Start/Finish: Bryn Bedd, (Nantgwynant) 150m
Highest Point: Ysgafell Wen 672m
Distance: circa 10 kms
Weather: Sub zero and cloudy
Vertical altitude gain: circa 750m
Time: circa 6 hrs 0 mins
I had gone to Wales knowing the really cold spell was about to end. So I was very keen to walk once again on the frozen Moelwynion before the boggy land up there came out of it's winter deep freeze. So I started just as the sun was rising. The only time during the day I would see any evidence of that glowing orb as it shone very briefly on the Snowdon Horseshoe behind me!
I had rather stumbled upon one of the Ysgafell Wen summits during my Christmas and New Year trip, just getting tot eh top of Ysgafell Wen Far North Top. For this walk I planned to walk over the top of Ysgafell Wen North top, (stone cairn above), and then head onto Ysgafell Wen and beyond.
My hesitation was worthwhile as I could soon see the cloud starting to obscure Snowdon, (cleared again before I took this photo!), and that had been my turn around criteria. Criteria I had set myself as I walk on my own and knew the reputation of the Moelwynion as difficult to navigate in poor visibility. There were virtually no footstep tracks for me to follow, even my own proved hard to find on return in still good visibility.
My "emergency route" should I have become lost in poor visibility was to have followed the County boundary fence North for some miles to a point with a ladder style and a distinctive rock. Where I knew a track led off West to the main road down to Nantgwynant. An exhausting walk in such underfoot conditions! So, with the advancing front starting to obscure Snowdon again I was pleased I had decided to retrace my steps.
I stopped for a late snack, becoming the focal point for what I guess was a training exercise for a search and rescue crew who firstly headed directly for me, then circled me quite a number of times! I soon finished my snack and headed on back to my car. Arriving at the very moment the weather closed in and it started to snow. My turn around criteria had worked this time!