Today Cader Idris is a very popular tourist attraction and almost all visitors who stay here at Minffordd come for the spectacular scenery and very pleasant & satisfying walk up the mountain which is literally situated in our back garden. Walkers, photographers, plane spotters and wild life enthusiast will all enjoy the mountain walks up the Minffordd path………..!! & surrounding area
Cadair Idris or Cader Idris is a mountain in the Snowdonia National Park, in Gwynedd, northwest Wales. It lies at the southern end of the National Park and reaches 893 m at its summit, named Penygadair (English: top of the chair). It is one of the most popular mountains in Wales. It is composed largely of Ordovician igneous rocks, with classic glacial erosion features such as cwms, moraines, striated rocks, and roches moutonnées.
A number of named paths lead to the summit, such as the Minffordd Path, Pony Path, or the Fox’s Path, the latter leading directly up the northern face of the mountain a three-mile-long cliff and scree face. In recent years, the Fox’s Path has degraded sufficiently to make it a dangerous descent for any other than experienced hikers and scramblers. To the north lie Dolgellau and the Mawddach estuary, while to the south is the glaciated Tal-y-llyn Lake. Two miles further west is the eastern end of the Talyllyn Railway, a narrow gauge preserved railway.
Much of the area around Cadair Idris was designated a National Nature Reserve in 1957, and is home to arctic-alpine plants such as purple saxifrage and dwarf willow Cadair Idris (English: the chair of Idris) concerns the giant in Welsh mythology and the resemblance of one of the mountain’s cwms, Cwm Cau, to an enormous armchair. The spelling Cader Idris is often found in both Welsh and English, as reflected in the name of the local secondary school, Ysgol y Gader (never Ysgol y Gadair). This spelling derives from the local dialect pronunciation of the Welsh word cadair as [kader] (rather than [kadair]). Although cader is not incorrect as such, Cadair Idris is the form used on modern maps, reflecting the standard Welsh spelling.
There are numerous legends about Cadair Idris. Some nearby lakes are supposed to be bottomless, and anyone who sleeps on its slopes will supposedly awaken either a mad man or a poet. This tradition (of sleeping on the summit of the Mountain) apparently stems from bardic traditions, where bards would sleep on the mountain in hope of inspiration.
As mentioned above, the mountain’s name refers to the giant Idris (Idris Gawr) of Welsh mythology. Idris is said to have been skilled in poetry, astronomy and philosophy. The name has sometimes been mistranslated by some popular authors as Arthur’s Seat, presumably with reference to King Arthur (and to the hill of the same name in Edinburgh), an idea popularised by Susan Cooper in her book The Grey King. However, this is a modern invention and there is no connection, etymological or traditional, between Idris and Arthur.
The crater-like shape of Cwm Cau has given rise to the occasional mistaken claim that Cadair Idris is a recently extinct volcano. This was debunked as long ago as 1872, when Charles Kingsley commented in his book Town Geology:
“ I have been told, for instance, that that wonderful little blue Glas Llyn, under the highest cliff of Snowdon, is the old crater of the mountain; and I have heard people insist that a similar lake, of almost equal grandeur, in the south side of Cader Idris, is a crater likewise. But the fact is not so. ”
In Welsh mythology, Cadair Idris is also said to be one of the hunting grounds of Gwyn ap Nudd and his Cn Annwn. The howling of these huge dogs foretold death to anyone who heard them, the pack sweeping up that person’s soul and herding it into the underworld. Cadair Idris, or to use its anglicised title of Cader Idris, derives its name meaning ‘Chair of Idris’ from the giant warrior poet of Welsh legend.
The mountain looms menacing and primeval over the surrounding landscape. Cadair Idris consists of a massive 11km long ridge and although only the 19th highest mountain in Wales, is the second most popular mountain in the country after Mount Snowdon. Cader IdrisThe summit, Penygadair (Top of the Chair) at 2,927 feet (892m), offers a superb panorama of mountain scenery. The mountain is notorious for its low cloud but on a clear day it is possible to see the mountains of the Snowdon massif and the Rhinog mountain range as well as the Lleyn Peninsula and the hills of Shropshire, the Long Mynd, the Wrekin and occasionally Ireland.
To the north of the summit lies the very steep and craggy north face, where the cliffs drop around 200 metres. The other peaks of the ridge are Mynyyd Moel (855m), Pen-y-Gader (893m) and Mynydd Pencoed (798m).
The mountain consists of a long ridge, its northern face is craggy and precipitous, in contrast to the south face which slopes more gently into the broad expanse of the Dyfi estuary. There are a number of paths which lead to the summit, the Fox’s Path leads directly up the mountains north face.
North of Cadair Idris lies the town of Dolgellau, a convenient base, which offers a wide range of accommodation, cafes,