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Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!


Postby mountainstar » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:48 pm

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

Date walked: 14/11/2011

Distance: 25.73 km

Ascent: 2169m

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Y Garn high-camp, Nantle ridge high-walk, Lakeside wildcamp, & dodging bears on Mynydd Mawr.
14th-16th November 2011.
Three days, 2 nights,
25.73k, 2,169 meters of ascent.


Having spotted that Mackenzie wanted a walking partner for a few days in Snowdonia on what looked like a good spell of weather coming up, I jumped at the offer as I was already planning a wild-camp or two anyway.
As he is still ticking of Hewitt’s I left the area and mountains to him, but was pleased when his plan was these western hills as I haven’t done them for many years, and although I had done all the Snowdonia mountains over 2,000ft, there was one I actually had not done…Mynydd Craig Goch, a hill that had been promoted to the magic 2,000ft from 1,998ft in Sept 2008.
So the plan was to camp Monday night on Y Garn (Nantlle Ridge) then do the rest of the ridge on Tuesday, doubling back to Trum-y-Ddysgl and descending to the South and picking up the ridge heading up and over Moel Lefn, Moel yr Ogof and eventually up Moel Hebog for another wild camp on the summit.
I was worried that my pack would be much heavier than MacKenzie’s, as he had told me that he would be bringing his 200gram tarp and no sleep mat. So with slight panic :think: I kept mine to essential only, thinking I would never keep up with him otherwise, being as I can give him a 28 year start in our age difference. My gear all fitted nicely into a 30 litre daysack with a weight of 9.2 grams, so when I picked up MacKenzie I was pleasantly surprised when I saw his bulging 45 litre rucksack which must have weighed 12k or more :D .

Monday 14th. Day 1.
Y Garn.
2.12k (441m ascent)



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We set off at about 2.45pm from the B road near to Llyn y Gader up the steep path that leads directly to Y Garn, with out rucksacks full of gear, shelter, food and water (no water available until we dropped of the ridge somewhere tomorrow) for the coming days.

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Looking to Snowdon from Y Garn path

We made the summit in about 1.10 hrs and were pleased that we found a wall that would shelter us from the cold wind, unfortunately it was right next to a sheer drop of 2,000ft! :shock: But hey…needs must! :crazy:

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The Nantlle Ridge from Y Garn

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Y Garn. Wildcamp behind the wall

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Y Garn. Wildcamp showing part of the drop...Don't go sleepwalking!

It was good to see that I’m not the only one to forget essentials when on these trips, Mackenzie had mistakenly only brought a summer sleeping bag and had forgotten his bivvy bag, oh how he had fun when the condensation on the inside of his tarp flicked on his face and sleeping bag when the wind whipped up throughout the night! :lol:
We were rewarded with a nice sunset to the west at about 5.30pm :D , then it was hot drinks and food before having an early night at about 7.30pm

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Y Garn. Sunset

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Y Garn. Sunset

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Y Garn. At dusk.

Tuesday 15th. Day 2.
Nantlle ridge (and back) to Llyn y Dywarchen
17.4km, (1152m ascent)



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We both awoke at about 7.15am to clear skies and a lovely array of red and crimson colours in the dawn sky to the south east. :D

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Y Garn. Daybreak

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Snowdon from y Garn at dawn

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Y Garn. Sunrise

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Y Garn. Sunrise

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Nantlle Ridge at sunrise

After many pictures and breakfast we were away at 9.10am towards the shapely pointed Mynydd Drws-y-coed and our first scramble of the day.
Mackenzie had asked why was this ridge is so raved about, the best way to sum it up I said was that it just had about everything, towering peaks, narrow and broad ridges, grassy paths, rocky scrambles, many ups and downs, fantastic views and finally its very long, especially when you back track from the end of it, as we were about to find!

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Setting off for Mynydd Drws y Coed

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Yr Aran & The Moelwyns

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Mynydd Drws y Coed, 1st scramble of the day

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Looking back to Y Garn.

The light today was something else, one of them days when you cannot believe your luck, the early morning mist gave us silhouetted mountains and foggy valleys, the making for spectacular pictures. :D

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Moel Hebog from Mynydd Drws y Coed

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Moel Hebog group

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Trum Y Ddysgl

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Moel hebog

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Wonderful ridge walking

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Misty Mountains.

After going over Mynydd Drws-y-Coed we were quickly on our 3rd hill of the day Trum-y-Ddysgl where we would leave our rucksacks to pick them up later and then drop down the ridge to the south for the Hebog group.
So onwards we walked lightweight and quickly reached Mynydd tal-y-Mignedd with its towering obelisk on the summit.

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The Cairn on Mynydd Tal y Mignedd

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The Cairn on Mynydd Tal y Mignedd

Our next mountain after a steep drop was the towering and imposing Craig Cwm Silyn, where we decided (well not knowing there was a easier path to the north!) to scramble up the steep and rocky east face, all good stuff though and adding some extra spice to out ridge walk.

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Craig Cwm Silyn

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Craig Cwm Silyn

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View South from the ridge

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Looking back along ridge to Snowdon

Once over Craig Cwm Silyn it was easy going along the broad ridge to Carnedd Goch

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Cardigan Bay

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Heading to Garnedd Goch

We then had another drop before our last hill of the ridge Mynydd Craig-goch, this is the one which was promoted to a Hewitt in 1998, so a new hill for me :D , and a fine summit it has, the large circular rocky outcrops give it a look of a ruined castle.
Here we met one of only 4 lone walkers that we saw all day, so good for a joint photo on the summit.

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On Mynydd Craig Goch

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On Mynydd Craig Goch

About turn now and head back over the three mountains to pick our rucksacks up again at Trum y Ddysgl, this time finding the easier path down Craig Cwm Silyn.
Part way along we both realised that our plan of continuing to Moel Hebog would be a bit of a tall order to get there in daylight, and with a hard walk already we were tiring, so we discussed our options and decided that the best plan was to drop off the ridge north at Trum y Ddysgl and camp by Llyn y Dywarchen that night.

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Back along the ridge

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Snowdon beyond the Mynydd Drws y Coed Ridge

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Dropping down to the Nantlle valley.

The ridge that leads north from Trum y Ddysgl is steep and heather clad and seldom used by us humans with only a feint sheep track to follow, where at stages I think that these particular sheep must have suicidal tendencies with one particular part of the route that they have chosen! :shock: When we got to about 350 mts our tiring legs had to climb over the lower northern ridge of Y Garn, then down again steeper knee jarring heather and grass slopes to the road for a final climb uphill to finally drop to Llyn y Dywarchen, where luckily we found a nice flat short grassed area to set up camp.
A very nice farmer had disposed of some sawn tree branches and old fence posts nearby, so we had fire-wood for the evening as well. :D All that was needed now was for Mackenzie to put his recent bushcraft course of fire starting skills into action. Well it looked like our lovely pile of nicely broken branches would stay just that and we would have another cold and early night….until I showed him my fire starting skill of lighting a fire using a gas stove as a flame thrower! :shock:
So we had a good night after that for a few hours until about 9.30pm swapping storey’s and tales of our past outdoor adventures, many of which included how we both could be really good at losing and forgetting things on our backtracking trips…I’m glad its not just me! :?
Also I tested my Canadian friend on some mountain Trivia, like what is the highest mountain in Canada? Easy for a mountain loving Canadian you would think? after many wrong answers he went so far as to even guess Mount MacKenzie :shock: :o :? ....Oh dear in the corner with a "D" hat MacKenzie :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Camp-fire by Llyn y Dywarchen

Wed 16th Day 3.
Mynydd Mawr. 6.48km, (574m Ascent)


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Up again at 7.15am, sadly no red sunrise this time :( , just grey cloud overhead, but we still had another mountain to do, and another new Hewitt for Mackenzie…Mynydd Mawr, one that I had done before about 20 years ago with my daughter Michelle who was then about 9, so it would be good to go back and do it again :D .

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Our wild- camp spot by Llyn y Dywarchen on a cloudy morning.

After breakfast and packing we walked down the road to the car to drive to the start of the walk by Llyn Cwellyn.
The path leads up through a forest at first, where you pass an amusing (that is if you don’t actually meet any) sign saying don’t feed the bears! :shock: They must have known a Canadian would be passing by to make him feel at home. :lol:

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Just to make McKenzie feel at home (he's Canadian!)

After the steep climb to the start of the ridge at 627mts. We started to see glimpses of the sun and blue sky, then the clouds completely parted to give us great views to the summit and the north, we even had a glimpse of a Broken Spectre, another first for McKenzie. :D

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Above the clouds on Mynydd Mawr

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Mynydd Mawr ridge

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Mynydd Mawr summit

Once on the summit we had 360 deg views, only our ridge of yesterday and some of the mountains to the east and south were still in hanging cloud, so what was going to be just another ticked walk in the clouds turned out to be another cracker. :D

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High above the Nantlle Valley

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Y Garn still in the cloud

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Llyn Cwellyn & the Moel Eilio Range

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Still misty to the South

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Llyn y Dywachwen & Moel Hebog

Back down our upward path, this time taking a few more pictures, we were back at the car 1.50mins after setting off.

This was for sure a great few days to remember, and thanks to McKenzie for the excellent company. :D

And here is my video taken over the 3 days....
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1Uyezi4Oto[/youtube]
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mountainstar
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby walk aboot » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:50 pm

Great report, mountainstar, looks like a terrific few days :)

Bear hunting in Snowdon, whatever next! :shock: :)
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby Stretch » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:01 pm

Wow, some impressive scenery Alan. Glad you two had a great trip, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous.
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby malky_c » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:20 pm

Enjoyed that report too as well as MacKenzie's 8)

There's going to be a Welsh WH splinter group at this rate :lol:
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby monty » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:04 pm

Aye its a nice rest doing the easy stuff :D
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby mountainstar » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:56 am

Cheers all, even got a shout from Monty....on a thread that's not Scottish Munro related...result! :D
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:07 pm

mountainstar wrote:Cheers all, even got a shout from Monty....on a thread that's not Scottish Munro related...result! :D

Every forum got a shout from Monty last night, i was struggling to keep up with him :D Great report Alan, i'm starting to get very attached to Wales beautiful hills :D
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby mountainstar » Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:22 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:
mountainstar wrote:Cheers all, even got a shout from Monty....on a thread that's not Scottish Munro related...result! :D

Every forum got a shout from Monty last night, i was struggling to keep up with him :D Great report Alan, i'm starting to get very attached to Wales beautiful hills :D


I think that many of Monty's comments were whisky related last night! LOL :lol:
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby nathan79 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:06 pm

Looks like a fine trip. Giving some good food for thought come my next trip to Wales.
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby LeithySuburbs » Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:17 pm

Even I've read a non-Scottish report :lol: . Stunning pics Alan 8) .
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby Scotjamie » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:06 pm

Also my first non-scottish read (trying to beat my zenophobia)
what is it about this report that we all end up here....guess it might be because it is stunning, along with McK's and the video, and the consonants...and the wildlife
well done....great stuff
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby Rekrab » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:09 am

I used to look at reports like that and think why can't I ever get out on days like that. now I do all the time. it just took me 50-odd wet and cloudy days on Munros to realize when to stay at home and put a film on.

Logan...err...MacKenzie.
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby mountainstar » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:57 am

Rekrab wrote:
Logan...err...MacKenzie.

Ha! took me a second to think that one through :lol:
Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada for anyone who does not know.....as MacKenzie does now LOL.
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby Paula Hubens » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:37 pm

Simply stunning! I think it's time I paid Wales a visit. :D
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Re: Y Garn-camp, Nantle ridge & Mynydd Mawr bear hunting!

Postby foggieclimber » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:34 pm

Wonderful photos.

You've fair got me hooked on Wales, following the WH meet.
I'm looking forward more to heading back to Wales than I am to doing anything else in Scotland :shock:
I think I need to come down for a week or fortnight next time with the car and preferably without a cold :lol:
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