Search This Blog

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Craig Eigiau , Melyllyn, Dulyn & a Duke of Edinburgh invasion

I was meant to going to the lakes  for a camp with peter Dixon (munro 277), however when checking the weather , the forecast for the lakes was iffy to say the least .

Like many outdoor folk /backpackers though , I turn into a right grumpy sod if I'm kept from my beloved hills for to long .  a check of the weather in Snowdonia , showed that whilst not perfect , it was slightly better than the forecast for the lakes .

Supplies and backpacking gear were thrown into a rucksack  maps scoured , and a rough route planned , I don't know about other backpackers , but when packing my rucksack , I always have this feeling I've forgotten something .

Plan was to park at the end of the valley road that leads to Llyn Eigiau , head up over Craig Eigiau , over Gledrffordd , then onto the carneddau , depending on conditions I would either camp on the western side of Carnedd Llewelyn , on a lovely flat grassy area over looking Yr Elen , a spot I had found a couple of years ago , but not got round to using yet .

A camp there would mean carrying water  or melting snow if there was enough fresh snowfall , the other option if weather was bad , was to drop down into Cwm Caseg and camp near Ffynnon Caseg ,
it can be very boggy down there , so that option would not be good if it was very wet .

Parking the car  I loaded the  pack , it had been mostly dry on the drive in , but light rain started as I set off on the track leading to Melyllyn.

Further up I left this path to head for a ladder stile , then followed the stone wall , which goes to the summit of Craig Eigiau.

As I got higher the rain turned to snow .

Nearing the summit the mist rolled in , the wind was quite strong , gusts to 35mph ( measured on my new skywatch 2 ) temp was around 2 deg c , with a winchill of - 2 deg c .

The snow fall would meant I could melt snow , avoiding carrying water ( or so I thought !)

Remember earlier comments re. forgetting something ? I then suddenly remembered I hadn't re-filled my meths bottle , I hastily dropped my pack , I had enough left for an overnighter , but not to melt snow , then the 2nd thought hit me ... water bottles ... damn , I had forgot those as well , I had packed the sawyer water filter .

The next 5 min's were spent cursing my stupidity - anyone watching   would have thought there was a madman on the mountain .

That combined with the weather , meant I was not in the best of moods .

Taking 5 mins  for a bite to eat , I assessed the situation , I had 2 options - go home early - my outdoor time is limited , I can get out for a backpack at least once a month , but have set slot's ,
I cannot pick according to the weather , I either have to deal with it , or stay at home , I love my time outdoors and am very stubborn when it comes to giving it up .

The 2nd option was to deal with the situation , the weather at present wasn't very good , but tomorrow could be different, I had a 1 litre Nalgene with me to use for 'clean' water , I could boil water to purify , that meant camping close to water , I dislike camping near 'honey-pot' sites , but decided to drop down and camp by either Melynllyn or Dulyn .

I dropped back down to the main path and followed it to the first reservoir .

I reached the first reservoir  but didn't fancy a camp here , so I continued to the 2nd , down the steep path - a little trickier today , due to the conditions .

Arriving at Dulyn reservoir I searched around for a pitch site , I could have used the bothy further on , but would have to make a few trips as and when needed for water , it is a very popular site however , so decided to camp near to the reservoir .

I set up camp , fetched water , then I relaxed half in my sleeping bag with a cup of coffee , surveying the view over the reservoir , the tops were in mist , so this was a good choice after all .

A little later I opened the whisky , my daughter had got me a very nice bottle of single malt - talisker storm for my birthday  a few weeks ago -  I had saved enough for this trip , I lay bag totally content .

A while later I could hear loud voices coming up the valley , as they got closer they got louder , they were playing loud music as well .

They seemed to be heading for the bothy - glad I hadn't set up there , for the next half hour or so it sounded like they were having some sort of party , I considered packing away and heading home , but decided to stay put .

A while later I could hear a few of them crunching through the snow , very close to my trailstar ,
"can I help you " I said , as I couldn't see any one , 2 young girls appeared at the door of my trailstar ,
apparently they were a D of E group , and were looking for some where to camp , the bothy was full .

They pitched a few metres behind me , and kept the noise down once they knew someone was near ,
They seemed a good bunch .

The wind died down , only to pick up in the night , it was swirling though , blasting the rear of the Trailstar , and every now and then coming through the door , I got out to move door , but was unable to get a shielded door , the one time I could have done with the Oookworks door I hadn't bought it , as I have never had to use it .

Morning arrived calmer and brighter , I decided to climb back the way I had come  rather than take the valley track , in the hope of getting some good photographs .

Return route was a reverse of the  previous days route .

I'll leave you with some photo's from my return journey .

Til next time .... happy wildcamping.

Daron :-)