Black and white images of Snowdonia in winter.

These are some bnw photos that ive taken around Snowdonia this winter.Ive not the mood to write at the moment so will just leave you with the images.

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Taking an interest in MYOG(make your own gear) and the Singer 99k

I’ve often looked at other peoples outdoor gear that they’ve made themselves and thought to myself that I’d like to have a go at that.I’ve always fancied making myself a shelter,something like the duomid or similar,but i realise that I’ve got to start with learning the basics first and hopefully in time be able to develop the skills at having a go at making a shelter in the future.

So I’ve started practicing hand stitching which I really enjoy.Its creative and I find it very relaxing.

I also have been keeping an eye out on Ebay for a Singer sewing machine and low and behold a retired seamstress was parting with a Singer 99k.Now I didnt realise it was a 99k nor did the lady,as I asked her if she knew the model,she said “No,its just an old Singer,they didn’t have different models at that time. Anyway I had read that if you put in the serial number into a certain database they would be able to date and name the model.So mine is a 99k from 1930 and there was 20,000 made and cost me £40 quid.This is it

and this is the case it came with

Well I’m made up with it.The lady has recently changed the belt and a rubber wheel and its working fine. My cotton keeps on snapping so I’m going through a process of elimination of what’s causing the problem. Someone on has kindly given me some pointers and given me suggestions to use polyester thread and buy some of these Schmetz MICROTEX Needle Range (Packs of 5) – Various Sizes (Mixed Pack Size 60 – 80 (8 – 12))

and I bought one of these :-

Gutermann Extra Strong Thread, Polyester, Black, 100 m

I’ve also ordered a paperback copy of Sewing for Dummies for a helpful reference book and a couple of books for my kindle to help me along.

I’m going to crack on with some step by step projects and just keep it as simple as I can and resist the temptation of jumping in without a clue and attempting something fancy beyond my current skills.

I won’t buy any outdoorgear material just yet but instead have bought some affordable calico fabric to play around with and generally just have some fun doing it.

To be continued…

Last camp of 2017 Rhinogs

I wanted to go somewhere different to my usual places around Northen Snowdonia,and the Rhinogs had always been somewhere I had liked the sound of but never had the confidence in my navigation until this last year,when everything has clicked and Ive gained a lot more experience.So I ordered the Harveys map for the area(Harveys has now become my favoured map to use)and started planning and reading other peoples blogs and fine reports on their walks in the area.I was looking to camp at one of the lakes and take a moderate route where we could introduce ourselves to the Rhinogs but not be to taxing and not over stretch ourselves,just in case.The weather forcast was for lovely sunshine and low winds with cold tempratures at night. I hoped for some snow on the ground but not to much just enough to add to the experience. I decided on Llyn Hywel by Rhinog Fach.I picked up Paul along the way and we made our way down along the A470, then just south of Trawsfynedd took the turning  along the single track road to the car park at Graigddu-isaf(grid ref.SH684302.

We got out of the car and just took in the landscape around us.The Rhinogs had always seemed mysterious to me, I had read about them being very remote and difficult to navigate with little visable paths ect. This is what had stopped me coming here sooner and so when I was planning my route at home, I went over it thoroughly and had a good idea of how the land would lie. So when we set off amd made our way up to Rhinog Fach I was suprised at just how clear the paths were all the way up to our destination.This made me laugh,better safe than sorry.I enjoyed picking of the land marks along Blwch Drws Ardudwy that I had taken note of as we passed then by, and then we reached the style over the wall below Rhinog Fach.The path leading up to Llyn Hywel starts quite steeply and the mellows out a bit and its a bit of a plod on rocky ground. It was along this path we met the only two other people on the walk. We stopped and chatted with the man and woman for a little while and then let them go ahead of us.

We reached llyn Hywel and saw a good pitch straight in front of us next to the lake. We decided to have a look about for other suitable places but came back to the first site and set up camp.

Fantastic,what a lovely place to camp,and we did indeed have a little snow to add to the experience. Magic. I left paul potter around camp and headed up Y llethyr to take in the views.

Rhinog Fach from Y Llethyr

I reached the top but didn’t go along any further but made my way down before the sun went down.

We had some homemade beef curry for tea and spent time chatting but once it started to get quite cold we took to our tents.I listened to some bbc6 radio programmes that i had downloaded and paul watched some series he had downloaded. I must of fell asleep fairly early as I woke up about ten, then nodded off again around 12. I woke up again when the wind picked up and started to gust quite strongly for an hour or so. I fell asleep and woke again to heavy rain and then heavy sleet around 4.Paul had also woken up with this and we both spoke briefly,we both were a little concerned about the lake breaking the banks and splilling into our tents as along with the rain you could also hear the sound of waves on the lake being picked up by the wind.This was just a little fear coming in, we know these things can happen, but we needn’t of worried, it sounded worse than it actually was. We then slept to 630, I woke first to a wet heavy lump on the fly of my tent resting on my forehead.I prodded it…snow.I turned on my torch and you could see where the heavy snow was lying on the sides of my tent. I unzipped the outer and was greeted with snow coming down towards the opening, thick and fast. I had a little panic,we were in three season tents after all and we had never camped in this kind of snow before. I called Paul and then shook the snow off my tent and worried less as the snow slipped easily down the sides. My main concern now was the car.Im self-employed and this vehicle is my bread and butter. I had visions of crashing my car or getting stuck on the single track. These fears were fueled by a couple of bad experiences of driving in the snow in the past. I know how quickly things can go wrong when driving in the snow.

We packed our gear and waited for sunrise until we packed our tent away. This was the view at dawn.

We packed up and set off,Paul was trying to keep me positive but I had this worry about the car going on in my head. We stopped now and again though and marveled at how much this remote rugid landscape had been transformed into a wonderful winter mountainous scene,and all within a couple of hours.

We headed back and when we reached the fire roads the snow was really thick. Thick enough to make me feel twice as worried.

We reached the  Graigddu-isaf farm and i knocked on the door,I explained to the lady that i was worried about not making it along the single track road and blocking her access and creating a problem for her and what would she suggest.She was a really nice lady and thought that it would be fine to drive along and if we had any problems to come back and see her.

  1. We reached the car and set off.we ambled along in second gear. We were doing it,so far so good i kept on telling myself. We passed an older gent on his fat bike, waved and carried on all along to the main road and set off back home. I felt the relief come over me and the joy of the camp replaced the worry of another car accident caused by snow, that had filled my mind. What a great camp!!

A visit to Glyder Fach with snow forecast!

After checking the forecast and getting the ok from the boss, a quick plan was set up between Mr Clann and myself to walk up Glyder Fach and tackle it along the miners track,which we deemed as the less icy and easier route in freezing conditions.

I left home on Anglesey around 830 and made my way along the A55 to pick up Paul. There was a lovely orange sky over the mountains poking out between the very dark clouds,looming overhead. I started to get excited about the day ahead. 

We stopped off for a couple of supplies in Bethesda and made our way up to the laybys near Pen-y-Gwryd hotel via Capel Curig. I went over to the ticket machine and paid the £4,but no ticket was produced.I quickly wrote a little note and left it in my window explaning what had happened,but still I had this nagging thought of arriving back at the car and having a dreaded yellow parking ticket (they’re very keen here).

Well we made our way up the miners track at a nice leisurely pace and there was a few laughs as we were both slipping and sliding at times,getting familiar with walking in snow again. 

We reached Castell-y Gwynt and the forcast of 25-29mph winds werent correct but it was well below freezing and both our mouth pieces and hose from our water bladders started to freeze.We stopped for a brew and enjoyed the views of Snowdon and along Nant Ffrancon where the beautiful winter browns were on display along the village bed.

We head off down the boulder field and head NW towards Glyder fawr but veer off along the way and picked up a path close to Blwch Dwyglydion but the snow was so deep in places we just went cross country over boulders,marsh and streems moving from left to right as we went. We were both slipping and falling at times finding ourselves down a small crevice up to our waste in snow at others. We weren’t quck to laugh at each others prediciments for the time being as this was a bit more serious and hurting youself over this type of terrain and in these conditions seemed a real possibility.As tiredness started to creep in and the day started to grow darker we were eager to get a move on and once down the side of the hill and back on the flat we made good time back to towards the car (no yellow ticket) reflecting on a good day out and planning our next one. 

A visit to Nant Francon

Well here I am, writing my first blog.I’ve got a feeling that I am the only that will ever see this blog as I haven’t a clue about how all this works but, i will persevere and get some practice in at writing at least.
I’ve been wanting to write short essays about my days out hiking and camping for a while now.I’ve been wanting a new creative challenge, something new,try something that I see as difficult to do,the exspressing myself part I mean.Well here goes….I will keep this short.
My last little adventure was an over nighter in Cwm cywion 20171201_143518.jpg

I had arrived fairly early and set up my tent around 2ish.I had had a long hard week in work and really, just wanted to relax and not do so much walking this time. So I pitched up and pottered around ,setting things up and fetching water.

After making myself a brew I got my Pentax me super out and for those who haven’t heard of this camera  before, its an old film camera,how I came about using a film camera and not a digital will be a story I will tell in the future.Any way for those that may be interested (no ones going to read this lol) I was shooting with Ektar 100 which is only the second time I’ve used it and really like the results. I’ve not had this second roll of film developed yet but did take some photos on my phone which i will share for now.

As you can see we had a little snow in the hills.This is my closest that ive been to to camping in the snow.Well easy does it as they say. Im hoping to get out in a little heavier snow this winter.Not to heavy though, not until I get my wikiup 3 tipi next year that I’m saving a little bit each month for😉