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A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.


Postby mountainstar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:06 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewelyn, Pen yr Ole Wen

Date walked: 13/01/2012

Time taken: 5.3

Distance: 13.88 km

Ascent: 1045m

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Carnedd Llywelyn Winter Wildcamp

Friday 13th Dec 2012


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During the mid-week the excitement and expectation was creeping up on me....at last a decent spell of settled weather was forecast for the weekend. It had been a long time since we had high pressure slap bang over the UK :D .
So Friday came and saw me driving west to Snowdonia, but disappointingly it was fairly cloudy as I drove West, not exactly what the forecasters had said, and by the time I reached Betws y Coed there was pretty much no blue sky to be seen at all, and worse still the cloud was shrouding the peaks of Snowdonia :( .
But onwards I went regardless, hopeful that it would improve later :) .
I parked by the east end of Llyn Ogwen where I would finish the walk the next day, from there I walked back along the A5 to the access road that leads to the Ffynon Llygwy Cronfa reservoir. By now the cloud had started to break and I could now see many of the high peaks, perhaps my planned camp on Wales’s second highest mountain Carnedd Llywelyn would not be a damp squid after all :D .

Image
The Ogwen Valley, the cloud breaking.

This access road gets you deep into the heart of the mountains easily, but steeply in places.

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Access road to the reservoir

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Cwm Llugwy

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Cloud rolling over Tryfan and the Glyders

The reservoir was a pretty picture….totally still and reflecting the mountains above.

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Ffynon Llygwy Cronfa

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Ffynon Llygwy Cronfa

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Ffynon Llygwy Cronfa

A good path leads from up from the reservoir to Bwlch Eryl Farchog, where part way up my rucksack became somewhat heavier with the water collected that I needed for my high-camp tonight.

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Last chance saloon!


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Wild pony passed on the path.

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Pen yr Hegi Du

Once at the Bwlch I followed the ridge north west, narrow at first then broader as it got higher.

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Pen Llithig y Wrach & Pen yr Hegi Du

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Cloud over the Glyders

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Carnedd Llywelyn

The cloud continued to come and go, but luckily my high destination was always clear :) .

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More cloud over the Glyders

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Pen Llithig y Wrach & Pen yr Hegi Du



I reached the chilly summit at around 3.30pm, good timing to set camp before the sunset at 4.30pm.
I found a nice grassy area just west of the summit, with great views towards Snowdon to the south west. I was rewarded with some spectacular pictures of the sun dropping down towards the low cloud in the west :D .


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West for Carnedd LLywelyn


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Carnedd LLywelyn, my tent pitch


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Sunset from Carnedd LLywelyn

The tent was already starting to form a coating of frost before the sun had set…it was going to be a cold night :problem: .

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Sunset Inferno!

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Sunset

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Sunset

Time for hot soup and food before darkness fell….then into my sleeping bag for the night, together with every bit of clothing I had brought along. A few hours later I popped outside to take some pictures the moon-rise, on what was now a clear and star filled night, an amazing sight :D .


Image
Orion looks down

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Moonrise

The outer tent had a white layer of frost inside and out, with the temperature outside probably around -10 or so, but my little candle lantern kept the temperature inside my inner cocoon at a barmy +2 degrees…until I put it out to go to sleep, when it fell to a low of -3 degrees very quickly.
Not a breath of wind disturbed the tent through the night, so I slept well until 8am when I woke to catch the sunrise.

Day 2. 14th Jan.


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Image
Sunrise

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Early morning sun

After some breakfast I was packed and away by 9.40am, to enjoy some high walking over Carnedd Dafydd and Pen yr Ole Wen.
Today there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the views of distant hills were crystal clear and made even more photogenic by the haze that had formed in the valleys.

Image
Mountains above the haze

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Mountains above the haze

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West from Carnedd Dafydd

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Pen yr ole Wen


After Pen yr Ole Wen I descended towards the valley by its rocky east ridge.

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Pen yr Ole Wens east ridge

Lower down Tryfan dramatically stood out silhouetted by the sun behind its towering bulk.

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Tryfan

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Tryfan

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Tryfan & Glyder Fach

I arrived back at the still frost covered car (in the shade of some trees) at 12.20pm, the end another great high wild-camp adventure :D .

My short 5 minute video of the 2 days can be seen here....
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZhOENd1Uxs&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]
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mountainstar
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby malky_c » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:21 pm

Quality :D . That's even better than I'd hoped it would be! They must be some of the best photos of the Carneddau I've seen.

This is one of the few places where I've seen a decent sunrise on the hills, having bivvied on Foel Fras before doing the 3000ers once. Wasn't as good as that though!

I see there isn't even any snow up there either. I didn't see a single patch on Cadair Idris, but I expected one or two smudges of it up on Carnedd Llwelyn. Who cares when the conditions are as good as this though 8)
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby HighlandSC » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:36 pm

What a stunner :)
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby ChrisW » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:43 pm

What a stunning report, so many beautiful photos and a great video at the end, when I read the title I thought "are you mad" then I see the conditions :shock: unbelievable, it could be springtime. Quality report Mountainstar, cheers :D
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby mountainstar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:00 pm

Thank you all,
Malky...there were some patches of snow here and there.
Chris...yes it was spring like....until the sunset!
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby yokehead » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:46 pm

Absolutely stunning stuff, what a report - and 2 days thrown in! 8) 8)

Those sunset photos are some of the best I've ever seen, cheers! :D

Oh, and BTW, :mrgreen:
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby malky_c » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:16 pm

mountainstar wrote:Malky...there were some patches of snow here and there.


Ah, I can see some now I'm paying more attention :oops:

Looks to be pretty similar to what I could see on Glyder Fawr the previous weekend.
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby garyhortop » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:28 pm

Brilliant report and stunning pics Morningstar - really enjoyed the video as well....makes me realise how much i miss the higher ground!! I think I have joined the :mrgreen: club as well! :D
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby clivegrif » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:15 pm

Very nice!

I haven't done much of this wildcamping malarky, but had such a good time in the Rhinogs a couple of months ago I'm determined to do more of it.

Love the photos of sunrise and sunset, and the only way to get them is to be there high on the hill at the right time.

Inspirational! :D
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby monty » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:58 pm

Hi Mountainstar.
David Bailey eat your heart out. What a superb set of photos. Stunning scenery and a good story to boot. :D
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby EwaMH » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:39 pm

Gorgeous! Begins to tempt me to give this winter camping malark a try..
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby smirnie71 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:17 pm

Wow - a profusion of superlatives, a host of smiles and the sound of me shuffling up the stairs to find my tent - that's what your report does for me! Absolutely bloody marvellous! Great photos... no, BRILLIANT photos, love your video and am deeply jealous. Well done for a great wild camp and for sharing! :mrgreen: :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby Frogwell » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:11 pm

Fantastic pics!

I keep hoping for weather like that when I do the high camps - never happens though.

Do you always have your tent flysheet that loose? I always tighten mine up about as tight as I can get it without ripping. I might start using my little candle lantern again if it warms the tent up that much. I always used to use one but then got an alpkit battery lantern last year when I started doing high camps as I was afraid the wind would end up pouring wax over everything.
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby mountainstar » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:22 am

Frogwell wrote:Do you always have your tent flysheet that loose? I always tighten mine up about as tight as I can get it without ripping.

I'm still learning with this tent...only the 3rd time I have used it.
I thought I had tightened it up enough, but you are the 2nd person to comment, so obviously I did not.



I might start using my little candle lantern again if it warms the tent up that much.

The candle lantern made a difference. I also use a gas lantern sometimes which makes a considerable difference, but have to be careful with Carbon monoxide gases.
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Re: A Winter Wildcamp on Carnedd Llywelyn.

Postby lomondwalkers » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:11 am

Stunning report, stunning scenery and stunning conditions!! Superb, I can't wait to get into this wildcamp malarky later in the year. Super stuff 8)
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