Stats for Sunday
Total Distance: 12.4 miles
Total Ascent: 850 m
Total Descent: 1,168 m
Duration: 7 hours 30 mins
It had been a lovely day visiting family in North Wales, the weather was pretty good. By early evening, as I started my short walk up to my overnight wild camp, a beautiful sunset was beginning to form. It was taking me a while to walk the couple of miles, I was trying to Social Hike and had started tweeting, and I kept stopping to look at the sun setting over Anglesey and the Irish Sea, it was lovely.
It was getting dark pretty quickly now so I got a move on to get up to my camp. I pitched my Trailstar just off the main track. I decided, for testing purposes to pitch it in a low configuration and set the centre trekking pole to 100cm. The Trailstar went up beautifully first time. Nice and tight, low to the ground and the door was low too. This made getting in and out a little tricky and the headroom inside was restricted but the wind was shed really well and the shelter was rock solid, very comforting.
I had a cold night, a very cold night. I seemed to be awake alot but I did get a solid three hours between midnight and 3am. This was my first night under canvas in my Western Mountaineering Summerlite sleeping bag and unfortunately it is not warm enough for me as I sleep cold. There is nothing wrong with the bag at all and it always get rave reviews but I sleep cold and it just wasn’t warm enough.
The cloud descended overnight and I gradually lost the views of the lights of the North Wales Coast during the early hours of the morning, it looked like I was in for a cloudy day and no views.
The plan for the day was to walk west along the North Wales Coastal Path to Llanfairfechan and then head south into the mountains as far as Drum. Then retrace my steps off Drum and cut north east back to Penmaenmawr where I had left my car.
I was up and away early, walking by 7.30am. It was lovely to be up and about that early, even though it was very cloudy. I wondered why the North Wales Coastal Path took the route it did when there were more direct routes, but it soon became apparent that it was designed to give you some lovely views as you descend off the hills and then back up the other side.
I followed the North Wales Coast Path to Llanfairfechan, past some nice houses that had tremendous views, and then started the climb to head into the hills. Next stop was the pylons that cut through the landscape. There is something interesting about pylons and I took a few photographs.
I stopped at the pylons to make a cuppa using the Pocket Stove Ti and a meths burner. I’m just trialing using meths at the moment to see how I get on with it. It can be a bit of a fiddle to use and tricky lighting without one of those flint and steels but I did manage to get the meths lit in the breezy conditions and enjoy my cup of tea.
Refreshed I continued my walk to Drum. As I approached the summit I suddenly realised that it was getting a bit brighter and the sun was trying to shine through clouds. Every now and then I could see small patches of blue sky and I became hopeful that I would get the odd view between clouds from the top.
I got more than I hoped for. Almost at the summit and I suddenly walked out of the clouds into glorious warm sunshine, it was beautiful. I sat on the summit for some time and soaked up the sun. The views came and went over various parts of the landscape stretched out before me, and I tried to capture the atmosphere in a photograph or two. I also sat my camera on a rock and let it taking video the cloud as it gently billowed and drifted as it revealed the landscape.
Just off the top of Drum, in the saddle, the ground was quite boggy with pool of peaty water. These pools were making a funny noise. As I got closer the noise stopped then I realised they were full of frogs (or toads) and loads of frogspawn. I couched at one of the pools for a while hoping to catch a photo or some video but they knew I was there and did not reappear. The walk back down the rest of the way was a bit of an anti-climax as I walked back into the cloud. It was rather dull until I was nearly back at the car and saw a few patches of sunshine again. the descent was but a bit tough on my knees and I was thankful for my trekking poles.
It was a great day out and lovely to get a wild camp in, even though I was cold. I’m looking forward to the next wild camp in a few weeks – in a warmer sleeping bag!