I planned this trip last month but couldn’t go in the end, so I moved the trip to September. Yesterday the MWIS weather forecast said perfect weather, clear except for some low-level mist in the morning and chance of inversion. I’ve never experienced an inversion before, so I was determined to get high up for the night with the hope of opening my tent in the morning and looking out onto the tops of the clouds as the sun rose up in the sky.
I packed the night before, I managed to get all my kit, including my 2-man Alpkit Kangri tent into my new Lightwave Fastpack 40-litre rucksack.
I left work at 4pm, ate dinner with the family and headed off at 5pm with Sally, our working cocker spaniel. I got to Tan-Y-Pistyll at 7:30 just as the sun was setting so I had to be quick. There was a small B’n’B at the end of the road with a car park that charged £2.50 per car, but there was a sign saying that the gates closed at 6pm and knowing that I intended to be down early, I didn’t want to get back to find my car stuck in the car park. Luckily, there was a lay-by a little way back so I parked up there. The B’n’B also had a small tea room so I thought I could have breakfast in the morning there if they are indeed open.
I changed into my boots, popped Sally’s EzyDog summit back pack on her and headed off up the footpath.
It was getting dark, but not dark enough to need my head torch just yet, we proceeded up the path at a good pace which was mostly just a grassy foot path but on the side of the steep slope of Cerrig Poethion. As we crossed the stream the time came to switch on the head torch. We proceeded to the lake, Llyn Lluncaws, which on its own would have made a fine camping spot however to experience the chance of an inversion I had to get up high so by the light of the head torch we pushed forward and up the steep slope, deep with heather towards the Berwyn Ridge.
The lack of light made it difficult to discern any kind of beaten path, so I focused on the Garmin eTrex 20’s screen and followed the orange dotted line marking the ‘permitted route’ up the slope. This was a real slog since the lack of a beaten path and the deep heather on the slope made progress very slow and even our tireless cocker was starting to get a bit fed up.
Before long the GPS showed that we were at the summit so we found a reasonably flat piece of grass along the Berwyn Ridge and I erected the tent, settling down for the night after a small meal, setting my alarm for 6am, about 30mins before sunrise.
I slept well and woke up at the sound of my alarm at 6am. I eagerly opened my tent and was utterly disappointed at the view of nothing but grey mist and about 5m worth of grass in front of my tent. D’oh.
I waited around for the chance of a brief clearing in the grey but after about 20 minutes, I resigned to one breakfast and to pack away the tent.
Our route off the ridge was via Trum Felen which again was an easy grassy slope.
On the way down, we stopped at the waterfall called Pistyll-Rhaeadr which turned out to be a pleasant surprise and definitely the highlight of this walk.
I was back at the car by 8:30, the car park was open, but there was no sign of life in the tea shop so I headed back and was home for 11am.