7°C, brisk NW, hill fog above 600m, mostly dry and cold.
I hiked with MapMyRide+! Distance: 14.61km, time: 08:39:00, pace: 35:31min/km, speed: 1.69km/h.
I don’t recall hiking in December before. it’s not too cold yet, though the wind-chill was strong. Our route was along a few valleys parallel to the main Bedwyn ridge.we went off track to practice navigation and route finding as two trainee mountain leaders. Once we’d visited Cadair Bronwyn the return is along an easier route in the failing light.
The photo above looks back on the route we came from. Look at the notch in the ridge, we were there. This was our lunch break and we got up to practice confidence ropeing for a while.
Heading further north onto a spur then turn West into the wind. This spur joins the main Berwyn ridge and is signposted as a Special Site of Scientific Interest. Up here the ground is fairly flat and therefore – boggy. Good stately duckboards ran north-south so the summit Cadair Bronwyn was easy. On top is a large cairn of quartzite. By now, the sky was noticeably dull grey, either rain or coming sunset. We didn’t stop.
I recognised the ridge up to Berwyn from last time even though the weather and visibility were entirely different. We saw no views down the steep scarp slope.
Carl is always a quicker descender than I am, if fears falling less than I do. His new boots lost their new look when negotiating boggy patches near the fence-line. The worst one swallowed Carl up to the waist in thick black sticky bog gum. I was out of reach and unable to pull him out. He dragged himself out though and checked his kit. Phone, car-keys and compass, all shut inside zipped pockets. Onward.
This point we made to only necessary course correction of the day to get back to the fenceline which marks our route all afternoon.
Around the time the fence ran out, we decided on lighting up. Route finding was still relatively easy if we followed tracks in the long grass. There was such a track in front where our compasses pointed. Off we went into growing darkness.
Carl was using a 1:50k map all day. He wanted to make up for some errors on his recent HML assessment week at Plas-y-Brenin. I used the normal 1:25k that most hill walkers use. That fills in the detail missing on the 50k map. The last few hundred metres led us in error to the top of Pistyl Rheaddr falls. Not far now, after a little back tracking.
Finally, the car number plate glowed in the head-torch lights. 8 hours 35 minutes, a Quality Mountain Day for the log book.