Heading up the lane towards a church I branched of right along a green lane through an attractive woodland- a route I had last walked around 5 years ago. Parts I remembered well, parts of it I didn't, it was nice to be reacquainted with these hills.
Soon I reached the wall at the foot of Craig y Benglog where I dropped my pack, grabbed my camera, and climbed the short way to the summit. I arrived at the same time as another heavy blustery shower so I didn't wait around to take any pics, especially as I had taken off my wet gear and stowed it in my pack. By the time I got back to my pack I was quite wet, but once waterproofs were Again donned, combined with warmth generated whilst walking, I dried off in no time.
One advantage of days like this, particularly in autumn, is that you get some very nice atmospheric light - although you need to be quick to take advantage.
Heading down the rain eased and I was treated to so wonderful contrasting light . Dduallt - know locally as the ' Black Height' lived up to its name appearing very dark in comparison to the surrounding hills.
Surveying the route ahead I Scanned the ground ahead, trying to pick out the best line to head towards the southern ridge of Dduallt. The ground ahead is mostly pathless and quite rough going with numerous bogs to avoid. Eventually I started the ascent to Dduallt, stopping at a convenient spot for lunch which was enjoyed whilst enjoying the views back over to Craig y Benglog and over to Tomorrows destination - Rhobell Fawr.
Once at the summit of Dduallt strong winds and colder air turned the showers to sleet, the wind was changing direction to blow in from the North. I had planned to descend towards the Afon Mawddach and ascend towards Cefn y Griafolen and find a spot to camp. The strong winds meant I would need to find a sheltered pitch so I kept an eye out for a good site. At around the 450 meter mark I found such a spot and although early I called it a day. Water for camp was sourced and soon I was under cover warming up with a hot Brew.
After an hour or so of lying there listening to the sound of rain on the fly there was a brief interlude and I was treated to some lovely late afternoon light- complete with a very vivid rainbow, I did contemplate looking for a pot of gold at the end but decided to be content with a few pics and footage.
Awaking the next morning to the sound of what I thought was rain, I peered out at world dominated by white.. the rain had turned to snow/sleet overnight, Raindrops had frozen on the outside of the Khufu. Max stared at me waiting for permission to leave the tent, at the same time I got out for a comfort break and took the opportunity to get a few pics before returning to the Khufu for hot coffee.
It was around 10 am before I struck camp, by now the showers had stopped and it was a much better day. The surrounding higher tops all had their winter coat on looking magnificent under blue skies.
Desending to the Afon Mawddach I crossed near the stone wall which ascends towards Cefn y Griafolen. The ice covered rocks meant very careful foot placement was needed to avoid a cold bath. I reached the other side with much relief and continued on ascending alongside the stone wall. Moel Llyfnant and Arenig Fawr came into view and I continued Northwards before before branching off towards Ffridd yr Allt Lwyd.
The summit of Allt yr Allt Lwyd is a broad flat plateau, marked by a few stones on a small patch of slightly higher ground, not one of the most inspiring summits but its very steep slopes on the southern edge give excellent views towards the valley floor. To the North west the Rhinog summits of Rhinog Fawr, Rhinog Fach and Y Llethr dominated the skyline. To the South was the summit of Rhobell y Big which always reminds me of a mimi version of Tryfan, further on was Rhobell Fawr where I planned on meeting up with @Chrisw00dcock.
From valley level I took the path I had spied on the descent stopping for lunch at the point where the path leaves the forested area to head into the open hillside. The path peters out higher up and I took the best line I could, collecting water from a stream before ascending to Rhobell Fawr. Once at the summit I visited a spot where I had camped before but the strong northerly's were blowing straight in.
I continued to the summit cairn to see if I could see Chris, keeping an eye out for a good sheltered spot as I went. Once at the cairn I messaged Chris to see where he was before descending to a good sheltered spot that I spotted whilst at the cairn. I was so busy making camp that I didn't hear my phone ping and minutes later Chris crossed the stile near my pitch. After a meet and great Chris set about pitching his Trailstar whilst I continued to get sorted and a brew on. After a warming brew we went for a wander to take in the fantastic views from a near by rocky outcrop before returning to our individual shelters for warm food.
When I awoke the next morning The Khufu had a coating of frost on the inside and out. My boots had froze and there was ice in my platypus. Reaching down into the depths of my bag I retrieved the Nalgene which I had filled with hot water the night before, and my meths bottle. I put some water on for a hot coffee then refilled the Nalgene to thaw out my boots. Once boots were thawed I got out to take in the morning sun, I had set my alarm for sunrise as I usually do but forgot to take into account the clocks going back and its effect on the time of sunrise. After a good chat about what was going on in our lives since our last meet up we set about striking camp. After an enjoyable descent we were soon back at our individual vehicles, I was so busy chatting to Chris that I forgot to take any more pics or footage ! another enjoyable trip over. As I'm typing this withdrawal symptoms have already surfaced and I'm busy planning my next trip.. hopefully to the Lake District this time.
Thanks taking the time to read, and thanks Chris for the company.
Till next time..