Carneddau Feb 2013

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Inpired by ‘blogpackinglight’ I set off to explore the Carneddau and specifically the area around Maeneira a crumbling and abandoned Farmhouse.

Unfortunately it was only going to be a daytrip as I had a job the next day but thankfully the weather was set fair.

I set off from Shrewsbury at 0610hrs only to realise two miles down the road I had forgotton to pack my DSLR…bugger…ten minutes late already.

I was soon on my way again in the dark but the drive up to Betws y Coed was fast and I was soon crawling up the access road to the car park near to Llyn Eigiau.

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A cold but superbly clear day awaited as the sun rose in the east and gave a little warm glow to proceedings.

I had planned a route using ‘OS Getamap’ and also some diversions just in case weather/tiredness set in. The place was deserted and I soon set off up towards Maeneira and then the hydroelectric building above it.

It was pleasantly warm (4 deg) as I was sheltered from the winds as I huffed and puffed up the fence line and onto the ridge between Foel Fras and Carnedd Uchaf. The ground was frozen mainly with some boggy patches and minor snow banks.

I stopped for a snack on the ridge and then climbed up to Garnedd Uchaf.

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I had donned some more clothing as the wind started to bite now but the sky was crystal clear with views across to Conwy Bay and Menai Straights.

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Breakfast View

I had brought along the new gas burner to try out but failed the gear check test and had the wrong type of gas canister (note to self: check kit before setting off). The old staple cheese and brown sauce (daddies) sarnies would do the job. I admired the view as I snacked along.

I carried on along the windy ridge to Garnedd Uchaf and saw Foel Grach in sight as I stopped again to take some pictures of the desolate but sunlit scene.

Carnedd Uchaf

I wanted to stop again soon and take more photos but the sun was dead ahead and I knew I would get lense flare without any lens hood

Foel Grach

Sure enough I did!

I stopped over the summit of Foel Grach and found a sheltered spot for an drink and another bite to eat. Four walkers drifted by me with dogs in tow. I gave one dog half a sarnie as he looked hungry. He didnt ask twice and munched it down.

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Carnedd Llewellyn and Yr Elen loomed ahead so it was time to move off again and start the short but testing climb up to Carnedd Llewellyn

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I soon reached the top and passed the dog hikers coming back the other way and we exchanged pleasantries but no cheese sarnies this time.

I dallied a while and soon got cold so decided to head back down the ridge and off towards Cwm Eigiau and then head back to the car.

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I then had a change of plan again and decided to avoid Llyn Eigiau and head down to Melynllyn instead. I would follow the ridge and then pick up the land rover track that would lead me back to the car park.

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I took a few more shots as I descended slowly and eventually got down to the ruined workings by the lake.

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A fast trog got me down to the car in good time and there were now three cars including mine on the car park.

Two guys were packing ready to set off and asked about conditions on top. They were packed for an over nighter and I envied them as they set off towards Maeneira and what would be a gorgeous evening in the Carneddau. I must bring the tent/tarp next time and spend the night in a wild camp. Thats the next job for 2013.

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