#150 – Cadair Idris by the Fox’s Path and the Pony Track

Cadair Idris from Llyn Gwernan

Cadair Idris from Llyn Gwernan

Anyone following UK mountain walking blogs at the moment will notice a common theme – at its most basic, the UK is being hammered by one of the longest periods of wet, windy weather that anyone can remember for a long time.  So, like many of my fellow bloggers, I have been trawling through the archives for stories and pics that remind us why we spend out time walking up hills only to walk down them again.

Cadair Idris from Ty Nant

Cadair Idris from Ty Nant

A comment on one of my blogs a few weeks ago asked why I hadn’t included Cadair Idris in my posts – I checked, and found that I had written about the southern approach to Cadair Idris from Minffordd in post #65, but for some reason I had missed out the route from the north by the Fox’s Path and the Pony Track. Time to rectify that.

Looking towards the summit from Llyn y Gadair

Looking towards the summit from Llyn y Gadair

At the top of the ridge on the left of the scree slope

At the top of the ridge on the left of the scree slope

The Fox’s path from Llyn Gwernan is a delight, gaining height gradually without any fuss.  That all changes at the mountain lake of Llyn y Gadair – rock walls suddenly rear up to the summit, with a nasty loose-looking scree slope on the left as the only line of weakness.  A close up view of the scree slope reveals a sneaky little path going the ridge line on the far left – from there narrow path traverses back above the scree.  Easy really!

The start of the high traverse path

The start of the high traverse path

Near the end of the high traverse path

Near the end of the high traverse path

Looking back, down towards Llyn a Gadair

Looking back, down towards Llyn a Gadair

The view west from near the summit

The view west from near the summit

The images come from an outing in August 2010 – Chris and I had set off with our young Border Collie ‘Meg’, and met Roo, her partner Mick and lovely kids Rory and Tessa near to Llyn y Gadair.  Rory and his dad had their eyes on reaching the summit, but Roo was concerned it might be a bit much for Tessa – as it was, both kids romped up the mountain and had a great day.

The summit shelter on Cadair Idris

The summit shelter on Cadair Idris

The shelter seen from above

The shelter seen from above

The author and Chris at the summit, with Border Collie Meg and 'summiteer' Tessa

The author and Chris at the summit, with Border Collie Meg and ‘summiteer’ Tessa

 The summit of Cadair Idris has the usual Trig column, making an obligatory photo opportunity, but there is also a small summit shelter.  This is usually spotless inside, with a barrier keeping the sheep out, and it would make a great overnight bothy except for one thing – legend has it that anyone who sleeps on the summit of Cadair Idris will wake up a poet or mad!

Setting off on the descent by the Pony Track

Setting off on the descent by the Pony Track

Border Collie ‘Meg’ taking a nap on the way down

Border Collie ‘Meg’ taking a nap on the way down

We didn’t take a chance on madness or poetry, and set off to return to the valley by the Pony Track.  It was the first big mountain day for our young Border Collie ‘Meg’, but sadly one of her last – a couple of months later she began having epileptic fits which did not respond to treatment.  By the end of October she was no longer with us, and a month later we had another Border Collie (‘Mist’) tugging at our heart strings.

Heading for the valley

Heading for the valley

Cadair Idris is a great day out by both the popular ascents, but I’ve still got more exploring to do there, in an area I still don’t know all that well.  In the meantime we have a weather forecast this week for more rain and Atlantic gales – Cadair Idris might have to wait a bit longer!

The descent from Cadair Idris down the Pony Track

The descent from Cadair Idris down the Pony Track

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

About Paul Shorrock

I've been mucking about in the mountains for longer than I care to mention. I started out by walking my local hills, then went on to rock climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Still doing it, and still getting a buzz. I'm now sharing the fun, through my guided walking business (Hillcraft Guided Walking) and by writing routes for other publishers, mainly Walking World and Discovery Walking Guides. Just to make sure I keep really busy, I am also currently a member of my local mountain rescue team.
This entry was posted in 5. North Wales, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to #150 – Cadair Idris by the Fox’s Path and the Pony Track

  1. it’s been a few years since I went this way up… gat views 🙂 great photo’s 🙂

  2. Paul, what are those curious dark shapes on some otherwise wonderful photos? Oh, silly me, they are shadows!! It’s been a long time since I saw one 🙂
    To be fair, there has been the odd glimpse of sun in these ‘ere parts.

    • Today we had our first real snow shower at home, and within 20 minutes the sun was out!!! Weird weather, but at least we won’t get flooded – we’re on the side of a hill at 110 metres, with the village below us 🙂

  3. Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures says:

    Dont know what it is, but Cader Idris always impresses me on a scale and a perception that is hard to describe. Its a combination of foreboding, permanence and presence. More than any other mountain I have been up. But thats just me

  4. Great post Paul, and nice dry scenery too! It is years since I have been up Cadair Idris and I remember it was chucking it down when I did. When is it going to dry up???

  5. I remember first approaching the Foxes path and being ‘feart’ – it looked horrendous. But I have to say I found it fine for going up and have done it a couple of times since – not sure I’d go down it though! Maybe I should try a night in the shelter – would make a good post, especially if I woke up a poet or even madder than I am now! 😉
    Carol.

  6. LensScaper says:

    I walked up this with my Dad when I was a lad – I think we were staying in Criccieth (Cadwalader’s Ice Cream!). I am sure I recall the Fox’s path but from my memory it was a real grind, maybe I’m muddling my mountains. How good it is to see a summer’s day shoot! What a grim, grim winter.

    • I wouldn’t mind the winter weather if we had some decent snow to show for it, but the continual rain is a bind – still, there are places far worse off than us.

      • LensScaper says:

        Yes, we have to be grateful for small mercies. Anther battering due during tomorrow – wind speeds look worse than ever for our neck of the woods.

  7. Pete Buckley says:

    Glad I’m not the only one digging out old posts because of the weather! I’ve only done Cadair Idris by the Minffordd path – this looks a nice route.

  8. Is Meg a new addition? You got some fantastic views there.

  9. Pingback: Cadair Idris Fox’s Path Walking Route - Mud and Routes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s