Walkers Stories

Brian Ruddin..The first to walk the Trail

That’s ST all packed for the start of the Snowdonia Slate Trail tomorrow. Weather isn’t looking great for the week so expect some mishaps. My train leaves Prestatyn at 06:47 and arrives in Bangor at 07:25 and I’ve got a 1.5 mile walk to the start point, I’m aiming to start walking on the trail about 8. ST has weighed in at 18kg that is 40lb in old money.

There’s a cocktail making event on the camp tonight so I could be starting the walk a little bit delicate. Until tomorrow night take care and stay safe.

Bri's Snowdonia Slate Trail - Day 1 Port Penrhyn to Llanberis.

Slow going today because of the weather, terrain and some mapping reading issues. The first two hours were dry but pretty much on the dot of 10 the heavens opened and it was relentless all day. Because of the slow going and reading a map upside down, which cost me 40 minutes. I cut short my planned stopover in my canvas home tonight in Waunfawr and have opted for a bunkhouse in Pete’s Eats in Llanberis. £16 for a bed and a shower, bargain considering the YHA wanted £58. I feel sorry for the other 7 in the room mind!

I apologise up front for the amount of photos I will be posting. This will be pictorial account of my walk and the list is quite long. 30 are on this post and I’ve got a few more I need to add.

I’ve had a few issues today, map reading aside I’ve lost two route maps, the end of my water carrier (sucker bit) is missing and everything is wet. On the plus side day 1 is done and I’ve coped. 20+ miles is planned for tomorrow to make up the mileage shortage from today, so an early night and an early start is on the agenda.

Only the 1 beer for me tonight because I need to dry everything out and have a shower. Night all, stay safe xx

PS I will try and do a video tomorrow.

Bri's Snowdonia Slate Trail - Day 2 - Llanberis to Beddgelert

Apologies, the update that I tried to put up yesterday didn’t post so I’m back tracking a bit. Here are a selection of photos with no description and 2 videos that I did. Stay safe xx

Video Diary

Bri's Snowdonia Slate Trail - Day 3 Beddgelert to Blaenau Ffestiniog

Hi All,

Not sure what happened to my post last night. The long and short of it I managed to get to Beddgelert which was just over 20 miles.

On to today and what a day it was, river walks, hill climbs, quarry exploring and then lunch at a reservoir. After lunch it was a short walk to the bunkhouse in Blaenau Ffestiniog. I stopped walking at 2 today to try and recharge the batteries, the weather has been challenging and has slowed me down. I’m expecting to have a tough day tomorrow and I’m not sure if I will make it to Betws-Y-Coed tomorrow night, time for a bit of re-planning. I’ve got my maps out in a pub and I’m sure after a couple of pints things will work themselves out.

View over Cwmorthin

I will be starting later tomorrow to try and avoid the tail end of the storm so its looking like I will finish the path on Friday not Thursday! On the flip side I’ve just had a call from the bunkhouse and I’ve been upgraded from a 6 man dormitory to a private room, happy days.

Fingers crossed that this post goes up, also, I will try to put up the videos that I did yesterday after this post. Until tomorrow stay safe

Video Diary

Bri's Snowdonia Slate Trail - Day 4 Blaenau Festiniog to Penmachno.

Hi All,

Another day spent in waterproofs apart from the odd burst of sun, even had hail today! Weather aside what a fantastic start to the day with walk to the Rhaeadr Cynfal Falls and up the Afon Cynfal, a place I will be coming back to soon. I even had the opportunity to bag a castle today which I will add to my album. I also had a lovely chat with the owner of Cwm farm and it’s fantastic that she is bringing such an old building back to life.

I had a few more map reading issues today which cost me a lot of time and two very wet feet. On the plus side Lisa is looking after me again and booked me into the The Eagles bunkhouse, the facilities are brilliant for £18 a night. I intend to make the most of the bath after having a few beers first. Until tomorrow stay safe.

Eagles pub and bunkhouse, Penmachno

Video Diary

Bri's Snowdonia Slate Trail - Day 5 Penmachno to Capel Curig.

Hi All, I’m calling this my tea day.

I didn`t leave the hostel until 9 in a desperate bid to try and dry my boots out. I Managed to find one radiator on in the corridor below, sorted, or so I thought! I went to retrieve my kit this morning and my make shift drying room/spot was cold! The radiator did come back on until 8 so I had no option to hang around a while to see what 1 hour on a radiator would do. That’s when my day of tea drinking began. 3 brews later we were good to go. Before I knew it I was at Conwy Falls and for some reason I felt the urge for anther pot of tea.

Conwy Falls Café

Fairy Glen next and then a short hop into Betws-Y-Coed for another brew stop on a train of all places. I managed a bit of site seeing and window shopping but needed to crack on. My next brew stop was the Ugly House, I have passed this many times but have never stopped, what a fantastic place and it is far from ugly.

Ugly House café

All brewed up, it was only a couple of miles to the hostel in Capel Curig. Somehow I managed to chalk up another 12 miles today.

Tonight is my last night on the trail so I will be lifting a glass or two to celebrate. Until tomorrow stay safe xx

Capel Curig hostel

Video Diary


Bri's Snowdonia Slate Trail - Day 6 Capel Curig to Bethesda.

Another day on the path in waterproofs and the worst yet. 6 days on the bounce who would have thought it! I started walking at 9 this morning after a decent kip in Plas Curig and a big breakfast in Moel Siabod cafe. I was going great guns to Tryfan bit slowed up for about 2 miles to negotiate the path to Ogwen Cottage. The last section into Bethesda was easy going and a nice end to a fantastic trail.

Pont Pen y Benglog, Ogwen Cottage

Trail mileage and times
Day 1 – Port Penrhyn to Llanberis – 14.2 miles time on trail 8hrs 45mins
Day 2 – Llanberis to Beddgelert – 20.2 miles time on trail 11hrs 45mins
Day 3 – Beddgelert to Blaenau Ffestiniog – 11 miles time on trail 6hrs 45mins
Day 4 – Blaenau Ffestiniog to Penmachno – 17 miles time on trail 10hrs 15mins
Day 5 – Penmachno to Capel Curig – 12 miles time on trail 7hrs
Day 6 – Capel Curig to Bethesda – 12.2 miles time on trail 5hrs

Total completed = 85.6miles
Total time on trail = 78hrs 45mins

Thank you to everyone for following my latest adventure and for all the likes and comments. I apologise for not replying to each one, I didn’t have time. If anyone is considering a long distance path then I would recommend this without hesitation. I will be back next year to do it again, but next time in bite size chunks and without my 40lb pack!

To everyone involved in bringing this trail to life I salute you. It’s a fantastic tour of Snowdonia and has taken me to places I’ve never considered before. For everyone that I have spoken to, thank you for taking the time to listen. For everyone that served me food and drinks, thank you, you are all amazing.

To Aled and the team of volunteers, you’ve got something special here and I’m positive that this will be known as one of the best trails in the UK. I do hope in the future that it’s also recognised as a national trail.

Until next time, stay safe xxx

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