Rhinogs Wild Camping 7- 9 June 2013
Present: Claire (organiser), Alan, Mark C, Pete A.
Cancelled last year due to our dire Summer, I specified that the conditions needed to be dry – not just for the actual weekend, but for at least a week leading up to it, as the Rhinogs can be boggy at the best of times.
For once luck (as far as Wales is concerned) was on our side and we were met with near perfect conditions.
The aim was to complete a full crossing of the Rhinogs range setting out from Trawsfynydd on Friday evening to arrive in Barmouth on Sunday afternoon. Mark and Pete bagged every summit and rock pile large and small along the way, Alan and Claire aimed for just the major peaks and to attempt to find “easier” routes inbetween (which don’t really exist and there were a few “this is pointless” moments, particularly descending Rhinog Fawr when having to carefully throw the rucksacks down a cliff face before scrambling down behind them)!
Mark and Pete, mountain marathon experts, showed us how backpacking should be done with their 35L and 25L sized rucksacks compared to Claire and Alans 65L and 100L! Yet they still seemed to have all the same kit – just smaller and lighter versions. They didn’t have as much red wine though! Both nights we camped beside idyllic lakes, with superb mountain vistas and an amazing sunset. On Saturday night Mark served us all up smoked salmon, followed by noodles with chicken, followed by chorizo cous cous, followed by a cake baked in the trangia (which I didn’t think was possible) topped with toffee sauce, followed by huge mountains of cheese (remember this had been carried in a 35L rucksack alongside tent, sleeping bag, mat etc).
From Llyn Hywel the route to Barmouth was more straightforward and Mark and Pete had finished by lunchtime enjoying Sunday afternoon on the beach. Claire and Alan took their time and joined the others in the pub just after 5, followed by fish and chips (but still full really from the previous evening).
A perfect backpacking weekend – such a shame more NMCers didn’t share this amazing experience, and why oh why can’t the weather be like this for more than just one weekend a year!