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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Gear for sale

After much deliberation I have decided to sell my Mountain Laurel Designs cuben Duomid plus Oooksworks inner . I have a Mountain laurel Designs Trailstar & superlite bivy which is perfect for my needs 90% of the time , the exception being winter .. in particular snow.

Many use the Duomid in winter  and it is a great shelter, but I've decided I want a few things that it cant give me , most notably free standing.

Mountain laurel Designs cuben doumid - latest version and a little larger than previous models.
in excellent condition , was not happy with how stitching on mid panel guys was finished , so I emailed Ron and he sent some cuben patches to rectify , it is now much better and feels a lot more secure .

I also had Ron add a 2nd lineloc to other door enabling each door to be pegged out independently.

There is currently a wait of around 8 - 12 wks for this to ship from Mountain Laurel Design's.

cost new $440 plus $35 shipping fees , today currency conversion makes this £354.00 - import / handling fee's would take this to over £400

price inc shipping

£325.00 sold.

Also for sale is a Oookworks inner , cuben floor , t zip , full ripstop sides / rear .
part mesh / ripstop doors .
this cost £285 from Sean , and again involves a lengthy waiting period .

price inc. shipping.

£225.00 sold.

weights on my scales
Duomid complete with guys in stuff sack 480 grms .

Oooksworks inner in stuff sack  370 g

Both items are in excellent condition , the inner nest has always been used with a polycro groundsheet , both have had around 6 nights use .Discount for anyone buying both Items.

Anyone interested please contact me through


Some  Pics.




Thursday, 7 September 2017

NE Carneddau - A Walk on the Quieter side

A chance to get out for a couple of days gave me the usual problem - where to go ? I find it hard to decide a destination for a trip these day's , in the end I decided to visit Snowdonia - in particular the quieter North Eastern side of the Carneddau , an area I was last in around 3 years ago . On that occasion I walked the ridge from Foel Dduarth to Foel Grach completely misted out . I knew the views were there from the brief glimpses I got - I was hoping for better views this time .

Plan was for a 2 day circuit , starting and finishing in Abergwyngregyn on the coast of north wales .
the 1st day gave superb views and I was hopeful I would get a good sunset .. it was not to be ! the evening brought cloud and the wind picked up , It got very strong during the night which combined with heavy rain made for an interesting night .

Parking in Abergwyngregyn I shouldered my pack and took the lane SE towards Aber falls before crossing the bridge , then continuing SE to the carpark below Foel Dduarth . From there I took the track North, to where it joins the North Wales Path which I left to ascend to the saddle between Foel Dduarth & Foel -ganol .

Soon I reached the saddle , then took the short walk east to the summit.

Foel Dduarth .

Heather clad slopes on Foel Dduarth .

Foel Dduarth summit area .

The sight and smell of the heather was a real treat for the sense's , the vivid purple contrasting superbly with the green grassy hillside beyond. Sky and  sea seemed to melt into one , I could have spent ages here but the higher tops were calling me , and after taking a few pic's / video I continued towards Foel -ganol.

Foel - ganol .

As I got higher , the views got better and better . I stopped regularly to look back - today was one of those days to savour .

looking back to Foel Dduarth with Moel Wnion beyond . 

Looking back to Foel -ganol .

Heather on Foel -ganol with Foel Dduarth beyond .

View towards the north Wales coast.

Light and shade , en - route to Yr Orsedd

Heading for Drum I spotted a trailer ahead  fenced of - I presumed it was a farmer out doing his rounds ( I had passed a few on quad bikes rounding up sheep lower down ) .

As I neared I could see no one , but noticed a sign - turns out it was a scientific data site , it was there to monitor the effect of sheep urine - nitrous oxide , and it's contribution to green house gasses - the first time I have come across such a site in the hills .

The notice explains further .

An easy meandering path leads to the summit of Drum  and higher up Llyn Anafon came into view . Shortly after I left the main path to head for the fence line above , the summit being reached soon after . I remember taking a rest from the wind/rain on my previous visit , this time it was a much better day & I took a lunch break  at the summit shelter .

Llyn Anafon , Foel Fras &  Lwytmor .

Looking back to Foel Dduarth, Foel -ganol & Yr Orsedd .

Llwytmor from Drum .
Foel Fras from Drum .
Rested , fed and watered , I set of on the steep climb to Foel Fras . I remember this as a relentless gruelling climb - partly no doubt to the bleak conditions last time I was here . This time although no less steep , the ascent was a far more enjoyable one with views to make up for the effort required .
Foel Fras .

'Max' enjoying the view , Foel Fras beyond .
Llwytmor & Llyn Anafon .

Looking back to Drum .
Foel Fras summit .

Arriving at the summit I was greeted with spectacular views - what a contrast to last time ! I surveyed the route ahead, the original plan was to continue towards Carnedd Gwenllian before heading west to Yr Aryg . From there I planned to head for Bera Mawr and camp there, but I had made very good progress  meaning I would arrive too early . I pondered for a while , before deciding to head for Llwytmor , exporing the area below Foel Fras at the same time .
Llwytmor from Foel Fras

Pool en - route to Llwytmor .
Llwytmor and pools .
Looking back to Foel Fras from Llwytmor .
After spending time exporing Llytmor , I headed back towards Foel Fras . Plan was to traverse round towards Yr Aryg without loosing too much height .I  collected water at a stream en- route  for a wild camp later - it pretty much went to plan , and gave me chance to further explore a seldom walked area of the Carneddau .
Bera Bach & Bera Mawr .

Bera Mawr .
I reached Yr Aryg without too much difficulty  and surveyed the route a head towards my planned camp spot - Bera Mawr . To the north there were good views towards Carnedd Llewellyn.
View towards Carnedd Llewelyn fron Yr Aryg .

Shortly after leaving Yr Aryg I came across a flat grassy area between the rocky outcrops  with fantastic views towards Bera Bach and Bear Mawr , with the north wales coast beyond . Although early it was to good to  pass on . Soon the Trailstar was pitched , and I was settled inside with a brew enjoying the view ( no pun intended ) :-).
Bera Mawr and the coast from camp .
I was still hopefull of a good sunset , but it was not to be .. cloud rolled in rendering the landscape a muted grey . I got out to take a couple of camp pics , then returned to the trailstar and settled down with a single malt and enjoyed the rest of the evening .
later I cooked dinner - my usual fare .. a couple of sachets of cuppa soup for starters , pasta n sauce based main , chocolate bar for desert, all washed down with coffee .
Llwytmor from camp .
Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar .
 The rain came in during the evening  accompanied by strong winds ... strong enough to blow the centre pole out on a couple of occasions, although this was easily sorted - 1 of the reasons I prefer to use a superlite bivy as apposed to an inner - getting out of the latter would complicate matters  especially  if zipped up inside .
The winds seemed even stronger at dawn , and the rain had been near constant - par the course for my trips this year . I cannot remember a worse year for bad weather in the hills, but in a strange sort of way  I still greatly enjoy my trips out .. although I wasn't relishing the prospect of striking camp & returning to base in such conditions !
I had planned on visiting Bera Bach & Bera Mawr on the way back , but due to conditions I omitted them. A route was planned to skirt around Drosgl and take the lower path round Moel Wnion enabling an easier return . The rain got lighter as I approached Moel Wnion so I decided to go over the summit after visiting Gyrn . I arrived back at my car at around 12 pm where I ate lunch before the return journey to the midlands .
Til next time , happy wildcamping :-)

stat's 15.4 miles 4695 ft. ascent 4694 ft. descent

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Hartsop & Glenridding Fells

This was a route I came up with to bag a few odd un-climbed Wainwrights I had in the area - High Hartsop Dodd,  Green side , Hartside , Sheffield Pike & Glenridding Dodd . The rest were 'familiar friends' whose summits I had crossed many times .

Parking in Hartsop I took the lane back to the A592 to pick up the shore path at the northern end of Brothers Water.

This provided a nice gentle warm up , before the next climb to High Hartsop Dodd. commencing the steep climb, I stopped regularly to both admire the views - Brothers water with Place Fell behind and views towards Hart Crag and Fairfield further up, and to catch my breath !

Soon I arrived at the summit of High Hartsop Dodd and the views opened up , Dove Crag & Hart Crag coming clearly into view .

Just before Little Hart Crag the showers started , the forecast was for odd light showers so I donned my wind shirt - usually enough to fend off light showers /rain . The odd 'light showers' turned to heavy persistent rain further up , and I begrudgingly donned full wet gear for the climb to Dove Crags. Another steep pull and I gained the summit , Hart Crags then came clearly into view.

Continuing on I arrived on Fairfield and Grisedale Tarn came into view , this is a nice vantage point for views towards Dollywagon Pike , down to Grisedale Forest and back to St Sunday Crag.

The rain stopped and intermittent sunlight lit up the landscape , everything seems fresh with vivid colours in conditions like these - light/ shade & mist/cloud all adding atmosphere to the land scape .

Continuing on I descended steeply towards Grisedale Tarn , meeting the 1st walkers of the day .

Part way up the direct route to Dollywagon Pike I took advantage of the stone wall , and stopped for a brew/lunch and to dry off my wind shirt at the same time .

I spent around 30 mins here , relaxing with a brew , taking in the scenery before continuing on . I changed back into my now dry windshirt - the rain had stopped but there was quite a stiff cool breeze which I was thankfull of as it kept me cool on the climb . Soon I reached the 'post' and the route levelled off as I strode along the ridge - a very easy airy walk form here . Along the way I visited a camp site I used during winter nearly 3 years ago , it is quite exposed , but offers a superb view point in calm conditions .

A little while later Striding Edge came into view with a few folk traversing it en-route to Helvellyn . With it being  the height of the holiday season I expected quite a few folk to be at the  summit , there were a few , but nowhere near the numbers I expected !

The last familiar summit was Stybarrow Dodd , then I headed east on to new ground . As I went I got a nice view of what would be the last unclimbed  Wainwright of the trip - Catstye Cam , but 1st there was new ground to explore and a camp for the night to be found !

Stybarrow Dodd was reached , then I headed east towards Green Side . There were some good looking sites here but nowhere offered any shelter so I continued to Hartside . Once there I scouted the area but couldn't find anywhere that was a: flat enough b: dry or  c: sheltered so I continued to Birkett fell - this turned out to be a good choice , and the views were amongst the best in Lakeland ! soon the Duomid was pitched and I headed NW to a stream shown on map to collect water.

The pitch was a very comfortable one , and I almost over slept and missed the sunrise! I awoke with the Duomid alight with bright orange / red light , and it was a made dash to get out and capture it .

A leisurely breakfast & a couple of brews were had whilst I soaked up the views before striking camp and moving on . 1st on todays agenda was Sheffield Pike & I enjoyed a lovely early morning walk around Glencoyne Head . The forecast was for more persistent rain to return in the afternoon / evening - I hoped it would hold of as long as possible . the summits of Sheffield Pike & Glenridding Dodd were soon reached ,but unfortunately it was already becoming overcast.

Descending to Glenridding , I crossed Glenridding Beck and joined the main path to Birkhouse Moor.
It had been around 3 years since I was last up here and on that occasion poor weather thwarted an ascent to Catstye Cam , I was hoping for better weather this time . As I gained height there were good views back to Glenridding and the surrounding Fells .

Hopes of good weather for my ascent to Catstye Cam were soon dashed , as I reached the summit of Birkhouse Moor the wind picked up and it started raining - forcing me to once again don waterproofs .History was repeating itself , I weighed up the options then decided to just go for it , even though the likelihood of views from the summit was very slim .
I reached the summit a little while later , but conditions meant I couldn't take any photo's or video , I did measure the wind speed and temperature with my Skywatch though - constant 35 mph , with a windchill of 0.5 deg c !
I descended west towards Red Tarn Beck so I could collect water for a summit camp on Birkhouse Moor . with 4 ltrs added to my pack I continued on - the rain getting heavier as I went .
Nearing Birkhouse Moor I had my doubts whether I would be able to find any where sheltered and dry enough - the ground was becoming very saturated . My doubts were confirmed on reaching the summit again- everywhere was soaked with nowhere offering shelter from the strong winds and heavy rain ,I pondered the alternatives and decided to descend to see if I could find anywhere suitable for a comfy camp , if not I could continue back to hartsop - there was still enough daylight to allow me that choice .
Further down I spotted a likely looking flat spot , the wind was coming from the SW and the stout stone wall would provide shelter from the winds / rain .
It turned out to be a good spot -flat short dry heather , experience has taught me sites like this tend to be well drained , dry and very comfy  and I was soon under my Duomid wrapped up in my quilt with a brew -snug and content listening to the winds and sound of rain on the flysheet .
The rain continued through the night and early morning but shortly after breakfast it stopped and the sun came out providing good shots of camp , before striking and moving on .
I descended to Patterdale , then took the lane for a leisurely walk  back to Hartsop .
Till next time , happy wildcamping
Daron :-)
stats - 25.8 miles  8708 ft ascent 8763ft descent