Monday, 16 April 2012

Wildcamp in the Arans

On Saturday I went for a wildcamp in the Arans where I was joined by my friend Mitch, we parked the car at the new car park at the end of Cwm Cywarch at about 4:30 pm and set off to head straight up to our camp spot next to Llyn y Fign on Glasgwm. On Sunday we woke and walked across to Aran Fawddwy then turned and headed back down via Drysgol and the long and steady descent back to Cwm Cywarch.

Camp spot by on Glasgwm
Cwm Cywarch

Heading Up!!

Looking across to Aran Fawddwy

Once we arrived at our camp spot on Glasgwm we pitched the tents just in time as dark clouds appeared over head and with them a flurry of snow showers came in. We retreated to our tents to sit it out; when it finally stopped we emerged to be faced with a very cold scene, a dusting of frozen snow all around and a bitterly cold wind. I set about firing up the Jetboil to warm up my fingers as well as my evening meal, my usual packet of Look what we found this time Gloucestershire old spot meatballs washed down with a hot chocolate, which was bliss in the dropping temperatures. After dinner I wondered around taking yet more photos before finally giving up on the chance of a clear sky for the night time shots I eventually settled down for the night, which was once I had struggled to fight my way out of my clothes and into the sleeping bag in the confined space of my tent. I knew it was going to be a cold night so in addition I packed my bivy bag to put over my sleeping bag and that did the trick because I was nice and snug in that set up, whereas it was freezing cold outside. 
Glasgwm - Llyn y Fign

Llyn y Fign

View from tent towards Cadair Idris

Rhinog's in the Sunset

I woke at 5:50am and poked my head out the tent, it was a clear morning and looking east there was an orange glow on the horizon. The sun was yet to rise so I quickly got dressed and grabbed the camera in time to snap the first light of day. When Mitch arose he said that he got up in the night and the sky was clear with the stars out in full glory, shame I missed that from a photo opportunity point of view but I had a really good nights sleep and to be honest didn’t fancy getting out in the cold, so not too disappointed.

Sunrise - the beginning of a new day.

Llyn y Fign sunrise

Cadair Idris bathed in the morning sun
After breakfast we packed up and set off towards Aran Fawddwy, following the fence line all the way across the open and very boggy plateau between Glasgwm and Aran Fawddwy. There where plenty of planks laid out along the route and thank goodness there where as we would have got fairly damp if these where not there. On our ascent up Aran Fawddwy we saw in the distance ahead of us a couple of walkers and a dog. We eventually caught them up, they where from Shrewsbury and had camped out down in the plateau over night. We had a good chat with them for a few minutes before pushing on to the summit. They where the only 2 people we saw on the whole trip.
Glasgwm Panorama

Glasgwm summit
Snowdonia in the distance

Snow on Aran Fawddwy
From the summit the views along the Aran ridge down towards lake Bala and Creiglyn Dyfi where fantastic, although the clouds where now starting to come in and indeed looked quite menacing over towards the main Snowdonia peaks, now no longer in view. The 2 guys from Shrewsbury then joined us on the summit and we lingered around taking a few photos and chatting before heading back down.

Aran Fawddwy trig point
Looking along the Aran ridge

Aran Fawddwy
Aran Fawddwy
Looking back to Drysgol
Aran Ridge
Our route down took us along a wide ridge towards Drysgol which gave great views back to the face of Aran Fawddwy. Located along this ridge was cairn erected in memory to a Mountain Rescue team member who died whilst out on a call after being struck by lightening. From this point the lush green valley of Cwm Cywarch and our path down could be easily seen, it was soon chalked off and we where back at the car in no time. The car park is free but it does have a donation box for the Air Ambulance so I did the right thing and donated before setting off home. This was a superb trip in a less trodden part of Snowdonia, which added to enjoyment.

Heading back to Cwm Cywarch
Route showing camp spot.


  1. Replies
    1. Cheers Owdbum, it was a really enjoyable camp out. Albeit a bit nippy. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Some fine photos of Llyn y Fign there, it takes some skill to capture a picturesque view of it - I always think it looks rather scruffy from most angles with the fence and now broken bits of stile.

    1. Thanks Geoff, from a distance I wasn't sure what that broken stile was, as daft as it sounds I thought someone had left an old canoe up there until I got close to it. A great place for a camp though.

  3. Really nice walk. Good photo’s. Especially Cadair in the morning sun for me. Thanks

    1. Thanks Alan, appreciate the comment. I do agree Cadair did look special that morning in the sun, in fact the whole vista was pretty spectacular as the air was so clear.

  4. Looks like a splendid trip although Llyn y Fign can be a pretty bleak spot. Nice photies, are you using the G3?

    1. Thanks for the comment James, I've used the G3 for the last 2 trips, Cadair Idris and this one. Very pleased with it and the results so far, although I still have a lot more to learn and settings I haven't yet tried. Off to Torridon for a week soon so hoping to have a good play with it and get some great shots, fingers crossed