Tuesday 19 October 2010

dartmoor wild camping: snowdon summit

Yes, you read correctly – I wild camped on the summit of Snowdon, Dartmoor. Well I had to didn’t I?

Work is driving me slightly mad, I swear it, why else would I keep doing this to myself? I mean, sure, Dartmoor is lovely in it’s own way, but I can’t help but find it a little dull. I also don’t really like wild camping, let alone solo wild camping, although strangely enough the more I do and the more I work out my systems, the more I’m beginning to enjoy it.

That said, the only reasons I keep heading out like this are: 1) I need an escape from work, and the wilderness is the closest I’ve got down here to the mountains. 2) I need to log more ‘Quality Mountain Days’ and wild camps for my ML logbook (oh yes, I still intend doing it, even though the urgency has lessened somewhat now) and 3) it is all good practice, especially the navigation in the fog or in the dark, and I need to do something to ‘keep my hand in’ for MR, at least psychologically.

So, anyway back to the walk – I parked the car up at Combestone Tor right after work and thus proceeded to walk up to the summit of Ryder’s Hill (the highest point on the southern moor). I then headed over to Snowdon, SX 6684 6840, via what was possibly the boggiest, most unpleasant track I’ve had the misfortune to encounter recently. It looked so innocent…right up until you found your foot engulfed in a horrible gelatinous sludge, or more to the point, when I found my foot engulfed in a brown mucky goo that seems to have violated my boots and left them permanently traumatised…and the bog seemed to go on forever…


Snowdon is actually a chain of cairns on a moorland high point, one of them even has a summit shelter, the point visible in the centre of the picture is actually Puper’s Hill, there is another Snowdon cairn out of view to the right 


Just to prove it, yet another crappy tent photo – cairn and summit shelter are visible behind

So yes, yet again I have put myself through a kind of semi-torture, but oddly, once again I really rather enjoyed it in some ways – the sunset was beautiful, and the sky was once again crystal clear for much of the night. The solitude was less eerie than last time, and more cathartic. I was even treated to a flare display by the MoD over on the Merrivale range.

I do still hate packing up a wet tent in the morning.

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