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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

ysgafell wen & cwm Lledr

Driving down the single track road through Blaenau Dolwyddelan the temperature gauge in the car was showing -7 deg c , in sharp contrast to the 4 deg c when I left home.  parking at the end of the road  I got out of the car , clear blue skies - hoar frost on the grass , moel siabod behind looking majestic in the morning light , foel goch & yr Arddu infront of me , hardly any wind - I knew I was in for a good day.

I set off along the path through coed mawr  branching right, the craggy face of Clogwyn yr Adar soon greeted me .


I continued along the path , which I left at the highest point for a pathless climb to Foel goch , gaining height the views started to open up , moel siabod dominating the skyline behind me.

Continuing on towards the rocky summit of Yr Arddu , the Snowdon massif came into view to my right .   Yr Arddu is a lovely rocky ridge  with many false summits, soon I reached the top . I spent a while photographing & taking in the views , a nice spot to linger.



Continuing SW , I passed various part frozen pools , looking very attractive in the sun today .
 Further on Moel Meirch came into view , with Llyn edno to the right.



I continued on to Llyn Edno , where I planned to stop for a lunch break , before heading onto the Ysgafell Wen ridge .

An extended lunch break was taken whilst I soaked up the views  which were excellent today.
Snowdon in front of me , the Glyderau beyond to the right , the Hebog ridge to left , with views out to sea , this part of Snowdonia has it all !
After lunch I set of for Ysgafell Wen , plunging knee deep into a bog , taking a bootfull in the process
nothing could dampen my spirits , clear mountain views have that effect on you.
I arrived at Llynnau r cwm about an hour before sunset , quickly located a pitch , then  with camera at the ready , I awaited sunset .
as the sun went down it illuminated the surrounding hills, orange light at first , changing to subtle pinks later on .

After sunset I retired to the trailstar for a hot drink & food , after which I poured a whisky and toasted the mountains ( a bit of a tradition now for me !) whilst sitting there I  watched the first of the nights star's appearing , this is why I love the trailstar so much - always an open view !
I relaxed for a while , then got out to take some more pics , a stiff cold wind had developed , I tried to get a close up of the trailstar , but the wind, plus long exposures, meant it wasn't possible to get a sharp shot .
A while later I saw headlamps across the valley , last few day walkers heading down I thought , they then got closer , had someone noticed my car , mountain rescue on their way ?
They reached the lake just below my camp , there were around a dozen of them , they all seemed to be checking maps , taking bearings.  They shone their headlamps towards me , and got a shock when I turned mine on ! turned out they were doing some kind of night time navigation course , and continued on their way .
The weather warmed in the night ,I  had taken my mountain laurel designs spirit quilt , to use as an overquilt -  over my western mountaineering summerlite - but didn't need it , the last of the whisky was consumed , then I drifted of to sleep.
I awoke about an hour before sunrise , but could see the clag was down ( another thing I really like about the trailstar) so I went back to sleep for another hour or so.
When I next awoke , the clag was still down , the weather had forecasted it to brighten up from mid morning , so a leisurely breakfast was consumed , together with coffee , then hot chocolate , wildcamping luxury !
striking camp I wandered down to the 1st of 3 lakes at Llynaur r cwm , which was part frozen the night before - now completely thawed  due to the rising temperature .  A few pics were taken - water replenished , then I moved on , another wildcamp to remember.
Shortly after I reached Ysgafell Wen south top , nice views to Cnicht & numerous lakes , from here.
Continuing on to Moel Druman , Llyn Conglog came into view , further along I could see Llyn Iwerddon , where I planned on taking the path that passes to the right - skirting the southern side of Allt-fawr , from where I intended on descending into  cwm Lledr , but I decided to continue along the ridge , and descend towards Llyn Dyrnogydd ( which turned out to be a better proposition )
From Lln Drnogydd  I continued on .  Just after Moel Drnogydd  a quad bike track appeared , I followed this down , then the air shaft that serves the Blaenau tunnel  came into view.
This provided on easy navigational reference point  to pick up the track that returns to Blaenau Dolwyddelan .   Moel siabod then becomes more prominent , cwm Lledr is a lovely valley , with great views of the mountain cirque that surrounds it , a few ruins en- route added further interest.
Further along the track I reached the point where the Ffestiniog  railway enters the tunnel- to emerge the other side in Blaenau Ffestiniog , no doubt an engineering marvel in its day!
From here the track continues , to pass under the railway via a bridge , on my last visit I followed the path through hendre farm - non existant on the ground , this time I turned right - a much better return route to Blaenau Dolwyddelan , taking 1 last photo of the view towards moel siabod , and the last of the autumn colour .
Thanks for reading , Till the next time - happy wildcamping


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