Wilderness Wales


Day 25 - Llyn y Fan Fawr

Brecon Beacons

Pen y Fan & Corn Du from Llyn y Fan Fawr

Pen y Fan & Corn Du, seen from Llyn y Fan Fawr

My watch alarm went off at 6:30am, but I ignored it. It never ceases to amaze me that I'm willing to climb a mountain and camp in sub-zero temperatures, all for the sake of being able to photograph a fantastic sunrise, yet every time my alarm goes off all I want to do is turn over and go back to sleep. I have a real problem getting up. To justify it I tried to convince myself that it was probably cloudy and there wasn't any point getting up anyway. Why I would wish this makes no sense at all.

Time passed, but I couldn't get back to sleep. As ever my conscience kept telling me to at least take a look out of the tent. If it was cloudy, I could go back to sleep, no problem. I think the reason I didn't want to look out was because I had a feeling that it wouldn't be cloudy, so I wanted to put off the moment.

Eventually, reluctantly, I made the effort to unzip the flysheet and look out. To my amazement, Mike and Mark were standing there, apparently having arrived at that very instant! Talk about good timing! Whatever my inclinations to go back to sleep, they evaporated there and then. Oh, and it wasn't cloudy either. Time to grab the camera and get a brew on.

A very nice sunrise ensued. Not the best I've ever seen from there (that would be hard to beat) but a perfectly respectable one nonetheless, with all the clarity and warmth (photographic warmth, not actual warmth) that October sunrises typically provide. I wondered why Mike and Mark were fussing with tents instead of taking photos, but then I guess we have different priorities.

After a while Fan Brycheiniog started to become shrouded in a thin hill fog that seemed to be hugging the high ground, while all around remained clear. Eventually and gradually though, the cloud increased throughout the day.

I went for an early morning stroll with Mike around the lake. Nearing the south east corner I remembered that Bill was planning to meet up with us, and remembered that I'd forgotten to bring his mobile number with me. I knew his home number though, so with a bit of fussing about Mike managed to get through and pass a message on to Bill, who returned the call a short while later, telling us that he was just ten minutes from the lake. We waited on the small peninsula near the outflow. While we did so it started to spit with rain. Bill shortly joined us. We then walked back to the tents on the western side of the lake.

Hanging around the camp site the weather continued to deteriorate and Bill eventually decided to call it a day and return home. Our planned walk around the tops seemed pointless in that weather since we wouldn't have seen much anyway. We postponed it until Sunday.

Later in the afternoon Phil Cook turned up. I was taking a nap to make up for the shortfall the night before. It was nice to see Phil again, we'd camped at this spot previously, during July of 2001 I think, just prior to the Rhinogs expedition. At that time we were plagued by flies. No such hassles this time.

Mike and Mark went for another stroll around the lake, a circuit of 1.8km. I didn't bother.

We settled down for the night at around 8pm. We were treated to strong gusty winds from the NW, hill fog and considerable rainfall. Lucky that we camped in a relatively sheltered spot. There was a low crag just behind the tents which gave a little protection. Mark's new Argos tent had a fault with the zip and he couldn't close it properly. Quite a wild night, but my Nallo stood up to it well, good job I'd pitched it in a south-easterly direction.

After day one, which wasn't really a day at all, day two was a bit of a damp squib, apart from the nice sunrise. Hopefully day three would be a bit better.