‘Footpath’ sign we set off. The footpath sign isn’t complimented by a footpath on the map which is, surely, unusual and there are no real sings on the ground which is less unusual. With the map set wrongly we headed off to one of the wrong ridges but not for long. Once through the low lying bogs which are just beginning to fill up for winter the going is good along the ridge as are the views in all directions. Most of these hill are unfamiliar so it was enjoyable identifying where we had been during the last few days. Allt-fawr sits high above the slate quarries that dominate Blaenau Ffestiniog and so provides contrasting views – industrial devastation in one direction and quiet rolling hills in the other.

20150831_001_Snowdonia-101-EditLlechwedd Slate Caverns

20150831_002_Snowdonia-105-EditGloddfa Gonal Slate Mine

20150831_003_Snowdonia-119-EditOver Llyn Conglog to Cnicht and beyond

20150831_004_Snowdonia-126-EditBoth slate quarries with the town beyond

Yr Aran – 30 August

More than ever on Bank Holiday weekends is there a case for seeking out quiet hills away from the ‘honey pots’. Yr Aran is such a hill although the initial approach uses the less popular but nonetheless busy Watkin Path to Snowdon. After leaving the Watkin Path we headed for the ridge above Afon Gorsen without going to Coed yr allt. This provided a steep, grassy and very quiet route to the ridge on one of the stillest days of the year.

After gaining the ridge we wandered along to the summit drinking in the views of Snowdon and the ridges around Cwm Llan. Crib Goch appeared in the distance and we are happy to be away from the crowds and queues. A pair of trail runners popped up over Yr Aran as we approached the summit but their concentration was on their feet, the path and bringing them together safely.

It wouldn’t really have been Snowdonia on a Bank Holiday if we hadn’t joined the crowds briefly so descending to the Watkin Path through the disused quarry we shared the sunshine with the crowds swimming and paddling in the river.


20150830_001_Snowdonia-48-EditSnowdon and Y Lliwedd with Crib Goch in the distance

20150830_002_Snowdonia-54-EditFrom Yr Aran summit to Snowdon

20150830_003_Snowdonia-63-EditLooking North West from Yr Aran summit

20150830_004_Snowdonia-71-EditDisused quarry on Yr Aran

20150830_005_Snowdonia-77-EditThe Watkin Path

Moelwyn Mawr and More – 29 August


20150829_001_Snowdonia-309-EditFrom Pen-Y-Pas towards Capel Curig

An uncertain and somewhat mixed weather forecast helped us decide to avoid the crowds on Cnicht and head up the other side of the valley to Rhosydd Quarry from Creosor. The old quarry road makes for an easy ascent and today it was an easy ascent above the cloud base. From Moelwyn Mawr we could see nothing, not even the “easy path” to Craigysgafn. Instead we headed back to the quarry and on to Moel-yr-hydd. Cnicht’s cloud cover remained firmly in place and we returned to Croesor through the quarry.

The weather finally improved and as we reached the car park the summit of Cnicht finally cleared!

















Early evening sunshine flooded into Nant Peris, just to rub in a bit of salt!


20150829_009_Snowdonia-399Crib Goch from Nant Peris

20150829_008_Snowdonia-393The end of Crib Goch from Nant Peris

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Great Ormes Head – 28 August

Easy stroll up from the town and finished off with a wander along the pier to listen to Elvis booming out on the music system – ah, happy days!

20150828_001_Snowdonia-207Number 5

20150828_002_Snowdonia-216Number 4

20150828_001_Snowdonia-225Number 7

20150828_003_Snowdonia-247-EditTrig Point on Great Ormes Head

20150828_004_Snowdonia-273-EditGrand Hotel

20150828_005_Snowdonia-275-EditListening to Elvis on the music system

20150828_006_Snowdonia-292-EditLlandudno sea front

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Burnsall – 22 August

We went not to race but to take photos of Mercia Fell Runners and of two, in particular.


20150822_002_Jim_Zoe-557Team Mercia

20150822_001_Zoe & Jim-245Jim, Zoe & Bailey

20150822_003_Jim_Zoe-302Jim on the way out

20150822_002_Zoe & Jim-328Zoe on the way back

The reason for the big Mercia turnout at Burnsall was because of a wedding a little earlier in the afternoon.


20150822_001_Jim_Zoe-133-EditJim and Zoe

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Castle Crag – 16 August

A wee hill we have only ever summited in pouring rain and low cloud (twice) we wanted to bag for our third round of Wainwrights was just perfect for Sunday morning. Not much of an outing but plans for the rest of the week dictated a short day and an early return home. The cloudless sky early in the morning promised a greatly improved day, a promise that was not to be fulfilled as cloud and eventually rain returned. Ah well, having been beaten to the summit by rain twice before we won this time.

20150816_001_Borrowdale-519-EditMorning mist in Borrowdale clearing as sunshine arrives

20150816_002_Borrowdale-522-EditNature gaining a foothold on top of a wall

20150816_003_Borrowdale-101-EditLooking up Borrowdale from Castle Crag

20150816_004_Borrowdale-118-EditDerwent Water and the Northern Fells from Castle Crag

Birkett Bagging above Borrowdale – 15 August

A weekend in Borrowdale gave us the opportunity to bag the Birketts between Ullscarf and High Tove and then add King’s How to the end of the day. Morning cloud cover, the year’s cold wind with the occasional rain shower made it a distinctly autumnal day and the wet, slow-going ground did little to help. Late afternoon sunshine was very welcome and produced some dramatic light at Watendlath and in Borrowdale.


20150815_001_Borrowdale-22By a disused quarry near Bell Crags looking to the North Western Fells

20150815_002_Borrowdale-26Looking north from the same area


20150815_004_Borrowdale-78Castle Crag in Borrowdale

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Turner Landscape fell race – 08 August

Dow Crag in sunshine and a cold breeze – about perfect for running and not bad for marshalling either. The race is a fund raiser for Alzheimer’s Research and this year over £1000 was raised. The results are here.

20150808_001_turnerlandscape-70Coniston Water with Morecambe Bay beyond

20150808_002_turnerlandscape-74North East towards Swirl How

20150808_003_turnerlandscape-77Checking the photo

20150808_004_turnerlandscape-123Mark Chippendale leading Lee Procter

20150808_005_turnerlandscape-131Chris Balderson leading with Mark Irvine behind an Ambleside runner

20150808_006_turnerlandscape-185Leigh Warburton

20150808_007_turnerlandscape-236Steve Cliff

20150808_008_turnerlandscape-422Martin Walsh (5)

More race photos here

Birker Fell – 07 August

A short outing to bag the last of the Birketts west of Green Crag. The last time we were here was the day before a JNLC recce with Michele and we wanted an easy afternoon which was a pity because we preferred not to bag the remaining 3 Birketts beyond Green Crag. Of course, it left us with an excuse to come back again but the most obvious way to reach these three is from the Ulpha road which is separated from the fells by a stretch of tussocky bog. These are quiet hills enjoying very fine views of the Southern Fells with Harter Fell dominating the near ground.


20150807_005_birkerfell-24-EditHarter Fell with the Scafells beyond

20150807_001_birkerfell-1-EditPillar in the far distance, the Scafells with Esk Pike and Bowfell on the distant skyline

20150807_003_birkerfell-16-EditGreen Crag and Herdwicks

20150807_004_birkerfell-23-EditSouthwest to the Broughton Fells