Sunday, 24 April 2016

Pete's Expedition to Wales Update

Start of the Watkin Path to Snowdon from Bethania

Pete's expedition to Wales this year takes place during the week 25 June and 1 July. Snowdon itself will be one of our objectives during the week and to this end Pete and Lyn decided to do a little research to find the best route to the summit. The Pyg and Miner's Tracks which ascend from Pen Y Pass are very popular and often overpopulated though much of their seductive appeal I'm sure lies in their offering 1,000ft less ascent than other routes.  Pete decided to take a look at the quieter Watkin Path that climbs from Bethania in Nantgwynant on the SE. side of the mountain....

Out of the woods and onto an easy track leading up to Cwm Llan.

Entrance to Cwm Llan with waterfalls and evidence of former mining activity

Cwm Llan was the scene of much mining activity in former times hence the existence of a good track for so much of the route of the Watkin Path. Mr Gladsone himself, who was over 80 at the time, opened the path in 1895 giving a speech to the assembled multitude from a rock in Cwm Llan just beyond the waterfall in the above photo. The rock bears his name to this day.

Y Lliwedd forms the backdrop to the Watkin Path down in the valley bottom.

Ridge leading to the summit of Yr Aran, an outlying top of Snowdon

Pete, Lyn and Bella on Yr Aran 747m.

Lyn surveys the route of the Watkin Path from Yr Aran

The Watkin Path can be seen in its entirety from Yr Aran which was our objective for the day and what a great day it was! The route of the path is delightful, easy to follow and throughout most of its length the surface is well maintained, only as the final ridge steepens does this break down leaving the walker a short easy scramble on loose rock to gain the summit.

We thought the Watkin Path an ideal route for our June expedition. I would allow four hours for a leisurely ascent and at least an hour less for the descent by the same route. A good weather forecast for Snowdon is imperative so the calendar for the week remains fluid as yet though I will post the walks that I have in mind on this blog soon.

All enquiries to Pete or Lyn on 017687 71302