Perfect Midsummer Sunset   18 comments

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In the midst of a UK heatwave the best place to spend the night is on a cool mountain summit. Another stunning day and another chance for a wild camp. I headed to mid Wales for a camp on the summit of Pumlumon Fawr (or Plynlimon depending on which name you choose). Its not that high and you can drive to a high access point giving less than an hours walk to the top. A worthy consideration as I had to carry several litres of water to keep the brews flowing. It was the day after the longest day and the views were wonderful as I parked up and set off. I should warn you that I took a lot of photos so settle in for the feature presentation.

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Its a short climb but has some steep bits which I found hard work after a day at work and carrying all that water. Luckily there was a decent breeze blowing to keep the heat at bay

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My target summit in shot

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Sheep watching me on the horizon

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Looking north over towards Snowdonia

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A final steep slog brought me to the top. Stunning view to mountains and across Cardigan Bay

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Its a perfect summit for a wild camp, flat with plenty of spongy moss and grass. The vegetation is only a couple of inches thick though so anchoring the pegs takes a bit of work although in weather like this it hardly matters. My usual routine was initiated. Stove out and water boiling for a brew while I put the tent up.

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The setting was magnificent and I was in the perfect spot to watch the setting sun over the next couple of hours

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I sat, drank tea, took in the views, wandered about, ate jaffa cakes, drank more tea, ate more jaffa cakes, you get the idea

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The moon even put in an appearance.

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There was a grand view of the Llyn Peninsula where I’ve spent many happy weekends and holidays. I was chuffed that the sun went down just behind one of my favourite small hills, Carn Fadryn.

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I didn’t have the whole summit to myself. A couple of friendly chaps and their equally friendly dog shared the sunset with me and provided a nice foreground for a photo

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My bedtime view

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The mountains of Snowdonia

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Nant y Moch reservoir

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And a darker shot of the moon

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An isolated hill, overlooking the sea with a flat spot on the summit. One of the finest spots I can recall to watch a sunset. Simply magnificent

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I never sleep all that well when camping but in weather like this it hardly matters. I got up around 3am to answer the call of nature and watched a spectacular moon-set over the bay (no photos alas). I awoke to a hot morning and got up for a pre-breakfast stroll around my camp site

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Sadly the wind had dropped and the midges came out to have their breakfast, namely me, while I had mine

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I packed up in a cloud of midges but as I finished up the breeze picked up and blew them away. The breeze stayed with me so insect problems – other than a few clegs – kept them away

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I went for a stroll around the hills to the east, normally pretty soggy but after a dry spell the going was easy on springy dry turf

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I headed down via the Nant Felen stream which has some pretty waterfalls and pools. The one below was just deep enough for a quick skinny dip in icy cold water

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This part of Cwm Gwerin is rough pathless terrain with plenty of tussocks but its stunningly beautiful and untouched

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I wandered past the spot where we camped a couple of years back and found a breezy spot for an extended lunch

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Al that was left was the return along the broad Hengwm valley and along by the reservoir to the car. The valley was as tough and rough as always, albeit much drier than usual. It looks like there is a much better path on the north side of the valley which I need to try next time I visit as I surely will

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The route below is hand drawn so I’ve no accurate idea of how far I walked, maybe 10 miles in total with my summit wanderings. Still, it wasn’t a trip about clocking miles

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A memorable outing and I’m really enjoying these one-night outings straight after work on a Friday. A real pick me up and still time left in the weekend to spend with the rest of the family. Another one coming in the next post

 

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18 responses to “Perfect Midsummer Sunset

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  1. Wow, what a splendid way to spend a night camping out. Some awesome photos there. Very impressive all round.

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    Brenda-Dawn Linney
  2. Great photos, looks like a splendid night out. Bit rough being midged at that altitude. Friday after work is brilliant, if you can mange it isn’t it?

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    beatingthebounds
    • A classic up there with the Bowfell divvy. When the wind drops the midges are pretty bad down here at the moment. I was planning to go out again tomorrow but only if the wind picks up a bit. Its steaming hot down here at the moment

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  3. I remember it well from years ago, a grand pitch spot. Brilliant sunset for the summer.
    Hengwm sure is a very wet place normally, a good opportunity for a dry walk in a wild secluded valley.

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    • I love walking around these hills, they are so quiet and unspoilt but that path through Hengwn is a total nightmare albeit beautiful. I’ve had my eye on a summit camp there for a while, glad it lived it to the promise. A sensational evening

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  4. Brilliant stuff, glad you had a breeze, my last outing we had no breeze at all and midges everywhere. The bite marks are still all over me from last Friday!! Love the sunset photos as well and a nice walk back to the car

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    • The little buggers seem to be thriving in this weather. First time I’ve ever seen them in such numbers this far south. Luckily they aren’t as hardy as the Scottish variety and the slightest breeze or drop in temperature sees them off. The sunset was truly memorable, I felt so much at peace just sat there watching it all unfold

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  5. ‘Simply Magnificent’, totally and you didn’t have to go anywhere to retire. Wonderful.

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  6. I applaud your motivation and drive in this hot dry spell as I’ve completely lost my mojo for going out in it. Way too busy and warm for me. I’ve re-discovered books, ice-cream, deck chairs and the flower laden solitude of my suburban garden…. Nice sunset shots but I can also view them lying down munching crisps at sea level :).

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    • Some of the evenings have been pleasant in terms of temperature providing you are high up, certainly cooler than the house with the added advantage of better views from the bedroom. Having said that, the last couple of weeks have been just too hot so swimming in rivers has become the order of the day

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  7. Stunning sunset! What a great place to camp. P.S. What are midges? Are they what we in the US call mosquitoes?

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    • Midges are tiny little flies no more than a couple of mm long but what they lack in size they make up for in numbers. On a bad day they surround you like a cloud and they can make outdoor life a misery. They were not too bad this day but when the sun goes in and the wind drops they can really come out in force

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      • They have a strong sense of community spirit though, Andy: when they’ve found somebody to bite they seem to send word for all of their mates to come and join the feast!

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        • That’s very true, they are indeed team players ensuring everyone gets a fair share! They aren’t too bad down south. I’ve been trying to explain to my son just how bad a full Scottish onslaught is. I think he needs to experience it first hand while I stay in a hotel 🙂

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  8. Beautiful sunset pictures!

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