Cadair Idris is probably the most spectacular mountain in Wales outside of the main three mountain massifs in the north. Some say it is the best and I wouldn't argue. Due to its less accessible geographic location it is often much quieter the more popular north. The Cadair Idris massif is a fantastic example of a glacial landscape sculptured by the last Ice Age. This incredible walk takes you round the narrow rim of its most impressive cwm. Cwm Cau is a stunning amphitheatre of huge cliffs towering and circling the beautiful waters of Llyn Cau. On the first leg of the walk there are fine examples of glacial moraine and boilerplate slabs on the valley en route to Llyn Cau, and a fantastic journey through the woodlands above Minffordd at the start of the walk. The summit known as Penygadair has awesome views and a welcoming stone shelter building. The descent takes you along a ridge walk to Mynydd Moel from which you then descend back to Minffordd to complete one of Wales's best horseshoe walks. This was the first mountain I ever climbed to the summit of back in 2004, and before I was born my mother made the same ascent in the early days of her pregnancy with me.
Last updated by Jamie Bassnett 22nd Sep 2011
Edited by Nicole Bassnett 13th Nov 2011
The weather is a very important part of hill walking. Weather conditions and daylight hours will dictate where you walk, what gear you will need to carry, how far you walk, and may even decide if you go at all. The following links will help you gather information on weather conditions for areas of Britain...
Planning your journey before you set off for your walk can save you vital hours on the day. You need to make sure you know the area surrounding your starting point as many factors can influence or change the place you park. Don't forget change for parking meters and fees.
Maintenance of your vehicle and being ready for breakdown situations when driving to remote areas is also vital. Pack a full spare petrol can in your boot, and take de-icing tools in winter, including a shovel. The Transport Direct website below is a great resource for anyone wanting to get to the start of their walk using public transport...
Carrying and wearing the right gear is essential for walkers to remain comfortable and safe while hill walking in Britain. However, the best gear in the world is of no use to anyone who doesn't know how to use and care for it. Knowing how to use your gear will give you a much more enjoyable experience. The following items are, in my opinion, the essential items to wear and carry for a hill walk in Britain. It would be foolish to head into the hills and mountains of Britain without these essential items and the knowledge of how to use them. Check out the gear section of this site for techniques and gear lists...
It is good practise to tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return. If you don't get in contact when you said you would on your return, and those you told can't get hold of you, at least they will be able to provide the search party with your general location.
Emergency equipment in the check list above means items such as a survival bag, whistle, and emergency food rations. This isn't anything special; any whistle will do, the orange emergency bags only costs a few pounds, and basic food rations can consist of a couple of chocolate bars. Carrying a head lamp is also an important component and a vital piece of kit used for signalling when you require rescuing.
You should always try and get out of a difficult or emergency situation using your own gear, knowledge and energy. If you cannot do this, then you should dial 999 and ask for the police. Use all the gear you have to keep any unwell or injured members of your party or yourself safe and warm, and use your signalling devices to let the rescuers know your whereabouts. To do this blow six good long blasts on your whistle, or flash six flashes of your torch. Stop for one minute. Repeat. Carry on with the whistle blasts until someone reaches you, and don't stop because you've heard a reply.
Never contact mountain rescue unless absolutely necessary, but on the other hand don't ever feel guilty for having to do so, especially if you are a prepared walker. The Mountain Rescue teams are full of fantastic like-minded souls who love nothing more than people who are prepared for being safe in the mountains.