Snowdonia, May 2019

We spent long May weekend in Wales. The weather in the UK was forecast to be poor so we chose the region with the least wet weather. There was no rain on Saturday although all summits were covered with fog. Sunday started with heavy rain but the weather improved in the afternoon. Finally, Monday greeted us with fog, rain and strong winds; the sun came out only when we got back to our car. But we really enjoyed the trip. Snowdonia is beautiful (when there is visibility). Our walk was fairly long with reasonable altitude gain every day (around 1.5 km) and some good scrambling. A memorable trip.

The blue line shows our track in the first, second, third and forth days, respectively. The arrow shows direction of travel.

A steep traverse following a sheep track. Humans don't walk here.

Low tide in Conwy Bay. One can spot a lighthouse at the tip of the cape and Puffin Island on the right.

We came across some wild Carneddau ponies. Apparently there are only about 200 of these ponies left in the wild.

A littel waterfall.

Lichen.

The remains of a military aircraft which crashed near Flynnon Llyffant in 1957. As soon as we got to the tarn, we recognised this place. We camped here years ago.

When we got home, we went through some old pictures of 2010. This is the same spot (and our old tent).

Another old photograph with the fire. We came across a dead tree and picked up some branches to make a fire.

We scrambled up Carnedd Llewelyn. Good rock although all scrambling could have been bypassed on the grass slopes. The visibility is not great...

Easy scrambling on dry rocks.

Climbing higher and higher up...

The rocks here are different from the Lake District. Lots of wavy shapes, with occasional inclusion of white quartz.

Three rock pillars...

...and two climbers.

With no visibility, we made no more pictures until the next day. We came down into the Afon Llafar valley and climbed up Carnedd Dafydd following a knife-edge ridge of Crib Lem (a.k.a. Llech Ddu Spur). This is one of the best grade 1 scrambles in Wales. Unfortunately we saw neither steep cliffs on either side, nor the distant peaks: there was no visibility at all. We came across a young woman lost near Carnedd Dafydd; we helped her find her way back to the car. We climbed down to the Ffynnon Lloer lake and pitched our tent. There were several other tents on the other side of the lake but we hardly even saw them. We found remains of another military airplane crashed during the war.

The weather forecast promised heavy rain until ca. 11am, this proved pretty accurate. We woke up as late as we could, and only started walking after 10.30, just before the rain stopped. We went down to the LLyn Ogwen lake, crossed the road and scrambled up Main Gully on Glyder Fach. The rocks were still wet after the rain, so it was slippery, and the scramble turned out to be surprisingly hard (it is graded 1+; we have experience of grade 2 and even bits of grade 3). We did not dare to climb the crux (chockstone) without belay. So we took the rope out and belayed Lova as he climbed the chockstone without his backpack. He then pulled up our packs and belayed us from the top.

Maria only took the camera out when we got to the top and the sun came out. A view of Llyn Bochlwyd and LLyn Ogwen lakes with Conwy Bay far away.

Lova shows the way forward. We climbed down from Glyder Fach, crossed the road again and walked up towards the Ffynnon Llugwy reservoir. We then crossed the ridge and climbed down a steep slope to a stream where we camped overnight.

Looking back at Tryfan and Glyder Fach.

We made a little fire by the stream. We picked up some firewood in a forest by the road and brought it with us in the backpacks.

The sunset. A mushroom cloud.

It was a great evening: it was quiet, the sunset was great, we enjoyed our tasty dinner and the fire...

The next day treated us to strong wind, fog, showers and cold... We did not stop until we reached our car. When we got down, the wind subsided and the visibility improved.

The ubiquitous Conwy Bay behind Llyn Anafon lake.

Lova was the leader for the whole trip, he was very good at route finding and we very much enjoyed the trip (whatever the weather).

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