Solo Snowdonia Region – Cardigan Bay – Day 2

Day 2's 10.6km route with 333 metres of ascent and 426 metres of descent. Top right one can see the experimental short ascent I made to see how my heels would cope. (Click for full sized image)

Day 2’s 10.6km route with 333 metres of ascent and 426 metres of descent. Top right one can see the experimental short ascent I made to see how my heels would cope. (Click for full sized image)

Day 2 was decision day. Do I proceed with the walk and head further into the wilderness or do I turn around and head back?

The heel injuries picked up the previous day from the new boots had really upset what was supposed to have been a relatively easy walk.

If I choose to proceed with the walk, I would be doing around 20km, most of which would be cross country over some pretty rugged terrain. I wasn’t sure whether my heels would be up to such a journey. What’s worse is that it could potentially result in them deteriorating further whilst also placing me deeper into the wilderness.

On the other hand, if I headed back the way I came, I would still have to walk at least 10km. But at least this would mainly be on tracks, with each step taking me closer to the railway station.

Heading back would also have the advantage that I didn’t have to worry about timing. 10km over a whole day is easily achievable – even with injuries.

The elevation profile for day 2.

The elevation profile for day 2.

The day was a glorious one, with hot sunshine and little in the way of winds. In many respects I couldn’t have hoped for better weather.

Anyways, enough of the preamble. Read on for the virtual walk for Day 2…

The view from the tent on the morning of day 2.

The view from the tent on the morning of day 2.

First things first... Breakfast! It should be noted that putting the boots on this morning was extremely painful

First things first… Breakfast! It should be noted that putting the boots on this morning was extremely painful

After breakfast I go through my well practiced decamping routine. As usual I leave the spot in a pristine condition - no one will ever know that I have camped here!

After breakfast I go through my well practiced decamping routine. As usual I leave the spot in a pristine condition – no one will ever know that I have camped here!

Although my heels were very painful, I decided to do a test climb up the hill to see how they would cope. It seems that any kind of ascent really aggravates them. Nevertheless I'm kind of hoping they would numb out a little to make the rest of the walk a possibility.

Although my heels were very painful, I decided to do a test climb up the hill to see how they would cope. It seems that any kind of ascent really aggravated them. Nevertheless I’m kind of hoping they would numb out a little to make the rest of the walk a possibility.

After a slow and painful ascent, I sit on this boulder to ponder whether or not I should proceed with the rest of the walk.

After a slow and painful ascent, I sit on this boulder to ponder whether or not I should proceed with the rest of the walk.

The view from the boulder is pretty good. There is also the promise of fine weather for the rest of the day.

The view from the boulder is actually pretty good!

After much pondering I decide to turn back. I knew that most of today's walk would be off trail with many steep ascents, some requiring climbing. Right now I was around 12km from a railway station, to commit further to the walk would have placed me much further away from help. In addition, I feared that the rougher terrain would exacerbate the heel situation. It was a tough decision, especially as I had no one around to discuss it with. I never like cancelling or curtailing a walk, but sometimes it is the right thing to do.

After much pondering I decide to turn back. I knew that most of today’s walk would be off trail with many steep ascents, some requiring climbing. Right now I was around 12km from a railway station, to commit further to the walk would have placed me much further away from help. In addition, I feared that the rougher terrain would exacerbate the heel situation. It was a tough decision, especially as I had no one around to discuss it with. I never like cancelling or curtailing a walk, but sometimes it is the right thing to do.

The descent seems to reduce the pain in the heels somewhat. I'm guessing it's because the foot's weight is primarily bearing down on the front of the boot.

The descent seems to reduce the pain in the heels somewhat. I’m guessing this is because the foot’s weight is primarily bearing down on the front of the boot.

To my left I notice that the walls up on the hill tops have significant holes in them. It looks like a ridge walk may well be possible here. During planning I had shied away from that ridge line for fear that there would be no way across the hills extensive man made boundaries.

To my left on the hilltops I notice that the walls have significant holes in them. It looks like a ridge walk may well be a possibility here. During planning I had shied away from that ridge for fear that there would be no way across the hill’s extensive man made boundaries.

I soon get to the bottom of the hill and proceed broadly Westward toward the sea. Up ahead beyond the low ridge line should be the Llyn Irddyn tarn.

I soon get to the bottom of the hill and proceed broadly Westward toward the sea. Up ahead beyond the low ridge line should be the Llyn Irddyn tarn.

As soon as I clear that ridge line the tarn turns up just as expected!

As soon as I clear that ridge line the tarn turns up just as expected!

Most of the walk back to the coast is downhill on a well made track. I feel robbed that the walk got cut short with such good weather and scenery.

Most of the walk back to the coast is downhill on a well made track. I feel robbed that the walk got cut short with such good weather and scenery.

I spot this beetle on my travels. Not sure what species it is - answers on a post card!

I spot this beetle on my travels. Not sure what species it is – answers on a post card!

Wall boundaries like these make it exceedingly easy to work out one's precise position on the trail, which helps with monitoring progress.

Wall boundaries like these make it exceedingly easy to work out one’s precise position on the trail, which helps with monitoring progress.

One of the many streams that I had to cross. I used this one to top up the Travel Tap bottle. Copious green healthy vegetation like this is a sure sign that the water is clean!

One of the many streams that I had to cross. I used this particular one to top up the Travel Tap water bottle. Copious green healthy vegetation like this is a sure sign that the water is clean!

Up ahead the sea becomes visible. I know I will soon be at the point where I will need to hang a left and start my first real ascent of the day.

Up ahead the sea becomes visible. I know I will soon be at the point where I will need to hang a left and start my first real ascent of the day.

To my right is the distinctive hill called Moelfre. It's amazing how a little sun can make the scenery seem so much more inviting.

To my right is the distinctive hill called Moelfre. It’s amazing how a little sun can make the scenery seem so much more inviting.

I take one last look behind me as I leave the hills behind.

I take one last look behind me as I leave the hills behind.

The track's descent gets steeper. I will soon be at the junction.

The track’s descent gets steeper. I will soon be at the junction.

The obligatory 'I-was-really-there' shot :)

The obligatory ‘I-was-really-there’ shot 🙂

The junction soon pops into view. This marks the end of the initial descent.

The junction soon pops into view. This marks the end of the initial descent.

The route I'm taking is called the Ardudwy Way! Not sure I can pronounce it!

The route I’m taking is called the Ardudwy Way! Not sure I can pronounce it!

The ascent has started. The pain in my heels has now gone up several notches. What's worse is that it's not a continuous pain that can be tuned out. I find myself shouting random expletives on particularly painful foot-falls.

The ascent has started. The pain in my heels has now gone up several notches. What’s worse is that it’s not a continuous pain that can be tuned out. I find myself shouting random expletives on particularly painful foot-falls.

This is a look behind me back to the sign. Even this short stint required a concerted effort. In many ways this has validated my decision to cut the walk short.

This is a look behind me back to the sign. Even this short stint required a concerted effort. In many ways this has validated my decision to cut the walk short.

At least I have some decent scenery to try and take my mind off things!

At least I have some decent scenery to try and take my mind off things!

It's amazing how the state off one's feet can have such a profound impact on a walk. This part should have been an easy stroll, but instead it was a painful and slow trek.

It’s amazing how the state off one’s feet can have such a profound impact on a walk. This part should have been an easy stroll, but instead it was a painful and slow trek.

A look behind me shows that I have regained a fair bit of elevation, despite my difficulties.

A look behind me shows that I have regained a fair bit of elevation, despite my difficulties.

The trail starts to flatten out much to my heel's relief!

The trail starts to flatten out much to my heel’s relief!

To my right are superb views over Cardigan Bay. This is a very scenic part of Wales and one that I'm surprised had taken me so long to visit!

To my right are superb views over Cardigan Bay. This is a very scenic part of Wales and one that I’m surprised had taken me so long to visit!

Up ahead I can see the Bwlch Rhiwgr pass in the hills. This track will take me right up there before turning South.

Up ahead I can see the Bwlch Rhiwgr pass in the hills. This track will take me right up there before turning South.

The pass beckons. Although still painful, my heels have kind of numbed themselves out - it's only the occasional foot fall that produces a shooting pain. I wonder how much of this is psychological? After all I only have two large blisters...

The pass beckons. Although still painful, my heels have kind of numbed themselves out – it’s only the occasional foot fall that produces a shooting pain. I wonder how much of this is psychological? After all I only have two large blisters…

I'm now on the final ascent to the track at the pass. This part of the walk was particularly difficult. I consoled myself in that today's walk was very short with no time pressures whatsoever. As such, I could take my time. Every foot placement was effectively put in the bank!

I’m now on the final ascent to the track at the pass. This part of the walk was particularly difficult. I consoled myself in that today’s walk was very short with no time pressures whatsoever. As such, I could take my time. Every foot placement was effectively put in the bank!

Behind me is a great view onto the coast. Here we are looking directly at a local airfield - though you will have to peer carefully through the haze to see it. I only spotted it when I saw a plane flying rather too low to the ground, until I noticed it was actually landing!

Behind me is a great view onto the coast. Here we are looking directly at a local airfield – though you will have to peer carefully through the haze to see it. I only spotted it when I saw a plane flying rather too low to the ground, until I noticed it was actually landing!

There's the pass and my turn off to the right. I can't wait to get up there so as to alleviate the pressure on my heels.

There’s the pass and my turn off to the right. I can’t wait to get up there so as to alleviate the pressure on my heels.

Having reached the pass, I now turn toward the coast. This part thankfully has a slight descent.

Having reached the pass, I now turn toward the coast. This part thankfully has a slight descent.

The boulder field I find myself in requires careful foot placement. Occasionally I get it wrong and end up involuntarily shouting out loud expletives. Thankfully there was no one around to hear them. There are many large quartz boulders here, just like the one in the picture.

The boulder field I find myself in requires careful foot placement. Occasionally I get it wrong and end up involuntarily shouting out loud expletives. Thankfully there was no one around to hear them. There are many large quartz boulders here, like the one in the picture.

Once out of the bolder field the rest of the walk West is rather pleasant. I know that once I clear the wall up ahead I will need to contour around Northwards and start ascending again.

Once out of the bolder field the rest of the walk West is rather pleasant. I know that once I clear the wall up ahead I will need to contour around Southwards and start ascending again.

Here I am now starting to contour around the hill Southwards. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for the track which should be somewhere below me to the right.

Here I am now starting to contour around the hill Southwards. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for the track which should be somewhere below me to the right.

This is the view behind me to the coast. Given that there are no real time constraints on today's walk, I spend some time practicing getting navigational fixes from the compass. I'm particularly interested in the wall shapes and how they differ from the ones on the map.

This is the view behind me to the coast. Given that there are no real time constraints on today’s walk, I spend some time practicing getting navigational fixes from the compass. I’m particularly interested in the wall shapes and how they differ from the ones on the map.

As I head Southward I start coming across these fenced off areas delineating the boundaries of old Mine subsidence.

As I head Southward I start coming across these fenced off areas delineating the boundaries of old Mine subsidence.

When I peer into these areas they don't look too dangerous, but the sign on the barbed wire clearly shows a falling man and the danger of serious injury.

When I peer into these areas they don’t look too dangerous, but the sign on the barbed wire clearly shows a falling man and the danger of serious injury.

I'm now on a shallow ascent Southward. Water is starting to get a little low, but I do know that I around 1km away from a water source, so there are no worries.

I’m now on a shallow ascent Southward. Water is starting to get a little low, but I know that I’m around 1km away from a water source, so there are no worries.

As I'm hiking I keep hearing an occasional loud and rather odd sound. At first I think it's wildlife until I look upwards...

As I’m hiking I keep hearing an occasional loud and rather odd sound. At first I think it’s wildlife until I look upwards…

At this point I'm boundary counting so as to obtain my precise position on the map. Up above, the glider pilot seems to be following me, so I stop to wave!

At this point I’m boundary counting so as to obtain my precise position on the map. Above me, the glider pilot seems to be following, so I stop to wave!

Although the ascent is painful, this part is very idyllic. I take my time and savour the moment!

Although the ascent is painful, this part is very idyllic. I take my time and savour the moment!

The original plan for today was around 20km further into the wilds. Instead I find myself doing a short 10km extraction stint. As such I have plenty of time to play with. I decide to stop off here for an hour to enjoy the scenery and watch the world go by.

The original plan for today was around 20km further into the wilds. Instead I find myself doing a short 10km extraction stint. As such I have plenty of time to play with. I decide to stop off here for an hour to enjoy the scenery and watch the world go by.

Behind me, one can see that the Moelfre hill has now receded into the distance. I can remember the feeling of pure bliss I had simply by lying down on the grass on such a warm day with superb views.

Behind me, one can see that the Moelfre hill has now receded into the distance. I can remember the feeling of pure bliss I had simply by lying down on the grass on such a warm day with superb views.

In the distance I can see three gliders riding the thermals. I wish I was up there with them!

In the distance I can see three gliders riding the thermals. I wish I was up there with them!

After around an hour, I decide it's time to finish off today's short journey. I know I'm around 2km away from the planned end point, so there are no pressures whatsoever.

After around an hour, I decide it’s time to finish off today’s short journey. I know I’m around 2km away from the planned end point, so there are no pressures whatsoever.

These ladders prove to be a problem for my heels. Unfortunately there are many of them to gingerly traverse.

These ladders prove to be a problem for my heels. Unfortunately there are many of them to gingerly traverse.

After going over the wall, it's a case of following the hill Southward until I see another wall. There should be a stream in the field bounded by that wall. I decided I would make this a stop off point for a late lunch.

After going over the wall, it’s a case of following the hill Southward until I see another wall. There should be a stream in the field bounded by that wall. I decided that I would make this a stop off point for a late lunch.

I soon come across the corner of the wall. The map shows the entrance to the field in the wrong place, but this isn't an issue with today's superb visibility.

I soon come across the corner of the wall. The map shows the entrance to the field in the wrong place, but this isn’t an issue with today’s superb visibility.

Here's the entrance to the field! It's on the West wall not the North wall.... cough...cough.....Ordnance Survey....

Here’s the entrance to the field! It’s on the West wall not the North wall…. cough…cough…..Ordnance Survey….

I'm in the field headed Southward on a descent that should take me to the last water source before camp.

I’m in the field headed Southward on a descent that should take me to the last water source before camp.

I now have eyes on the stream!

I now have eyes on the stream!

There it is! Time to take off the rucksack and get the bottles filled.

There it is! Time to take off the rucksack and get the bottles filled.

Although I'm only stopping off here for a lunch break, I fill up all three bottles as this is the last water source before my planned camp spot.

Although I’m only stopping off for a lunch break, I fill up all three bottles as this is the last water source before my planned camp spot.

On with the lunch! The JetBoil Sol is exceedingly efficient at boiling water. It's also extremely light and takes up very little space in the rucksack. Highly recommended!

On with the lunch! The JetBoil Sol is exceedingly efficient at boiling water. It’s also extremely light and takes up very little space in the rucksack. Highly recommended!

Lunch consists of a mulligatawny soup accompanied by cheese oatcakes and cheese spread. Absolutely delicious!

Lunch consists of a mulligatawny soup accompanied by cheese oatcakes and cheese spread. Absolutely delicious!

After lunch I climb over the wall and head Southward towards these old mine workings. I know I need to cross them to intercept a wall to the West.

After lunch I climb over the wall and head Southward towards these old mine workings. I know I need to cross them to intercept a wall to the West.

I soon get eyes on the wall. It's now a case of hand-railing it until I get to the ladder crossing it.

I soon get eyes on the wall. It’s now a case of hand-railing it until I get to the ladder crossing it. The extra 3kg from the extra water that I’m carrying is definitely making itself felt!

The view directly ahead Southwards toward Barmouth.

The view directly ahead toward Barmouth in the South.

The superb view behind me over Cardigan Bay.

The superb view behind me over Cardigan Bay.

There's my route across the wall. In addition I can see the planned camp spot at the edge of the hill by the sheepfold in the distance.

There’s my route across the wall. In addition I can see the planned camp spot at the edge of the hill by the sheepfold in the distance.

I spot a grassy area to the left of the sheep fold up ahead. The rocks are giving me some concern over the depth of the soil. Would there be enough to make camp here?

I spot a grassy area to the left of the sheep fold up ahead. The rocks are giving me some concern over the depth of the soil. Would there be enough to make camp here?

As it turns out, soil depth is not an issue provided I use shallow peg angles. This is the superb view out of the Akto tent.

As it turns out, soil depth is not an issue provided I use shallow peg angles. This is the superb view out of the Akto tent.

The view Southward from the tent. In terms of views, I had picked the perfect spot. In addition, I knew I was around 1.5km away from the railway station which would all be downhill too! A bonus!

The view Southward from the tent. In terms of views, I had picked the perfect spot. In addition, I knew I was around 1.5km away from the railway station which would all be downhill too! A bonus!

The view over the Akto Tent Northwards over the bay.

The view over the Akto Tent Northwards over the bay.

The view down the hill from the tent. Somewhere below by the sea is the railway station for tomorrow's departure.

The view down the hill from the tent. Somewhere below by the sea is the railway station for tomorrow’s departure.

Another view of the Akto Tent!

Another view of the Akto Tent!

I scout around to see if I can eyeball the ladder exiting this field for tomorrows walk. Better to place it now whilst I have assured visibility.

I scout around to see if I can eyeball the ladder exiting this field for tomorrows walk. Better to place it now whilst I have assured visibility.

I get back to the tent and gingerly take off my boots. Even with plasters, both blisters had become much worse. I hate to think what state they would have been in had I elected for the full 20km cross country walk further into the wilderness. (You might want to skip the next two pictures :) )

I get back to the tent and gingerly take off my boots. Even with plasters, both blisters had become much worse. I hate to think what state they would have been in had I elected for the full 20km cross country walk further into the wilderness. (You might want to skip the next two pictures 🙂 )

An inspection of the left foot shows that the blisters have got a lot redder and a little deeper...

An inspection of the left foot shows that the blisters have got a lot redder and a little deeper…

It looks like the right foot has faired little better. I can even see where the sock has imprinted its pattern. Although these are only blisters, they were exceedingly painful and made today's walk a lot harder than it should have been.

It looks like the right foot has faired little better. I can even see where the sock has imprinted its pattern. Although these are only blisters, they were exceedingly painful and made today’s walk a lot harder than it should have been.

Boots of and feet re-plastered. I lie back and enjoy the peace and tranquillity.

Boots are off and feet re-plastered. I lie back and enjoy the peace and tranquillity.

Eventually it's time for supper. Tonight as is traditional for my walks the last meal is always a curry. Here it is prior to reconstitution.

Eventually it’s time for supper. Tonight as is traditional for my walks the last meal is always a curry. Here it is prior to reconstitution.

After 10 minutes with boiling water I have one excellent curry. I had bought these Mountain House large meals a long time ago. Alas, they are not made any more - at least in Europe. Any future meals will be much smaller. I will probably take this opportunity to try out other vendors.

After 10 minutes with boiling water I have one excellent curry. I had bought these Mountain House large meals a long time ago. Alas, they are not made any more – at least in Europe. Any future meals will be much smaller. I will probably take this opportunity to try out other vendors.

My figure casts a shadow as the sun starts to sink in the West. The moon has also put in an appearance too!

My figure casts a long shadow as the sun starts to sink in the West. The moon has also put in an appearance!

I love the colour tones of the scenery during sunset - it really lends a different character to the view.

I love the yellow-orange colour tones of the scenery during sunset – it really lends a different character to the view.

To the North the bay starts to take on an orange haze too!

To the North the bay starts to take on an yellow-orange haze too!

It's not often that I have the tent orientated Westward toward sunset. But when I do, the in tent views are superb!

It’s not often that I have the tent orientated Westward toward sunset. But when I do, the views are superb!

Down below, various lights are starting to come on in the small towns and villages below.

Down below, various lights are starting to come on in the various small towns and villages below.

A beautiful sunset!

A beautiful sunset!

The sun soon starts to dip below the horizon. The end of the day is nigh!

The sun soon starts to dip below the horizon. The end of the day is nigh!

With the sun gone, it's time to turn in for a spot of reading and an early night as I need to get to the train station relatively early tomorrow.

With the sun gone, it’s time to turn in for a spot of reading and an early night as I need to get to the train station relatively early tomorrow.

The camp spot with a view at the end of day 2. The red circle, bottom left, is the railway station that I need to hike to the following morning - one of my shortest station hikes ever! (Click for larger version)

The camp spot with a view at the end of day 2. The red circle, bottom left, is the railway station that I need to hike to the following morning – one of my shortest station hikes ever! (Click for larger version)

That’s it for day 2! Although I was initially uncertain about my decision to abort, the walking on this day pretty much confirmed that it was the right thing to do.

I always leave the last day as a spare day to take up journey slack, but I have never been in a position where I’m camped so close to the railway station. This should make tomorrow morning’s walk a breeze!

Tune in for the next instalment for the short walk to the station.

Laters

RobP

Posted in Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Multi-Day Walk, Snowdonia, Wild Camping | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Solo Snowdonia Region – Cardigan Bay – Day 1

Day 1's walk of 12.6 km with 765 mtrs ascent and 317 mtrs descent.

Day 1’s walk of 12.6 km with 765 mtrs ascent and 317 mtrs descent.

Given that this was my first walk in a long while, the whole route had a lot of slack built into it. The full route covered around 40 km – a distance that I’d normally do in two days, but given the lack of recent on-the-ground-time I decided to allocate 3 days for this one.

Three days would work out fine as the first and last days would each have a 5 hour train journey in them, with the latter requiring a relatively early appearance at the target train station.

Despite the lack of recent hikes, my daily training regime had been running like clockwork and had upped the stakes from 3.5 km a day to around 5 km a day with a 20 kg* load. (* I don’t actually know exactly how much the training rucksack weighs, but many of my work colleagues assure me that it’s way over 20 kilos… )

The training meant that the hills that I encountered didn’t present that much of a problem. It also had the side benefit of making the 15 kg rucksack seem insanely light – but then again that is the point! 🙂

The walk was pretty hilly and like most walks I have done it starts with a hill climb!

The walk was pretty hilly and like most walks I have done it starts with a hill climb!

Since the walk I have often reflected on this first day…

Primarily to ask why my feet got so badly blistered. Whilst the boots do take the lion’s share of the blame, I believe that on reflection, it was my drive to get to the first camp spot by LLyn Irddyn. This drive had clouded my judgement and had perhaps prevented me from noticing the gradual deterioration of my feet until it was way too late.

One of the hardest things when hiking solo is being objective and maintaining general awareness. Both of these take considerable effort, especially if one is fatigued or hell bent on achieving some kind of objective.

The lesson I have taken from this is to not ignore pain from any part of the body, especially the feet. Any discomfort should be investigated and rectified at the earliest convenience. I can’t help thinking that if I had stopped when my feet first became sore, I might have been able to do something about it with plasters etc. But alas, my focus on getting to the camp spot seemed to override all sensibilities.

Apart from the feet, the one other major characteristic of this walk was the extensive stone wall networks in the area. Many are tall and topped with barbed wire. Access across their boundaries are far and few between which heavily constrains ones options in terms of routing.

There were occasions where navigation was hampered by Ordnance Survey’s (OS) maps not showing these boundaries accurately. I can remember thinking at the time that I’m glad it wasn’t foggy, otherwise my map could have got me in a pickle on more than one occasion.

Given that stone walls are relatively static and that OS has access to aerial photography, I can see no excuse for inaccurate maps.

Anyways, time to take the virtual walk with photographs…

After five hours on the train I finally make it to LLanaber station.

After five hours on the train I finally make it to LLanaber station.

The station is right on the coast of Cardigan Bay with its extensive beaches.

The station has a picturesque view as it is right on the coast of Cardigan Bay with its extensive beaches.

I know that once I get to the road alongside the station I need to hang a right. The trail I need is just to the left of the building up ahead.

Once on the road by the station, I know that I need to hang a right. The trail that I’ll need is just to the left of the building up ahead.

The climb is now on! This part of the walk is constrained by walls on both sides which makes navigation a breeze.

The climb is now on! This part of the walk is constrained by walls on both sides which makes navigation a breeze.

Despite the lack of walks I have been doing recently, the 5km lunchtime training walks have paid off. I was genuinely surprised at the overall ease of the hill climb.

Despite the lack of walks I have been doing recently, the 5km lunchtime training walks have paid off. I was genuinely surprised at the overall ease of the hill climb.

This is the view to the South toward Barmouth.

This is the view to the South toward Barmouth.

This gate marks the boundary into National Trust areas. From here on in I am no longer constrained within the walls of the track. However, I do have other constraints imposed by the maze of walled fields!

I eventually get to this gate which marks the boundary into National Trust areas. From here on in I am no longer constrained within the walls of the track. However, I do have other constraints imposed by the maze of walled fields!

Much of the navigation on this section of the walk is about trying to locate ladders or gates to allow me to cross the walled boundaries. You would be surprised how inaccurate OS Maps are in this regard...

Much of the navigation on this section of the walk is about trying to locate the ladders or gates to allow me to cross the walled boundaries. You would be surprised how inaccurate OS Maps are in this regard…

The view Northwards up Cardigan Bay. This looks like a good place to be if you like your beaches!

The view Northwards up Cardigan Bay. This looks like a good place to be if you enjoy your beaches!

As I proceed higher up there is evidence of burnt heather. I'm not sure if this is as a result of land management or an accident. It does smell relatively recent though.

As I proceed higher up there is evidence of burnt heather. I’m not sure if this is as a result of land management or an accident. It does smell relatively recent though.

For the most part navigation was pretty easy as the trail was easily discernible. The real cross country walking would have taken place on Day 2, but alas, it was not to be.

For the most part navigation was pretty easy as the trail was easily discernible. The real cross country walking would have taken place on Day 2, but alas, it was not to be.

Kit load out was pretty standard and weighed a little under 15 Kg. At this point my feet were hurting, but I wasn't paying much attention to them. My sole focus was to reach Llyn Irddyn - the planned camp spot for this day.

Kit load out was pretty standard and weighed in at a little under 15 Kg. At this point my feet were sore, but I wasn’t paying much attention to them. My sole focus was on reaching Llyn Irddyn – the planned camp spot for this day.

Up ahead were the hills of Bwlch Cwmmaria. I would have liked to climb them for the trig points, but this part of the hill has many walled off areas with no means of traversing them without having to climb - not something I wanted to do as one can damage the walls and themselves when doing this.

Up ahead were the hills of Bwlch Cwmmaria. I would have liked to climb them for the trig points, but this part of the hill has many walled off areas with no means of traversing them without having to climb – not something I wanted to do as one can damage the walls and possibly themselves when doing this.

I soon arrive at the first high point of today's journey which provides a good view of the trail headed Northward. It's always handy to eyeball terrain features when you get a panoramic view like this as it helps with the navigation going forward.

I soon arrive at the first high point of today’s journey which provides a good view of the trail headed Northward. It’s always handy to eyeball terrain features when you get a panoramic view like this as it helps with the navigation when you are in amongst it!

I soon get to a place where there should be a stream for my first water top up point. But the OS map has got it wrong. Luckily for me, the stream is there, but it's on the other-side of the wall - not the side shown on the map. In addition, the building up ahead is also missing from the map. Many of my recent OS maps have had many glaring issues - even in more popular places like Dartmoor. OS used to take pride in their maps and built up a formidable reputation. However, I now suspect that these days, they are completely profit driven and as a result the quality has declined. I'm seriously considering using other mapping vendors in the future...

I soon get to a place where there should be a stream for my first water top up point. But the OS map has got it wrong. Luckily for me, the stream is there, but it’s on the other-side of the wall – not the side shown on the map. In addition, the building up ahead is also missing from the map. Many of my recent OS maps have had many glaring issues – even in more popular places like Dartmoor. OS used to take pride in their maps and built up a formidable reputation. However, I now suspect that these days, they are completely profit driven and as a result the quality has declined. I’m seriously considering using other mapping vendors in the future…

After crossing the wall I'm relieved to see the stream as water supplies were starting to run low!

After crossing the wall I’m relieved to see the stream as water supplies were starting to run low!

This whole area has many fenced off areas like this one warning people of subsidence - presumably from old mine-works. The sign shows a man falling down a hole.

This whole area has many fenced off areas like this one warning people of subsidence – presumably from old mine-works. The sign shows a man falling down a hole.

It's now a simple walk Northwards whilst counting wall boundaries to allow for accurate position determination. As with many features, the sheep pen on the left is not on the map either. In fact I found that the accuracy of boundaries on the map to be very suspect. The whole point of buying maps at this scale (1:25000) is so that one can see the boundaries and plan accordingly. One would have thought that with aerial photography there would be no excuse for inaccuracies.

It’s now a simple walk Northwards whilst counting wall boundaries to allow for accurate position determination. As with many features, the sheep pen on the left is not on the map either. In fact I found that the accuracy of boundaries on the map to be very suspect. The whole point of buying maps at this scale (1:25000) is so that one can see the boundaries and plan accordingly…

Far to the North I get the first glimpse of Moelfre - the characteristically shaped hill centre left.

Far to the North I get the first glimpse of Moelfre – the characteristically shaped hill centre left.

There are many sheep here. Normally sheep run away at the sight of a hiker, but these ones seem genuinely curious!

There are many sheep here. Normally sheep run away at the sight of a hiker, but these ones seem genuinely curious!

I spend a good 5 minutes here trying to work out the best way across the wall on the left. According to my map there should be a way through the wall at this corner, but it isn't there. To be fair, the digital map is modified in that it now shoes the trail going to that corner and terminating. At first I think I'm in the wrong place because of the maze of walls in this area. But various compass checks prove I'm where I should be.

I spend a good 5 minutes here trying to work out the best way across the wall on the left. According to my map there should be a way through the wall at this corner, but it isn’t there. To be fair, the digital map is modified in that it now shows the trail going to that corner and terminating. At first I think I’m in the wrong place because of the maze of walls in this area. But various compass checks prove I’m where I should be.

Then behind me I spot a wooden pole. This is a marker to the trail. I had ignored it as that route is marked with green dashes on the map which means 'Public Right of Way' rather than a trail. In my experience, the green dashes often bear little resemblance to any trail (not a mapping fault - as these are showing rights of way - not trails). Instead, over the years, I have learnt to look of for the actual trail markings on the map - the much fainter black dashed lines. This case proved to be the odd one out where the green dashes were the ones to follow! In many respects I wish OS would either remove the green markings, or change them to follow the actual trails in the area - that way they would be far more useful.

Behind me I spot a wooden pole in the distance. This is a marker to the trail. I had ignored it as that route is marked with green dashes on the map which means ‘Public Right of Way’ rather than a trail. In my experience, the green dashes often bear little resemblance to any trail (not a mapping fault – as these are showing rights of way – not trails). Instead, over the years, I have learnt to look of for the actual trail markings on the map – the much fainter black dashed lines. This case proved to be the odd one out where the green dashes were the ones to follow! In many respects I wish OS would either remove the green markings, or change them to follow the actual trails in the area – that way they would be far more useful.

To get over the wall on the left I have to hand rail it up the hill up towards the Bwlch y Rhiwgr pass up ahead. There should be a means across it where it crosses a bridle way originating from that pass.

To get over the wall on the left I have to hand rail it up the hill towards the Bwlch y Rhiwgr pass up ahead. There should be a means across the wall where it crosses a bridle way originating from that pass.

I have to take a little diversion away from the wall to get around a deep bog - the dark brown area between the camera and the wall.

However, I have to take a little diversion away from the wall to get around a deep bog – the dark brown area between the camera and the wall.

I finally get to the gate that will allow me through the wall. The next stage of the walk is all down hill. It's just a case of following this trail until I get to the end around 2 km away.

I finally get to the gate that will allow me through the wall. The next stage of the walk is all down hill. It’s just a case of following this trail until I get to its end at around 2 km.

There is a parallel track on the left. Luckily the land owners have well sign posted the trail. As a result I need to cross over to the track on the left.

There is a parallel track on the left. Luckily the land owners have done a good job in sign posting the trail. As a result I need to cross over to the track on the left.

There aren't too many walls to count on this part of the journey, though one does get the occasional feature like this stream which passes under a stone foot bridge up ahead. These features allow one to accurately gauge progress.

There aren’t too many walls to count on this part of the journey, though one does get the occasional feature like this stream which passes under a stone foot bridge up ahead. These features allow one to accurately gauge progress.

The trail is very waterlogged in places necessitating that one walks to one side of it. This must be a relatively long lived feature as one can make out the 'new' trail created by the passing of many feet trying to avoid the water.

The trail is very waterlogged in places necessitating that one walks to one side of it. This must be a relatively long lived feature as one can make out the ‘new’ trail created by the passing of many feet trying to avoid the water.

I'm finally of the last stage of this leg. If I bump into a major stream in amongst the trees up ahead, I know I have gone too far! :) In theory there should be a turn off to the right to take me up to the Llyn Irddyn tarn.

I’m finally of the last stage of this leg. If I bump into a major stream in amongst the trees up ahead, I know I have gone too far! 🙂 In theory there should be a turn off to the right to take me up to the Llyn Irddyn tarn.

The right hand turn makes an appearance right on cue. It is even well sign posted!

The right hand turn makes an appearance right on cue. It is even well sign posted!

I now start the ascent up to the tarn. At this stage I am now acutely aware that there is something wrong with my feet. I guess the up hill walk is causing the rear of the boots to rub more heavily on my heals.

I now start the ascent up to the tarn. At this stage I am now acutely aware that there is something wrong with my feet. I guess the up hill walk is causing the rear of the boots to rub more heavily on my heals.

To the North I get some great views onto Moelfre. Things are now starting to feel more wilderness like.

To the North I get some great views onto Moelfre. Things are now starting to feel more wilderness like.

As I climb up I'm a little disappointed that the tarn is out of view. In my minds eye I kind of imagined seeing it on my right as the trail went past it. Overall it was strange knowing it was there, but not seeing it!

As I climb up I’m a little disappointed that the tarn is out of view. In my minds eye I kind of imagined seeing it on my right as the trail wound past it. Overall it was strange knowing it was there, but not being able to see it!

The view to the North West. This is what day 1 was about - getting me in position for the wilderness-proper so that day 2 would be a cross country wilderness extravaganza!

The view to the North West. This is what day 1 was about – getting me into position for the wilderness-proper so that day 2 would be a cross country wilderness extravaganza!

To my right there is still no sign of the tarn. The original plan had called for me to camp by it, but instead I decide to camp higher up the hill to stay out of the way of any casual wanderers!

To my right there is still no sign of the tarn. The original plan had called for me to camp by it, but instead I decide to camp higher up the hill to stay out of the way of any casual wanderers!

The track soon reaches the first stream of two. At first it looks like I'm going to have to ford it, but when I get nearer, I spot this foot bridge just off to the right of the track. This is another detail missing from the map...

The track soon reaches the first stream of two. At first it looks like I’m going to have to ford it, but when I get nearer, I spot this foot bridge just off to the right of the track. This is another detail missing from the map…

Back on with the trail. This section takes me to the highest point alongside the tarn at 320 mtrs. Surely the tarn will be visible when I reach the top?

Back on with the trail. This section takes me to the highest point alongside the tarn at 320 mtrs. Surely the tarn will be visible when I reach the top?

Alas not. No sign of the tarn whatsoever. Rather than potentially miss out on seeing it, I decide to go for a short off track jaunt up the embankment to view it. I almost regret the diversion as it proves to be extremely painful to my heals.

Alas not. No sign of the tarn whatsoever. Rather than potentially miss out on seeing it, I decide to go for a short off track jaunt up the embankment to view it. I almost regret the diversion as it proves to be extremely painful to my heals.

I get to the top where I finally get a view onto the Llyn Irddyn tarn. At least it proves I'm in the right place :)

I get to the top where I finally get a view onto the Llyn Irddyn tarn. At least it proves I’m in the right place 🙂

I'm now back on the trail. Although the weather seems to be closing in, I elect to stop for a late lunch break at the next stream to give my painful heals a rest prior to the ascent of the hill.

I’m now back on the trail. Although the weather seems to be closing in, I elect to stop for a late lunch break at the next stream to give my painful heals a rest prior to the ascent of the hill.

The view behind me onto the tarn.

The view behind me onto the tarn.

This is the second to last wall. There should be a stream approximately 100 mtrs further on. This will be my lunch spot. Up until now I have been climbing the gates, but my heals are so painful that I'm now going through them instead.

This is the second to last wall before the hill climb. There should be a stream approximately 100 mtrs further on. This will be my lunch spot. Up until now I have been climbing the gates, but my heals are so painful that I’m now going through them instead.

I reach the second stream which even has a good seat in the form of a rock on the left - the ideal lunch spot!

I reach the second stream which even has a good seat in the form of a boulder on the left – the ideal lunch spot!

The late lunch consists of cheese spread, oatcakes and mulligatawny soup. I always prefer to make lunches near a water source as it means I don't have to worry about the water used to make the soup and I have a means to clean the cup afterward.

The late lunch consists of cheese spread, oatcakes and mulligatawny soup. I always prefer to make lunches near a water source as it means I don’t have to worry about the water consumed to make the soup. It also provides a means to clean up the cup afterward.

The view from my lunch spot. Not too bad. However, I'm not really taking in the view. Instead, I'm thinking about my heals and wondering why they were so painful.

The view from my lunch spot. Not too bad. However, I’m not really taking in the view. Instead, I’m thinking about my heals and wondering why they were so painful.

After I have eaten I carry on up the trail which is now starting to ascend the hill. This whole section of the walk was very painful. It seems that anything uphill really aggravates the heals. I'm now seriously wondering whether the whole walk is in jeopardy or not...

After I have eaten I carry on up the trail which is now starting to ascend the hill. This whole section of the walk was very painful. It seems that anything uphill was really aggravating the heals. I’m now seriously wondering whether the whole walk would be in jeopardy or not…

On the way up I find this stone in memory of Janet Haigh. Apparently she was a keen walker and really loved this route - she was even walking it at a spritely age of eighty four!

On the way up I find this stone in memory of Janet Haigh. Apparently she was a keen walker and really loved this route – she was even walking it at a spritely age of eighty four!

I'm now on the ascent proper. Given the state of my feet I elect to stop and make camp at the first opportunity.

I’m now on the ascent proper. Given the state of my feet I elect to stop and make camp at the first opportunity.

The track is an odd one in that it is a hybrid of a track and a stream!

The track is an odd one in that it is a hybrid of a track and a stream!

As I gain elevation I start to get some great views down the valley toward the coast.

As I ascend I start to get some great views down the valley toward the coast.

Further elevation reveals the Llyn Bodlyn reservoir to the North.

Further elevation reveals part of the Llyn Bodlyn reservoir to the North.

I soon get to a sheltered plateau like area. It even has a stream running through it - the perfect camp spot!

I soon get to a sheltered plateau like area. It even has a stream running through it – the perfect camp spot!

After a little scouting and some test comfort lie-downs I decide that this is the spot!

After a little scouting around and some test comfort lie-downs I decide that this is the spot!

Up goes the Akto tent. I have had this tent for six years and it has been bullet proof. It has never let me down - even in the worst of storms. It might not be the lightest tent out there, but it's one of the most practical. I especially like the vestibule which is large enough to hold and protect the rucksack from the elements.

Up goes the Akto tent. I have had this tent for six years and it has been bullet proof. It has never let me down – even in the worst of storms. It might not be the lightest tent out there, but it’s one of the most practical. I especially like the vestibule which is large enough to hold and protect the rucksack from the elements.

As is usual, once I get the tent up I immediately fill up all my bottles with filtered water. This allows me to make meals and have many drinks without having to worry about going back to the stream.

As is usual, the first job after the tent is up is to fill up all my bottles with filtered water. This allows me to make meals and have many drinks without having to worry about going back to the stream.

The stream is very shallow and there is only one real place where one can top up one's bottles. Luckily, this distinctive boulder is nearby. This will allow me to easily relocate it tomorrow morning prior to that days walk.

The stream is very shallow and there is only one real place where one can top up one’s bottles. Luckily, this distinctive boulder is nearby. This will allow me to easily relocate it tomorrow morning prior to that days walk.

It takes a while to filter all the water, but when out and about one rarely has any time pressures. This water probably doesn't need filtering, but I take no risks, especially as I am travelling alone.

It takes a while to filter all the water, but when out and about one rarely has any time pressures. This water probably doesn’t need filtering, but I take no risks, especially as I am travelling alone.

I get back to the tent and decide to inspect my feet. This is the left one. I can't believe that they got into this state after only 12km! At least I now know why the walk has been so painful!

I get back to the tent and decide to inspect my feet. This is the left one. I can’t believe that they got into this state after only 12km! At least I now know why the walk has been so painful!

The right foot faired no better either. Both feet are very painful. I have plasters, but decide to let them air in the hope the blisters would dry up and harden up ready for tomorrow's walk. Alas, this does not happen.

The right foot faired no better either. Both feet are very painful. I have plasters, but decide to let them air in the hope the blisters would dry up and harden up ready for tomorrow’s walk. Alas, this does not prove to be the case.

The offending boots - a pair of Arc’teryx Bora 2’s. I have never had boots shred my feet over such a short distance. The odd thing is that it has glowing reviews on many sellers websites. That said I know of a few of them that will refuse to publish negative reviews...

The offending boots – a pair of Arc’teryx Bora 2’s. I have never had boots shred my feet over such a short distance. The odd thing is that it has glowing reviews on many sellers websites. That said, I know of a few of them that will refuse to publish negative reviews…

The view from the tent is pretty good. I don't normally camp high up as water can be an issue. But here, it's no problem!

The view from the tent is pretty good. I don’t normally camp high up as water can be an issue. But here, it’s not a problem!

Time to get the meal on. This trip uses the last of my Mountain House supplies. A recent internet check shows that these are no longer available in the Uk :/ This is a shame as I really liked their meals and you can buy them in large portions like this one. To make the meal all I need do is add boiling water, stir and then leave for 10 minutes. I'm always concerned at the amount of water one has to put in (550ml). It always seems like it is too much, but over the 10 minutes the ingredients absorb a lot of the water.

Time to get the meal on. This trip used the last of my Mountain House supplies. A recent internet check shows that these are no longer available in the Uk :/ This is a shame as I really liked their meals and you can buy them in large portions. To make the meal all I need do is add boiling water, stir and then leave for 10 minutes. I’m always concerned at the amount of water one has to put in (550ml). It always seems like it is too much, but over the 10 minutes the ingredients absorb a lot of the water.

Once the boiling water is added, I tend to wrap the meals in a towel so that they retain a lot of their heat during the 10 minute wait for the food to reconstitute.

Once the boiling water is added, I tend to wrap the meals in a towel so that they retain a lot of their heat during the 10 minute wait for the food to reconstitute.

After 20 minutes - voila! This one is a lasagne flavoured pasta. Trust me, it tastes a lot better than it looks! :) After the meal I turn in for an early night. The decision to scrap this walk has been differed to the morning so that I can see how my feet have faired overnight.

After 20 minutes – voila one hot meal! This one is a lasagne flavoured pasta. Trust me, it tastes a lot better than it looks! 🙂 After the meal I turn in for an early night.

Day 1's camp spot was a good one. Up and out of the way, a good view and its own water supply!

Day 1’s camp spot was a good one. Up and out of the way with a good view and its own water supply!

Day 1 ended with concerns about my feet. I decided not to make any rash decisions. Instead, I would wait for the morning and see how they felt. Tune in for the next instalment to see how that decision went!

Laters

RobP

Posted in Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Multi-Day Walk, Snowdonia, Wild Camping | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Back from aborted Snowdonia Region 2+1 day Solo Walk!

The view from the Akto tent on Day 2!

The view from the Akto tent on Day 2!

As plans went, this one was a good one. I was pleased with the route and the level of fitness that I had attained. I had also thought that I was pleased with my kit too – in all, everything was looking very good indeed – and that included the British weather!

However, as we shall see, things didn’t go exactly to plan. Yes, I’m looking at you Mr Arc’teryx…

The kit was pretty much my standard load out, with just one exception…

The kit for the 2+1 day journey. Everything is the same, except the boots...

The kit for the 2+1 day journey. Everything is the same, except the boots…

The kit all packed and ready to go! Total weight is 15 kg.

The kit all packed and ready to go! Total weight is 15 kg.

As usual, I was getting my pre-walk excitement jitters. But despite this, I turned in for a very early night as I needed to be at the train station for 5:30 in the morning!

The only thing that was worrying me slightly were the new boots – a pair of Arc’teryx Bora 2’s. These had been worn on two of my lunch time 5 km speed-walks with a 20Kg load. After the second walk, something didn’t feel quite right with the heal of the left boot…

I was worried enough by this that I had elected to take home my training boots, a pair of Salomon Quest 4’s, despite the fact that they were falling apart. I felt I needed to have another trusted option…

Alas, when it came to the crunch, I picked the wrong pair of boots. I went with the Arc’teryx ones despite my misgivings.

The end result? One aborted walk due to shredded heals…

The damage had already been done after just 12 km. But here are the feet after 22 km....

The damage had already been done after just 12 km. But here are the feet after 22 km….

I couldn’t believe it.

No boot that I have ever used has so comprehensively shredded my feet in quite so short a distance. The terrain wasn’t even that bad on Day 1, yet the boots put me in the unenviable position of having to make a safety call with regard to entering further into the wilderness.

I could barely walk on level terrain. Uphill inclines of any kind generally resulted in a slowed and pained progress that was accompanied to the sound of grunting, growling and many shouted expletives. If there had been anybody nearby, they might have thought that I was suffering from Tourettes…

I really detest abandoning walks, but the reduced speed and the ever present pain meant that I elected to head back 12 km rather than risk heading a further 17 km into the wilderness. (The decision will be described in detail on Day 2’s posting)

The boots - a pair of Arc’teryx Bora 2's. These are not the boots you are looking for...

The boots – a pair of Arc’teryx Bora 2’s. These are really not the boots you are looking for…

I wondered why the boots were so bad.

After feeling around the heal region it became apparent that apart from the sole, there was zero padding on all three sides. The sides and rear are made of a rather solid rubber like material that rubbed at the back of my heals every-time I ascended a hill.

On reaching home I immediately compared them to my Solomans and my Scarpas. The comparisons proved to be highly enlightening. It became exceedingly obvious that there is a design flaw with the Arc’teryx Bora 2s – both of the other pairs exhibited a lot of cushioned ankle support in these areas, something woefully missing from the Arc’teryx Bora 2s.

In retrospect with the benefit of hindsight I should have acted on my gut feeling about the boots. At the time, I had even commented to my work colleagues that I wasn’t sure about them. At least, next time, I will take more notice of what my gut is telling me.

The damage to my heals are so severe, that even in the comfort of my flat I find it hard to go from a seated position to the standing – mainly due to the shooting pain as the scar tissue tries to stretch to accommodate my new posture.

As for the walked route? There isn’t actually much of it…

This is all that was completed:

The rather foreshortened route consisting of 25.2 km with 1110 mtrs of ascent and 1063 mtrs of descent. (Click for larger version)

The rather foreshortened route consisting of 25.2 km with 1110 mtrs of ascent and 1063 mtrs of descent. (Click for larger version)

When my feet heal again, I fully intend to redo this walk, as I have missed out on what promised to be many exciting sights and sounds!

Stay tuned for the detailed daily reports over the next few weeks.

Laters

RobP

 

Posted in Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Multi-Day Walk, Snowdonia, Wild Camping | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

2016 – A Year in Review

2016 turned out to be a rather light year with regard to hiking!

2016 turned out to be a rather light year with regard to hiking!

2016 only had two walks in it. The first of which was cut short by appalling weather, whilst the second was just a day walk.

It had been an odd year in that I never really felt compelled to go out and hike, not like the previous years where I had that bee in my bonnet.

I don’t know if it’s a case of simply needing some time away from it, or whether its something more fundamental.

As mentioned in one of my first ever blog posts, one of the reasons for hiking was the elevated quiescent happiness that I derived from the activity – which in itself becomes a little addictive.

My current theory is that for 2016 at least, my overall happiness at home has shot up from previous years – and maybe it is this feeling of general well-being that has perhaps taken the edge off my wander-lust?

That said, I did thoroughly enjoy the last walk of 2016 – so I still find hiking to be a fun activity. In fact that particular walk kick-started my training regime again – which has got to be a good thing!

Going forward, I don’t think that the number of hikes that I will do will ever exceed the 2012-2014 levels, but I do see myself doing a lot more than last year.

The big issue to resolve this year will be to find a decent walking planner as the one I had been using is now rather out of date with regard to the maps it is using.

In terms of raw stats I only managed:

  • 1 Multi-day solo hike over 3 days (it got cut short)
  • Plus a one day hike for a total of 60.6 km – by far the lowest total since starting the blog.

Hopefully, I will get myself a little more active in 2017 – I’m certainly getting that feeling that I want to explore again – so this should help! 🙂

Anyways, onto the diary:

2016’s Walking Diary

Jan 2016 – 3 days on Dartmoor

ould be fair to say that the weather on Dartmoor was a little pants!

It would be fair to say that the weather on Dartmoor was a little pants!

This walk was beset by 3 days of very poor weather consisting of rain, sleet and exceptionally high winds.

However, it did provide an opportunity to meet up with fellow bloggers Catherine and Roger at Crockern Farm. I really enjoyed popping around and seeing the renovation work they had been carrying out on the farm.

This walk got abandoned early. Half way through day 3 I got my brother to pick me up due to the excessively high winds. When I got dropped off at my parents house, I had discovered that even the Royal Marines had cancelled exercises on that day!

The 42.3 km walked route with 1560 mtrs of ascent and 1284 mtrs of descent. (Click for a full sized version of the map)

The 42.3 km walked route with 1560 mtrs of ascent and 1284 mtrs of descent. (Click for a full sized version of the map)

https://ukbackpacker.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/ready-for-solo-dartmoor-32-day-walk/

https://ukbackpacker.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/back-from-solo-3-2-day-solo-dartmoor-walk/

https://ukbackpacker.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/dartmoor-january-2016-solo-32-day-walk-day-1/

https://ukbackpacker.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/dartmoor-january-2016-solo-32-day-walk-day-2/

https://ukbackpacker.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/dartmoor-january-2016-solo-32-day-walk-day-3/

Oct 2016 – 1 Day on the Brecon Beacons

The views were stunning!

The views were stunning!

As noted in the blog entry for this walk, it was a rather weird one! It featured many firsts – such as driving to and from the destination and also the use of an off-the-shelf plan as opposed to the usual custom routing that I normally create.

I really enjoyed this walk and was surprised at just how close the Brecons are to Bristol!

The full clockwise 18.3 km route with 1339 mtrs of ascent and 1201 mtrs of descent. The red spot on the left marks the start and end point.

The full clockwise 18.3 km route with 1339 mtrs of ascent and 1201 mtrs of descent. The red spot on the left marks the start and end point.

https://ukbackpacker.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/brecon-beacons-october-2016-solo-1-day-walk/

2016 Equipment Changes

The changes this year were pretty modest, mostly due to the fact that my current kit is already pretty good and that I hadn’t been out all that often.

One of the most important changes was the waterproof trousers:

A pair of Arc'Teryx M Betas made from Gore-tex Pro.

A pair of Arc’Teryx M Betas made from Gore-tex Pro.

Overall I ended up being disappointed by both these trousers and the GoreTex Pro hard-shell that I was using. Both had wetted out on the Dartmoor walk, but rather more alarmingly I found that I was even getting wet on my short 45 minute lunchtime training walks!

I might write up a separate article on this as I have had other breathable materials fail too – such as eVent as used by RAB.

It’s a controversial view, but I don’t actually think that these materials are waterproof. Any ‘water-proofness’ is simply down to their external chemical coatings.

At the end of the day I guess that’s the fundamental clue. Any material that requires water repellent to be sprayed externally probably points to the fact that the material itself will let in water.

There are those that will say that the wetness that I have experienced was simply sweat – but I can assure readers that this was simply not the case. These days I firmly believe that breathable materials are simply a marketing gimmick to make a lot of money…

Other equipment additions are the cameras:

The Olympus TG-4 which is completely waterproof!

The Olympus TG-4 which is completely waterproof!

The Olympus needs a lot more care when taking a picture – at least compared to my standard Sony, but it’s one rugged camera! I had it exposed to three days of rain and it never batted an eyelid! – Highly recommended for those wet walks!

And a Sony A6300...

And a Sony A6300…

The above camera was used for the Brecons walk and I found the image quality to be exceptional. In fact it is so good that the images could be used at 1:1 with no scaling – this opens up the photos to more creative cropping.

As a bonus the body is supposed to be weather-proofed too, though I have yet to test this.

I can see this camera being used on a lot of future walks – despite being heavier than my trusty Sony DSC-HX9V.

Other kit changes for 2016 were extremely minor in nature. However, if you a interested these can be viewed at the end of this blog entry.

Laters

RobP

Posted in Year Review | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Britain’s Best Walks!

I'd like to thank the HarperColins publishing group for sending me a review copy!

I’d like to thank the HarperColins publishing group for sending me a review copy!

This is just a short update to say that I have received a review copy of Christopher Somerville’s Britain’s Best Walks for review from HarperColins Publishing.

The intent is to try out some of the book’s walks in the new year and then post up a full review.

A quick peek inside!

A quick peek inside!

The book is arranged by area of the country. Within each of those sections are numerous detailed walks, each with full colour maps, photos and extensive notes about the locale.

In many respects this kind of book is a god-send.

When planning walks, one inevitably ends up popping to the most popular places, with the end result that a lot of great locations are missed.

This book provides 200 single day excursions, many of which are in places that are off the beaten track. As a result I’m hoping to visit many locales that I might have otherwise missed.

Look for a full review in the new year.

Laters

RobP

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Brecon Beacons October 2016 Solo 1 Day Walk

This was a very odd walk for me, for a number of reasons.

Firstly it was very ad-hoc. I spotted a good slot in the weather forecast and decided to go for it! I guess I had been getting itchy feet from my relative lack of activity this year.

The walk was so ad-hoc that it was the first one where I had driven to and from the destination. This is in complete contrast to my normal use of public transport. I was wondering whether driving after a long walk would be a good thing or not, but as it turned out, it didn’t affect my driving at all.

Another oddity was the food situation. There were no snacks on this walk. Just one pasty and that was it! In the event, this worked out quite well, though there were a few occasions where I was hankering after something to snack on. I guess old habits die hard!

The oddities also extended to the planning too… As in there wasn’t any! I simply used an off-the-shelf classic route as used by many other people. I guess the last minute nature of this walk meant that I didn’t have time to plan a decent unique route.

As it was a day walk – another unusual aspect – there wasn’t a lot to carry – just 7 kg of kit, around half of my normal load.

Unlike my other recent walks, this one is a day trip only. Kit weight with food and water was around 7 Kg - pretty light by my normal standards. I didn't think I would need all the layers, but in the event, the high winds ensured that everything got used with the exception of the waterproof hardshell.

Unlike my other recent walks, this one is a day trip only. Kit weight with food and water was around 7 Kg – pretty light by my normal standards. I didn’t think I would need all the layers, but in the event, the high winds ensured that everything got used with the exception of the waterproof hardshell.

Even with such a light load, this walk did highlight my lack of fitness. After the Dartmoor walk earlier this year, my fitness regime had gone into decline. This was acutely felt during the walk. If anything, this walk was a wake up call to get myself back up to a peak level of fitness.

The map below shows the classic Brecon Beacons loop that I followed:

The full clockwise 18.3 km route with 1339 mtrs of ascent and 1201 mtrs of descent. The red spot on the left marks the start and end point.

The full clockwise 18.3 km route with 1339 mtrs of ascent and 1201 mtrs of descent. The red spot on the left marks the start and end point.

As walks go, this one was pretty hilly!

As walks go, this one was pretty hilly!

Anyways, enough of the waffle, I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

In a first, I actually drive to my destination. I normally use a train for travel, but the last minute nature of this hike necessitated using the car!

In a first, I actually drive to my destination. I normally use a train for travel, but the last minute nature of this hike necessitated using the car!

The first stage is to follow the A470 road North Westward to pick up a trail heading up into the hills. This trail should be located by the Storey Arms - which rather unexpectedly was not a pub!

The first stage is to follow the A470 road North Westward to pick up a trail heading up into the hills. This trail should be located by the Storey Arms – which rather unexpectedly was not a pub!

I soon get to sign pointing the way up to Pen y Fan. It's going to be interesting to see how the lack of fitness is going to be impacted by hill climbing...

I soon get to sign pointing the way up to Pen y Fan. It’s going to be interesting to see how my relative lack of fitness is going to be impacted by hill climbing…

As I climb higher I start to get great views onto the Beacons Reservoir to the South.

As I ascend I start to get great views onto the Beacons Reservoir to the South.

The first climb is up Y Gyrn up to around 590 mtrs elevation. Despite being on a well made track with a light load of around 7 kg, I'm finding it quite hard work. I guess my lack of recent fitness training is making itself felt...

The first climb is up Y Gyrn up to around 590 mtrs elevation. Despite being on a well made track with a light load of around 7 kg, I’m finding it quite hard work. I guess my lack of recent fitness training is really making itself felt…

A glance behind me - it looks like I have already gained a fair bit of elevation.

A glance behind me – it looks like I have already gained a fair bit of elevation.

I get to the high point of my journey up Y Gyrn. Up ahead in the distance is the distinctive shape of Corn Du at 873 mtrs elevation. That's where I'm headed :)

I get to the high point of my journey up Y Gyrn. Up ahead in the distance is the distinctive shape of Corn Du at 873 mtrs elevation. That’s where I’m headed 🙂

I lose around 40 metres of elevation to get to the Blaen Taf Fawr stream. The crossing is pretty straight forward - just a case of hopping from stone to stone!

I lose around 40 metres of hard-won elevation to get to the Blaen Taf Fawr stream. The crossing turns out to be pretty straight forward – just a case of hopping from stone to stone!

The main climb up to Corn Du is now on! The winds today are very strong - as a result I'm seeing the clouds rush by the peak up ahead. It's a shame the still photos do not capture this!

The main climb up to Corn Du is now on! The winds today are very strong – as a result I’m seeing the clouds rush by the peak up ahead. It’s a shame the still photos do not capture this!

I soon get to the point where the path I'm on joins the main one following the ridge of Craig Cwn Llwch.

I soon get to the point where the path I’m on joins the main one following the ridge of Craig Cwn Llwch.

As I climb up to the peak of Corn Du, I turn around to get this picture of Llyn Cwm Llwch. I find it very difficult to keep the camera steady due to the high winds.

As I climb up to the peak of Corn Du, I turn around to get this picture of Llyn Cwm Llwch. I find it very difficult to keep the camera steady due to the high winds.

The final climb up to the peak is on. One always gets an additional spurt of energy when one is this close!

The final climb up to the peak is on. One always gets an additional spurt of energy when one is this close!

Nearly there. I'm now wondering what I will see when I get up there!

Nearly there. I’m now wondering what I will see when I get up there!

I soon spot the cairn marking the top of this rather flat mountain. Despite my anti-social nature I end up having to sit nearby to the other walker so as to get some respite from the very high winds.

I soon spot the cairn marking the top of this rather flat mountain. Despite my anti-social nature I end up sitting nearby to the other walker so as to get some respite from the very high winds.

After having some water and hot coffee from my flask I start to make my way to Pen y Fan which is up ahead. This is another mountain with a distinctive flat top. At this point the main climbing has been done. This section of the walk should be a simple jaunt!

After having some water and hot coffee, I start to make my way to Pen y Fan which is up ahead. This is another mountain with a distinctive flat top. At this point the main climbing has been done. This section of the walk should be a simple jaunt!

I'm entranced by the moving 'God Rays' to the South over the Blaen Taf Fechan stream.

I’m entranced by the moving ‘God Rays’ to the South over the Blaen Taf Fechan stream.

It doesn't take long to reach the top of Pen y Fan. Up ahead is the cairn marking its top. Alas, I have arrived too early in the morning. As a result the cloud hasn't had a chance to burn off. However, unlike my previous walk up here, the high winds ensure that I do get occasional glimpses at the surrounding scenery!

It doesn’t take long to reach the top of Pen y Fan. Up ahead is the cairn marking its top. Alas, I have arrived too early in the morning. As a result the cloud hasn’t had a chance to burn off. However, unlike my previous walk up here, the high winds ensure that I do get occasional glimpses at the surrounding scenery!

Pen Y Fan!!! This is the highest point for today's walk.

Pen Y Fan!!! This is the highest point for today’s walk.

To the South West a lone walker and his dog start their descent down from Pen y Fan. The 'God Rays' are very much in effect here. I wish I had the presence of mind to actually film it.

To the South West a lone walker and his dog start their descent down from Pen y Fan. The ‘God Rays’ are very much in evidence here too. I wish I had the presence of mind to actually film it.

I now start my descent down Pen y Fan to climb Cribyn at 795 mtrs which can be seen just up ahead on the left. Down below on the left I can see where I pitched my tent on my first walk here.

I now start the descent down Pen y Fan to climb Cribyn at 795 mtrs which can be seen just up ahead on the left.

Today's walk resulted in an ear to ear grin. I was so glad I jumped on the opportunity that this sunny weather slot provided! Behind me on the left is where I pitched my Akto tent on my first visit here.

Today’s walk resulted in an ear to ear grin. I was so glad I jumped on the opportunity that this sunny weather slot provided! Behind me on the left is where I pitched my Akto tent on the first visit here.

I soon get to the bottom, but have to take a detour to go around the water. On my last trip, this was dried out which presented a problem as I needed water for cooking. Up ahead one can see the climb up to Cribyn. I had missed this mountain on the last walk due to running out of daylight - I was determined to make amends!

I soon get to the bottom, but have to take a detour to go around the water. On my last trip, this was dried out which presented a problem as I needed water for cooking. Up ahead one can see the climb up to Cribyn. I had missed this mountain on the last walk due to running out of daylight – I was determined to make amends!

The climb up Cribyn is fairly steep and really takes it out of me. One thing this walk has taught me, is that one must stay fit between walks! I guess my exercise program will be restarted when I get back.

The climb up Cribyn is fairly steep and really takes it out of me. One thing this walk has taught me, is that one must stay fit between walks! I guess my exercise program will be restarted when I get back.

A look behind me toward Pen y Fan and Corn Du from right to left respectively. I have already gained a fair bit of elevation, but there is still a fair ways to go!

A look behind me toward Pen y Fan and Corn Du from right to left respectively. I have already gained a fair bit of elevation, but there is still a fair ways to go!

The top now feels like it is in reach!

The top now feels like it is in reach!

The excellent view from the top of Cribyn looking Northward.

The excellent view from the top of Cribyn looking Northward.

I now start by descent of Cribyn to the South East. The route follows the ridge edge of Craig Cwm Cynwyn down to the track that one can see in the saddle up ahead. That's my next destination.

I now start my descent of Cribyn to the South East. The route follows the ridge edge of Craig Cwm Cynwyn down to the track that one can see in the saddle up ahead. That’s my next destination.

As I descend, I take a quick look behind me back up Cribyn.

As I descend, I take a quick look behind me back up to Cribyn.

As I descend the winds start to reduce in intensity. I was rather glad of this as being close to the edge with high gusting winds leads to a feeling of unease.

As I descend the winds start to reduce in intensity. I was rather glad of this as being close to the edge with high gusting winds leads to a feeling of unease.

I can now see the track I will be taking down to the Upper Neuadd Reservoir. This is the track I had walked up on my previous walk. The peak up ahead is Fan y Big and is alas not on the itinerary due to time constraints.

I can now see the track I will be taking down to the Upper Neuadd Reservoir. This is the track I had walked up on my previous walk. The peak up ahead is Fan y Big and is alas not on the itinerary due to time constraints.

As I get near the bottom I see many soldiers climbing the mountain. I give them plenty of room as their packs look exceedingly heavy.

As I get near the bottom I see many soldiers climbing the mountain. I give them plenty of room as their packs look exceedingly heavy.

I chat with their leader on the way down, their packs weigh a staggering 42 kg!!! I'm not even sure I could lift that. The most I have ever carried was 20 kg and that was in Winter for a 5 day walk. I can't imagine a load of double the weight. These guys are obviously exceedingly fit.

I chat with their leader on the way down, their packs weigh a staggering 42 kg!!! I’m not even sure I could lift that. The most I have ever carried was 20 kg and that was in Winter for a 5 day walk. I can’t imagine a load of double that weight. These guys are obviously exceedingly fit.

I soon get to the bottom and spot this sign. There is also a notice board, but it looks like it has fallen into disuse.

I soon get to the bottom and spot this sign. There is also a notice board, but it looks like it has fallen into disuse.

I'm now on the shallow descent down to the Upper Neuadd Reservoir which can just be seen to the centre right. There are no winds here, so I'm finding I'm starting to overheat, even after shedding my main fleece layer.

I’m now on the shallow descent down to the Upper Neuadd Reservoir which can just be seen to the centre right. There are no winds here, so I’m finding I’m starting to overheat, even after shedding my main fleece layer.

I soon get to the bottom and hang a right to take me down to the reservoir itself. Up ahead is what I know will be my toughest climb of the walk.

I soon get to the bottom and hang a right to take me down to the reservoir itself. Up ahead is what I know will be the toughest climb of the walk.

To my right is possibly the most Gothic Dam I have ever seen! Corn Du and Pen y Fan now look a long way away to the North.

To my right is possibly the most Gothic Dam I have ever seen! Corn Du and Pen y Fan now look a long way away to the North.

This is a close up of the final main climb of the walk up to Twyn Mwyalchod. It's the last steep bit near the top which looks like it's going to score highly in the 'fun' ratings!

This is a close up of the final main climb of the walk up to Twyn Mwyalchod. It’s the last steep bit near the top which looks like it’s going to score highly in the ‘fun’ ratings!

This is the view to the South from the Southern end of the Upper Neuadd Reservoir.

This is the view to the South from the Southern extremity of the Upper Neuadd Reservoir.

I'm now on the dam of the Upper Neuadd Reservoir heading Westward.

I’m now on the dam of the Upper Neuadd Reservoir heading Westward.

The view Northward across the reservoir up to the Mountains - simply stunning!

The view Northward across the reservoir up to the Mountains – simply stunning!

I soon reach the gate that will take me to the bottom of my big climb. I take the opportunity to rest up and take on a lot of water. I decide to defer the lunch until after the climb so as to make it more comfortable. The terrain on the other side of the gate is exceedingly muddy.

I soon reach the gate that will take me to the bottom of the big climb. I take the opportunity to rest up and take on a lot of water. I decide to defer the lunch until after the climb so as to make it more comfortable. The terrain on the other side of the gate is exceedingly muddy.

The route up is fairly straight forward as it is marked by bags of stone. It looks like the National Trust are going to put a stone track in here. This would be a good move as the ground is exceedingly soft and muddy which hinders the ascent somewhat. These stone bags also serve as great dry seats for resting too!

The route up is fairly straight forward as it is marked by bags of stone. It looks like the National Trust are going to put a stone track in here. This would be a good move as the ground is exceedingly soft and muddy which hinders the ascent somewhat. These stone bags also serve as great dry seats for resting on too!

As I climb higher I start getting great views to the South. However, I'm rather shocked at the amount of deforestation that has been going on. The entire lower slopes look like they have been stripped :/

As I climb higher I start getting great views to the South. However, I’m rather shocked at the amount of deforestation that has been going on. The entire lower slopes look like they have been stripped clean :/

I have now reached the top of the wood-line on the way up. I know that from here on in, things are about to get very steep...

I have now reached the top of the wood-line. I know that from here on in, things are about to get very steep…

The final climb requires the use of all fours. At this elevation the winds have picked up again. Although they make the climb a little harder, they do have the positive effect of cooling me down.

The final climb requires the use of all fours. At this elevation the winds have picked up again. Although they make the climb a little harder, they are very welcome as they have the positive effect of cooling me down.

I get to the top and shelter in this cut away. It is here that I decide to have my lunch consisting of a Cornish Pasty. This went down really well!

I get to the top and shelter in this cut away. It is here that I decide to have my lunch consisting of a Cornish Pasty. This went down really well!

A quick diversion South to go for the nearby Trig Point. As an aside this climb up to 642 was the toughest climb of the whole walk. It was muddy and exceedingly steep!

Before heading Northwards I take a quick diversion Southward to go to the nearby Trig Point. As an aside the climb up to 642 was the toughest climb of the whole walk. It was muddy and exceedingly steep!

Before heading Northward on my route, I decide to take a diversion Southward to visit the nearby Trig Point.

The result of my diversion – the Trig Point!

I'm now on the ridge walk Northwards. It's a shallow ascent which makes for a nice pleasant stroll. The hard climbing for this walk is now behind me.

I’m now on the ridge walk Northwards. It’s a shallow ascent which makes for a nice pleasant stroll. The hard climbing for this walk is now behind me.

As I head Northward I see the second climb point up the exceedingly steep ridge. Down below are two people looking up and assessing the climb. I'm so glad that I have already got this bit out of the way!

As I head Northward I see the second climb point up to the exceedingly steep ridge. Down below are two people looking up and assessing the climb – they are there, you just need to look very carefully! I’m so glad that I have already got this bit out of the way!

The trail runs quite close to the edge. The high winds mean that some caution has to be exercised, though luckily they are blowing from right to left - so if any thing should go wrong, I should be blown into the hill and not off it.

The trail runs quite close to the edge. The high winds mean that a certain amount caution has to be exercised. Though luckily the winds are blowing from right to left – so if anything should go wrong, I should be blown into the hill and not off it.

The view behind me to the South is just stunning!

The view behind me to the South is just stunning!

Up ahead is the Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog ridgeline. From the map I was hoping with would be like the CMD Arete of Ben Nevis, but in reality, it is actually quite wide.

Up ahead is the Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog ridgeline. From the map I was hoping it would be like the CMD Arete of Ben Nevis, but in reality, it is actually quite wide.

On the ridge-line. There is plenty of room to swing a cat! In the distance is the distinctive shape of Corn Du which I had climbed earlier. That's pretty much where we are headed.

On the ridge-line. There is plenty of room to swing a cat – if you are into that sort of thing! In the distance is the distinctive shape of Corn Du which I had climbed earlier. That’s pretty much where we are headed.

I stop off at this cairn to polish off the last of my water supplies. It seems that I had got my water provisioning for the walk pretty much spot on!

I stop off at this cairn to polish off the last of my water supplies. It seems that I had got my water provisioning for the walk pretty much spot on at 1.7 litres!

Up ahead at the base of Corn Du is the main trail leading down off of the Mountains. This is the one that I will be using for my descent.

Up ahead at the base of Corn Du is the main trail leading down off of the Mountains. This is the one that I will be using for my descent.

I'm now at the base of Corn Du and busy preparing my walking sticks for the descent. For those that don't know, they make a huge difference to the preservation of your knees on long descents. They also provide additional anchor points, which are always welcome when going down hill.

I’m now at the base of Corn Du and busy preparing my walking sticks for the descent. For those that don’t know, they make a huge difference to the preservation of your knees on long descents. They also provide additional anchor points, which are always useful when going down hill.

The descent is now on. It's time to leave the hills behind. Whilst the terrain features broadly make sense, I'm a little concerned that I can't see the Brecon Reservoir and start to question whether I'm on the correct descent path!

The descent is now on. It’s time to leave the hills behind. Whilst the terrain features broadly make sense, I’m a little concerned that I can’t see the Brecon Reservoir. As a result I start to question whether I’m on the correct descent path!

However, it soon pops in on the left. I'm quite conscious of the clattering noise made by my walking sticks, despite their utility.

However, the reservoir soon puts in an appearance! At this stage of the journey I’m quite conscious of the clattering noise made by my walking sticks, I seem to be a noise polluter!

Down below is the Car Park! This one is a good one in that it has toilet facilities and a food wagon on hand!

Down below is the Car Park. This one is a good one in that it has full toilet facilities and a food wagon on hand!

I soon get to the bridge for the crossing to the car park.

I soon get to the bridge for the crossing to the car park.

The sign at the bottom. These are very informative and provide some good background to the area - well worth a read!

The sign at the bottom. These are very informative and provide good background information for the area – well worth a read!

There's the car park and the end of today's walk.

There’s the car park and the end of today’s walk.

Finally back at the car. It was weird being able to drive straight back from a walk without having to rely on public transport. Even weirder is the way the pedals felt after a long walk - they certainly give your muscles a bit of a stretch. The trip back to Bristol proves to be a relatively quick and uneventful one. I hadn't realised that this place was only an hour and half away! I think I will have to make more day trips here.

Finally back at the car. It was weird being able to drive straight back from a walk without having to rely on public transport. Even weirder is the way the pedals felt after a long walk – they certainly give your muscles a bit of a stretch. The trip back to Bristol proves to be a relatively quick and uneventful one. I hadn’t realised that this place was only an hour and a half away! I think I will have to make more day trips here.

I’m so glad that I jumped at the opportunity that the weather presented. It made for a very pleasurable walk – one that I enjoyed immensely. Hopefully it will rekindle my passion for walking which had admittedly been in somewhat of a decline since last year.

This walk also shows that one doesn’t have to do a multi-day day walk to go out and have fun!

Laters

RobP

Posted in Backpacking, Brecon Beacons, Hiking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cairngorms 2014 Video Diaries

With the arrival of Virtual Reality,  it would be fair to say that I have been somewhat distracted – hence the lack of updates or indeed walks!

I still intend to hike and hope to be getting a 4 day walk in over the next two months or so.

In the meantime I have decided to release the short videos that I made on my 2014 solo walk in the Cairngorms from Blair Atholl to Aviemore. These videos were never really meant for public consumption, they were filmed as a private visual diary so that I could reminisce over previous endeavours!

Nevertheless I have decided to put these out there – hopefully they will allow people to get a feel for some of the Cairngorm’s beautiful locations.

So here they are, 16 raw and uncut short video diaries covering Day 2 to Day 4 of this walk – enjoy!

Laters

RobP

Posted in Cairngorms, Camping, Hiking, Multi-Day Walk, Video, Wild Camping | Tagged , | 3 Comments