Cadair Berwyn

Driving along on the A14 with Mark, our initial plan was to visit the Peak District. We both fancied something a little higher though and considered the Berwyns instead. From where we live it's roughly the same distance as the High Peak region so our decision was made. It's always nice to take someone to a location they haven't visited before. This route offered something new for Mark, plus the immediate 'Wow Factor' of Pistyll Rhaeadr falls.

Snow started to appear in the fields as we passed Oswestry and fortunately the road through the Afon Rhaeadr valley had been cleared.

Once we arrived and laced up, we explored the falls with extreme care. It was ridiculously slippery above and below with huge icicles and verglas covered rocks. The spray from the waterfall had created some impressive ice formations but also made the falls a hazardous attraction. After some time fooling around we headed up into the Berwyn hills. The recent snow had made walking the slopes surprisingly easier due to the hard compacted snow over the usually boggy sections. It also provided us the opportunity for some bum sledging (see photos).

We finally reached Moel Sych summit and traversed the ridge line to Cadair Berwyn. As often the case, the sun decided to come out as we made our descent. The descent track that sweeps around Moel yr Ewig was very slippery and steep. A slip here in the snow could have resulted in a nasty fall. (ice axe and crampons advised). The last section of this descent was tackled 'bum to snow' with our walking poles as arrest devices. It certainly made things less tiring on the thighs and safer on this very steep section.

The next challenge was reaching Llyn Lluncaws. This natural bowl of rock had acted as a snow trap and contained plenty of it. At times, knee deep! It doesn't help that this area is usually very boggy with hundreds of water channels leading down to the tarn. Finally we reached the tarn with snow filled boots. The gaiters in my bag should really have been on my legs today. I HATE WEARING THEM!

Llyn Lluncaws was completely frozen over.. at least that's what we thought until Mark broke through the edge for some wet foot surprise. The sun was now out and the glare reflecting from the snow had a surprisingly immediate impact on our skin. Red faced from wind burn and snow glare we made our way back following the steep slope below Cerrig Poethior.