Mynydd Nodol from the Llyn Celyn dam
For the first Marilyn of 2010 I decided to have a rare trip to Wales. At home there’d been no snow but almost as soon as I crossed the border snow was quite widespread and at the Llyn Celyn dam, where I parked, there was snow everywhere. It was sunny, but with a bitterly cold wind, as I started walking at 10.05 am. Initially this was along the snow covered road along the top of the dam. Mynydd Nodol rose ahead, to my right were Llyn Celyn and Arenig Fach (689m), whilst behind were Foel Goch (611m) and the lower slopes of Carnedd y Filiast (669m). At the end of the road I went through the snow covered car park and along the shore of the reservoir. The snow was fairly deep, even at this lowly height, although higher up it became knee and even thigh deep. After climbing over a style it was question of finding a way up that avoided as many walls and fences as possible. Many of the stone walls had gaps in them so this was quite easy. The snow was deep, soft powder snow and it was hard work climbing upwards. However, I figured that this is a hill that would be hard work at any time, as heather was sticking up above the snow even though this was regularly knee deep. I enjoyed the views over the snowy landscape to the mountains mentioned above and this more than compensated for the hard work.
The summit came into view but it took a while to get there due to the deep snow. The wind had increased by this time and it was whipping the snow around and into my face. I reached the summit at 11.40, 1 hour 35 minutes after setting out and the views over the arctic landscape were fantastic. I could see the Arans, Arenig Fach and Carnedd y Filiast, all with their heads in the clouds, and Foel Goch, which was clear. The main feature of the view, however, was Arenig Fawr (854m), it’s black snow plastered cliffs rising above Llyn Arenig Fawr, and looking imposing and impressive. I took a photos and trudged around the summit area to make sure I’d stood on the top and descended, as it was cold. I did think that the large cairn wasn’t quite on the highest point but there isn’t much in it. I descended via a steeper and direct route, and although the snow was deep, it was easier descending. I reached the car at 12.40 pm, 2 hours 35 minutes after setting out.
I had lunch in the car and I decided to head down to Dolgellau to climb Foel Offrwm. However, when I went to start the car the battery was flat. I walked about a mile down the road and knock on somebody’s door, as I had no mobile signal. A very nice man invited me in, let me use the phone, and made me a cup of tea. After talking to the RAC I walked back to the car, tried to start the car and it started first time! I drove into Bala and phoned the RAC again to cancel the call out. By this time it was too late to climb anything else so I started the drive home at 3 pm. There was a heavy shower of wet snow that turned the road slushy, and as a result, the steep road between Ruthin and Mold was reduced to a crawl. When I got through that I thought the rest of the drive would be straightforward but by Loggerheads Country Park near Mold traffic came to a standstill for an hour. The reason for the holdup was a mystery but after that it was a clear drive. However, the drive home took 3 hours instead of the expected hour and a half. It had been a long day for one hill!