Evening in the Snow – Plynlimon Easter 2013   10 comments

I know everyone is enjoying the balmy heat and sunshine of May – yes I know the weather is crap but we can all dream – but I’d like to take you back to a time of cold, frost and snow that was still dominating over Easter. After my Scottish adventures it was time for family time down at my parents caravan in Wales. The power of mobile broadband meant that I could “work at home” from the caravan on the Friday while the kids enjoyed a day on the beach. At 4pm I’d done my day in front of the laptop and it was time for a stroll. It had clouded up during the day but it was still bright so I headed up into the mountains just inland to climb Plynlimon. You can get the car up to 1000 feet and it’s a relatively short walk so it’s ideal for a late afternoon start.

My progress to my planned start point at Maesnant Farm was abruptly halted by a huge bank of snow drifted across the road. I may be could have ploughed through it, but this is not a spot to get stuck so I just left the car on the grass verge and headed off on foot

Maesnant, Plynlimon, Nant-y-Moch

No access for cars!

The sky was beginning to clear again and the low angle of sun was creating some superb vista’s and light effects on the reservoir and the snow. Great thing about a late walk is you get the mountains all to yourself and this was the case today as I saw not a soul from start to finish

Maesnant, Plynlimon, Nant-y-Moch

Maesnant road

Maesnant, Plynlimon, Nant-y-Moch

Nant-y-Moch from the Maesnant road

Plynlimon, Nant-y-Moch

Looking towards the coast from the Maesnant stream

The common route of ascent to the summit is from the south on the A44 but on my previous visit a couple of years back I discovered an unmarked path leading from the road-head along the Maesnant stream all the way to the summit. It’s a superb little path enlivened by some little waterfalls at the bottom and the broad valley higher up as it approaches the summit.

Plynlimon

Plynlimon

I fairly romped up the path, picking out the soft snow and ice where I could find it and savouring the expanding views over the coastal hills to Cardigan Bay beyond. I had my skis with me in the car and there was almost enough snow to tour right to the summit. A few days earlier and the conditions would have been perfect but today there were enough gaps and it was too late to be messing about on skis. Having said that the steep west face that was holding a superb bank of snow would have made for an awesome descent. Another day

Plynlimon, Pen Cerrig Tewion

Across to Pen Cerrig Tewion

Plynlimon

Stunning light on the snow

As I approached the summit the snow cover was pretty full and it was just sensational to be up on the summit at 6pm, alone and with the crunch of icy snow underfoot

Plynlimon

Approaching the summit

The views all around were majestic

Plynlimon

More stunning effects

Plynlimon

Summit ridge

Plynlimon

Northwest to the austere moorlands that hold the sources of the Wye and Severn

Plynlimon

South from the summit

Plynlimon

Southwest towards Pembrokeshire

Plynlimon, Nant-y-Moch

Across Nant-y-Moch to Cardigan Bay

I settled in out of the wind for a brew and savoured the scene. 2 hours earlier I’d been stuck in the caravan working and now I was on a sunny, snow covered mountain with a full 360 degree panorama to call my own. The setting sun was creating a myriad of images and the effects on the snow were magical. I took time out for a couple of smug phone calls to GM and TBF, the latter was instructed to get my tea ready for 8pm – bless her!

Plynlimon

Handsome fellow…

Plynlimon, Cadair Idris

North to Cadair Idris

Light was fading fast and it was pretty cold so I had to reluctantly head down. I took a last lingering look at the west face and imagined myself skiing down it although from the top it looked pretty steep. Happy with my imagination I strode down

Plynlimon

Across the west face

Plynlimon, Nant-y-Moch

The sun starts to set

Plynlimon, Nant-y-Moch

Golden Light

The sky was pretty clear by now so the views just got better. The mountains turned deep reddish brown and the low sunlight reflecting of the lake was magnificent

Plynlimon

Nameless Lakes

Plynlimon, Y-Garn

Y-Garn

Plynlimon, Nant-y-Moch

Setting Sun

With such a short walk I was able to linger every few hundred strides and take it all in. All too soon the car beckoned and I was back at my transport home (via a very deep snow-hole and a pulled calf muscle for my trouble). I sat and watched the sun set behind the mountains and drove home to my tea – sausages, mash and onion gravy – just the thing to finish off a cracking evening stroll

Maesnant, Plynlimon, Nant-y-Moch

Time to go home

Enjoy the slideshow with a slice of blues

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10 responses to “Evening in the Snow – Plynlimon Easter 2013

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  1. Some truly stunning sun set pics there! Seeing as they’re so beautiful let you off with also including – what??? – snow!!! As I look out the window and see yet more rain am YEARNING for some SUN!!! [PS: I can never remember names of places, mountains, lakes, paths, views etc. so it did make me chuckle to see reference to *unnamed lake* up there. My kinda lake! ha!]

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  2. Thanks Babs. Marvellous evening that, best time to be out on the hills. Those nameless lakes are a cracking little spot, very soggy and boggy though 🙂

    Just looked about the window to see sunshine and blue sky, what’s that all about!!

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  3. Beautiful pictures. The weather looked perfect – blues skies with some clouds to add definition and a gorgeous sunset!

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  4. I do love snow and snowy piccies, but I’m not sorry to see what is hopefully now the start of summer!

    Always looks very tempting down your neck of the woods…..

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    • Part of me pines for winter conditions but I have to say it’s been nice to enjoy the warm sunshine over the pasty couple of days. We even had the paddling pool and waterslide out in the garden and have a BBQ – unheard of!

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  5. Awesome landscape photos. Great post again.

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  6. Not yet visited one of my favourite hills in the snow. Pumlumon for me has always been a place I have visited in the summer for lazy wild camps. I may have to visit again this summer!

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    backpackingbongos
    • I’ve been up here a few times now and I’m amazed how magnificent a mountain it is and how quiet it is as well. There are some really nice spots for a camp on the top of the little hills of Pumlumon Fach that I want to try, although a camp on the summit is also doable in a good weather. Those views out to Cardigan Bay are great. Just love being up on summits late in the day in the evening sun.

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