Father’s day ‘Brew with a View’ on the Cadair Idris

I spent Father’s Day on a geocaching get together, at the top of Cadair Idris.
I had done the research, and had found the best (easiest) route (for me) and worked out possible timings. I collected my niece Ann, at 7 (ish) and drove to the Ty Nant Cadair Idris carpark at just after 8, so we were well on schedule. We met a man there called Kev who was also going to the event, which was called ‘A Brew with a View’. A guy with the handle of Jurassic Parkinsons organises them at three monthly intervals, and they are always on a mountain or similar, and often at a geocache that is not visited that often. A dozen or so people turning up at a geocache injects it with a lot of logs.

We teamed up with Kev and set off up the Pony Path and Ann and Kev promptly brought up the subject of collecting the geocaches scattered along the route, which seemed like a very good idea to me. There were three along the path and three at and near the summit. There is a geocache at the car park, but as I was the only one who hadn’t got it, I decided to get that one when we RTBd.

0904 Cloud wrapped Cadair Idris
Our first view of Cadair Idris

0906 Cadair Idris
The North Face

0911 On the Pony Path up Cadair Idris
Ann and Kev heading cloudwards

0912 The north face of Cadair Idris
Mountains and clouds seem to go together quite a lot.

0919 Cadair Idris in clouds
Not far to the top

We got two of the three geocaches along the path, and even with an extended search on the third (which we didn’t find) we arrived at the hut at the summit an hour early. The summit was shrouded in cloud, and while we ate our sandwiches, the winds and rain hit the mountain. The hut was like Waterloo station, walkers coming, munching, and going. and several came in dripping with water. The Brew with a View crew turned up, and by the time the event was over, (it lasted 30 minutes) the rain had gone too.

0926 On Cadair Idris below Penygadair
Ann and Kev heading for Pen-y-Gader from Penygadair.

0929 On Cadair Idris below Penygadair
Clouds and rocks.

0938 The valley from the northe edge of Cadair Idris
The landscape reappears

0940 Llyn y Gadair
Llyn y Gadair.

We(!) had nabbed the geocaches near the summit, in a break in the rain, so when we all scattered our various ways, Ann, Kev and I headed off piste for the third geocache near the summit of Pen-y-Gader. As we headed for the geocache the cloud began to lift and so I rather got involved with taking pictures. Ann and Kev had found the geocache by the time I caught them up. Getting left behind is an occupational hazard when taking photographs, but the geocache was in the middle of a scree field, so perhaps I should have waited until they got off it before catching them up. How do you get scree on the top of a mountain? That’s what I thought, and a daft place to stick it.

0943 Dyfi estuary from Pen-y-Gader
Dyfi estuary from Pen-y-Gader.

0949 Ty Nant that way somewhere
The valley holding Ty Nant

0953 On the Pony Path back to Ty Nant
Walking down the Pony Path

0956 Cadair Idris from Ty Nant farmland
Cadair Idris cloud free as we leave it’s slopes behind.

The walk down turned into a sunny amble, as the clouds lifted a bit more and revealed more of the wider landscape. Ann had walked up the other (harder) side of Cadair Idris a short while ago with a mountain walking group and on that day the weather was wonderful and the views were fabulous. We did a second search for the missed geocache, Kadair Kats, and tips from caches at the meet didn’t help much. The, “If they found it, so can we”, mentality kicked in and we kept widening our search until we (Ann) found it. I did find one cache that we searched for, so I wasn’t completely useless, LoL.

0959 Farmland opposite Ty Nant
Farmland opposite Ty Nant.

0960 Foxgloves at the stream
Foxgloves beside a stream.

0962 Stream at Ty Nant
Stream at Ty Nant

0963 Pony Path at Ty Nant
Pony Path at Ty Nant.

0965 Road bridge at Ty Nant
Road bridge at Ty Nant.

0967 Picnic Platz at Cadair Idris car park at Ty Nant
Picnic Platz at Cadair Idris car park at Ty Nan.

It was, all in all, actually a very nice day; the walk up; all the chit chat; meeting lots of people; even the clouds and mist, and getting some photos, were all fun. Being joined by Kev was great as he is well chatty. He has gammy legs so he was almost as slow as me on the way up, but he doesn’t half shift on the way down. Me? I’m slower going down than going up. Hills really shouldn’t be that hard when going down!! The only down (ha ha) side was the aching legs the day after. The best part of the day though was the drive home with Ann through the forested valleys, so prettily dressed in their spring greens – we live in such a beautiful part of the world.

Fathers Day was rounded off for me with phone calls from my darlings, and Jules had baked a Lemon Drizzle cake from a recipe by Merry Berry – yummeeeeeeee.

The ‘Brew With a View’ crew keep notes, and we were taking the micky out of them, and said that it should be called a Brew Without a View! The facts are that out of 24/25 events, only seven have have had good weather enabling the views to be viewed, LoL.

Nant Ffrancon – Waterfalls and Woods

It’s Valentines day, and Jules made me a card and wrote wonderful things in it. I was going to make Jules a card, and it was all planned in my mind and then …. I forgot. So as penance, I took her to Nant Ffrancon for a delicious coffee latte and fruit, all of which was made by my own fair hands. Then I left her in the car while I took photos of waterfalls, and then later on I left her in the car while I walked into a wood to find a geocache. Jules?? She had the radio to listen to, and her cross-stitching to do – I know – I’m so romantic!!

621 Julies Valetine card
My card Julie made for me.

We had been waiting all week to get some nice sunny weather so that I could photograph some waterfalls for the Compositionally Challenged bonus theme – motion. There are some nice waterfalls and fall-lets in Nant Ffrancon which I was hoping to experiment with. When we left home for the short drive, the sun was being recalcitrant and steadfastly hiding behind the clouds, but when stopped for our coffee and fruit, there were gaps in the sky and it was looking quite good.

502 Lower slopes of Carnedd Fach
Rocks, clouds and snow, seen from the Coffee stop.

The main road follows the eastern side of the valley, and a single track road hugs the west side. There are some places where the road has flat grassy spots for a car to pull on to, should you meet someone coming the other way. I parked on one of these near the waterfall, much to Julie’s consternation, as she had the drop on her side of the car.

508 waterfall in Nant Ffrancon
The Main Waterfall

507 waterfall in Nant Ffrancon
A Fall-let

515 waterfall in Nant Ffrancon
Detail at top of the fall

So from one waterfall to another. The Rhaeadr Ogwen – Ogwen Waterfall to you and I – and it was in full spate, but I didn’t feel we had the time to investigate the amazing cataract hurtling down the rocks to the valley floor, so I stopped beside the main road and had a quick peek from a handy outcrop of rock.

530 Rhaeadr Ogwen
Feeders for the Rhaeadr Ogwen.

537 Y Garn from Rhaeadr Ogwen
View over top of Rhaeadr Ogwen to Y Garn

The holes in the clouds were pinpointing parts of the valley and so another quick park and shoot on the way towards the geocache.

539 Looking down Nant Ffrancon
Sunlight pools in Nant Ffrancon

I thought I knew exactly where the geocache was going to be, so I parked at the entrance to the wood called Coed Ogwen Bank, and turned on the GPS. The geocache was about 250 metres away, but to the east rather than the west where I had expected it to be. As usual, I thought I could find a short cut to it, and to be fair, it was probably shorter than going into the wood where the car was and following the path. However, it was up the side of a hill more suited to four foot drive, like a sheep. I followed the sheep paths, (they like to zigzag too by the way), to end up near to the geocache, but on the wrong side of a wall and rock, which towered over my head. I carried on up the slope that followed the wall, until I got to a chunk of rock that allowed me to climb up level with the wall, and step over it.

549 Penrhyn Quarry slate heaps
The sun highlighting the slate/slag heaps

The ‘compass’ on the GPS showed that I wasn’t very far from the geocache, and I quickly got there and spotted the hiding place. The ‘GPS’ compass works like a magnetic one, except it always points to the geocache, where a real compass points to magnetic north. You have to tell it which geocache you want to go to, and it also tells us how far away it is. I use metres, but it also does miles and yards should I wanted it to.

550 Geocache hiding place
The hiding place. There is a small cave down the side, but I didn’t have time to see it.

617 Geocache items
The geocache, a bottle, log and GPS

With the log signed, it seemed sensible to follow the path back to the car, and I can do sensible sometimes, and this was one of them. It only took eleven minutes to get back to the car, including a few stops for photos. I suppose I should have followed the instructions in the Geocache pages, but it adds a bit of fun to experiment occasionally!!

554 Coed Ogwen Bank
The woodland path

557 The Bethesda end of Nant Ffrancon
So that was the best route to the car then, LoL.
Card for Jules
A very quick attempt – but it’s the thought that counts.

Llyn Padarn – revisited

We went out for a drive yesterday – Friday – and the skies were clear and the mountains were dressed in snow, like this.

367 Snowdonia viewed from A55
Snowdonia Snow

You can imagine what went through my head this morning, "If the mountains were so good yesterday, then lets go to the mountains."

A quarter of a mile down the road, as we are just on the edge of our village, and we see the mountains … and … not a lot of snow, so who nicked the stuff? Full of misgivings, we decided to carry on to the mountains, and in the end we were well pleased.

We skipped the bit where we stop at the end of our favourite lake – Llyn Padarn – and went to our regular picnic platz, which funnily enough, is on the side of Llyn Padarn. This proved to be a good move, as we were entertained by a Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) diving into the lake and returning to a handy rock to eat whatever it had found. So we had our coffee lattes and fruit and watched the birds and a coxless four row to the end of the lake. To be honest, the coxless four didn’t actually do the rowing, the four students in it did the rowing – but you guessed didn"t you?

391 Coxless four on Lln Padarn
Ladies Coxless Four on Llyn Padarn.

We drove further along the lake, checking out the bird life and checking out the photo opportunities. The snow line was higher than yesterday, but we still got some photogenic shots.

386 Castell Dolbadarn
Castell Dolbadarn

393 Quarry and snow
Quarry and Snow

401 Quarry ruin and snow
Quarry ruin

403 Elidir Fawr above Llanberris Quarry
Elidir Fawr

407.8.9 Nant Peris panorama
Nant Peris over Llyn Peris Panoramic

Time now to head home, but of course, we still had a date with the view at the end of the lake.

415 Brynrefail Bridge
The bridge, the best vantage point for viewing the Llyn Padarn

426 Llyn Padarn
The beautiful Snowdonia, and Llyn Padarn in particular.

I think I will have to start photographing other places, or you’ll all think I’ve got no imagination – LoL.

A Missing Geocache – maybe!

So why the Maybe! I’m not perfect, and I was out looking for a geocache to fill a box in the Date Found matrix, with just my pal, a borrowed geohound called Max.

I’m actually putting this here so that the CO can check and tell me if I’ve been looking in the wrong place, allowing me to go back for another hunt should that be the case.

Max and the 'maybe' hiding place.

Max and the ‘maybe’ hiding place.

Third Party Statistics – by project-gc.com/

I’m not sure I like this very much, but I haven’t viewed it enough to decide either way. It’a a bit bright and brash. I’ll amend the pros and cons as I gain more experience with it.

The good points are:
1. It updates automatically – (a) every day if you buy into the site. (b) weekly if you don’t.

2. The major stats I like, especially because the yearly matrix showing us which days of the year we’ve found caches on, is accurate.

The bad point(s)
1. The brash colours make deciphering the information harder than necessary.
2. The Maps list the counties you have found geocaches in, but don’t list ones you still need.

I wrote that the map(s) are inaccurate. The map of the UK appears to show that I have not found geocaches in Lincolnshire and Somerset.

However, if we press or click on the headings over the various maps, we are taken to the next level of maps. So at the top level, click on the ‘South West England’ and a map appears of Devon and Cornwall etc. This new level comes with more info, telling us which counties, and other unitary authorities, that we have found geocaches in. So the ‘problem’ is more info and not less.

I thought I’d found a Somerset geocache, but it was actually in an area called ‘Bath and North East Somerset’, so the majority of Somerset still shows as white/unfounded. I thought I’d found a geocache in Lincolnshire, but it seems I found it in ‘North Lincolnshire’. There are other areas on the Project-GC maps that are white, but on my other Geocaching maps are showing found. I dare say that when I investigate those, the anomalies will be solved by similar, more up-to date county and sub county borders. Looks like I have some more geocaching to do. LoL.

Costs to join the site.

1 year membership €18.00 )
2 year membership €34.00 ) They aren’t exactly giving a lot away.
3 year membership €48.00 )

Membership advantages.

Features that are for members only this far are:

Multi Map Compare – Compare finds on a map between more than two geocachers.
Stat Compare – Compare basic statistics with other geocachers. You can compare with many profiles at once.
Custom Filters – Build advanced filters and save them for later use. Not 100% done yet.
Map Regions – A map-tool to help you find caches in new regions.
Map Counties – A map-tool to help you find caches in new counties.
Profile Stats – Settings – Enable/Disable modules manually.
Route Builder – Build routes for use in filters.
Virtual GPS – Add caches to your Virtual GPS and build GPX’s.
Profile Stats – Daily refresh – The Profile stats are generated weekly for non paying members. With an upgraded account they will be updated daily.
Profile Stats – Custom cache lists – Create custom cache lists, either for finds or hides in your Profile Stats.
Changelog – See the changelog for the site.
Solved Mysteries – Plot a map with all the caches you have saved final coordinates for on Geocaching.com.
My Finds GPX – Automatically generated My Finds GPX files that you can download.
Event Notifiers – Advanced notifiers for events, where you can filter on number of Will attend, location data and distance.
Edited logs Notifiers – Receive a daily email with all the logs on geocaches that you own that Project-GC has detected as edited.
FP Notifiers – Receive a daily email telling you who has added or removed favorite points from your geocaches.
Friends – Add friends to easier see them in top lists or to check out what they have logged recently.
Additional filters – There are a few filters only available to paying members, for example the loop filter and the cache name filter.
Multi country/region/county-select in filters – Select any amount of countries/regions/counties at once in the filter system.
Less filter requirements – Most top lists have filter requirements due to performance reasons. Most of these has been removed for subscribers.
No ads – An ad-free site. Specially great for those with very small monitors (low resolution) where the right ad unit might be in the way sometimes.

Some of the above functions requires premium membership at Geocaching.com as well.

Now you can browse this post and make your own mind up – BUT – before you do, I’d better mention that you will see some headings below. Left clicking on one will take you to my stats in the project-gc.com site, and you’ll find more headings, such as the maps to view. Have fun.

GC4QBV8 Chorley Challenge #13 Island Hopper

My lovely niece discovered this little challenge, and by now, you’ll realise that I am a fan these kinds of geocaches.

I thought that the challenge is to find a geocache on 8 different islands, but on rereading the Geocache instructions, the challenge is to find 8 geocaches on islands, which isn’t the same thing. The islands can be in rivers and lakes, or just off the coast, and have to be ones that you have to wade, swim, or row to. Obviously, there is not much difference between walking and wading, just the luck of the tide. Visit the cache on Geocaching.com for the full instructions.

I’ve now got the full complement of geocaches that I need to qualify for this challenge cache as I understood it. There’s a few of us around Caernarfon that are doing this challenge, and hopefully, we’ll have a car load of gals and guys to make another fun day trip to Chorley.

The chasm between land and island
1. GC2V1PO The Island 28th April 2011

Egwlys Bach y Mor, the church in the sea - St Cwyfan
2. GC15EZJ Coastal Church 12th February 2012

The island, showing the cave mouth.>
3. GC12QCH Moe’s Tavern 9th June 2013

Ballast Island, Portmadog
4. GCT0D3 Ballast Island 24th June 2012

Hi-tech meets lo-tech.
5. GC4MJRB Island Hopping on Llyn Padarn 8th September 2013

Horses on Ynys Llanddwyn
6. GC2G809 Geomon #9 Llanddwn Melange 20th November 2011

Islets in Loch Creran
7. GC30MNX No Man can Tether Time nor Tide 23rd March 2013

04 Ynys y Fydlyn
8. GC1BZ5D Mini-island 17th June 2014

GC3YE4Q Chorley Challenge #11 County Traveller

The challenge set in this geocache is to find and log 5 different geocaches in 5 different English Counties. If you fancy going for the challenge, check out the title geocache for the complete gen.

Colour on a Lincolnshire backroad
Lincolnshire colour

I haven’t found the title geocache yet, but my qualifying finds are as follows, which CairnDhuSeekers and myself found on day two of our three day, ‘Grab a County’ trip in Nov 2013. We also got Rutland on this day

13th November 2013
South Yorkshire. . . . . GC3BA07 – Off Yer Trolley – Small Blue
East Riding Yorkshire. GC3D5WT – M62 Jct 36 Cache and Dash
Lincolnshire . . . . . . . . GC4DH1R – A Simple ‘Bread & Butter’ Cache
Nottinghamshire. . . . . GC2QTA1 – Coddington TB/GC Rest-stop
Liecestershire . . . . . . GC4C3DF – Off Yer Trolley-Melton Mowbray

Sunset near the Edge of Rutland Water
Sunset in Rutland

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