CAD East (Cadair Idris East) is located on the A487, approximately 2.5 miles from its' junction with the A470 at the Cross Foxes Inn, and is some 4 miles by road from the Bwlch.
CAD East is the preferred location for those who are unable to tackle the climbs at the other locations, or for those days where you just don't fancy the climb. You can get at least 95% of the way to the CAD East viewing positions by car.
The aircraft appear from one of three directions, from the Bwlch, which is to the right of the view from CAD East, from Bala, which is straight ahead, and from Dolgellau which is to the left. As they approach you,they will adjust their line, before flicking to knife edge with their underside towards you, then level out as they go towards Tal-y-Llyn lake, hopefully turning round Corris Corner to head around the Mach Loop again, re-appearing from the Bwlch some 4 minutes later.
NOTE: Clicking on an image will display a larger version (where available).
You can either park in the CAD West car park, and climb up to CAD East, or (as decribed here) drive your car along national cycle route 8 to the car parks at CAD East. The entrance to National Cycle Route 8 is on the left, just past the end of the long straight when travelling from the Cross Foxes Inn. The approach to the entrance, and the entrance itself are pictured right.
Note that there are 2 car parks at CAD East, but each is only capable of accomodating 3 medium sized cars at a time. To access the first car park, follow the cycle route, passing through 3 gates (please make sure you close them after you). Just before you reach the fourth gate you will see a small pull-in area. This is the first car park. If this is full you can continue through the next gate and there is another small parking area approx 50 yards on.
Note that the cycle route is single track, with NO PASSING POINTS, and deep ditches on both sides of the road. If you meet another vehicle coming in the opposite direction, one of you will need to back up either to the main road or the car park. Do NOT attempt to put your car on the grass verge where it exists, you will most likely get stuck. Also there will be lots of sheep on the road. Approach them steadily and slowly and they will move. Please do not rev your engine, shout at them, or sound your horn to get them to move - they are sensitive souls :-)
When leaving CAD East, take great car when pulling out onto the main road, as your view to the right is almost completely obscured. It is adviseable to ask a passenger to see you out if possible.
Route to the viewing positions
There are several viewing positions at CAD East, the standard one being just a hundred yards or so from the car park. Just over the road from the car park, you will see a distinct path which goes slightly to the right. Follow this until you come to a flat area. When looking towards Bala, you will see a large outcrop of rock, which is also a suitable viewing location, or you can climb a bit futher in the direction of Tal-y-Llyn lake to what is known as the "Snake Pit", which gives you a view all the way from Bala to Tal-y-Llyn lake (just) and a much higher viewpoint for those topside shots.
Photography at CAD East
At the closet viewing position, CAD East provides bottom shots as the aircraft knife edge through the pass, but it also provides great opportunities for head on shots, especially when you take along your lovely 600mm f4 lens :-)
You are a little further away from the aircraft than at CAD West, so frame filling shots generally require a 400mm lens on a crop sensor DSLR. The light is good in the morning and on bright sunny days might deteriorate in the afternoon, but is generally not a problem.
The following pictures (uncropped) below were taken at CAD East with a Nikon D700 Body (Full frame Sensor). Click a photo to view a larger version and details of the lens used.