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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A winter wildcamp -cnicht - the welsh matterhorn




The week prior to this wild camp was spent trying to decide where to go . I find it hard to pick a place to visit , whether to try somewhere new, or an area I've not visited for a while. The weather forecast wasn't helping , as it was very hard to second guess what the weather was going to do . Initially I decided on visiting Snowdonia - in particular an area that I last visited over 4 yrs ago- yr arddu & cnicht , the forecast then seemed to favour areas further north , so I planned a couple of routes - one in the lake district , and another to the howgills .

A last minute check on the weather , and my mind was made up - forecast was for rain Saturday morning , clearing through early afternoon , a dry frosty morning on sunday , before rain made its way back in late afternoon - for once they got it right .

My original route was similar to the 1 above , except I planned to return via Moel y Dyniewyd .
the choice being made on the day , in the end i continued down to Llyn dinas , instead of heading west to Moel y Dyniewyd - it had  started  raining so no point climbing higher again.

From beddgelert , I took the low route out to Nantmoor , and ascended yr arddu  , despite this being a summit under 400 mtrs, it has the feel of a much higher/ harder route , yr arddu is a steep boulder and heather clad summit , that wouldn't look out of place in the rhinog's !

climbing steeply through the forest to meet the stone wall higher up , I could see the top was still in mist , frequent shower's came and went but, as I neared the summit it began to clear.



 
 
 








I spent a while pottering around on the summit , the last time I camped here , I pitched the akto  by the summit cairn, and had to pitch on bracken , as there were no dry grassy area's - but it made a comfortable pitch .
Shortly after the summit , Llyn yr arddu came into view .

 
 


From here I headed east , aiming for a saddle between the next 2 high points , I came across some lovely potential wild camp sites here , flat dry grass - fantastic views , I noted them for future visit's.

Continuing on , the first of 2 lake's at Llynnau Cerrig - y myllt came into view , another splendid location , I spent some time wandering around the many outcrops here , so peaceful - and not another soul in sight .

Continuing on , the sun came out giving great views across to the Snowdon range , approaching Cnicht from the western side , I came across a perfect camp site - flat dry grass with a terrific view to match , I wanted to ascend Cnicht , and seek a pitch on the northern ridge however , so I  continued
on , hoping to find an equally good site .












 
 




A final push , and i was on the 1st summit , looking back there were great views out to sea , I saw 2 walker's coming up - the only folk I would see until I got down to Llyn dinas the next day .

Ahead was cnicht north top , a short scramble and I was on top , continuing on I sought a pitch ,
and located a good one, on a grassy shelf over looking Llyn yr Adar.

 




























Settling into the Trailstar, I spent an enjoyable evening - gazing out at the view, whilst enjoying hot pasta , coffee and later whisky .

After dark there were a few stormy hail/snow showers , I  lay there in my superlite bivy , warm and safe from the element's , it's amazing how a thin sheet of silnylon can give the impression of being
in a fortress !
Later I  drifted off to sleep , I was awoken around 4 am to what sounded this something sniffing around the outside of my shelter - probably wind noise I  thought , next morning I noticed fresh paw prints leading away from my shelter , Max wasn't with me on this trip - must have been a fox.

Noticing the sides of the trailstar bowing in I got out to retighten guyline's , there was a layer of snow
on the Trailstar which had froze , I removed it & re-tightened guys , then went back to sleep for a couple of hours .

I  next awoke around 7 am , wasn't expecting a good sunrise due the weather , in fact we had quite a good colourful one .







































Striking camp that morning was a relaxed affair - it was gone 9 before I finally moved on , I was in no rush.
 Descending past the in flow to Llyn yr Adar - over the next minor rise , Llyn Llagi came into view.

The descent past Y cyrniau was very icy , I had packed the micro spikes though , without them it would be slow / dangerous going .










The path leading down to Llyn dinas , is quite boggy in places , and  carefull map work is needed , as it's not easy to follow in places .

a while later I reached Llyn Dinas, and followed the shore path back to beddgelert .





Once back at home , I found out +David Beechey (murpharoo) had camped further down the ridge the same night , pity I didn't get to meet him - would like to have had a look at his Tramplite pack !

Till next time - happy wild camping

Daron