Minffordd was our jumping off point for Brian’s strenuous day on the slopes of Cadair Idris. Argghhhhh !!!! The steps! The steps! Straight out of the car park and onto the steps – no chance to get your second wind. The day looked reasonable but the cloud was a bit low as we moved up through the woods and out into the open heading for Llyn Cau. As we went up, the clouds came down, and by the time we were heading round the shoulder and up the steep bit above the lake we were well and truly in the cloud – and with bits of thin drizzle and a stiff breeze. Brian kept reassuring us that the views from up here were terrific and we just had to believe him as we saw nowt!
By the time we made the ladder stile on Craig Cwm Amarch it was quite damp so we snuck down behind the rocks for a swift early lunch. The top here is pretty dreadful under foot: small ankle breaking boulders – and what with the wind, drizzle and poor visibility we were glad to get down a bit and onto the grassy slope. One thing that has always amazed me up here is the arrow straightness of the fences: how do they get them so straight and vertical when 90% of the time they are on solid rock? Remarkable people with remarkable skills.
After turning south over the fence we were on the long downhill slope that points towards Tal y Llyn, but we couldn’t see it. Then suddenly the curtains swept back and there was the valley in all its glory – a wonderful moment just to stop and stare and pick out Broad Water at the west end of the Dysynni valley, Craig yr Aderyn, the lake, the hotel and all the rest of the wonders. Yvonne gave a very interesting lecturette on the post ice-age slump of the hillside that blocked the valley, formed the lake and produced a lovely little gorge beyond the lake. Thanks Yvonne.