Occasionally, just occasionally everything comes together!
Anyone with any knowledge of North Wales will know that the weather there is unpredictable at best. Twice I've started up Snowdon in fine weather, just to find it all close in before reaching the top - I've yet to see any view from there. So far I've refused to take the train but it may yet come to that.
So a sudden decision to head for Wales for the Bank Holiday weekend paid dividends. Sunday dawned warm and sunny with a forecast of good weather for the rest of the day ( the less said about the forecast for the next day the better!)
So Cader Idris beckoned. I haven't climbed this since I was a child and my dislike of climbing mountains is legendary but it needed to be done.
A rare sight of Cader Idris where the summits are not hidden by cloud!
We were staying at Y Bala so it was a bit of a drive.
The path starts with a steep and rocky ascent through remnants of ancient oak woodland. This was very steep and very hard going and after the first 600ft or so I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it to the top.
This is the Nant Cadair falls. I'm afraid I was in no condition to appreciate their beauty at the time...
Just starting to see Cwm Cau. Pretty rough going here.
I was distracted from the climb by the antics of a pair of ravens performing acrobatics overhead. Very welcome by this point.
Llyn Cau. The path was about to get very steep as we climbed the ridge but it did level out a bit after a short while. This was still very hard work but we were sheltered by the ridge from the wind - which was a mixed blessing as I was getting rather hot.
Close to the lower summit of Craig Cwm Amarch there are some stunning drops. I really wouldn't want to do this in bad weather.
The views though are quite stunning. Definitely worth the climb.
Unfortunately though this is not the high point. We had to descend into the col and then back up to Penygadair the highest summit of Cadair Idris.
This was really hard work. The path such as it goes over a boulder field and it is a real scramble in places.
The views were worth it - just. It was pretty busy up there as it was such a lovely day. There was also a warden - must be a cold and lonely job on a quiet day. Today through he had plenty of visitors. There is also a bad weather shelter. Not that we needed it but I'm sure it very welcome if the weather turns bad.
At this point of course the only way is down and we continued along the horseshoe along the wide grassy ridge and down. Down was quite as taxing as going up. The path was extremely steep and rocky and I was more concerned with staying upright than taking pictures. Despite taking car though I did manage to sit down once- hard.
The weather couldn't have been more perfect for a climb up the mountain. This morning though Cader Idris looked very different - much more like its usual self!