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Another physical challenge successfully completed! - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
Another physical challenge successfully completed!
A few weeks ago, I cycled to Barmouth which was the first of my self-imposed physical challenges for this year. Yesterday I achieved another, which was to climb Cadair Idris. Again it was an isolated fine sunny day that tempted me to just go for it and though I definitely didn't set any records for speed, I plodded my way all the way to the summit.

The view from the top.

Cadair Idris summit trig point

To start at the beginning, this is the view of Cadair Idris from the lane, just before passing through the gate to the footpath to the summit. The house is Ty Nant.

Ty Nant & Cadair Idris

The path I went up is the most popular one. It climbs up from the Dolgellau side and is known as the Pony Path because apparently in Victorian times, people used to pay to be taken up on pony-back. Because so many people use the route, the path now has been surfaced with rocks or stone slabs for most of way up, though to my surprise, someone had taken a pony up there recently because there were hoof prints up near the summit. But we haven't reached the summit yet. This is the view on the ascent of the lower slopes, looking back the way I had come.

Looking back down

Heading ever higher towards the ridge leading to the summit. Cadair Idris (Idris's Chair) is more of a mini-mountain range than a single peak.

The path to the ridge

This is the steep and dramatic side. The cliffs are the reason why the path has to take an easier route to the ridge and then follow the ridge to the highest point.

Cadair Idris

Still not quite at the top, this is the classic view looking down at Llyn y Gadair.

Llyn y Gadair

Despite there being a sign at the bottom saying that bikes weren't allowed, there were half a dozen cyclists on the mountain. Here one begins his descent.

Cyclist near the summit

I would not normally contemplate walking up a mountain alone, but I knew that on a fine Saturday, there would be plenty of other people around should anything happen to me. Also I had deliberately waited for a good day, so getting lost or suffering from exposure were just not going to happen. As you can see, it's a very popular mountain.

A very popular mountain

Oh, and at this point, just as I was feeling really pleased with myself for making it so far, I passed a group with a small child of about 5-6 years old. There was also a small terrier with very short legs who had also made it, so really it's not that difficult a climb. :)

Almost there now!

Almost at the top!

I did get a little anxious when I set off back down because I realised that no one else was coming up, so the people who were at the top when I left were the only others on the mountain and if they passed me on the way down -- perfectly possibly considering the speed I was going! -- I would have been alone, which is not good. But though I saw a couple following me in the distance, they didn't catch me up, so all was well and though the sun was sinking towards the west, the light hadn't really started to fade and I made it back down to the car park at about 6.30 pm.

Evening descent

Today I haven't done very much at all, but I'm not as stiff as I feared.

Current state of play regarding the physical challenges:

1) Climb Cadair Idris (893 metres / 2930 feet)
2) Cycle to Barmouth and back (17½ miles / 28 km)
3) Run to Penmaenpool (2 miles / 3.2 km)
4) Make a 3-5 minute hooping video outdoors (somewhere beautiful!)

I have actually done one 10 minute "run". That is I ran until I was out of breath, then walked for a bit, then ran for a bit etc. for five minutes, then turned round and repeated the process until I got back home. But the two big challenges that required good weather to be enjoyable are now achieved.

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/65889.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

19 comments or Leave a comment
pickledginger From: pickledginger Date: September 23rd, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
That looks gorgeous! But the wind up there probably gets fierce. Glad you found a nice clear day while it's still fairly warm.
pickledginger From: pickledginger Date: September 23rd, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Looks much more pleasant! Your previous trip reminds me of a couple of hikes up Mount Washington.
sartorias From: sartorias Date: September 23rd, 2012 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh that is so beautiful--the colors so subtle. I wish we could get a lens into the past to see who placed the path stones, and who built that low wall and why.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 23rd, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
The path stones are recent. So many people climb up there that the Snowdonia National Park authority are always "improving" the path to combat the erosion of thousands of booted feet. Sadly it makes it seem less wild, especially the part that I didn't photograph that could have been a gravel path in a park. There was a little digger (back hoe) and bags of gravel up there yesterday, so they're still at it.
sartorias From: sartorias Date: September 23rd, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's still pretty, tho.
ritaxis From: ritaxis Date: September 23rd, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good for you. This is inspiring me to . . . I don't known yet, but I'm supposed to be doing some intensive physical conditioning myself.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 23rd, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was green_knight that started this idea when she mentioned planning to do a bike ride of a similar length. That combined with my dislike of the usual sort of New Year Resolution led to me setting myself a bunch of interesting challenges instead.

Pick something you'd like to do that's just a little beyond your current fitness level and it gives you a reason to improve. Also going public helps. I wouldn't have set off yesterday and I'd probably have turned back at the three quarter mark on the bike ride if I hadn't posted my challenges on LJ. :)
ritaxis From: ritaxis Date: September 23rd, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
My current fitness level is terrible. Partly because of the arthritis, but only indirectly. The arthritis doesn't stop me doing things: it doesn't hurt that much and it hurts more if I do less, but it feels weird and it's more tiring to haul my legs around with less functional knees. However, it's embarrassing to do things with people because I'm clumsy and slow, and I don't do things by myself that easily. So that's what I have to overcome. I'm actually in better shape than I was at the beginning of the year because I've been going to physical therapy and doing the exercises (with more or less diligence, varying from week to week), and also riding my bike to places I would have walked to before things got so weird with my legs.

So I have to think. My goals would have to eb set for shorter time periods, I think, like "walk the length of Pogonip before the first surgery" (that's pretty modest) or "ride to the University farm before surgery" (also modest) -- but wait, I could probably do those now, so I should try them to see where I really am before setting actual goals.

Thank you for helping me think about this.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 23rd, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
As you saw, both the cycle ride and the climb up Cadair were done alone, but I got used to doing things by myself because I found that if it was something another member of the family wanted to do as well, I could have company, but if it was just something I wanted to do, I either did it alone or didn't do it at all. This goes back to when the kids were still at home, so I got used to it. I'll go to the cinema alone if necessary, as well as walking and cycling. But I'm glad my exploits have been helpful to you.
nutmeg3 From: nutmeg3 Date: September 23rd, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Go you! And that last shot is just gorgeous. So wild and beautiful.
heatherp8 From: heatherp8 Date: September 23rd, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
way to go, you!!
I'm in awe. You're amazing!
Thanks for sharing pix.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 23rd, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I am really feeble really, but I'm trying to be less so. :)
asakiyume From: asakiyume Date: September 23rd, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a tremendous journey. I can well understand your nervousness at coming down alone ,or seemingly so, at first--there's something about dusk coming on, a sense that you'll get swallowed up and the world will change--you really might end up in another world, and it's unsettling.

That last shot, the tree and the sky like mother-of-pearl, is beautiful.
brownnicky From: brownnicky Date: September 23rd, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am so impressed. You might have inspired me too. I definitely need to get fit.
rezendi From: rezendi Date: September 24th, 2012 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Spectacular. Also, admirable.
readthisandweep From: readthisandweep Date: September 24th, 2012 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)
All hail the conqueror!
I've climbed Cadir Idris so I know the light & shade of it.
It's a real achievement. :)
khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: September 29th, 2012 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Well done! (And great photos too!)
endlessrarities From: endlessrarities Date: October 7th, 2012 08:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow! That looked really marvellous!! And the weather!!!!!

I am very, jealous - from the views of the 'craggy' side, it reminded me very much of Hellvellyn/Dollywaggon etc. in the Lakes...
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