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Nantlle Ridge Wild Camp

By Dave Roberts   

on April 28, 2012    5/5 (1)

Posted in Wild Camp

Nantlle Ridge Wild Camp

Location Details

Walks to Nantlle Ridge Wild Camp

Location Map

Place Type:  Wild Camp

Nantlle Ridge Wild Camp

Wild camped between Y Garn and Drws y Coed last night. Turned out to be a corker.

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The Route

I’ve camped out on virtually all the hills around North Snowdonia, but never had I managed a night out amongst the Eifionydd hills. I’d failed a few years back when I reached Garnedd Goch with the intention of descending the ridge to the south east towards a stream marked on the map. Of course, it was not there as it had been a warm summer (remember them?) and I didn’t want to camp at Llyn Cwm Dulyn so called it a day. Last night I decided to put that right, and camp right on top of the ridge.

We set off from the Cwellyn Arms, with a few pints inside to fortify ourselves for the sadistic climb to Y Garn. For full route details, see the links at the bottom of the article. As there would be no water on the ridge, and I both didn’t want to carry water and couldn’t fit it easily in my pack, a slight detour was taken along one of the streams rather than following the path directly. I had intended to ascend Cwm Marchnad further along, but we took the first stream we could practically follow before we lost any resolve we had left.

I managed to pick up water at just under 400m, but I’m not convinced that the off path yomp was worth the extra effort.

It was still slightly overcast, but the sky did show some signs of clearing, and we were at least hopeful of a decent night regards the weather. However, we were not expecting the sun to break out for the last hour of the day and cast the shadow of the ridge onto Yr Aran behind us.

Finding a flat section near the wall, and finding my bivy-tent wasn’t facing the right way when the head was uphill, decided it would be fine. This provided a grandstand view of the sunset, with the Wicklows not just visible but easily photographed as well. It’s usually a case of can I see them, or is it a cloud. This time, I’m pretty certain that someone who knew the range could even hazard a guess at the individual peaks.

Once the sun set, it was a matter of getting the tent sorted and all the kit put through it’s paces. I had a Nemo GOGO EX inflatable bivy tent, a PHD combo sleeping bag, Montane Medusa pack and some food by Fuizion and Look What We Found to try out, so keep an eye out for reviews soon. I had also intended to make popcorn, but my attempt at pre-oiling the corn at home meant that they burnt before they popped and it appears that my kettle is in need of a good scrub with Brillo. It worked perfectly at home, so you’ll have to wait a few weeks before we put that online.

It was apparently windy overnight, with rain and even snow showers, but the GOGO EX has such a low profile that I didn’t notice it was windy. The wall to one side also helped in this regard!

A fine morning greeted us, but a cold one, and we were soon off and over the easy scrambling on Drws y Coed. The remainder of the ridge was clear and enticing in the morning light, but we had to be back early and even found a shortcut across the slopes of Trum y Ddysgl. We had to face it that we weren’t missing much, with the scramble over Drws y Coed being the highlight of the morning and after that we were just decending to Rhyd Ddu.

Just a note that most of the forest you pass through is now felled, and that the path is exceptionally boggy in places. Bwlch y Ddwy Elor has a bog at the very final section that cruelly gives you wet feet just as you reach safety, while the section on leaving Beddgelert Forest has become a total mire.

For a route guide – click here.

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