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Mynydd Du - urw Expedition 14

25th and 26th of October 2003 a wildcamp on the shores of Llyn y Fan Fawr

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Having missed the previous meet due to a broken car I was determined to get to this one, however due to having to work Saturday morning the earliest I could arrive was Saturday afternoon. Having driven all the way from London in bright sunshine I was alarmed to hit rain as I made my way along the "tricky" section of the M4 past Cardiff. Despite having been organised enough to have the 4.50 toll for the Severn Bridge handy in coins I was missing my road atlas and was navigating on memory to get to the minor road from Glyntawe to Trecastle. In the end I got there for 2.00 pm and set off across the moor for the lakeside campsite.

At the campsite there were three tents, an Argos Pro Action, Paul's Nallo II and what appeared to be a fertiliser bag thrown over a couple of poles. This it turns out is a tnF Mountain Marathon tent and it didn't look big enough to lie down in to me. The best bit of ground seemed to be next to it and I soon had my Terra Nova Trisar up dwarfing it. I must have been fairly noisy in putting it up because Mike emerged from his tiny space and introduced himself followed by Mark and then Paul from their tents. It turned out that Mark and Mike hadn't arrived until 7.00 that morning so Paul was all alone for the first night, which he seemed to have spent photographing the stars.

The rain seemed to holding off for the afternoon but the clouds were always threatening to come down again and we were lucky to see Pen y Fan and Corn Du bathed in the orange glow of sunset. Our campsite being hard under Fan Brycheiniog meant we were in deep shadow. As darkness fell the rain started so we all retired to our tents to catch up on sleep.

But before sleep there was another craving to satisfy, food. I fried half an onion in a plenty of olive oil and then poured in about a litre of water into which went a handfull of dried ceps and herbs, on with the lid again and wait for it to come to the boil before chucking in a lot of couscous and some chicken corma pieces. Turn off the gas and five minutes later a huge meal.

After falling asleep to the sound of raindrops, sometime in the night I looked out and saw the stars in their multitude, it was going to be mighty cold in the morning and a decent sunrise was in prospect. Just before my alarm went off one hour before sunrise Paul was banging on my tent telling me of the good colours of the eastern sky. I got dressed pretty quickly and opened the cardboard-like door of my frosted tent. Low clouds scudded over the hills opposite as the four of us wandered about taking photographs. I seemed to confine my wanderings to within 100m of the campsite but Paul almost went up Fan Brycheiniog.

Having a prior engagement in London in the evening I had to be away by lunchtime so I only had time for a short walk on Sunday. The others were planning a walk round to Llyn y Fan Fach and over Bannau Sir Gaer but this would take too long, especially with all the photo stops likely, so I had decided to go over Bwlch Giedd and down between Cefn Rhudd and Waun Haffes to investigate the wreck of a Vampire.

This had crashed in 1953 on a flight from R.A.F. Pemburey. The pilot J. R. Baldock was killed when he flew into the side of the mountain in cloud. Substantial remains of the tail section with the twin booms, tailplane and jet pipe lie in the open on the hillside. The aircraft must have broken up on crashing as the fragmented remains of the nose section are some 60m away in a shallow gully.

Turning back up the hill to return I was face into the strong wind and I was mighty glad to make it back to the calmer area in the lee of Fan Brycheiniog again. I was back at the tents by about 10.30 so I didn't have to rush to break camp. A few people were about mostly crossing on the far side of the lake. One of these seemed to be making attempts to attract my attention so I grabbed my binoculars and I soon figured he was a fellow urwer since he had a green cap with yellow writing on it, so I waved my hellos and he made his way round. It turned out to be Bill who had also been up on Saturday before I arrived.

As he made it to the tents he was joined by Roger who had decided to come over as his companions at another meet were not going far enough for him that day. Bill said that Fran and some of her brood were coming along so it meant a decent attendance after all. 1,3,4,6,10? in all though not all were about at the same time. Roger soon set off up Bwlch Giedd to find Paul Mike and Mark and Bill went to see if he could see Fran whilst I put my tent back into it's bag. All packed up I made my way back to the car. Somehow I managed to miss Fran and the kids as they made the opposite journey :-(

Detailed map 1:50,000

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