- A cliff with a vertical, nearly vertical, or overhanging face.
- A situation of great peril.
For the best viewing experience, left-click the images and maps to zoom in to a new window, then exit that window to go back – go on, it really does work!
The Precipice Walk had been on the ‘to do’ list for a couple of years. It sounded like an interesting little route, but the ‘little’ part of it was the problem – a drive of nearly two hours for a walk of 5½ kms. We do more than that at home on the daily dog walk! However, we hadn’t been out for a hill day for several weeks and the short hours of daylight in January wouldn’t allow time for a long hike, so perhaps it was time to visit the Precipice Walk.
There was a time when mentioning a walk with a precipice would have been an instant no-no from Chris – our day on Crib Goch back in 2002 had done nothing to encourage her to try another precipice, but this precipice walk sounded more benign. A bit of research even found a 5-Star review on TripAdvisor, with not a single ‘Terrible’ comment; in fact, the punters seemed to love it! It had to be worth a two-hour drive.
We arrived on a cold, crisp January morning, with frost still lying on the grass in places, a result of the clear skies overnight. I’m usually moaning in this blog about dull, flat light for photography, but not today – in fact, the day was sunny and bright, but the low January sun was to cause different problems for photos on the way round, with the sun often shining right into the lens. Ho hum, another challenge then.
The route passed near to the small lake of Llyn Cynwch on the way out, but that would have to wait until our return. Although the route isn’t especially high, it gave some great views out onto surrounding hills including Cadair Idris (see posts #150 and #300) and Rhobell Fawr (see post #205) and the low sun gave us a bit of company in the shape of two humans and a dog – our own shadows!
We soon turned the northern corner of the route to head south along the ‘precipice’ bit, with the Afon Mawddach and the A470 road 200 metres below us in the valley. We also had the sun directly in our eyes, apart from the short sections where bends in the path put us back in the shade. Sun or shade, the drop to the valley was ever present, adding a bit more interest and drama.
The precipice didn’t last for long though and soon we were off the steep ground, looking out to the Mawddach estuary. We briefly abandoned the return section of the Precipice Walk to include the short climb up to the small summit of Foel Faner, an ancient hill fort. The 360° view was enhanced by the bright sun, but the moon rising to the east reminded us that the day would soon be slipping away.
Llyn Cynwch was included on the way back, with hardly a ripple on the water, but the lengthening shadows told us that it was time to head back to the car, and our two-hour return drive. It was time to head for home.
Text and images © Paul Shorrock