Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris

What is harder - Snowdon or Cadair Idris?

If you have walked both you will know 

Snowdon or Yr Wyddfa, may be officially the tallest mountain in Wales, but most serious walkers will tell you that Cadair Idris is by far the more challenging of the mountains. If you have walked both, you will know.

I am a landscape artist and recently wanted to paint some mountain scenes. I paint the local tors on Dartmoor, but wanted something more dramatic. It had been a long time since I had been to north Wales, so a trip was long over-due.

When I walked up Idris recently it was the first mountain I had climbed for a few years and it took me a week to recover. Climbing Snowdon, via the Rangers path on the other hand, felt like a walk in the park and the only recovery I needed was a quick pint in the pub at the foot of the mountain before heading back to my accommodation.

Snowdon is 1085 meters tall, compared to Idris standing at 893 meters, but Snowdon starts at around 370 meters above sea level, and its paths have a much more gentle assent - anyone with a modicum of fitness will manage it. Cadair Idris is by far the harder walk - but for sheer beauty it is worth the effort.

Cadair Idris Welsh mountain oil paintings

Idris is a giant of a mountain, and Idris was a giant warrior who built the mountain as his seat, or fortress - Cadair being Welsh for chair. The natural bowl- shaped depression of the chair was formed by glaciers during the multiple ice ages. The large boulders on the slopes are the stones thrown in battle with other giants.

In Welsh folklore it is said that if you spend a night on the summit you will either go mad or become a poet - I wouldn't know - I made it down the other side later that day, but maybe next time.

If you have climbed both mountains let me know what you would rate the more difficult walk, Snowdon or Cadair Idris?


Click here for landscape art


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