/ The Cambrian Way
Thanks for drawing attention to that.
I've not done it, but looking at the route map, and knowing the top half reasonably well, I can see why they've billed it 'the mountain connoisseur's route'- Heads of the Valleys onward.
I think its' a bit of a disappointment that it starts from Cardiff - Maybe once you've begun from there it helps to spur you on your way. As the Irish would put it: 'it's a good place to come from'.
As an alternative start, there's a roman road 'Sarn Helen' ( not always traceable on the ground) that runs a bit further west than Cardiff and ends just short of Conwy. But I guess you cant really avoid the M4 conurbation down there without going further west still.
It hasn't yet received the same publicity as Offa's Dyke or the Glyndwr Way.
I imagine that the final day's walk- leaving the high Carneddau and winding down to the town of Conwy would allow a contemplative frame of mind and the sight of the castle in the distance as an end.
Added bonus in Conwy is the Albion pub and a cracking chippy.
I've been eagerly awaiting a munros trip report. Maybe for this trip you could do a video diary in the style of your winter Crib Goch youtube one?
I'm buying a Go Pro so maybe a video diary could be an option though we don't have an actual date for doing the route as yet. Re the Crib Goch style well I could always just ask the Mrs to swear a lot I suppose.
There's a full Munro trip report in a TGO issue sometime around spring 06.
I did the whole thing in during the 2003 record heatwave, heat stroke in mid wales - fun!
The valleys could never be called pretty but it makes for an interesting contrast with the rest of the walk. Cardiff is no better or worse than many other walk start points and has the merit of being easy to get to. If nothing else a picture of you taken at Cardiff bay and one at Conwy castle make for an amusing comparasion.
As a coast to coast walk it is far better than the offical C to C and is probably the best long distance walk in Britain short of a self designed 2-3 week trip through the central/northern highlands.
How many days did it take you?
20 or 21 days i think.
An alternative is the route Aber Falls to Worms Head (or the reverse). My wife did this (the reverse) in 2013. 2 weeks, about 200 miles. Really enjoyed herself.
I did the whole lot in 1987, starting by camping in the park in Cardiff after pubs shut. Thought it was cracking route, especially some of the small hostels beyond Llandovery and the section after the Brecons. Quiet and remote and a haunted Roman encampment to camp in.
That's early, I bet crossings were in very low numbers then??
Mer one other guy 3 days in, then we didn't see each other till Ogwen where I caught him up having had a day off in Mid Wales. Didn't encounter anyone else who said they were doing it.
Walked the whole thing with a friend when I was 18. Took us quite a while (26 days, 3 of which were full rest days) but was overall an excellent experience, had some good adventures. We didnt mind the Cardiff start, for one thing it means you walk castle to castle which has a nice ring to it. There is a nice escalation in ruggedness over the course of the walk. Good luck with doing the whole thing, you wont regret it (well at least not that often).
I did the whole route in 2008; I started in February and just about wild camped the whole lot to make it cheaper. Enjoyed wild campfires in the Tywi forest on the coldest nights. I had my farther join me from Barmouth to Conwy as he started it some 15 years earlier with our LDWA club but they never finished it as they could'nt decide when to meet to finish it off. I did a winter version so the ground would be harder, especially out in the moorland area's.
It's a great route; I added the Arans and the Berwyns into the mix as well as these are wonderfully remote mountains like the Rhinogs and Elenydd Mountains.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tony Drake and his wife in Rhimandir-mwyn in 2008, on the Campsite there, and had a good chat to him, he said about the difficulties with access in the Arans and Berwyns, hence why they were left out of his route.
The best bit is from Barmouth to Talyfan, the Elenydd's in Midwales were great and super remote, I added Mynydd Mallaen and the Pysgotwr Valley as they are smashing wild places
I'd do it again, but will do it in chunks so I can look forward to each part. I did'nt start from Cardiff, i started from Ystrad Mynach (Home) which is about a similar distance to Mynydd Machen.
Go and do it again !
Cheers and good effort.
I did it in February also and wild camped the whole lot. Nice one Jason.
The fragment was still a great walk: Merthyr Mawr, being taken to a night out in Margam from the remote farmhouse where I was camping, spending the night out during the big storm on Craig y Llyn, Aberpergwm, the waterfalls, Black Mountain and another storm.
I did the route in reverse a few years ago now starting in Conwy. But to make it a bit different again once I got to Plynlimon I headed over to the Wye valley, walked down the Wye trail to Glasbury and had a relative meet me there with my touring kayak. From Glasbury I then paddled the 120 miles to Chepstow castle, all in it took me 19 days.
I like your style Sir.
Elsewhere on the site
I am Matthew Phillips, I'm nearly 14 and I was born without my right arm below the elbow. I started climbing at taster... Read more
The Women's Mountain Equipment Cho Oyu Jacket is the perfect choice for female mountaineers an explorers who... Read more
The Kendal Mountain Festival 2014 proved once again to be a busy and inspiring four days of films, photos, music, art... Read more
2012 saw the release of the beautiful first volume of definitive Yorkshire Gritstone climbing, produced by the YMC with Robin... Read more
Backpackers want an extremely liveable and lightweight tent at good price. MSR answers the call with the Elixir 2 tent and... Read more