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Nantlle Ridge Wild camp

Nantlle Ridge Wild camp

Postby Rekrab » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:18 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Craig Cwm Silyn, Mynydd Drws-y-coed, Mynydd Graig Goch, Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd, Trum y Ddysgl

Date walked: 16/11/2011

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 1574m

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Nantlle ridge.
with some time free from work I had this walk planned for a wee while, this ridge has been looking at me from my Snowdonia Mountain chart on the wall asking to be climbed I just needed a couple days freed up so I could do it and maybe add on a couple more hills.
So this week I found the time and after posting on various social networking sites found an accomplice who was crazy enough. The plan; camp Monday night on Y Garn (Moel Hebog) then start the rest of the ridge at first light on Tuesday morning, doubling back to Trum-y-Ddysgl and descending to the South and picking up the ridge heading up Moel Lefn and further on to another wild camp on Moel Hebog summit.
Y Garn from the car park and route start.

We left Betws-y-Coed at 14:00 and headed for Rhyd Ddu, Alan new of a parking spot and we found it empty and hoped that the Joskins would leave it be for a few days.
up we went Alan had a 9kg pack and I was carrying what I reckon was around 12kg.
the whole walk up the topic of conversation was the cold night ahead and there had been much banter about the tarp that I was choosing to bring along on the walk to sleep under I went on-and-on about I’ve never been cold with my sleeping bag/bivvi bag combination and was quite confident that I would have a lovely night.
The wind was howling on the way up and we started taking in the views behind us
Snowdon from Path up Y Garn (Moel Hebog)

Moel Hebog group where we will be camping tomorrow night.

After some good banter and a steep climb we found ourselves on y Garn in no time at all (70 minutes really) took some more pics and set to getting camp sorted.
we found a wall sheltering us out the wind unfortunately it was atop some cliffs, Alan didn’t seem bothered so we set up our camps before the show began.
Nantlle ridge before sunset from Y garn ( last two hills can’t be seen).

our camp and our sunset starting.

Now while setting up my basha securely I then took out the trusty sleeping bag and Bivvi bag that I’ve been going on about for the whole walk up only to find that I brought the wrong sleeping bag!! I brought a poly cotton summer sleeping bag, not to be used at 633m in Mid November under a basha!!! Opps better keep this one quiet . Alan was distracted by the sunset so luckily didn’t notice my daft sleeping bag. The wind was howling and stingingly cold even huddled behind our wee wall.
we put on all out clothes and jackets and headed over the wall to get some proper pictures of the sunset
Sunset over Nantlle ridge.

Snowdon in the Evening sun.

Last Look at sunset.

Alan was surprised to hear that I was turning in at 19:30 and (I think reluctantly) turned in aswell.
The temperature had dropped so much that I had condensation on the inside of my basha! And when the wind whipped it, water would then flick down onto my face, so that woke me up a few hundred times throughout the night. I Slept facing east and at 20:00 the full moon came up over Snowdon and Blinded me in the face waking me up again.I slept the rest of the night in the fetal position facing the cliff to the north thinking about the amount of body heat I must have been tossing away to create the amount of condensation on the inside of my tarp when there is no shortage of ventilation!!!.
Much to my delight morning had come and with it another opportunity for photos this time on the other side of the mountain looking over the Moelwyns and the sunrise high above Blaenau Ffestinog.
Alan emerged from his tent in the morning soaking with condensation himself and after telling me he’d spent £2** on the tent and that it fit into a day sack with a sleeping bag I knew that probably wasn’t normal. Turns out we slept in 4°C that night and I thought that if felt worse than that but we/I survived and we had a cracking ridge ahead of us.
sunrise over the Moelwyns.

first light hitting the cliffs on Mynydd Mawr.

after the pics were all taken I took apart my basha and placed in on the summit cairn so that the morning sun would dry it off, I did the same with my tarpaulin and sleeping bag.
we had breakfast while we let our stuff dry out in the sun before packing it away.
we headed along the ridge at 09:10 towards Mynydd Drws-y-coed which had been looking very handsome with all its sharp rocks and cliffs.
Looking to Y garn from half-way up Mynydd Drws-y-coed

Alan almost on top of Mynydd Drws-y-Coed.

We really couldn’t believe the weather and how lucky we were. As the sun shot higher in the sky I started to warm up for the first time since 19:30 the night before.
the sun still to the east and doing its best to burn off the cloud gave us Silhouetted mountains, foggy Valleys, and the slightest of haze making for spectacular pictures.
Moelwyns and Colwyn Valley from Mynydd Drws-y-Coed

Meol Hebog range where we intend on camping tonight.

After Mynydd Drws-y-Coed we were quickly on Trum-y-Ddysgl where we were going to have to leave our rucksacks on the hillside for the rest of the ridge as we were going to finish it and double back to Trum-y-Ddysgl and descend to the South to pick up our ridge to Moel hebog group.
the rest of the ridge was four hills so doubling back we would have to do seven hills before we saw our rucksacks again so we went very light and estimated three hours until we picked them up again.
About to make the rucksack drop on Trum-y-Ddysgl. Looking to Mynydd tal-y-Mignedd & Craig cwn Silyn.

The crazy down climb off Mynydd tal-y-Mignedd. Steeper than it looks here.

Without heavy rucksacks we quickly reached Mynydd tal-y-Mignedd and took some pics at the interesting obelisk on the summit then headed for the big drop between it and Craig Cwm Silyn.
the walk off Mynydd tal-y-Mignedd was very steep and slippy with vertical slate popping out the grass and with the sun not reaching this part of the hill yet it was slippy. We then were blessed with a bit of lovely scrambling (we later found out was not needed but probably saved us some time) on a large Pinnacle at the start of Craig Cwm Silyn. This ridge really does have everything.
The Large Pinnacle at the start of Craig Cwn Silyn.

Alan scrambling up ahead, almost at the top.

Craig Cwm silyn was a very tough climb once the cairn at 734 was reached we were getting tired and we still had two more hills to go until the ridge ended and three to re-climb before collecting our packs and climbing the three Moel Hebog hills.
So we danced over the summit of Craig Cwm Silyn and there was a lovely slope that headed to the top of Carnedd goch with almost no incline afterwards giving the legs a good rest.
We then had another drop before hitting the last hill Mynydd Craig-goch which was (promoted to Hewitt in 1998) a new hill for Alan!! Just when you think the man had climbed everything there is.
Looking to Mynydd Craig-goch from Carnedd Goch.

Looking to carnedd Goch from Mynydd craig-Goch.

We then caught up with a walker that went through our camp at 7:30 in the morning and he was kind enough to take our picture at the end of the ridge he was nearly the only person we saw the whole day.
Alan, and I at the end of the Nantlle ridge. A lot of walking still to do as we need to get up that ridge just at the right of the picture.

we quickly got to the task of re-climbing three 700m hills to reach our rucksacks and then head over to Moel Hebog for a sleep!!
we didn’t bother hitting the summit of Carnedd goch and we contoured around the summit and met up with the path taking us back up Craig Cwm Silyn and this we did quite quickly but the conversation had almost stopped and you could tell that we were getting tired.
The down climb off of Craig Cwn silyn was filled with banter of bothy trips and the skye ridge as we took the tourist path down seeing that we could have avoided that steep climb before.
Nantlle ridge , Snowdon and all its tops, glyderau, and even some Carneddau from Craig Cwm Silyn.

once on the saddle we had a very steep climb back up to Mynydd tal-y-Mignedd which I thought would be over very quickly, we managed to get that section of the climb over with only breaking once but I could head Alan was breathing very heavy and I was pure tired as well.
Looking at the time it was 14:00. We wanted to be back at the rucksacks at 13:00 and we still had to get up to Trum-y-Ddysgl to collect our bags on the top.
I suggested we curtail plans for wild camp on hebog and head down to the Nantlle valley and sleep on Mynydd Mawr instead tonight. Alan thought this was a good idea but then suggested we spend the night at the reservoir and climb Mynydd Mawr in the morning making picking up the packs the last big job of the day... well other than the descent to the Valley.
we collected the rucksacks and drank loads of water before looking at the map and deciding to descend north from where we were it looked steep but we just wanted down.
the packs didn't feel that heavy but once we started to head down the steep heather it was hard work on the knees as they're pushing you down and you're trying to take care.
we collected the rucksacks and drank loads of water before looking at the map and deciding to descend north from where we were it looked steep but we just wanted down.
Alan heading down the Steep heather and grass.

now out of the sun we started to put the layers on again and we were starring at the face of the cliffs on Mynydd Mawr the whole way down.
Alan having a wee rest. Mynydd Mawr cliffs in the backgroud.

from this point we found ourselves just east of Clogwyn y Barcut which meant we had about 300m until the road. This is where we split up as Alan wanted to stick to the steep grass and I wanted to stick on the heather we didn’t see much of each other until we reached road at the bottom of the Nantlle Valley.

Hope you enjoyed reading. It was a long one I know but so was this walk!!

thanks for reading,

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Re: Nantlle Ridge Wild camp

Postby fazerneil » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:48 pm

good report and looked a lovely spot for pitching
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Re: Nantlle Ridge Wild camp

Postby mountainstar » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:36 pm

Here's the video to go with the walk....

Great few days, It went just about perfect...even if we never made Hebog, as it was it would have been a drab morning up there in the cloud.
Will get my TR out soon, too busy today sorting photo's and video.
Got to try to get it up to your standard now...nice one! 8)
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Location: Wrexham

Re: Nantlle Ridge Wild camp

Postby malky_c » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:59 pm

Great photos and looks like a good couple of days :D

I have a guide book somewhere that suggests doing these hills twice like that. Never done it though.
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Re: Nantlle Ridge Wild camp

Postby Rekrab » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:18 am

Thanks, Malky. I quite fancy your Blaenau Ffestinog to Capel curig walk, ken the one with like 100 tops. I was up tryfan when you did that one I think.
might give it a go next week with a wild camp half way.

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