The view from the top.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Still not quite at the top, this is the classic view looking down at 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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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