Paddy Buckley Round Recce – Legs 4 and 5

The third day of the Paddy Buckley Round Recce Experience with Climb South West had us starting in Llanberis and finishing in Capel Curig. This would cover legs 4 and 5 of the route.

See other posts in this blog series:

Weather was far kinder to us for legs 4 and 5 of the route than it was on the first leg on day 1. Staying in the fancy “Rocks Hostel” in Capel Curig, we were up early once again for breakfast and to get our water and gear ready for the day.

Transport in the van took us to the road next to the Llyn (Lake) Peris in Llanberis where we started at 7:30am.

Llyn Peris up to Elidir Fach via Slate Quarries

The morning was misty which made for an eery climb up an extremely long (and steep) ramp up toward Elidir Fach and Elidir Fawr – the first two peaks of the day.

The ramp was a great work out for the calves. I alternated between flat footed climbing and raised heel climbing to allow my legs recovery as we went up. Even in the cool misty air we were all working up a sweat here.

The ramp was lined with what looked like copper strip – all the way up. I presume this is a lightning conductor in case of strikes higher up – taking the electricity down to ground and diverting it away from people. I may be wrong though. Drop a comment below if you know exactly what it’s use is, as I was curious myself.

The old mining houses were very interesting – all perfect copies and neatly position alongside one another. Small but convenient accomodation with a fire place each.

At the top of each ramp and climb was a massive winch mechanism which would have rolled up cable to pull carts or wagons up and down the ramps carrying slate. A big operation!

winch mechanism part of the way up the climb
A winch mechanism part of the way up the climb

Onward to the Glyderau

Passing a few more peaks, we then made our way on toward the Glyderau – or in English, the Glyders – a grouping of mountains. Passing the Mynydd Perfedd, Foel-goch, and Y Garn peaks had us next taking on the Glyders.

Cloud flying by as we came down the other side of Y Garn
Paddy Buckley Round Recce - heading toward the Glyderau
Another view as we came off Y Garn and headed toward the Glyderau range.

Near the bottom, we passed by Llyn y Cwn – a small lake before a sharp ascent up to Glyder Fawr. Here we stopped for a short rest and re-fuel.

I had some Naak Belgian Waffles with me to snack on here. A nice hit of carbs with added salt and electrolytes. I picked up some samples from UTS 50 earlier this year at one of the checkpoints. However I’ve since not been able to order more from their website (United Kingdom doesn’t appear in the list of countries to ship to!) They’re delicious, so it’s a bit of a shame.

The group starting the climb up to Glyder Fach

On this section we topped Glyder Fawr, Castell y Gwynt, and Glyder Fach which all sit at roughly 1000m elevation. The montainscape here is otherworldly – I always think it looks almost alien-like. There are sections with rock sticking out and weird angles, and massive boulders covering the mountain that have you climbing and scrambling over. It is a lot of fun.

We took some awesome group photos here, including a shot of us jumping on the Cantilever rock. Although its stood there for who knows how many years, I still didn’t trust it enough to put any effort into my jump 😂

Glyderau to the mighty Tryfan

Coming off the Glyders, we made our approach to the mighty Tryfan, a prominent and steep mountain which is very distinct in the area. I had climbed it before, but from the opposite side (starting at Lake Ogwen / Llyn Ogwen).

The scramble down toward Tryfan was quite tricky. It seems as though the rocks and mountainscape are constantly changing here, especially after heavy rain.

There were lots of loose rocks and scree everywhere, and so we picked our way down carefully, with loose rocks sliding out and rolling down from under our hands and feet. Caution was definitely required here as any mistake could send you down with enough momentum to not be able to easily stop yourself again.

climbing down off the Glyders toward Tryfan
Climbing down off the Glyders toward Tryfan

The ascent up Tryfan from this side wasn’t has difficult as from the Llyn Ogwen side as we descended down into the saddle which means you don’t have as much climb to do. At the top Justin and Chris were brave enough to climb Adam and Eve (two rocks sticking out and the very top, with the sheer drop right behind them) and do the “leap of faith”. It was a hard pass for me.

Adam and Eve leap of faith
Chris taking the leap of faith.

Here are a couple more photos taken from around this area of the day.

The Carneddau

Next on the list to tackle for the Paddy Buckley Round recce of leg 4 and 5 were the Carneddau – another mountain group in Snowdonia (Eryri).

We had ‘half day’ break in the car parking area at the bottom of Tryfan, refuelling on soup, biscuits, crisps, and other treats.

The next bunch of mountains we would summit were Pen yr Ole Wen, Carnedd Fach, Carnedd Dafydd, and Carnedd Llewelyn. These all sit at around 1000m of elevation with varying saddles and levels of descent between each.

The climb up to Pen yr Ole Wen follows a trail alongside the Afon Lloer (River Lloer). The sun was beating down and it was a very hot hike up.

Making my way up to Pen yr Ole Wen after passing Tryfan
Feeling the heat as I climbed up toward Pen yr Ole Wen.

The group was down to four of us at this point. Justin led the charge up and we all followed trying to match his pace. The various waterfalls and pooling river sections up were welcome for cooling down as we climbed further.

Cooling off point.

Once near the top, the effort got a bit easier with much of the ascent to the Carneddau cleared. We enjoyed more of a breeze up top, and worked our way across the range.

Back to Capel Curig to finish the Paddy Buckley Round recce experience

There were only a few more peaks left for us to tackle of leg 4 and 5 for the day. We hit three more that I can remember: Pen yr Helgi Du, Clogwyn Llech Lefn, and Pen Llithrig y Wrach. They all sit between roughly 600 and 850m of elevation.

The final descent down to Capel Curig took us through some boggy and grass rich landscape. We all pretty much just sailed down through this area with an increased pace, leaping the bogs and getting very muddy and dirty. After a long day out I think we were all keen to put our feet up and relax.

On the final road stretch a small competition broke out with who could sprint finish to the end quickest. I think we all kind of just settled into a tempo run though with nobody wanting to push too hard to the end.

The four of us pose for a ‘finished’ photo outside the Joe Brown shop in Capel Curig.

Another brilliant day out doing the Paddy Buckley Round recce experience, completing the total 100km, 47 peaks, and about 9000 meters of elevation.

5 thoughts on “Paddy Buckley Round Recce – Legs 4 and 5”

  1. Congratulations on completing the Paddy Buckley Round!
    Thanks for this last instalment. As always, your photos are magnificent. I think my favourite one this time is the one with the old mining cottages. So fascinating to imagine how it must have been when people where living and working there.
    I would have passed on both jumps: the Cantilever Rock one and the Adam and Eve one!

    I googled those Naak Belgium Waffles, they look tasty and just right for ultra food. We can get them in Switzerland (non-EU), I hope that in time you will get them in the UK, too!

    Will you write a post on the Dragon’s Back experience?

    • Thanks!

      And thanks again for the compliment on the photos Catrina. That was definitely a highlight for us. Everyone was fascinated with the mining cottages.

      My position on the cantilever rock was over the ‘breaking point’ where it would have broken, so it was not ideal (in my head!) That’s all that was going through my mind at the time.

      I can order the Naak waffles off Amazon, but its 3rd party sellers who have sourced them and then marked them up – so hopefully in time they sort out direct shopping to the UK. I’ll put the blame on that one to those who voted for ‘brexit’ to happen.

      Yes! I plan to write something up about Dragon’s Back – the whole experience hopefully, including a day-by-day route highlight. I’m not sure if I’ll do 6 x separate posts yet, or just 1 x big post that covers everything. TBD!

  2. Excellent write up Sean, great photos, brings back some fantastic memories, hopefully get to share some trails again some day with you.

    • Thanks Chris! It was a great experience, and fantastic lasting memories. If you find your way Pembrokeshire side give me a shout, otherwise perhaps if I’m South West toward your side sometime we can get some good trail runs in!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: