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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Long Mynd – Lightspout, Pole Bank, Ashes Hollow

First Training Walk of 2013  – got the guys together for the first time this year for a quick circuit around Long Mynd.

Strong winds but clear skies greeted us in the car park at deaths waiting room, otherwise known as Church Stretton. Paid my parking fees but didnt realise 50p had been rejected so not enough time on the card. Dont trust these car parks so had to pay again…bummer…and it would have been a squid cheaper to pay the NT…oh well.

This was my first ‘proper’ walk with the GOLITE Jam 50L pack so I was keen to load it up a little and see how it fared.

Set off via The Burway then down into Carding Mill Valley to pick up Jack Myttons Way (Read about mad jack here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mytton)

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Carding Mill Valley

We took the path left up towards Lightspout Waterfall and didnt linger long as we were eager to get back into what sun there was up above.

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Path to Lightspout

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Lightspout Waterfall

We trudged on to pick up the well trodden path up to The shooting box @ SO421953, then kept heading west until we found the trig point at Pole Bank (The highest point on the Long Mynd is Pole Bank at a height of 516 m (1,693 ft))

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From Pole Bank we headed back to the road and towards Boiling Well spring to pick up the boggy path down into Ashes Hollow.

We stopped by one of the many wizzended hawthorn trees and had our spot of lunch while the sheep looked on nervously and wild ponies wandered by.

Mostly downhill from now on with the path very boggy after the recent heavy snow had melted. We chatted and planned our 2013 in the hills, and looked to further afield as we are planning a trek along the Lycian Way in Turkey later this year.

Before long we were in the camping site at Ashes Hollow and then into the pub for a few well earned pints.

The Golite Jam was very comfortable and I cant wait to load it up properly and try out the DD Tarp on a night (or two) out.

Quite an easy start to 2013 but we were all knackered after Xmas excesses. Ive been wild camping, mountaineering, bivvying, drinking, walking with these guys for 40 years now and every day is a pleasure. Long my it continue.

See the OS Getamap route below.

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Planning a Walk using OS ‘getamap’

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Here is a screen capture of my latest map using the OS getamap software. Its free to use and to print out a half page map. You have to register to save your maps and walks and to print out a full page map. I think it costs £15 or thereabouts to join and register; well worth it.

Weather looks ok for Tuesday so I will post some pics and details of the walk.