I left you in at the Vynol Arms in Nant Peris after walking from the “Snowdon Honey Farm Shop” in Llanberis, I trust you are suitably refreshed and ready to join me on the next part of our walk.
The little leaflet we were following said we had three options to return to Llanberis, firstly we could re-trace our steps through the Nant Peris park and this would give us a gentle walk of about four miles in total, but it also detailed two other walks back each totaling about 7 miles each.
According to the map, one of the walks should have started almost opposite the footpath we had just come out of, unfortunately I couldn’t find the start to this one so we headed off back along the road in a Llanberis direction until we picked up the start of the second.
Look carefully at the next picture, can you see the path we followed up through the slate quarry ?
See the wooden posts of the fence to our left as you walk along the tarmac path, ok, now can you see the same posts, just a row of pale dots, underneath the copyright logo higher up ? This is part of our path as we zig-zagged further towards the sky. Let your eyes follow across from right to left and look for the deep ‘V’ in the skyline, this is where the mountain had been opened up at some time to allow the path to pass through.
Remember how comforting it is to see the words “You are here” on a map ? We found “Vous et ici” when lost in Nice, France, and on our map, displayed on two large posts as we were heading upwards in a slate quarry on the highest mountain in Wales, the Welsh words “Rydych chi yma” were just as comforting here too.
Take a look again at the map, the road you can see on the opposite side of Lyn Peris lake to where we were is the one we followed from Llanberis, the layby is small, but quite easily visible and at the end of the layby the road continues on to the left while the path through Nant Peris Park goes off to the right.
We had followed the park path to meet up with the road further on and then walked back to where the red line on the map shows the start of the slate quarry walk.
How’s this for a view… Lyn Peris, Dolbadarn Castle, Lyn Padyrn and Llanberis, with mountains opening up behind them.
Did I mention the triathlon we were in Llanberis to watch? Well I believe that after a dip in Lyn Padyrn, and then a cycle race away on mountain roads, the route for the run part of the race went along the edge of the lake on the power station side and via a private road which was especially opened for the runners, allowing them to follow the same route as our climb up through the quarry.
The path was wide enough for a car to take us to the top but we were walking, and I can’t imagine even for just one second how hard it was to run the route on the following day.
After zig-zagging upwards the appearance of a second “you are here” sign gave both my legs and my breathing a chance to catch up with me. At this stage we were joined on our trek by a second path, I’m guessing this is where we would have arrived from if we had found the earlier route on our little leaflet.
Onwards and upwards. Through the parted mountain at the highest point on our journey for the day and finally to a slight downward turn in the trudge. The views were breathtaking…. we’ll, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
As our walk headed downwards slightly we took a slight detour off to a viewing platform to take in the views. On our left we could see Lyn Peris, with the quarry, The route we had followed wasn’t easy to make out from here but I think we climbed up on the softer looking slate to the other side of the harsh slate walls blasted out by the mining. Below, the view to our right looked down on the triathlon event village, the track heading forwards from out of the trees, alongside the railway line would be a welcome sight to the runners as they neared the finish line.
If you’re following along with this walk at a later date, look out for the viewing station, if you’re tired and wondering if the extra distance is really going to be worth it, then let me assure you it most definitely is.
After some much less strenuous footwork we found ourselves looking at the final path-side map, the red lines appear to show another route which we might well try at a different date, but this time we followed the slate gravel path to the end of the line and arrived, as our little leaflet had suggested at the Dinorwig village car park.
More from before : posts about “Llanberis” and other walks in Snowdonia.