Checking the weather over the previous days showed a good chance of snow, so with a sack full of winter gear , and my faithful hill walking companion in tow ( max - my 7 yr old springer spaniel ) we set of on the 2 hour drive from my house to the quiet country lane at the foot of Llyn Arenig Fawr.
Parking in the small layby I shouldered my pack and took the track that leads round Llyn Arenig Fawr to the small bothy and the start of the ascent to Arenig Fawr. I intended popping in, but as I got nearer I could see smoke coming from the chimney signalling it was occupied. Due to its compact size I decided to leave them in peace and commenced the uphill climb.
|Y Castell from ascent to Arenig Fawr.|
Soon I reached the snow line and the breeze picked up which combined with a temperature of around 0 deg c , gave a whind chill of around -8 deg c. Rime frost clung to fence posts and wire, creating some wonderfull sculpture type shapes.
|Arenig Fawr north and south tops from Bwlch Blaen y nant.|
|Rime frost covered fence near Arenig Fawr summit.|
Topping out at Bwlch Blaen y nant the main summit of Arenin Fawr comes into view and I took a pathless direct line to the summit cairn and a memorial plaque dedicated to crew of an American Flying Fortress (B17) which crashed on the summit during World War 11.
|Approaching Arenig Fawr summit cairn.|
|Max and Arenig Fawr summit cairn|
|Arenin Fawr summit cairn and memorial plaque.|
|View North from Arenig Fawr.|
Continuing south along the ridge I picked up the fence line running SW. There were good views of my next target - Moel Llyfnant from here and soon I reached the Bwlch where I collected water before climbing to the summit.
|Moel Llyfnant from descent from Arenig Fawr.|
|Looking back to Arenig Fawr.|
|Ascending Moel Llyfnan, looking back to Arenig Fawr.|
Once I reached the summit I scoured the area for a sheltered pitch, and found a nice sheltered spot between 2 rocky outcrops- very near the summit cairn. As I was pitching a blizzard blew in covering every thing in snow - inc max who did his best to shelter by some rocks whilst I raced to get the soulo pitched. Once up I quickly detached the inner to keep it from getting covered in snow , then got in and sorted myself and max out - warm dry down jkt/pants and booties for me, I took max,s winter walking coat off, and put on his very warm camp coat .
|Camp on Moel Llyfnant.|
Warm and dry inside the tent I made a brew whilst listening to sound of snow on the flysheet- it would continue most of the night. Around sunset there was a brief lull and I took the opportunity to get out and re-attach the inner, there was a lovely glow over Arenig Fawr so I took a few pic,s at the same time.
|Evening light over Arenig Fawr.|
With the temperature dipping I was soon back in the tent. Before getting in I took a temp. reading -3 deg c. and it wasn't dark yet - it was going to be a cold one ! A few more readings were taken during the evening as I was curious to see the difference between inside and outside of my tent. I have no idea of what temperature dipped to, as after a meal and several whisky's I fell asleep. when I awoke I reached for my skywatch but couldn't find it - once home I realised what had happened - I put it by max in his bed to see how warm it was, but fell asleep before reading it - it must have got caught on his coat , and dropped off when I let him out of the tent the next morning.
Waking at around 7.30 am I peered out of the tent door, there was a lovely pre-dawn glow so I made myself a coffee, then got out to watch the sun come up. There was lots of mist coming and going but I got some good pic,s during the clearer periods.
|Moel Llyfnant summit cairn.|
|Sunrise from Moel Llyfnant.|
|It was a cold one, Frost on the Hilleberg Soulo.|
|Camp on Moel Llyfnant , quite a bit of fresh snow fell during the night. note the snow depth behind my tent !|
|Moel Llyfnant summit cairn and Arenig Fawr beyond.|
|Looking North from Moel Llyfnant.|
After breakfast and a few more brews I packed the gear away and got ready to leave my lofty snow covered home for the night , following the fence line north I left it to descend the pathless snow covered hillside towards Amnodd - bwll where I picked up the good forestry track and followed it NW which lead back to the quiet lane, which left an easy road walk of around 2 miles back to my van .
Till next time
P.s if anyone finds a skywatch on Moel Llyfnant , give us a shout :-)
|Arenig Fawr from descent from Moel Llyfnant.|
|Heading towards Amnodd- bwll. Arenig Fach beyond.|