The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A Walk Up Waun-oer

It wasn’t the most organised we’ve ever been for a walk. We arrived in Barmouth yesterday morning with no firm plan as to where we were going for a walk in the afternoon. Over a late second breakfast in the Milk Bar, Mick suggested Cadair. Admittedly we’ve been up there before, but with the top having been free from cloud as we’d passed by half an hour before, it seemed like a good day for a repeat visit.

On our way back out of Barmouth an hour or so later (having taken a quick trundle up and over Dinas Oleu and back again to fulfil the mission that had taken us to Wales in the first place), Mick changed his mind as to where he wanted to walk, and Waun-oer was where we ended up.

It wasn’t a long walk, and part of the ascent had been achieved by driving up to the parking area at Bwlch Oerddrws (which I’m not counting as being cheating, as it was directly on our route home in any case).

‘Steep’ is how I would describe the first chunk of our route (my steep-o-meter being perhaps a little out of whack having not been near a hill in months), which quickly got the lungs working and the legs turning to jelly (harrumph – so much fitness lost yet again!).

Gaining height pretty quickly, the views soon started to open up. The Rhinog tops were the most obvious feature to the north-west of us, then Mick pointed out that the ridge we could clearly see was the very one that we have walked more than once. As is so often the case with my snap-shots, it’s not overly clear on the photo:


In reality, we could clearly see the sea in the dip on the left of the photo. That’s Rhinog Fach and Fawr on the right.


Again a poor image. In reality Snowdon and the surrounding hills (on the right of this photo) were perfectly obvious.

Where the upness levelled out there was a bit of a ‘wow!’. That’s one steep-sided valley behind me.


Had we looked at the map in any detail at any point before embarking on this walk, we might have been slightly less surprised to come across some old quarry/mine workings:


Beyond the entrance a big hole in the ground had Mick warning me to keep away from the edge (like I didn’t already have my late mother’s voice in my ear telling me the exact same thing)

IMG_1844 It seems that I didn’t take any photos for a while, but by-and-by the path got fainter and fainter and we indulged in a bit of yomping with some good-and-proper bog obstacles thrown in for good measure.

A bit of down was necessary between Cribbin Fach and Waun-oer, followed by a rather steep climb on the other side. Our path ran in between the trees and the fence on this photo and (in case I didn’t mention) it was Steep:


I knew it had been a good choice of hill before we got to the top. Waun-oer may not be big, but its position gives excellent 360 degree views. The weather helped, of course (even if it was a bit of a fresh breeze on top).


A quick look at the map at the top didn’t reveal any obvious route back down that was wildly different from the way we had come, although we didn’t exactly retrace our steps. Having made our way back down the madly-steep bit, a cross-country yomp saw us pick up our outward route out just below the mine workings.

I can’t be sure about how far we walked, because we paid so little attention to the map, but it must have been somewhere between 4 and 5 miles, with 1800 feet-ish of ascent. A little outing, but a good stretch of the legs and lungs.

I was glad that I’d carried lunch the whole way. We ate it when we got back to the car.


  1. Sounds like a good day out.

    I've always wanted to "do' Cader ever since I saw a romanticised Victorian painting of it when I was doing O Level History of Art.

    I thought I was the only one who carried lunch and a bottle of Lucozade all day only to consume it back at the car. I think the main reason is that I rarely find anywhere comfortable to sit down and enjoy it

  2. Great Scenery!
    Unrelated Gayle. Are you still thinking of selling the Warmlite tent (TGO Message Board?)
    If so can you send me an email from there. I got you Blog from Shirley W.