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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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.