Wilderness Wales


Day 24 - Llyn y Fan Fawr

Brecon Beacons

Orion above Fan Gyhirych

Orion above Fan Gyhirych, seen from Llyn y Fan Fawr, with Fan Hir on right

Friday was the first day of the long awaited expedition 14, but no-one else planned to turn up early and events conspired to make me late anyway, so I didn't bother rushing. I realised I wouldn't get there before sunset so the time became irrelevant anyway. I set off later in the evening.

The night walk to the lake wasn't at all daunting, having done it many times before, but I was annoyed to find that I lost the path shortly after starting off. I regained it before the stream however and started on the uphill bit. Before this I'd thought my rucksack wasn't too heavy, but I was wrong. Hills have a way of telling you you've brought too much, but I did so with good reason. At least 2/3rds of my pack was comprised of sleeping bag, fleece liner and two fleece blankets. I knew it was going to be a very cold night, but I was determined to sleep warm, and I did. The walk seemed much longer in the dark than it had done a week earlier in the light.

After getting there and setting up the tent I looked for some water, but the stream was very dry. After losing the top of my water bottle I eventually ended up having to get my water from the tiny trickle over the moss where the stream joined the lake. It took a little while but it filled up okay.

Expecting Mike and Mark in the early hours, I stayed awake taking night photos of the constellations, Orion over Fan Gyhirych and Gemini over Pen y Fan. Due to it being a New Moon, the sky was incredibly dark and the Milky Way was wonderfully clear. The long exposures showed up the orange glow from the urban south, but to the naked eye it was pitch black. A great evening. Pity that Mike and Mark didn't turn up in time to enjoy some of it.

By 2:30am I gave up waiting and crashed out for the night, in a very tightly cramped sleeping bag, but a pleasantly warm one.