The august bank holiday came round incredibly quickly, the weather was looking a bit touch and go. Despite the grand plans of finding the perfect campsite in the few weeks beforehand, I found us both searching frantically for one with space on the Friday morning we were due to head to Wales. If you have found the perfect campsite wherever it is then please share! We found one right near llanberis in the heart of snowdonia national park and it had space more importantly, you can check it out on the link below.
It looked like it was a great spot with some fantastic views and it all sounded very promising with camp fires allowed. A big positive was with it being near Pete's Eats cafe, which is a great spot for a pre-walk feed that I had been introduced to on my previous trip.
Following what seemed like a fairly epic drive post work in London to the north west of Wales and it was time to setup camp in the pitch black whilst not waking the whole campsite. Fortunately despite our late arrival there were others in a similar situation. Like the rest of the perfect pre-planning of the trip I had never put the tent up before nor seen a picture of it, neither of which are a great start. I would generally recommend you do at least one of those before heading out with a tent. The weather despite the down pour as we drove into the village had subsided for long enough to find a pitch in the dry and get the tent up first time. Something was on our side! Trying to be as quiet as possible with a foot pump is a bit of a challenge with it wheezing and coughing with every compression. Before trying to squeeze in the ridiculously large double air mattress that was literally bulging out of the tent . It was a last resort due to the lack of a smaller one. As drops of rain began to descend on us it was time to jump in.
We woke surprisingly early with the tent being heated like a sauna in what felt like a very short space of time. Although there was the occasionally wriggling about in the close space thanks to sleeping at the wrong end of the tent and the realisation that the "slight" slope actually meant sliding into one another all night.Due to the heavy one me squeezing the air out of my side,however we still felt relatively fresh.
With map in hand we headed down for breakfast at Pete’s Eats cafe, my head was beginning to kick into gear with some ideas of where to walk that day. With steaming mugs of coffee, a big plate of food each and a map sprawled out on the table the idea of heading to the glyders came about. It would be more quite than some of the other hills especially as more rain was set to come in.
It was soon chucking it down as we headed down the road in the car, looking at each other the thoughts that we were being a bit daft was certainly drifting through both our minds. Waterproofs on and that first step out of the car, which is always the hardest. After that with rain bouncing off our hoods we were off.
Making our way up the hill with the odd detour to take in some of the sights and have a bit of an explore. The intermittent rain, low cloud and a touch of sunshine made for only fleeting glances around at the spectacular views shrouded in thick cloud. We stopped part way up to admire some waterfalls and fill up on some fresh welsh stream water, which tastes so much better than the London water. No surprises there!
We made our way up to Glyder Fach where we had a bit of a scramble up and around the rocks including on the “famous” cantilever stone. Perching on the end surrounded by cloud certainly didn’t reveal much of our surroundings. As we made our way off the summit the cloud would occasionally lift to reveal the area we were walking as well as Castell y Gwynt meaning castle of the winds. Although not the highest peak on the ridge the stoney outcrop is still over 3000ft high but is not included in the welsh 3000’s list due to being classed as a Nuttall, Regardless of this it is a great one to scramble up as the jagged rocks are a pretty awesome sight. They were also quite sharp as I noticed a bit of a crimson mark on my trousers which after a quick look round was coming from my hand.
The final section was up Glyder fawr, the wind was rushing up the valley and over the ridge line, with the low cloud and mist this did make for a rather spooky scene. With the time ticking on we needed to head down. As we lost height the scene became a lot clearer and so we carried on down a steep gulley which looked like there was a path at the bottom towards a wee lake and from there we could head back to the car. By the time we reached the bottom of the initially gully, the “start” of the path was in fact some rather soggy ground. The remainder of the trudge down was slow going as the paths carved out by sheep seemed to dot around the place. We scrambled over rocks, through heather, streams and boggy ground occasionally watched by a nearby sheep.
Finally reaching the (lake) Llyn Cwmffynnon and the stream leaving it. Despite the weather it was very tempting to go for a swim, until we felt the temperature and the thought of the walk back still to do. One for another day!
We arrived at a packed pub full to the brim and with food orders on hold the only option left was to start with a couple of cold pints with a packet of crisps before the main of a huge burger turned up. Lamb of course.
Heading back to the camp-site the place was a light with camp fires in front of every tent, it was beginning to rain again as the temptation was quickly replaced by that of jumping into our sleeping bags. .