Carneddau Wild Camp

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Llyn Eigiau Car Park

I’m an avid weather watcher, so when I saw the forecast for this Friday/Saturday I had to make plans for an overnighter soemwhere in Wales. I had just bought a new tent to rpelace my ageing Vango, so it was a perfect oppurtunity to try out the Wild Country Zephyros 1 by Terra Nova. It was a tentative purchase as I had already bought a GoLite Shangri-La 2 off an Ebay contact but it had been lost in the post!

I planned to head off sometime on Friday morning and decided to head for the Carneddau Range in Snowdonia as its an area I know quite well.

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Maeneira in the north eastern Carneddau

I parked at the Llyn Eigiau car park and set off to find a suitable spot overnight spot as high up as I could manage. I set off along the track to Clogwyn Maldy which leads to the twin reservoirs of Melynllyn and Dulyn.

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The car park was almost full at 12.00hrs and I had plenty of light left to hunt out a suitable site. My GoLite Jam was a little heavier than usual and I probably had too much stuff for just an overnighter but it was good training either way.

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Looking west back to car park

It was steady walking on the track as I passed another walker coming back down; ‘Afternoon’…no response as he looked at me?! Whats the matter with some people?

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The weather was just about right with a light breeze and some clouds skirting the Carneddau ridge and Foel Fras to my right.

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Craig y Dulyn

I paused to refill my water bottle from the many small streams and headed slowly upwards to the abandoned workings at Melynllyn Quarry.

Quarry buildings

Quarry buildings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Llyn Melynllyn (Welsh for yellow lake) is a lake on the edge of the Carneddau range of mountains in SnowdoniaNorth Wales. It lies at a height of just over 2,000 feet (610 m), and has an area of some 18.5 acres (75,000 m2). Cliffs rise steeply from its western edge, up to the summit of Foel Grach, and down from which most of its feeder streams flow. A small dam was built at its northern end in 1887, but this was deliberately breached in 1970. The lake acts as a reservoir for theLlandudno area. Less than a kilometre to its north lies the larger Llyn Dulyn. The outflow form the lake is called Afon Melynllyn, this stream flowing north-east to join Afon Dulyn, itself a tributary of the river Conwy.

I decided to carry on up the path to Melyllyn and try and find a suitable spot to camp. I did consider camping at Dulyn but it has a reputation for eiryness: An account translated from a Welsh magazine printed in 1805: “There is a lake in the mountains of Snowdon, called Dulyn, in a rugged valley, encircled by high steep rocks. This lake is extremely black, and its fish are deformed and unsightly, having large heads and small bodies. No wild swans are ever seen alighting upon it (such as are on all the other lakes in Snowdon), nor ducks, nor any bird whatever. And there is a causeway of stones leading into this lake; and if any one goes along this causeway, even when it is hot sunshine, and throws water so as to wet the furthest stone, which is called the Red Altar [yr Allawr Goch], it is a chance if it do not rain before night. Witness, T. Prys, of Plas Iolyn, and Sion Davydd, of Rhiwlas, in Llan Silin.”

Dulyn Reservoir

Dulyn Reservoir

I found a suitable spot near to Melynllyn looking back down the valley north west. It was my first pitch of the Zephyros but I had plenty of time to get it right?!

Zephyros 1

Zephyros 1

I had time to explore so I set off to take a look at both reservoirs nearby and took some pictures on my trusty Canon 350D.

Melynllyn

Melynllyn

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Tree frames Afon Dulyn and The Montain Bothy left.

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Track descends to Dulyn

I returned to camp and cooked tea and watched as a Merlin Helicopter flew in over Carnedd Llewellyn and circled overhead.

Merlin Heli

Merlin Heli

The clouds soon parted and the evening sky was clear with little wind. I made another brew and decided to head for the tent and have a lie down after all this excitement. Maybe its just me but I was disappointed with the room inside the inner tent; I felt a little claustraphobic actually.

I had an uncomfortable night all in all and was glad of the cold dawn so I could get out and make a brew! Maybe the GolLite Adrenaline sleeping bag wasn’t up to these low temperatures either??

Sunrise at Camp

Sunrise at Camp

I had a quick brekky and broke camp, deciding to head down to Dulyn and the Mountain Bothy and return via Maeneira.

mountain bothy

mountain bothy

It was a soggy walk back down to Maemeira and the car. I would seriously have to think about using the Zephyros again and would be trying out the DD Tarp next time in hopefully warmer weather.

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I did meet three sheep that were very interested by me as I walked past…rumour has they thought I was Justin Beibers uncle!

three sheep

three sheep

And one last look back up from the waterworks above Maeneira.

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Quick Trip up Penygadair

It isn’t very often that I get out in the hills on a weekend; I am usually too busy at home doing the domestic necessities. As I work from home and that is only sporadic, then I usually escape during the working week.

But as Mrs. R was going to be holed up doing her university assignments all weekend (I vant to be alone) and I saw the weather forecast was excellent, I decided on a quick trip to the hills.

Preferably during a normal April Saturday I would have combined it with an overnight camp but as we are on the verge of the new ice age I planned a day trip instead.

I set off early from home leaving the snoreheads behind and headed to my beloved Wales and was soon driving through Welshpool and well on the way. I intended to try a walk in the Rhinogs but as I drove over Bwlch Oerddrws on the A470 I saw Cadair Idris beaming at me in the rising sun and changed my plans.

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I have slept on its summit several times and I am rubbish at poetry (must be mad then?!) and only climbed via the Minffordd Path so I decided to take the easy way up and try The Pony Path from the north side for once.

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Ty Nant

It was still early when I arrived at Ty Nant and the small car park, with only a few cars in it and not a soul around. On the plus side the NT pay and stay machine was out of order so I saved myself 4 squid to boot. On a day like today I would have happily parted with the cash but hey ho, on we go.

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Pony Track

The track is very well marked and very well trodden but there are repairs ongoing further up before the main ridge to prevent erosion, so I guess the money is being spent wisely.

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Gaining the Ridge

Lots of deep snow patches lay on the path on this north facing side but it was fairly easy going up onto the main ridge before turning east onto the saddle.

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View North

There were some great views north towards the Rhinogydd range and beyond.

I continued on and then saw two figures descending towards me. Two guys stopped to chat saying, “Where is everyone?” They said there was nobody on the summit so I plodded on hoping the situation would stay the same.

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The Summit Ahead

The summit trig point was just visible as the sun started to rise and I was the warmest I had been in ages despite the altitude. I had been wearing my newly acquired RAB Vapourise Lite top up to this point but now it had to come off. The wind was very light and all in all it was a gorgeous morning.

Still no one else about as I climbed onto the final ridge and gained the trig point cairn.

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Looking north to Barmouth

Only a pair of ice climbers emerging from a gully on the north face surprised me as I walked to find a spot for my brekky feast!

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Breakfast Stop

The views all around were stunning and I could see/hear approaching climbers via the Mynffordd Path to the south.

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View South

I settled down to eat and savoured the silence for now until more climbers joined me on the warm and surprisingly balmy summit.

I decided to have a wander down the east ridge and bag another summit, Mynydd Moel at 863m. As I did so I considered descending on the Foxes Path but the lack of spikes/crampons changed my mind.

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Mynydd Moel

  So I climbed back up to the summit and started down the Pony Track again and admired the views north as I went.

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Llyn y Gadair

I took a short detour via The Saddle and then picked up the Pony Track further down the ridge.

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The Saddle

The sweating hordes were approaching as I hopped and slid down the now thawing path to the car at Ty Nant. An early start was a good idea.

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View back to Summit

It wasn’t until I saw myself in the rear view mirror that I realised I should have put on sun screen and maybe a hat! Mrs. R called me a beetroot! How very dare she!