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    • Day 34 noon update

      June 17, 2022 in Wales ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Completed first couple of miles of gentle ascent. Much of it through woodland, then following the line of the Ffestiniog narrow gauge railway. Now at Tanygrisiau Reservoir which is the lower of two that form a pumped storage hydroelectric system. My next section is up a quite steep part of the mountain to the upper reservoir Llyn Stwlan.

      Weather glorious all morning with an increasing breeze. As forecast it is beginning to cloud over now and the breeze is increasing.
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    • Noon day 35

      June 18, 2022 in Wales ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      Walked 200’ up slate maker’s inclines to bwlch (col/saddle) above my pitch quite quickly. I had more energy than I expected. Breeze a lot stronger on the bwlch as I had my first glimpse of the sea. Then turned right/north for slow careful scramble up Craigysgafn. Passed some huge beautiful quarz rocks on the way up. From the top I could see my next objective, Moelwyn Mawr - checkpoint 30 on the Cambrian Way. The route look straight forward enough, gentle descent from Craigysgafn to another bwlch, then up a long grass slope to top of Moelwyn Mawr. ‘Moel’ means a rounded top hill so they are rarely challenging. On top the descents all looked scarily vertical. But as I have often found when I have initially been incredulous about a drop, carefully following the map there was an easy route down off to the east of the vertical faces I could see from the top. I met my first walker of the day on the way down. A local from Ffestiniog doing a 8 mile circuit of the hills.

      3/4 mile further on I passed through extensive abandoned slate workings. There were spoil heaps, dramways, barracks, sheds and abandoned machinery. Passed five more parties of people in the late morning and early afternoon.
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    • End of day 35

      June 18, 2022 in Wales ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

      From the old slate workings a steady ascent for a mile, passing the left / south west turn towards Cnicht (my check point for tomorrow), then gentle soggy downhill 300 yards to Llyn Yr Adar (lake bird?), my wild camp for the night.

      There is a saying for wild campers, arrive late, leave early, leave no trace. I arrived 13:30 so certainly not late. Weather was overcast with sunny intervals and a gentle, occasionally strong, breeze. Perfect for drying out the tent I had to pack wet this morning. Ground was soft enough for me to push pegs in all the way. There was a short period of light rain 3-4 but this didn’t stop the tent drying. Around the lake was mostly boggy but I found a dry, level, grassy place to pitch on the north east side of the lake near a small hillock. I used rocks to weigh down everything else that needed drying - bags, towel etc.

      While tent was drying I walked around the north west lake shore to see if I could get a signal
      to send these updates, but no joy. This side was also boggy marsh where I found nowhere better to pitch than where I had. A Red Kite flew in and perched on some rocks close to the tent - exciting! The lake has a central island with resting Geese that occasionally swim around the lake for my entertainment.

      Got my Gaming Gaz single burner stove out for the first time this trip. Lots of reviewers suggest lighter weight stoves, but I have got used to its simplicity and convenience so am happy to carry a little extra weight. For the first time I used a metal tripod stand that clamps around the cylinder. I bought it a couple of years ago. It was a great success for keeping the stove level. I had Beef and potato hot pot and my first cup of tea this trip.

      Forecast is for it to be cold overnight. Feeling as low as 1C in the small hours. Right now the breeze has stopped and sun is hazy so perfect for writing this blog … that will probably be sent tomorrow when I get a good signal. Grass is dry enough to exchange my boots for deck shoes while I stooge around the pitch.

      Two scrambler bikes have just ridden past, more excitement. Some walkers object but I don’t find it a problem especially if it gets the riders off their PlayStations. Perhaps if there were lots I might. They have ridden towards Cnicht and been there some minutes, which is strange because I thought Cnicht was a steep climb. I must consult the map.

      A longer walk for me tomorrow. Only one ascent 360’/110m to Cnicht a mile and a half away, then downhill all the way into Beddgelert where I have booked a holiday home for 2 nights.

      Retiring to bed 19:30 today, the good weather is keeping me up late!
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    • Start of day 36

      June 19, 2022 in Wales ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

      It was cold in the night as forecast. My feet never quite warmed up. The few times I woke during the night it was never dark enough to not see the, admittedly white, inside of the tent. I noticed the same last night. Curious to why if anyone has an explanation.

      Woke quite late for me at 05:50. Dry morning with low cloud and cold. Breakfast of porridge and tea. Left pitch 08:45 for my next check point, Cnicht.
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    • Cnicht check point 31

      June 19, 2022 in Wales ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

      No trig point but a lots of rocks. Fairly easy walk to Cnicht from east side, it is much steeper on the west side I will have to negotiate next. Cloud still low, no sun and blowing strong and cold from the North so photographs were challenging.Read more

    • Day 40

      Day 39 Pont Bethania to Cnicht

      July 7, 2023 in Wales ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Friday : Up 07:00, away 09:00.

      Struck camp without breakfast so I could eat in Caffi Pont Bethania. Cambrian Way then continued alongside Llyn Dinas lake. Passed a couple of Duke of Edinburgh parties here. A short while later met my friend Derek from Barmouth Walking festival. Derek was in good time and, as usual, I was late! I topped up with groceries then we set off.

      Route started along spectacular Afon Glaslyn River. The riverside route involved traversing large rocks, handholds bolted onto the rock sides and steps bolted onto huge rocks.

      Then through woodland before breaking out to an open track approach towards Cnicht. Temperature was hot by now. Derek had recced a short cut near here yesterday which had proved wet and overgrown. A reason why worth following long distance paths, they seem to be better maintained.

      This path seemed interminably. We stopped for lunch at rocks suitable for sitting. At this point I reaslised I had left my walking stick. Derek returned from here after we had lunched. It had been great having his company and I felt the loss when he returned.

      I continued on ever steepening ascent passing a couple of desending parties on the way. One more party at the final rock slab. I correctly ascended this on the east side. Last year I descend down the 30 foot wrst side rock slab which took ages and was hazardous.

      Once atop Cnicht I carried on north a few hundred yards past 2 more lesser peaks. A short distance further on a 50 foot diameter pool looked attractive to camp near, had signal and was closer than Llyn yr Adar. There was little breeze as I pitched but it gradually increased afterwards. I then checked the forecast which predicted gusting to 49 knots! Oh well, committed now.

      Today's timings -
      09:00 left campsite,
      09:20 arrived Caffi Bethania for breakfast
      09:45 began walk on Llyn Dinas lakeside path,
      11:10 arrived Beddgelert, met Derek, bought groceries,
      11:30 left Beddgelert,
      15:30 Derek returned to Beddgelert,
      17:10 arrived bottom of Cnicht final ascent,
      17:35 reached Cnicht summit,

      10 miles from Pont Bethania to Cnicht completed at end of 39th day of walking and 7th on the Cambrian Way.
      Total miles so far : 389
      Average speed : 1.5 mph
      Weather sunshine and glorious. A hot day with an occasional breeze. Wind strong in the evening from 20:00.
      Number of people passed : 22
      Objective tomorrow : Moelwyn Mawr then Maentwrog.
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