Grim……

by backpackingbongos

Today was an ordeal.  Last night we pitched our tents on the south ridge of Arenig Fawr at 690 metres above sea level.  A great evening was spent climbing to the summit to take in the huge sunset views.  Just after midnight it started to slide down hill, a big wet and windy down hill.  Come first light I was lying in a thrashing Akto that sounded like it was being blasted by a  firemans hose in a wind tunnel.  The temperature started to rise and the humidity made everything inside damp.  I began to fear a thunderstorm, not good on an exposed ridge.  Just after 7.30am I got up and woke my friend and suggested we move off sharpish.  Thankfully a thunderstorm never arrived but the wind and rain was horrendous as we struggled with map and compass to get off the hill, navigation skills were tested to the limit.  Modern clothing technology was no match for the Welsh rain, even my underpants were uncomfortably soaking wet.  I fear I have an adult version of nappy rash!  We spent five hours in the weather and there was not even a glimpse of joy, just grim determination to get back to the van and put dry pants on.

The day before was nice though, a full write up when the Isle of Mull series is finished.

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13 Comments to “Grim……”

  1. That is called experience. Good call to get up and move. On getting wet. It happens in real life despite the best kit. Yet some folks are adamant it cant. They need to go walking more in the rain.

  2. Sounds like some vaseline might be in order.

    Know what you mean about Modern Technology v. Welsh Rain – I got completely soaked through walking up Heather Terrace on Tryfan last weekend.

    Did see a nice rainbow, though…
    http://geotopoi.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/tryfan/

  3. Someone gets worse weather than me, surely not 😉

  4. Martin, for some reason it just felt right to get off the hill – I was nervous when I am not usually. No matter how good a waterproof there are holes when you put head, legs and arms. It soon finds a way in. I want to go walking less now in the rain.

    Graham, some sort of greasing was definately needed. That Welsh rain gets through modern technology pretty easily. Nice pic of the rainbow btw.

    Robin, I though I would be safe in the hills knowing that you were not in them attracting bad weather!

  5. Glad not just me then. I went for my first wildcamp this weekend. Because of other commitments it had to be this weekend. Like you I thought Wales was the best choice given the weather forecast.

    I thought I would go up Moel Siabod and then around the Horse shoe over the next two days. However a bit of an argument with a stream left me soaked and no means of getting any dryer. I got up to the Llyn ye Foel at 540m by 21:30 to camp (Late start leaving work in Birmingham). So stripped and reclad un a warm sleeping bag I made the best of a windy night.

    So the next day with more black clouds and rain coming in from the west I decided to call it a day, put back on the wet boots and socks and a short wander in the solitude of the place, then headed down. Are Welsh rocks less grippy than others in the rain or is it just my imagination?

    Still not daunted I must get out again, but hopefully with better planning on the weather front.

    • Hi Robert. It’s a shame that your first wildcamp was on the wet and windy side. At least it does not sound like it has put you off trying again, which you most definitely should. One positive off rubbish weather is that the hills are usually empty and you get them to yourself.

  6. funnily enough I was up by Rhinog Fawr on saturday night and the wind got worse and worse. In the morning a combination of sodden ground, gale forse winds and lashing rain was too much for the tent and it died at 5.30am …..
    luckily I had packed my bag ready for a bale out by 5am as I had a premonition such were the dreadful conditions
    Its the wettest walkout I have ever had and yes modern clothes are no match for welsh weather!

    🙂

    • Wow on Saturday evening we were pointing towards the Rhinogs discussing the backpack we had there in May. What tent did the weather kill that night? Good planning packing up and at least it is still light in the mornings at that time. It really was the wettest rain I have ever encountered.

  7. it was a golite hex (the older version) although the other tent in our group nearly failed as well and that was a 2009 SL3

  8. I hope you were wearing wicky-knicks, James!

  9. A bit late here with one thing and another… anyway the south ridge is one of our fave spots as you must know, but those are not the conditions to appreciate it at all!. Welsh rain is something else.

    • Geoff it was one of your trip reports that sent me there in the first place! During that morning and night there was simply no appreciation of the scenery at all, not that we could see it anyway…………

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