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the Degree Confluence Project
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United Kingdom : Wales

4.8 km (3.0 miles) WNW of Blaenau-Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, Wales, UK
Approx. altitude: 518 m (1699 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 53°S 176°E

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Looking East #3: Looking South #4: Looking North-West - west was directly into the sun. #5: GPS montage #6: Highest pont reached - view was worth the climb #7: Ice age evidence #8: Abandoned slate mining village #9: Map composite (from www.multimap.com)

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  53°N 4°W (visit #4)  

#1: Looking North - glass like lake, no wind at all.

(visited by Gordon Spence)

22-Nov-2003 -- This point gives me yet another coast to coast across the UK, I now have 51,53,54 and 55N completed. Now I normally spend an hour with the road atlas and multimap finding the "best" route to the cp. However, this week I got a pocket pc with a sat-nav attachment. I simply enter in the name of the nearest village to the point - Tanygrisiau - plug it in and start driving...the map is shown on the screen and I get spoken instructions. Must admit though it has removed a lot of fun from the planning process.

I parked in the car park at the top of the hill, the direct line to the CP is up some 200' high cliffs, so exit the car park and turn RIGHT and off down the hill - more on this later. At the bottom of the hill is the first hydro-electric power station in the UK, which is also somehwat unusual as it is in the middle of a National Park

I took an access road in the right direction for the CP, which ended about 800 yards later, 15 minutes of climbing over rocks and through bogs got me onto the road that started 150 yards from the car park if you turn LEFT out of it, and go round the corner!

Following this road as it winds it's way around and up the mountain you see the ruins of abandoned cottages, eventually arriving at the dam for the upper reservoir of the power station. At this point it was becoming increasingly obvious that I had gone a totally different route to the previous visitor....

My ETrex was pointing up the (very) steep hill at the back of the reservoir, so walk around the outside, through some more bogs (knee deep in places - just like 55N 5W) and scramble up and over the rocks. The climb was even harder than that I experienced at 37N 121W.

The highest reading I saw was 1975 feet, but the view (Pic 6) was worth the half hour the climb took. That lake might look small in that photo, but the dam is 400 yards long and there are 2 million cubic metres of water there. It was such a relief to look ahead and see open sky and not more rock faces, that I set off with renewed vigour directly (well almost) in the direction of the point. I had to lose 300' of that hard won climb....

A long time ago, Britain was mostly covered with ice, and when it left, it left behind its mark (Pic 7) in the next 15 minutes I came across three parties of walkers, including one group just 300' from the CP.

It is a beautiful spot, and well worth the 2 hours and 3 mile trek in to find it. Fortunately it was a clear sunny day so the photos show it to perfection. Pic 1 is looking North, then Pic 2 East, Pic 3 South and Pic 4 West. The GPS montage (Pic 5) shows the altitude to be 1675 feet, so the recorded height on the project is not quite correct.

I decided that on the way back I would simply back track directly to the car and headed off in the right direction. I found the abandoned slate mining village (Pic 8) and followed the path out.

I got to within 1/3 a mile of the car-park, only to be faced by a vertical drop of around 400'. Back track around 1/4 mile, vertical drop around 500'. I eventually ended up back tracking back to the reservoir and coming out the way I came in - total time taken around 5 1/2 hours and nearly 7 miles.

Now that I am home, I have created this composite (Pic 9) (courtesy of Multimap www.multimap.com), on which I have marked the actual route that I took, the numbers correspond with the photographs. Some of you might have noticed that alternately marked track that might just have been a little bit less strenuous....but then again, the whole point of doing this is to explore, right?


 All pictures
#1: Looking North - glass like lake, no wind at all.
#2: Looking East
#3: Looking South
#4: Looking North-West - west was directly into the sun.
#5: GPS montage
#6: Highest pont reached - view was worth the climb
#7: Ice age evidence
#8: Abandoned slate mining village
#9: Map composite (from www.multimap.com)
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Notes
In the Snowdonia National Park.