Cadair Idris

16th June 2010

In Welsh mythology, Cadair Idris is also said to be one of the hunting grounds of Gwyn ap Nudd and his Cwn Annwn. The howling of these huge dogs foretold death to anyone who heard them, the pack sweeping up that person’s soul and herding it into the underworld.

He who sleeps on its slopes will supposedly awaken either a mad man or a poet.

Inspiration comes in some odd ways especially for me so please bear with me! Way back in 96, I was watching a television program called A Picture Of Britain on the BBC, narrated by the present current affairs narrator & broadcaster  David Dimbleby, now for me I can listen to David Dimbleby all day long, he captures the audience, he keeps things simple & he has the voice that keeps you wide eared (well that’s me anyway!) Basically if you didn’t see the program David or his researchers did, tried to explain why artist painted Landscape the way they did & I don’t mean Banksy! I mean renowned sixteen & seventeenth century artist, Turner,Wilson, Gainsborough etc etc, anyway this one particular program Dimbleby was in Wales explaining Welsh Mythology & It captivated me especially on the piece on Cadair Idris, yes its “myths” or just that or so to speak, yet this mountain is surrounded by myths of Giant Bardic Bards, the amphitheatre that creates the natural bowl is thought to be King Arthurs Seat in English traditional terms, I was so engrossed by this Mountain I even went out & bought the DVD when the BBC finally released it, just for this one piece on Cadair Idris.

I can honestly say I’ve been troubled of late, I got made redundant on the 28th April, 6 days before my 36th Birthday, my company’s assets had just run dry yet we were a profitable company so buyers came in & bought the place on the 14th May,but the company Id worked for since being a lad of 17 had gone, those fifteen days were the worse days of my life, we did Ben Nevis in between & I’ve been notching up my Wainwrights in south Lakeland too, I just needed something to take me out of the doldrums I found myself in, & fourteens years on the first mountain that ever inspired me hit me between the eyes with just the sucker punch that I needed.


Ascent: 893 Mtrs 2,930 Ft
Wainwrights: N / A
Weather: Clear Blue Skies As forecast, Highs Of 18 Degrees, Lows Of 10
Parking: Car Park By The Hotel Minffordd, £4 All Day Parking
Area: Southern Tip Of The Snowdonian National Park
Miles: 5.75
Walking With: On my own
Ordnance Survey: OL23
Time Taken:  

Map and Photo Gallery



To do this walk required an early start & for me it came in at 5.30am,  with just over 2hrs travelling & roughly about 105 miles each way, I figured I’d be back at the car park by 1.30ish & on my way,.. (I’d forgot the kid in me comes out whenever I’m somewhere new & I like to explore & just about click at anything that moves or doesn’t in this case!)

Cadair Idris this way


Right behind the car park is this trail that takes you to the start of the walk.


Not before you pass this Welsh County Council building.


A clear sign of the route is situated at the start, my route is the fainter black line L to R .

Its 8.20am, its a beautiful summers morning, what more could you ask for


After about 20 minutes walking you get the choice to go left or right Right (my route) Cwm Cau) the more direct route or the left path ( Mynydd Moel) the route in reverse.


You really don’t have to walk very long before the views start to open up, by following the path Lllyn Cau (Lake Cau)

Break time & time to take it all in,.this place really is of biblical proportions, I’ve waited so long to be here & now I’m here I find myself farting round with the camera trying to take a decent panoramic shot, my camera does do panorama shots but its so damn annoying with three split screens  trying to line everything up is like trying to do a jigsaw blindfolded! ok Paul, put the camera down, calm down & take this beauty all in


Looking towards Craig Cau & from Lllyn Cau,. its absolutely stunning & for now I have all this to myself.


From the Lllyn Cau I’ve headed east to take in the bowl of Graig Cau & Penygadair ( Cadair Idris summit) The whole mountain is called Cadair Idris, yet the summit is called Penygadair, not a lot of people know that (well I didn’t anyway!) I’d got about half way up this path when I realised I’d forgot…


Yes, Id done it again… this time I had to go back, I couldn’t get away with loosing two pairs of Bloc Billys!


Lllyn Cau & the true summit Penygadair towards the top right.


I would imagine this Hut or shed is for when the weather turns..notice how its strapped down so it doesn’t blow away.


Now heading for Graig Cau.


Lllyn Cau taken from Graig Cau,. I cant get over how Blue it looks & I’m sure you’ll agree, myth has it that Lllyn Cau is bottomless, & on a day like today it certainly looks it.


Penygadair from Graig Cau.


Looking SW ,This ridge carry’s the Pony Path,an alternative route up the mountain from the shores of Lake Tal-y-llyn.


7,000 yrs of glacial activity, all the way down to the valley floor.


Looking westwards towards the small coastal town of Tywyn & Broad Water.


Looking down on the col between Penygadair & Graig Cau.


Now looking northwest towards Barmouth Bay & Barmouth Bridge with the Irish sea beyond.


And without the zoom.


Cadair Idris Summit (Penygadair)


And stone hut close by .

No mythological meeting place wouldn’t be complete with out a stone circle


Mynydd Moel from Cadair Idris summit plateau, not my intended route I’m afraid, my path veers of slightly to the right just after the dip.


For one reason (no I’m not that hungry, I’m just finishing the remains of my flask & sandwiches) the main reason was I wanted to get a full shot of The Thrown of Idris.


Perfect well worth leaving the main path to get the shot.


Time to head down & just by looking at the contour lines on the map I know this is going to be gruelling


Lake Tal-y-llyn over shadowed by Mynydd Rugog.


Still about 400Mtrs up but not far to go now, you can clearly make out my Ascent route with the paths forming lower left of the picture is where the little wooden post I past earlier on my ascent.


Crossing Nant Cadair Beck over this solid slate Bridge, that slate must be 5" inch thick.


Almost back where I started, tired , very sore soles on my feet (I really must sort out my foot problem while walking in heat) but elated in the fact I finally climbed Cadair Idris


Back to top