Another Solo Wild Camp   18 comments

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Back a couple of weeks before the weather turned too hot to venture into the outdoors with a heavy pack, I took another Friday night out in the mountains. I wished for a bit of breeze to keep temperatures and insects at bay and certainly got my wish.

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A glorious evening of clear skies and warm sunshine. I chatted to a lady van-camping in the car park with her very friendly Jack Russell pup chewing my laces. No sign of the promised breeze as I set off.

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It was a hot climb through the fly infested bracken as I headed for a summit pitch on Pen y Gadair Fawr. Still no breeze and I felt that the midges were eying me up for a buffet supper

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As I crested the top, the breeze finally kicked in. Less a breeze than a very significant and very chilly wind that I was struggling to stand up in

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It would have made a superb summit camp, lots of flat thick grass but it was just too cold to enjoy the surroundings. I’d also hoped to pick up some water, figuring that at least one of the numerous springs that rise on the summit would be running. No such luck. I decided press on in the hope of finding a sheltered spot

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Trouble its a pretty exposed spot up here and the wind was roaring and grass is in short supply. The compensation was that it was cool and walking along a high level ridge in the late evening is a simple joy

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The bog cotton was giving everything an almost frost-like feeling. The photos can’t do justice to how beguiling it was

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They have massively improved the paths up here so I made swift progress over Waun Fach without ever finding a respite from the wind. I tried a few grassy groughs, but none were suitable

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Eventually I had to plunge a hundred metres or so down the Y Grib Ridge and found a sort of level pitch on a terrace of deep lush grass. What it lacked in comfort it more than made up for with a  superb sunset vista

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There was just enough wind to keep the insects at bay without it being too cold and I sat outside, read and drank many brews of tea before turning in well past 11pm

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Tough to tear yourself away from views like this

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I expected a blazing sun to cook the tent and have me outside early. I awoke at 8am with no sign of the sun. I was in the cloud again. Looking up was clear blue though and the sky was surely to clear and on queue as the water boiled for my last cuppa before I ran out of water, it did

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It was an amazing morning. The east wind had cleared any haze from the air and the sky between the wispy clouds was a deep azure blue. Pen y Fan and Beacons poked above the cloud and I thought of TBF on her 25 mile sponsored walk around the range. She was on Pen y Fan summit round about the time I too this photo

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I decided to walk all around the escarpment to Lord Hereford’s Knob and on a day like this it was amazing. It really puts a spring in the step to have views like this to accompany you and I covered the ground swiftly

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There were several D of E groups out most of whom seemed cheerfully incompetent, walking in various directions none which seemed to be the right one!

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I topped out on the Knob and where the panorama across the Wye valley is breathtaking

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Despite the glorious day I had this very popular and easily accessible summit to myself but it was still very windy and bit chilly. Added to the fact I’d not had breakfast and had no water pushed me onwards to resupply and take on calories

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I had to walk much further down the Nant Bwch stream before the water was flowing sufficiently well to be drinkable. I found a fine spot and set about making my bacon sandwiches and several cups of tea to re-hydrate

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I had thought about dropping down to Capel y Ffin and walking back over the ridge to the car. The fact that out of the wind it was still really hot had me thinking of a better plan. I retraced my steps back toward the edge and the curved off towards the summit of Twyn Talycefn.

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The strong breeze was keeping the skies clear and the temperatures perfect for walking. Much better to be up high in weather like this

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Looking back to the ridge I’d walked the previous evening

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I dropped down to the Grwyne Fawr Reservoir with an idea of a sneaky swim.

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I don’t normally like swimming in reservoirs as they do have their dangers but I found a stunning little spot on the banks and took a short dip without straying too far into the water.

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Another cup of tea seemed in order as I felt like I had the whole place to myself.

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Then it was a simple matter of the long walk back down past the dam to the car

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A nice easy angled path to finish the day with grand views back to the dam and the deep greens of the valley under the still totally clear sky

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Another superb one-nighter although I would have enjoyed a bit of company as I’ve done most of this years trips solo. 15-16 miles over the two days with the aimless wandering I did looking for a pitch and just enjoying being out.

Black Mountain Backpack

May be the last such trip for a while. The last couple of weeks have been just too hot and sultry for walking so I’ve been getting my exercise in the water with some wild swimming, more of which in future posts. Then its holiday time for me and the family as we head to Wales and France for some sociable fun with friends

 

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18 responses to “Another Solo Wild Camp

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  1. Looks like another great trip out. Really seems to extend the weekend if you can get up high on Friday evening doesn’t it? I guess this was the same Friday that I was on Skiddaw, the wind was pretty cold there too, but maybe not as strong as you describe.

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    beatingthebounds
    • The wind made it surprisingly chilly. I could have easily put a tent up but I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the sunset quite as much. The spot I did find was much better for sitting and views but the grass was pretty thick and a bit sloping. Did the job though and the walk the next morning was superb, that same breeze kept it cool for a good long walk. Finding water is the tough part at the moment so I have to carry a fair bit with me – water is very heavy!

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  2. Looks like a stunning sunset

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  3. Nothing like a super clear morning for striking camp and striding off with a grand view. The water situation is really getting grim now, it often means collecting low down and lugging it aloft for most of the day.

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    • Absolutely. Its a joy to sit outside in the morning light when the air so cool and clear and watch the world come to life. Amazing how you seem to eat up the miles so much quicker on a day like that. It was odd on this trip that places where I thought there might be water had none and other places had plenty. Along the side of the reservoir there were several springs that were flowing well. Water is heavy and like to brew up when I’m backpacking

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  4. Another wonderful overnight get away!

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  5. Nice to build up some hillwalking memories. I’ve done very little past few months for various reasons. Looks a good circular outing.

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    • It takes a bit of mental effort to start walking when its hot but its so worthwhile when you reach the summit for views like this and much cooler nights sleep. It a superb walk this one, done it (or a variation of it) many times

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  6. Really good camping spot that one, as you say shame the wind was too chilly at the first summit to stop. Happy holidays for when you go. Lake District again for me. 15 of us in Coniston!

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    • Not too bad in the end but I would really like to try the summit camp when the wind is bit less. Have a great time in Coniston, nice village and superb mountains. If you need a feed the Steam Bistro is excellent (take your own booze). Need to book though as its really popular

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  7. Looks spectacular up there. I imagine it’s great up there on your own to just clear your head and to have time to unwind and relax, as well as an opportunity to take some excellent photographs.

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    • There is nothing better for a way to relax. It’s so peaceful just watching the light fade and the way mo7ntsins change character. I was sat outside reading until well after 11pm

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  8. Looks as if you had a wonderful night. At least things looks a little greener than North Wales. Nice one Andy.

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    Brenda-Dawn Linney
    • Thanks Dawn. The mountains have changed dramatically over the past two weeks where everything has turned brown, other than the bracken. Swimming is the order of the day now

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