Better Slate Than Never 2

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Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by RIP »

Three years ago I decided to tour the North Wales slate quarries, investigating the industrial remains and trying to piece together a bit of the social history ( https://bearbonesbikepacking.co.uk/php ... in#p265656). I managed to visit 30 quarries on the western side of the slate field but lack of time meant that I missed all of the Blaenau Ffestiniog area and some other places. Difficult to plan japes at the moment due to an impending family event but a short-notice temporary pass was issued so time for another bash at it! This time Lu / FrogAtTheFarriers misguidely agreed to come along to keep me on the straight and narrow; also, he stops me losing my credit card and phone and I stop him losing his glasses and gloves :smile: .

This won’t be quite as epic as Sean and Mike’s recent Scottish extravaganza, but then again myself and Lu are about twice their age and we also have to keep our café/pub count as high as we can!

We had no fixed plan but I drafted out a possible route which tried to visit the Blaenau area quarries, although it included many of “Slate 1”’s western ones on our way south across the Llyn peninsula before we looped back north to Blaenau.

Anyway, here we go, and I know sedimentary rock worship is possibly not everyone’s cup of tea but there’s the odd bit of scenery to keep the Normals happy as well…

As mentioned, due to direct Bangor trains no longer stopping at Milton Keynes I had to travel 40 miles in the wrong direction and back, before getting to Chester where Lu joined me having ridden from Wrexham. Arriving at Bangor at about 18.30 we wasted no time heading off towards Caernarfon down NCN Route 8, with a short stop at Y Felinheli where all of the Dinorwig slate quarry’s product was transhipped onto boats for transporting around the world.

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We enjoyed a pint in the pub by Caernarfon harbour while we considered our overnight options, our thinking processes not helped by one of those random guitar players plinking away on the harbour wall. We decided to head off down the coast and see what happened, and our spot radars were duly activated. First stop was a football pitch which was flat but exposed, next was an official farm campsite, and finally a rough patch next to the road which already had some camper vans in residence. Things were getting a bit desperate so we turned our radar dials up to maximum and almost immediately spotted a clump of trees in a field with a building in the middle of them. Closer inspection showed that it was a disused chapel with an atmospheric graveyard, dating back to the 13th century. Inside it was like stepping back hundreds of years, with whitewashed walls and superb rough wooden pews and furniture including some fascinating “family boxes”. Having paid our respects we carefully installed ourselves, agreeing that it was probably one of the most attractive bivvy spots we’d ever encountered.

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Our indoor kipping arrangements turned out to be a stroke of luck because it bucketed down with rain overnight and the layby would have been interesting to say the least. We brewed up some morning porridge and tea in the font (joking…), as we listened to the cheeping birds and dripping rain. An amazing little spot. The good news was being able to pack up in the dry, the bad news was getting pretty damp riding in the rain until we found a garden centre which happened to offer a very welcome cooked second breakfast.

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Despite the rain continuing to put a damper on things, progress was spurred by the prospect of another café a few miles further on in the quarry settlement of Fron. To get there we followed a few quiet lanes and past our first quarries – Alexandra (1), Moel Tryfan (2), Braich (3), and Fron (4). I knew from last time that the menu, and indeed the place, would be amusingly idiosyncratic and so it proved to be. It’s a shop, café and community centre rolled into one, nobody else was there and the volunteer running it was an old codger pushing his mobility chair. He could just about manage a pot of tea, and although there was no cake at the moment he had a few biscuits to offer. However the views of the Nantlle Ridge were superb and the guy was very friendly and knowledgeable about the quarries, seemingly having all the time in the world to chat about them. The best bit for me was when he finally brought our tea and biscuits in on his mobility chair in lieu of a trolley!

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Next port of call was one of my favourite quarries – Pen-yr-Orsedd (5) with its sole remaining “Blondin” hoist which lifted slate 400’ up from the quarry floor to the processing sheds. The World Heritage Site people really need to crack on and refurbish this unique artefact before it finally collapses. Plenty of other machinery gently fading into obscurity as well.

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An oil can well past its ability to maintain the equipment

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And of course Nature gradually reclaiming the wilderness

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Close by is Dorothea Quarry (6) with its 300’ deep lake in the old workings, now a well-known diving site. Amazingly the rain has stopped.

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Derelict Talysarn Hall is an incredible place, festooned with greenery, trees growing through the walls, and generally looking like something out of Lord Of The Rings.

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During our wanderings we passed many other disused quarries including Pen-y-Bryn (7), Gallt-y-Fedw (8), Blaen-y-Cae (9), and Tal-y-Sarn (10). With the sun peeking out, the valley leads east past the brooding Nantlle Ridge and over to Rhyd Ddu where a well-earned pint was consumed in the Cwellyn Arms. Even in July the log fire was welcome…

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Sadly the Dutch café is now closed, probably best for us as we still had a tough climb over into Cwm Pennant, on the way passing the little-known quarry at Llyn-y-Gader (12) where in a rare occurrence some of the old tramway rails are still in place. Snowdon is no match for our Lu…

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The route up through Beddgelert forest sported a profusion of foxgloves…

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… then it was over the ridge into peaceful Cwm Pennant, where one of the remotest quarries is to be found – Prince Of Wales (13). The drop down through the quarry is littered with slippery slate tips and inclines and I had my only OTB of the trip when my front wheel hit a hidden peat bog. At least the filth broke my fall and not my wrists.

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Despite only yielding a few hundred tons of slate, the company built a very long narrow-gauge railway from the harbour at Porthmadog which only lasted a few years and was hardly worth the enormous engineering challenge. We had hoped to follow it all the way down to the Gorseddau Quarry but after a few miles things just got a bit too much with bridgeless streams and numerous stiles so we dropped down into the valley and followed the attractive maze of lanes down to the coast at Criccieth.

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My slight disappointment about missing the elusive Gorseddau Quarry (third time lucky?!) was somewhat mollified by partaking of the wares from the Criccieth chip shop, which we ate sitting at the tables in the town square to the slightly baffled looks from a few locals. As darkness closed in we cranked up the radars again feeling a little apprehensive about the possibilities so close to the town. First port of call was the golf-course on the cliffs, which looked a good bet but was unfortunately blocked by a locked gate. Another option was a rather public corner of the carpark, which we saved for emergency use. Just before we were about to claim that as our last-ditch effort, I noticed a couple of seats on top of a grassy mound on the seafront. This hadn’t even registered up to now because it was so obviously exposed, however I nipped up onto it and discovered that one side was actually protected by some low gorse bushes which at least blocked the view from all the hotel windows across the road and cast a dark shadow over a small area of the grass. A real hidden-in-plain-sight classic really, so we jumped at the chance. It really was very public, with a good view of the beach and the castle!

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Last edited by RIP on Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by RIP »

The gently lapping waves lulled us to sleep (in my winter bag, in July, ridiculous!) but I was rudely awakened at 05.30 by another downpour of rain during which I discovered that my tarp was leaking through the mid tie-outs, presumably via the stitching. Never happened before so not sure what’s going on there. Will try soaking the tie-outs in Fabsil and resealing the seams. Anyway, packed my sleeping kit at high speed and snoozed for another hour in my waterproofs. In the cold hard light of day our airy location became a little more obvious :grin: .

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The Tir A Mor is an excellent café in the square, which miraculously opens at 8am even on a Sunday, and we were standing on the doorstep at 07.59 ready to be fed. The proprietor was a really pleasant chap – the case with everyone we’d met so far in fact – and we had a long chat about his father who was one of the last workers to leave Dinorwig Quarry when it closed in 1969. He showed us a Youtube link to an interview with his father talking all about his old job and the working conditions, which I’ll watch in a spare moment soon. A couple of excellent full breakfasts soon arrived, along with a big pot of proper tea made with loose leaves. Yum!

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We now had to decide which way we fancied getting to Blaenau Ffestiniog and its huge number of quarries. One option was simply to bung the bikes onto a Festiniog Railway narrow-gauge tourist train and enjoy the ride up, but in the end we stoically took the “ride” option with this at least giving the opportunity of visiting a few more quarries on the way. Sunshine had now re-appeared as we ambled across the Glaslyn estuary to find a roadside café at Garreg. Result! Time for second breakfast, even if it was only half an hour after our first one! Tea and various cakes were consumed before we set off up the hidden Croesor valley, gradually gaining height through the remnants of deciduous “Atlantic rainforest”. Our route followed the line of the old Croesor Tramway which ran from Porthmadog harbour (where it converged with the Welsh Highland Railway, the Festiniog Railway and the Gorseddau Tramway to form large slate stocking areas and loading quays) up to Croesor Quarry.

On the way we viewed Moel-y-gest Quarry (14), Parc Quarry (15), Parc Slate & Slab Quarry (16), and Croesor Quarry (17), along with many features of slate areas such as the attractive fences made from vertical slate slabs wired together.

Croesor village is nice and quiet, and is at the start of Cwm Croesor which has Cnicht, “The Welsh Matterhorn”, towering over its western side.

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We ended up choosing the trackway that ran below the Croesor waste tips rather than the one which led to the quarry level itself. In retrospect maybe not the optimum one :smile: . Our track gradually deteriorated into a very rocky, and very vertical, and very wet, path; at the top of which we were having to drag our bikes up sideways one ledge at a time, while we were playfully soaked by various waterfalls and rushing streams. All good fun!

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Croesor Quarry was managed by Moses Kellow, a clever Victorian innovator, who designed a hydraulically powered rock drill and operated the quarry and even his own house with the new-fangled source of electric power.

We finally emerged onto the plateau that was home to Rhosydd (18) and New Rhosydd (19) Quarries. These are actually joined underground to Croesor, and a notorious mine explorers route now provides such pleasures as The Hanging Bridge Of Death, the Chamber Of Horrors, and even a rubber dinghy to cross one flooded underground chamber. One day maybe, never say never, but for now we were happy enough with the overground option despite its own fairly challenging obstacles.

The main Rhosydd adit passage is over a quarter of a mile long but we satisfied ourselves with a quick look in the entrance.

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A short detour along the Rhosydd Tramway led to the spectacular incline that joins it down to the Croesor Tramway, reputedly the steepest in the UK at 46 degrees. Looking down it off the narrow and precipitous ledge induced a considerable feeling of vertigo…..

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Biking down the skittery slate-strewn track from Rhosydd towards Blaenau took a lot of concentration and some skill, albeit great fun, and passing Conglog Quarry (20), Glyn Festiniog Quarry (21), and Cwmorthin Quarry (22) on the way. The latter quarry was well-known as very dangerous to work in and was known locally as The Slaughterhouse. Nice. The now-abandoned hamlet once housed 200 people with the last one moving out in 1948. The whole social history of quarrying areas is fascinating, with close-knit communities living in very basic conditions, rarely bathing and living on a diet seemingly consisting of bread and cheese and tea, with the occasional scrap of meat. A government inspection took place at Blaenau in Victorian times, which for the time was an enlightened thing to undertake at all, but the outcome was predictably weighted in favour of the quarry owners. Even the “independent” doctor pronounced that slate dust was actually very good for the workers health! Having said that, it is well-known that the workers had a well-developed sense of culture, holding deep political and cultural discussions during their lunchbreaks.

Sadly there wasn’t enough time to make an in-depth visit to another abandoned quarry – and Blaenau Ffestiniog is packed with them - or the interesting touristified one at Llechwedd, but at least we added to our total viewed: Wrysgan (23), Glan-y-Pwll (24), Cesail (25), Rhiwbryfdir (26), Oakley (27), LLechwedd (28), Votty & Bowydd (29), Maenofferen (30), and Diphwys (31).

We carried quarry maps around with us, and this one shows the complexity of just one of the groups of Ffestiniog quarries. The jumble of 2’ gauge quarry railways and all the different levels are not easy to understand at first glance.

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A pleasant lunch was partaken in a café in town, picking some supplies up for the long climb up to Manod in the afternoon. We spent a lot of time deliberating whether to take this route, which rises 900 feet up Cwm Teigl on what looked like a rough track, even considering just catching the train down to Betws-y-Coed instead.

Luckily, we opted for Cwm Teigl which turned out to be surfaced all the way to the top and was a very pleasant ride in the sunshine, with huge views to the south and east from the top.

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At the top of Cwm Teigl is Manod Quarry (32), which is still being worked. During World War 2 a large number of paintings from London museums were stored here underground in specially built sheds. The quarry is at the furthest point on an extension tramway from the Festiniog Railway at Blaenau, four miles away across the bleak moors. We met a guy walking his dog who was very friendly (the bloke and the dog in fact). He used to be a rockman in the Blaenau quarries so had lots of interesting stories. Curiously he only became annoyed when talking about the various activity providers who have started up businesses taking “adventurers” underground in the old quarries , and it seemed many old quarrymen have a feeling that it’s disrespectful to the memories of lost lives. In contrast, a female rambler arrived who told us in a very stroppy manner that “bikes are not allowed to be ridden here”. When I said “that’s why I’m pushing” she then proceeded to harangue Lu who was riding. Annoyingly we couldn’t think fast enough to point out that she shouldn’t be here either as there was no footpath on the map. Miserable old bag.

We followed the line of the tramway down and round past Blaen-y-Cwm Quarry (33), and Cwt-y-Bugail (34), but decided not to bother continuing all the way past the reservoir to the incline down into Blaenau Ffestiniog as we’ve both done that section before. The views north over Cwm Penmachno were far-reaching.

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We returned to Rhiwbach Quarry (35), which was one of the remotest in the area although it wasn’t closed until as late as 1952. Because it was so remote and frequently cut off by bad weather it had its own shop, meeting room, school, and obviously the obligatory chapel, and even several children were born in the ‘village’. It also had barracks for the men to lodge in, and these were the last ones in use in the North Wales quarries, until 1952. The quarry was unique in that its exit incline went up rather than down, so full wagons could not haul empty ones up and a steam engine had to be installed to power the incline rope. Here we are looking down the incline into the quarry.

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We pushed down the incline, past Frudd Quarry (36), into Rhiwbach, to explore the old engine house and barracks buildings. The entrance to the eight levels of underground chambers is now sealed off by huge bars.

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An old track leads north out of Rhiwbach through the forest and down through Penmachno Quarry (37). It would be a fairly challenging ride up, but was a blast going down, slipping and sliding on the steep slope of slate chippings, with bits of slate flying and clattering off our wheels.

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Upon arrival at Penmachno we nipped straight into The Eagles pub and bunkhouse to sink a well-deserved pint. Lu fancied a night of luxury in the bunkhouse but chummy told us that it was closed for some unspecified reason. I pushed him a bit harder, with our sob-story of nights under soaking tarps, and he went off to think about it. Meanwhile we went round to the Londis (a more exclusive Spar I always think) to pick up some food for the evening – Potnoodle and strawberries for me, and porridge for breakfast. Upon returning to the pub and the purchase of another pint, the owner had thawed somewhat and grudgingly said we could stay after all. Result! My option of the kids playground will have to wait until next time. Ironically the night turned out to be the driest of our trip and nice and warm. Ah well.

In the bar we got chatting to yet another ex-quarryman – whose job now is the rather less strenuous one of being Father Christmas at Llechwedd Quarry Visitor Centre – and he also had a fund of fascinating stories. He said that young new recruits to the quarries would be asked at the interview which church or chapel they went to. If they said “church” they were given underground jobs, but the “chapel” lads were offered the cushier overground ones! He was also not entirely enamoured of the new “underground adventure” outfits.

The locals were quite happy to embrace our presence and we had a great time. We joined in the quiz night, and I even got one question correct which stunned them. Go on then, what have these in common: Alabama, California, Florida, Colorado, Indiana? The first two letters of all of them are chemical elements!
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by RIP »

Next day we thought we might make our way down the Conwy valley visiting a few quarries and mines such as those in the Gwydyr Forest and around Llyn Cowlyd and Eigiau, but that all seemed a bit like hard work, so we opted for heading west towards Capel Curig. The daft route would have been over the notorious Bwlch-y-Groes (not that one, the other one) but we hauled ourselves up the steep lane and down past Ty Mawr Wybrnant. This remote and beautifully peaceful little settlement was where William Morgan first translated the bible into Welsh. We paused a while to soak up the atmosphere then continued down the lane into the Conwy Valley.

The lane was quite amusing because despite being a supposed through route it got worse and worse as we descended, gradually gaining a green patch down the middle, then overhanging bushes and finally the surface starting to break up completely. Just as it collapsed completely we came to a house, then turned off into the forest, along what looked like a logging track, to avoid the main road. Despite starting extremely rocky it suddenly opened out onto a very pleasant track running all the way with ups and downs to Dolwyddelan.

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Just before the village we viewed Chwarel-y-Fedw Quarry (38), Pen-Llyn Quarry (39), Tyn-y-Bryn Quarry (40), and Prince Llewelyn Quarry (41). Dolwyddelan Spar provided a much-needed mid-morning coffee and supplies, then it was off up the steep track through the forest to Capel Curig with its cracking views at the top, both south towards Blaenau….

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… and north towards Conwy…

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We bumped into a young chap who provided a contrast to the slightly cynical old rockmen because he actually embraced the possibilities of the disused quarries by running DoE courses and various other activities. Looking to the future instead of the past I suppose you could say.

The very rocky descent brought us to Pont-Cyfyng and Capel Curig (missing Moel Siabod Quarry up in the hills to the south, ah well). There are a plethora of outdoor shops here of course but no café any longer, but you can’t eat socks unless you’re completely desperate so we headed for Plas Y Brenin and one of their lunches. I’ve not been before, and the place was a maze, taking us about an hour to get to the bar from the bike park, along corridors, in and out of cupboards, up and down stairs, outside and back in again, and finally into the bar. To get out afterwards we noticed a door through a training room that led straight to the bikes, sigh.

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Due to time constraints we avoided the old track running north parallel to the A5 to Bangor and headed along the road instead. I’ve not done this before either, and it was a total nightmare because just as you’re expecting a nice long blast downhill you keep going across a flat plateau and with the wind very slightly against you it was like pedalling in treacle. At least the café at Ogwen provided much needed ice-lollies, and was followed by the much nicer NCN 82 lane downhill through Nant Ffrancon to Penrhyn Quarry (42).

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In the 19th century Penrhyn Quarry was the largest slate quarry in the world and therefore seemed fitting as our last one – our 42nd, easily beating “Slate 1”’s total of 30. The main pit was a mile long and 1200 feet deep, being worked by 3000 quarrymen. A topical factoid relevant to these last few weeks was that in 1868 eighty workers were sacked simply for not voting for the son of the quarry owner in the general election. You can see why the workers went on strike in 1900 for three years – the longest in British history. Sadly, as ever, the strike saw the high point of Welsh slate quarrying as it lessened confidence from their customers. Quarrying still takes place at Penrhyn today, and of course Welsh slate is the best in the world :-bd . One rockman we spoke to reckoned a roof made from Welsh slate and using copper nails would last forever, and he’s probably not wrong.

A look up at one of Penrhyn’s enormous tips. I wonder if we delicately extract that small slate on the right whether the whole blasted lot would come down and cover both us and the town of Bethesda? A sort of slatey Jenga :smile: .

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The final part of our trip followed NCN 82 along the old railway through Tregarth down to Port Penrhyn, giving us a long freewheel through the tree-lined valley as a nice finish, rounded off by a relaxing coffee in Bangor town centre.

We both boarded the 17.03 train to Chester, where Lu continued to Wrexham and I changed for my next train to Crewe. I had to catch four trains with three changes and all of them were fast, comfy and on time; the last of which was immeasurably improved by a sarnie and a bottle of chilled wine and staring out of the window aimlessly for an hour at 125mph. It was an absolute pleasure to ride with Lu again. Our “tramping” bikepacking style is the same, always happy to nose around at random, change route for no reason, stop at every café and pub, chat to anyone who will put up with us, “just keep going and don’t give up”, and generally have a great time arsing around on bikes :-bd .

I’m told by those who know about these things (ie Lu :wink: ) that we covered over 100 miles of very rough terrain and climbed over 10,000 feet, which seemed pretty good although it doesn’t matter much to me how far or fast we went. Interestingly we both handled the ride without too much bother, and I felt little different to when I started bike-exploring 40 years ago. Maybe slightly less power in the legs but that’s about it. We’re very lucky indeed to still be able to “do it” I reckon.

Everyone we met was friendly, interesting, and had all the time in the world to chat, also showing interest in what we were up to as well. What a great place it is!

As ever, our gear, “planning”, food etc was idiosyncratic and would probably produce baffled looks from the trendier type of bikepacker, but here’s the thing: all of those choices made no difference whatsoever to the cracking fun we had.

My horse is still a 17-year old 26”, 9x3 XT, Orange P7, with tubed 2.2” Mountain Kings and 2.4” Trail Kings. It did everything asked of it over quite nasty terrain with no mechanicals apart from a squeaky pedal, and no tyres slashed by sharp slates. Outmoded? Hah.

Clothes were my standard sandals and waterproof socks, fleece leggings without shorts or undercrackers, bamboo base top, Polartec fleece, BBB jersey, plus Marmot Bantamweight jacket, Berghaus Goretex trousers, Ghost Whisperer down jacket and Showa Temres “washing up” gloves with bamboo liners. All worked faultlessly.

Navigation – such as it was – using battered OS maps OL17 and OL18, and no other gizmos apart from phone to take photos.

Food and drink was just normal stuff with a few occasional choccy bars; no daft gels or “electrolytes” etc, and water from taps or filtered as needed and only carrying 500ml at a time. We didn’t faint or starve.

Gear included a DD Superlight 10x9 flat tarp with Ti V pegs and 2mm dyneema lines and 48g BBB carbon poles, a BBB 22g meths stove for breakfasts, a Trailshot filter, small 1st aid and workshop and a few spares, and my Exped mat and winter sleeping bag for those 3deg July temperatures :wink: . Stashed in superlight LS21 baggage from Wildcat and AK.

What a belter of a trip. Thanks Lu! Now, er, about “Slate 3”……
Last edited by RIP on Thu Jul 11, 2024 3:54 pm, edited 8 times in total.
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

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Bearlegged
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by Bearlegged »

Very nice write up that, and lovely pics (esp. the flora).
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summittoppler
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by summittoppler »

What a fantastic write up of your trip :-bd

I think I've ridden 99% of it and learnt something new with your interesting facts on the history of the quarries.

You still need to get yourself to Gorssedau and the cantilever wall :shock:

:-bd
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by RIP »

summittoppler wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 4:55 pm What a fantastic write up of your trip :-bd

I think I've ridden 99% of it and learnt something new with your interesting facts on the history of the quarries.

You still need to get yourself to Gorssedau and the cantilever wall :shock:

:-bd
Thanks gents! Darn right about Gorseddau, Jeff, I think it's avoiding me on purpose :smile: . Lucky old you being able to visit it whenever you like. We waved at you on the way through Conwy on t'train :-bd .

Lu's got some corking photos which hopefully he'll bung up soon....
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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Verena
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by Verena »

Great write up, enjoyed that, and looks like you had some luck with some sunny weather at least some of the time!!

Ah, Y Felinheli, I have fond memories of that place, stopped there for lunch and a swim on a hot day 1 of my Route 8 trip.

Reading this, and the number of quarries in tough to reach places, it sounds like you should've been on the road for at least a week or two...

Very nice trip :-bd
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by Raggedstone »

Very enjoyable read that Reg and I agree with V I had to check how many days you were on the road great effort the pair of you especially two breakfasts so close together proper dedication
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by fatbikephil »

:-bd Motivation to stop fannying around and get out on a proper trip!
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by whitestone »

The Croesor-Rhosydd through trip was one of those things I always wanted to do but never got round to. It came about because the owners of the two mines realised that their workings were very close and Croesor only had the one entrance so tunnelled the connection as an escape route, it's only a few metres. When Croesor mines closed they flooded but the connection was fortuitously just above the water line.

Back in the 1990s there was much less fixed equipment on the through trip and you had to take your own dinghy! Since then more and more fixed lines have appeared, some to replace the rotting bridges and walkways, others to bypass rockfall - there's a lot of loose rock around. The dinghy is no longer required as someone has installed a canoe on a pulley system :shock: Charon is nowhere to be seen so you have to paddle yourself across this particular Styx.
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by sean_iow »

Great work as always chaps :-bd
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by jameso »

Oh nice .. look forward to reading this in full later! Cheers Reg :-bd
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by frogatthefarriers »

Here are a few more pics…

Menai Straits, after Port Dinorwic
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Castell Caernarfon…
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Aaaw! the wonder of a child asleep…
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My bed…
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More pics-from-the-digs….
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First breakfast on the go…
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With a choo-choo train…
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Sooo many quarries, I can’t remember which this was, but here’s Reg with a Blondin. (I think he’d been hoping for a blonde ' un)...
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.but this is the nearest we could get. :grin:

Talysarn tunnel?…
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My one of these is better'n Reg's..
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Bed-time at Criccieth - hiding in plain sight…
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That was a long push…
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If you look hard, and you know what you’re looking for, you can see the steepest inclined tramway in the UK.

It got harder…
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Much Harder…
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At this point, it was a matter of hoiking the front wheel up and hanging it over a rock, then following it up and doing it all again. Character building stuff, is that…
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Come on Reg, turn that frown upside down. You wanted to come this way… :-bd
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Until eventually…
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A mine adit at, erm, a quarry somewhere..
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Barracks at the same quarry..
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After Penmachno Bunkhouse - Ty Mawr Wybrnant…
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It was Monday. Last time I was here (about 15 years ago), was a Monday too. It was closed then as well. :roll:

The tail-end of a tricky, rocky descent. One of a few..
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Lunch at Pląs-y-Brendon.. Welsh Rarebit - how appropriate..
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With Yr Wyddfa as Backdrop..
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The Ogwen Valley. You can just see the sea from here…
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A nice ride down the lane from the Nant Ffrancon visitor centre to Bethesda then cycle trail…
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…down to Bangor harbour.

What a trip! Many thanks to Reg for taking me to places I’d never have gone to (looked for/found) on my own.
Last edited by frogatthefarriers on Sun Jul 14, 2024 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Konia kują, żaba noge podstawia...
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RIP
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by RIP »

Lovely photos Lu. It really was an excellent trip, thanks for making it a great one! So many fun memories now stashed away :-bd
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by MuddyPete »

Excellent stuff, chaps. I'm savouring this as a "good read with a good drink" treat :grin: .
May you always have tail wind.
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by RIP »

Postscript: middle of nowhere at the top of Beddgelert Forest and phone rings. One of the few places I'd had a signal. Normally on japes I never use it but it's Mrs P. Unusual. Go on then. Bit of a flap, chap left vague message on her phone... "husband... cafe.. something or other". No caller details for some reason. She's flapping in case I've had a prang (in a cafe?). Anyway, all smoothed over.

But what was it all about?

Then a couple of days ago a mysterious envelope arrives on the doormat. It's empty. Weird. Hang on what's this? It's my I.C.E. card! Dropped it in Fron Community Cafe. Mystery solved.

a/ already mentioned what a nice chap mobility-chair man was. This should be in Cheery Friday :smile: .
b/ Don't lose your I.C.E. card or it's not much use is it!
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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whitestone
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by whitestone »

On the flip side of mine it has

D.N.R.

"You'll only regret it!"

:lol:
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Re: Better Slate Than Never 2

Post by RIP »

:lol:
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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