2-day Mountain Expedition - Snowdonia, March 2011
Cwm Eigiau Horseshoe, Carneddau
2-day mountain expedition around the Cwm Eigiau Horseshoe.
Route - set off lunchtime Monday; returned lunchtime Tuesday. 2 people (me & Nick).
DAY ONE - Cwm Eigiau car park (SH 732 663). Track to Cedryn, then ascended by old quarry workings onto Pen Llithrig Y Wrach, then followed ridge onto Pen Yr Helgi Du. Wild camped on summit of Pen Yr Helgi Du (830 metres). Warm during day, cold at night. Reasonable visibility, light winds. Rain shower at 5am.
DAY TWO - Bwlch Eryi Farchog (narrow and steep ridge, with some scrambling), Penywaun-Wen, Carnedd Llewelyn (1064 metres) then down into the saddle of Gwaun y Garnedd before striking eastwards across the broad plateau to reach the steep ground above Melynllyn (reservoir). Continued NE across the broad ridge skirting above the crags/outcrops above Llyn Eigiau before descending towards Cerrig Cochlon and back to the parking area.
This is spectacular route through remote mountains with a variety of terrain including moorland, mountain plateau, several mountain summits, narrow ridges (scrambles) and steep, rocky terrain. In poor visibility, precise navigation will be essential to safely find your way, particularly across Carnedd Llewelyn - OS Explorer OL17 and compass essential. The narrow ridge requires a head for heights and would be difficult/dangerous in high winds or poor weather.
When wild camping - wild camping is tolerated in most mountain regions, but follow these simple rules: ask permission to camp (if possible), keep your group size small, camp high (amongst the mountains) above the intake walls and away from paths, pitch late and leave early, protect water supplies, no fires and leave no trace whatsoever.