Monday, 12 October 2015

Cadair Idris via the Pony Path – Birthday walk

Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to me…….. You know how it goes. Well as you can guess it was my birthday and as for my treat we ventured across to Aberdovey for the weekend. We arrived late on Friday night after a quick stop in Machynlleth for supplies; our base for the weekend was a 2 bed bungalow 3 miles west of Aberdovey along the A493. My planned walk took us up onto Cadair Idris as it was close to our base. This would be the fifth time I have ventured up Cadair Idris but my first up the Pony Path so it would feel like something new.

At the start of the Pony Path there is a National Park car park by Ty-Nant which also has a handy toilet block. It is a nice setting with a stream cascading past. From the car park you turn right over the bridge then after about 100m left along a clearly marked path up past Ty-Nant farm. The path rises up through livestock filled farm land so it is wise to keep your dog on a lead, although the cows must be used to people and their canine companions as they didn’t seem to care when we walked past them. We passed through a couple of gates with the impressive sight of Cyfrwy on our left looming above us. After a while the gradient started to kick up onto Rhiw Gwedydd, this is only a short section with a couple of switchbacks but it is a steep walk and you do gain height rather quickly, once up on the saddle we turned left at the double stile boundary, again and as always on this walk the path is clear and easily followed.

The path gradient now pretty much stays the same from this point all the way to final little little scramble up to the summit trig point. As you get closer to the top you are rewarded with some grand views of Llyn y Gadair down to the left from the ridge line. The wind was now pretty strong at this height and I didn’t want to get too close to the edge as it was blowing in that direction, not that it was that strong but better safe than sorry. As I mentioned earlier the final stretch up to the trig point is an easy scramble and then you are there 893m up. The clouds were rolling over the summit quickly giving good views one minute then snatching them away the next.

After a quick wonder around the shelter area snapping the views when possible it was time to head back down the. The descent back the way we came was plain sailing as it was a nice gradient and a simple clearly defined walk. I can see way the Pony Path is classed as the easiest way up Cadair Idris. The route up from Minffordd is still my favourite but that is by no means belittling the Pony Path, it was thoroughly enjoyable and gave me a different perspective of this classic mountain. We arrived back at the car park again with my customary military precision after we sorted ourselves out and got in the car we had 1 min to spare before the ticket ran out…… Obviously timed to perfection well that is what I’m claiming anyway.

The day was rounded off with Takeaway Fish & Chips on Aberdovey beach from Shelley’s of Dovey, not sure if it was because I was hungry but they were one the best Fish & Chips I’ve had.

How that for timing - 1 min to spare.


  1. Nice one and happy birthday :-)
    Like you I have done Cadair a few times in different weathers. A great day out with some great views form the summit.

    1. Cheers Andy much appreciated. Indeed a thoroughly enjoyable day with the family. Thanks for the comment.