Walking on Cadair Idris Snowdonia
Walking on Cadair Idris is a freeing, awakening of the senses. It is a truly amazing mountain reserve with a large and interesting variety of terrains. Lakes, Gorges and breathtaking summits dominate this gorgeous Welsh landscape and true walkers paradise.
Cadair Idris is located between the coastal resort of Barmouth and the small town of Dolgellau and is the predominant view from the Mawddach estuary.
The name ‘Cader/Cadair Idris’, roughly translates as “the chair of Idris”, and is believed to represent the mythical philosopher giant, Idris who would sit on the top of the mountain and ponder his existence whilst looking out over wales and up at the stars.
Walking on Cadair Idris
Climbing to the summit of Cadair Idris is fairly hard work, in all honesty, it’s quite a punishing, relentless uphill slog. You don’t need to be a mountaineer or have any specific skills to walk up but do be prepared and be honest about yourself and your own physical condition. The views from the top are breathtaking on a clear day although do pick your day wisely as an overcast day can result in you seeing very little from the summit.
There are four main routes to the top of Cadair Idris, two from the north side, Foxes Path and Pony Path and two from the south, Minffordd Path and Llanfihangel y Pennant Path.
For a first hand explanation of the history, heritage and the best way to make the most of a day walking Cadair Idris. Who better to speak to than Adam Bishop from the Cadair Idris farm and estate.
Adam, Where does the name Cadair Idris originate from?
Have a look at our article here http://www.cadairidriswales.com/mountain-myths-legends-of-cadair-idris
Can you tell us a bit about the farm?
The farm consists of Pennant and Pencoed farms which have been farmed as one holding for many years. The farm is over 1,400 acres of mainly natural, unimproved mountain land and, due to some of the lower slopes being ploughed in the past, they now have more productive grass species and is home to arctic-alpine plants such as purple saxifrage and dwarf willow.
Do you know much about the history of the people who previously farmed the area?
The area has been farmed for hundreds of years and we are currently investigating the people who farmed this area. The main holding has the Pennant farmhouse at the lower end of the land with the Hafoty Pennant at the top end of the valley which is now in ruins. Pennant farmhouse is traditionally built with the staircase constructed within the gable wall similar to many older houses in the area. There are a further six houses or buildings located around the upper valley and the history of these is being researched.
What is it like to farm the area these days?
The farm is a commercially run business but operated using traditional and environmentally sympathetic methods. In addition to being a national Nature Reserve within a National Park since 1957.
What makes Cadair Idris popular with walkers?
The simply breathtakingly views and the scenery
What in your opinion is special about Snowdonia?
Everything from the way of life, to the buildings. Everything is unique and feels special because there is nowhere else like it in the world.
Can the weather be changeable even in summer and is some amount of snow guaranteed every year?
The weather is very changeable but you have lovely sunny days where you can see across the horizon and snow and cold days where it is nice to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire at home or in a local pub
Is it safe to walk alone?
In the day there are lots of other walkers around so as long as you follow the main route up and down the mountain it is a safe walk. Have a look at our article on walks here http://www.cadairidriswales.com/paths-to-the-summit-of-cadair-idris
Is it suitable for children to walk up?
There are parts of walks suitable for children but getting nearer the top of the mountain walks get more suited to the experienced climbers.
Is there anything on the mountain that walkers should prepare for?
There is a range of different climbs depending on climbing skill but it is always advised to take lots of food and layers to keep you warm.
How many different official paths are there?
Please see here http://www.cadairidriswales.com/paths-to-the-summit-of-cadair-idris for a description on the range of difficulty.
On a clear day the view from Pen y Gadair, the summit of Cadair Idris is breathtakingly beautiful with the landscape and coast stretching before you like a map.
Which route would you recommend for the more experienced walkers?
Foxes Path is a very beautiful but quite a challenging path.
How long would it take an average walker to reach the summit?
As the routes vary in difficulty it really does depend on which path you take.
Any local landmarks worth visiting whilst in the area?
There are a number available from tea rooms to coastal paths. please have a look here http://www.cadairidriswales.com/category/attractions
Are there places for drinks and snacks?
Yes we run a cafe at the bottom of the mountain https://www.facebook.com/TyTeCadairTeaRoom/ but there are also a number of other places locally shown here http://www.cadairidriswales.com/pubs-inns-in-snowdonia-north-wales
Are there plenty of places to stay if making a weekend of it?
Yes there are a few local and further afield towards the coast have a look here http://www.cadairidriswales.com/category/places-to-stay
Is camping allowed on the mountain?
Not on the mountain no
Can you describe Cadair Idris in one word?
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