The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Y Garn, Nantlle Ridge



After a frankly brilliant early morning visit to the Llyn Brenig monuments, how would one top that on a hazy but sunny equinox morning, answer, climb a mountain, sans step ladders of course.
Taking my que from Gladman as ever in Snowdonia, I started my climb from Rhyd Ddu, where there is parking for half a dozen cars on the road side.
The footpath is clear and well trodden, the route visible right up to the top, though Gladders had mentioned twice how steep it is, I was still taken aback by how steep it is. The often rediculous path is sometimes barely two feet from the edge of a near vertical drop, twice vertigo got a grip of me and at the soonest opportunity I had to drop to the floor planting myself on the ground , then take lots of pictures to take my mind off just how scared of heights I can get, why oh why would someone who is afraid of heights climb a mountain, same answer as ever because it's there. But that's a daft answer, mostly iv'e come to see the cairns, and those views, those spine tingling jaw dropping goose bumping views that make you want to stay forever.

Eventually the eastern cairn comes into view and a deep sigh of relief escapes me, I walk round the edge of the summit never daring to get too close to the edge. From up here it seems the whole national park is on offer, so many cairn topped mountains, Moel Hebog is south, Mynnydd Mawr is north, east is Yr Wyddfa and behind it Carnedd llewelyn, north east is Moel Eilio and west is Craig Cwm Silyn and the impossibly pretty Nantlle ridge, begging me to have a go even goading me in to having a little climb just try me out I don't bite....much.
The cairns, oh yes the cairns, I knew there was something up here besides terrible beauty. They are both big and impressive, with all the scree around it would be a crime to have little barely there cairns. They are too far apart, i'd like to see them a bit closer together, perhaps they had their reasons, now unfathomable to us.
They are both hollowed out to accept a couple of weary walkers, and you would be weary, and it's just such a damn good place to sit for a while, communing with the ancestors and for a short while becoming a part of something bigger than our lives back home.

I leave the cairns behind and walk off in a daze almost towards the Nantlle ridge, I don't intend to get to the top, that day will have to wait till Iv'e a walking buddy to hold my hand and reassure me that it's okay. Every time I get a glimpse over the edge a dizzy nervous wonderment comes over me and I stare steadfastly at the ground beneath my feet and the way ahead. I make my way as far as I dare and take a pugh. An older gentleman is coming down, he must be twenty years older than me and sporting walking sticks, he asks me if i'm going all the way, I giggle idiotically and say "not today".
As he goes on his way towards the cairns I keep looking up and asking myself how hard can it be?
Harder than it seems or not i'm saving it for another day, maybe starting from the other side.
But now it's back to the cairns, I could walk around all day here, but time has caught me up and it's time to bid a sad farewell.....for now.
postman Posted by postman
26th March 2012ce
Edited 26th March 2012ce

Comments (3)

Good for you. There's a childlike wonder in your words that matches my own feelings when in the uplands. May it never cease, since that will be the time to stop....

Incidentally I get vertigo at sheer drops, too. Funny, that.
26th March 2012ce
Fabulous notes. Obviously I'd be keen to help with holding hands, but not sure I'd be any use whatsoever in the reassurance stakes. Two of stuck fast to a rock face may not amuse the Mountain Rescue types. "We were only seeking remnants of our Bronze Age past, honest". thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
26th March 2012ce
A childlike wonder describes it well, like the first time I saw star wars, I really don't expect it to ever end.

You can hold my hand any time mate, (oops was that too far) no need to call international rescue i'll crawl down on hands and knees or on my belly if needs be
postman Posted by postman
26th March 2012ce
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