Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A winter walk in the white forest

After yesterday's winter perfection- wall to wall blue skies and sub zero temperatures-I really wanted to make the most of the day which forecasters predicted would be more of the same. Ideal conditions it seemed, to get out into them tha hills and do something more strenuous than tapping a keyboard.. However, as always happens, I found myself tied to the laptop-in this case finishing a book review- and left it too late to get down into northern Snowdonia.

Not that I was planning to join the crowds in the winter honeypots. I've noticed an astonishing lack of imagination from winter climbers planning their Welsh campaigns. Reference my last post about winter climbers as internet nerds. The forums suggest that these activists are as blinkered as muffin the mule when it comes to choosing a venue. Cwm Cneifion, Cwm Lloer, Y Garn and The Ladders. Actually, I tell a lie; not many people seem to be suggesting the latter. It appears that 90% of them are heading for the former destinations. It must be like Piccadilly Circus up in Cwm Cneifion at the moment!

With time limited and with the dramatic leeching of daylight after 16.00 hrs, I settled for a well trodden local dog walk up to a little high point here in N/E Wales, Craig Llechen. It was below freezing all day and the ground was bone hard.
A beautiful hoar frost enveloped the hollows and the air was so still it was left to the occasional clapperclaw of a raven to break the monotony of my crunching footsteps and a panting dog.

The little top is marked by a memorial cairn to a young guy who took his own life but whose time on earth was dedicated to helping those with learning difficulties. It's quiet spot with stunning views of the main Snowdonia peaks and further south, The Aran and Arenig massifs.

As always, I didn't see a soul all day..... Which is just how I like it!

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