It’s been a busy year so far but with a weekend free there was only one option as to how I would spend it. I had to get back to the wilds.
I get a little stir-crazy if I don’t have regular access to the outdoors and often find that when life is starting to feel a little frenzied, a weekend spent on the hills alone helps me refresh and recharge.
I had decided to return to my ‘go-to’ mountain range where I have spent many nights sleeping on the mountains in the area. This time I decided to mix it up a bit and head to the southern part of the Rhinogydd for a change of scenery. The forecast was looking good, with sunshine and clear night skies so I packed my Bergen with all my required kit and off I went.
The plan was to walk up to Diffwys and follow the ridge over Crib y-rhiw to Y Llethr where I would find a nice spot to pitch my tent for the night. With plenty of hours of daylight and not a lot of ground to cover I could take my time, walking at a leisurely pace and stopping along the way to take in my surroundings.
As I walked with Moelfre on my left I was soon met with a grand view of the mountains ahead of me. Here I continued on a path cross country that led to a lovely stone bridge at Pont Scethin where I took off my boots and refreshed by feet in the cool stream whilst enjoying a coffee. Following a brief chat with a couple who passed by I put on my Bergen and set off for the climb up to the ridge.
Arriving on top of the ridge where I was met by a cairn I turned to the left and followed the path over undulating ground until I reached the trig point at the summit of Diffwys. Here the views were incredible and I could see for miles, taking in the sea and mountains of Snowdonia and beyond.
Pulling myself out of a summer haze I continued on to a small llyn perched on the other side of the wall at the start of the ascent to Y Llethr. This little llyn looked out to the east and looked very inviting. Crossing the wall I was soon enjoying a wild swim in my very own infinity pool. After a sweaty few hours of walking it was divine to feel the cold water on my skin.
After a chat I bid home farewell as he continued his route down. It was early evening now so I cached my Bergen and set off to explore the area, taking in the views as I went. I returned about an hour or so later, pitched my tent on the summit and sat having dinner awaiting the sun to set. Looking down to Llyn Hywel I could see a tent pitched and someone stood by the water’s edge. I wondered if they had noticed me all the way up here on top of the mountain.
This was only the beginning of what was in store for the night as the sunset gave way to a clear sky featuring millions of starts. The temperature had dropped leaving a cool chill in the air. Donning my down jacket I laid back on the ground under one of the most prominent Milky Ways I have seen in the UK and watched as shooting starts whizzed through the sky.
Here I descended through the forest, stopping to explore the old ruins of a farmhouse before meeting up with the path that heads left to the Llyn Bodlyn Reservoir and right to the track that led me back to the small carpark. As I packed my kit into the car I looked back at the mountains I had stood upon with a huge smile on my face.
There is something incredibly humbling about standing on a mountain alone watching sunrises, sunsets and incredible night skies. After all, we are mere mortals and only a small grain in the vast sands of time. I always feel honoured and hugely connected to the natural world during these experiences.