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]

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Precipitous Perambulations

Looking at the map on Monday night, I came up with two possible plans for Tuesday (31 December), both of which were nice and sensible and made good use of rights of way in the area. Then, as Tuesday dawned, the old Precipice Walk popped into my mind and after a perusal of the map it was declared to be the outing of choice for the day.

Rather than setting out from the nearest car park, my plan involved us walking from Colin’s pitch in Dolgellau, which also introduced a potential flaw in the plan in that it didn’t make good use of rights of way, but instead indulged in rather a lot of trespass. However, it was trespass along tracks and paths that didn’t appear to pass in front of any buildings, so it looked get-away-with-able. Alas, at the first gate there was a very clear ‘preifat’ and ‘don’t even think about coming this way’ sort of a sign and Mick was having an uncharacteristic attack of antitrespassism, and so we walked a road and trespassed up an alternative route along an ancient lane where no such signage had been installed.

Aside from a bit of a thrash past an overgrown laurel which was making a take-over bid across the entire width of the last twenty yards of the track, it was a lovely old green lane and a shame that it can’t be lawfully enjoyed by the masses. Tarmac then saw us to our main objective of the day.

It must be twelve or thirteen years since we last walked the old Precipice Walk and it’s still as pleasing a route as ever. We joined the walk at the S end of Llyn Cynwch, which was looking quite lovely:


Moreover when a bit of blue sky appeared:


Having enjoyed our sandwiches alongside the water (before we skirted around onto the sunless side of the hill), off we headed to the precipitous bit of the walk (it’s dead flat, but along quite a steep hillside), where the views were stunning in both directions.


Looking down the Mawddach

Having drunk in all of the views, we headed back down on our intended upwards path. Yes, it involved just as much trespass as it would have on the outwards leg, but there weren’t signs warning us against on the way back down, so it felt more justifiable. We left no trace, met no angry farmer and made it back to the lane unscathed – whereupon we promptly crossed the road and indulged in some more brazen trespass across the golf course. We didn’t encounter anyone there either.

In fact, the only people we saw out and about were those on the Precipice Walk itself, where there were many.

Our stats for the day were 8.2 miles walked with around 1600’ of ascent.

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