11 March 2021

Side valley now explored without fog

A few weeks ago, I had tried to explore small side valley of Cwm Llafar, but that had been slightly hampered by fog. So I had decided to go back one day! And the day had come. We had another good weather forecast, so I had faith that if I would go back I could finally see where I had been. 

I set off and it was a beautiful day. It was still a bit chilly! A headband and gloves were still in order. But that would come in handy later.

I got to the point why would leave the main valley and scramble up. That went well! And the stream was beautiful with still a lot of ice in it. And fairly soon I walked into the valley I had only had the limited view on the previous time. It was a beautiful valley! And I saw it even had frozen waterfalls. But while I was checking them waterfalls, I started to suspect I had gone up the wrong stream. I had intended to go up the furthest stream but I had not paid attention and taken the second furthest one. But that was not a problem; I had just spotted a path leading back to that furthest stream a little bit further back. So I followed that, and duly ended up at the correct stream.

From there I walked up all the way to the ridge, and then circled the back of the cwm. And by doing that I walked back into the sun! So it was time to sit down for lunch.

After lunch I tried to figure out where I had gone the previous time. A lot of the slope looked a bit similar! I walked out over the ridge to get a better view. And from there I noticed that there was a zigzag path in the distance. This just added to the mystery of this valley. Cwm Llafar has such a well-organised path into it that I suspect it has been a tramline in the past. But why put a tramline into a valley where nothing is happening? There are some scratches into the rock, but nothing that seems to merit investing in infrastructure. And now I had spotted the typical signs of path for miners on the hillslope. So why had it been worth it to make this path? What had been going on here? And why a path up to the ridge? The miners wouldn't have been living on top of the ridge. They were much more likely to live in the Bethesda area, so travelling in the same direction as that assumed tramline would make much more sense. This place puzzles me!

Anyway, I traversed the slope and headed for the zigzag. Soon I was up on the ridge and could walk down. It did the job for me! And now I was glad I had finally seen all of this valley. It had been beautiful! It had made me ponder that you read in the papers about all these people who are absolutely dying to go on a foreign holiday. And I, in a way, and one of them, as I want to see my relatives, but I have no particular desire to go anywhere for reasons of seeing a more beautiful landscape. It is absolutely stunning in my back garden! The combination of luck and good decision-making had ended up with me living in a place that is very difficult to get tired of. Hurray for Snowdonia!

Nice weather in the main valley

The side valley is beckoning behind a small pass

It was still quite cold!

The actual mountain pass

The side valley! Looking a lot more visible than the last time.

The cliff face I walked underneath to get to the furthest valley

Lunch in the sun!

The view that inspired my thoughts about not needing to go on holiday to see beautiful landscapes

Me standing on the zigzag and looking down; I think one "V" of the zigzag can be clearly made out

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