HILL, DALES AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion    Web page by Bryan Benn

Start/Finish: Near Betws Garmon, 130m

Highest Point: Summit of Moel Eilio, 726m

Distance: circa 11 kms

Weather: Cold, wind, snow showers later

Vertical altitude gain: circa 970 m

Time: 6 hrs

Snowy Snowdon from near Betws Garmon The sleet and hail we had encountered on Moel Hebog the previous day had turned to snow overnight. Leaving a good covering on Snowdon and surrounding mountains as we drove to near Betws Garmon.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Moel Eilio

Our plan was to walk up to the summit of Moel Eilio, then head generally South East on a broad ridge over three more summits: Foel Goch, Foel Gron and finally Moel Cynghorion

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion continued Moel Eilio

Our route up Moel Eilio was directly up the mainly grassy steep West facing slopes. Where we soon encountered some of the snow that had fallen the previous night.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Route up Moel Eilio Route up Mole Eilio

It was very steep ascent. Ona mix of grass, sleet and new snow. From time to time passing long since closed mine workings.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Route up Moel Eilio

At one point we crossed a very short section across some old mine shafts. Steep drops either side of the narrow and snowy track were enough to trigger my still quite bad vertigo as I went over it!

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Hercules aircraft below Moel Eilio Last plod up to Moel Eilio summit

A roar of turbo props got us to look back the way we had come. Where below us two Lockheed Hercules aircraft flew up the valley towards Beddgelert. Swift camera work just catching the second aircraft!

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Last section of climb to Moel Eilio summit

In ever increasing depths of fresh snow we plodded on up the steep slope that was to lead to the summit of Moel Eilio.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Snowdon from Moel Eilio

The weather forecast was for another front to arrive with more snow. So photos were quickly taken from the summit. Especially to the South East where a snowy Snowdon was still clearly visible.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion continued Foel Gron, Foel Goch and Moel Cynghorion from Moel Eilio

We had time to see and photograph our onward route via Foel Gron and Foel Goch to Moel Cynghorion. Which looked, and was to prove to be nicely covered in snow!

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Llyn Cwellyn

The weather front soon arrived with srong winds and blowing snow. So we headed along the broad ridge, using brief intervals in the early winter weather to grab photos. This view looking down to Llyn Cwellyn.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Llyn Cwellyn

Another view of Llyn Cwellyn and surrounding mountains in between the snow showers that were to be part of most of the rest of the walk.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Moel Eilio

We progressed along the broad ridge, and looking back saw the route we had taken from the summit of Moel Eilio.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Walker in snow on Foel Goch Walker in snow on Foel Goch

The snow, when it fell, was being blown by a very strong wind. Making us both glad we had sufficient warm clothing on, despite it still being October.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion  Moel Cynghorion

Looking ahead was the ridge up to Moel Cynghorion. Only reached by a sharp descent on snowy slopes!

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion  Moel Cynghorion

After that sharp descent from Foel Goch it was a snowy trudge back up the ridge towards the summit of Moel Cynghorion.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Snowdon from track up to Moel Cynghorion

At times the blizzard like conditions eased. Allowing a view of the Snowdon Rangers route up to Snowdon Summit.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Track up to Moel Cynghorion

At other times winds of close to 70 mph created near blizzard conditons, blotting out the background as we got to the summit of Moel Cynghorion.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Summit of Moel Cynghorion

And the wind driven snow was still falling as we reached our fourth and final summit of the day at Moel Cynghorion.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Llyn Ffynnon-y-gwas from the descent of Moel Cynghorion

We did not linger on that cold and snowy summit. But headed down the steep and snow covered slopes towards the Snowdon Rangers path and Llyn Ffynnon-y-gwas.

29th October 2008: Moel Eilio - Moel Cynghorion Welsh Highland Railway train near to Snowdon Ranger Station

We soon descended below ths now line into a dull, wet and cold day. And arrived at the Snowdon Ranger Station just as a Welsh Highland Railway train passed. Even in normal weather the walk we had done would have been well worth doing. But the onset of early winter conditions with lying snow and, at times, blizzard condtions, really enhanced the experience!