We were booked into the Cross Foxes hotel in Dolgellau in Snowdonia for our visit to the Mach Loop and to re-visit the Bwlch.
For this visit I was taking all my cold weather gear from the Antarctic as well as new extras such as a two man tent and hand warmers.
We left a snowy Berkshire and made our way up to the Photography Show at the NEC. This was about halfway to the hotel and a visit there fitted in with our plan to arrive on Sunday in time for dinner.
Our journey to the NEC was uneventful despite the snow/slush on the motorways. We chatted to colleagues who we met at the show and added to our collections of print boxes and camera straps before a quick lunch and then setting off for Wales.
The roads once we neared Snowdonia were clear of snow and ice apart from the odd snowdrift making the roads even narrower.
Evening at the Cross Foxes
The hills around the hotel were covered with snow. After checking in I was in yet another different room at the Cross Foxes this visit. This time it was Moel.
After a couple of drinks at the bar we went for dinner and then went for an early night’s sleep.
Going to the Bwlch
We woke to a sky with promising patches of blue.
This visit we were unable to have an early breakfast. We were in the restaurant promptly at 8 am ready to leave. As it was cold we chose to have the Full Welsh Breakfast. This filled the plate and despite being hungry neither of us managed to clear our plates. We collected our packed lunches and set off for the Bwlch.
This vantage point is on the road that we drove on to the Cross Foxes. It has a relatively small parking lay by so as always we were anxious about getting parked. There was one van there already so we guessed there was someone up already.
It took us 45 minutes to climb up to Top Ledge. The climb is steep enough without the added fun of snow and ice. The route up was obscured and it was only later in the day when we descended did we realise we had gone way off the route in some parts.
As we were climbing a Hawk came through and then 5 minutes later another (or the same one?) We were in one of the dips after a false summit and cameras and phones were secured so we missed these two passes.
9.30 am on Top Ledge – the Bwlch at the Mach Loop
It was no exaggeration to say that it was cold on the Bwlch. We were in shadow and the wind ripped into us so much that we had to stay back from the edge and the little dip to get some relief. We decided that it was way too windy for the tent and settled for a ground sheet for our bags.
Away to our right we watched the wind blowing the snow around on the summits.
The view down the valley was just as spectactular.
Here’s Steve by our ‘camp’ . . .
. . . and me looking the wrong way if a plane was making a pass thorough.
Now all we needed were some more passes!