Cadair Berwyn GW/NW-012 2nd April 2010:
This one had been planned for some weeks,even to the level of an overnight stay at the Premier Inn Oswestry. This would allow for a nice fresh start closer to the hill,instead of driving from home.
It was suppose to be a duel activation with Ian 2E0EDX,who was going to drive down from Blackpool. Ian had the common sense to monitor the WX reports and the idea of driving all that way only to be disappointed.so he cancelled,( Im glad he decided not to do it now with hindsight he made the right decision).
We travelled down on the Thursday after work and settled in to our room had a meal in the pub attached(for tom & Geralds benefit ,Elaine had Sirloin Steak and I had Chilli Con Carne).
Friday morning arrived damp but not raining and a hint of blue sky just breaking through the clouds in places. After a Full plate breakfast we set off for the park spot I had planned alongside Blaen Y Cwm.This was a different route up that looked less distance and not as steep until final section.
Arriving here in damp but not raining conditions we set off up the road before a well defined track started the ascent.After coming out of the woods,the track was now more exposed and the weather had began its usual decline.Passing a very muddy sheep feeding station and then passing through the gate the track had turned left to go back in to the woods which protected us from the chill of the wind and the low cloud that had descended.from here the steepness increased slightly but both of us agreed we were over halfway up and found it relatively easy going.Halfway through these woods we came across a disused mine shaft,which Elaine took a photo of with some ugly guy standing by it. Up to this point we were really enjoying the trip up,but little did we know what was come further in.
The woods on the map gave us a rough idea that we were not too far away from the Trig when we came out of them,but by now the WX had got a bit more ferocious. On the way up we could see that there was snow around and once out of the woods we were then in 10inch deep stuff. We decided to give it a go although we could no longer see the top of Cadair Berwyn.The path once we went through the final gate became indistinct and I used the Etrex to keep us going in the general direction of the summit.WX had got bitterly cold with the wind chill making it worse. Because the snows on top had begun to melt we had to dodge some large streams of water.we reached around 700 meters and the steep climb had begun,slipping and sliding in the snowdrifts was no fun,then the heavens opened up with terrential rain! Defeated by the sudden WX we had no option but to abandon the Activation and seek shelter ASAP! this was to be the old mine shaft workings we had photographed earlier,but that was 25 mins back across the ever increasing streams area and into the wood.we managed it with only a couple of slip ups and by now all four layers of clothing were damp or wet.
We sheletered here and I managed to get on GB3MP with Bill’s (G4USW) net and let him know what had happened he kindly put a spot on letting the chasers know.We told him we were safe but were going to wait for WX to improve as there was at least one spot on the way down that was exposed.
The positives of the trip were 1)we had a nice stay over in the hotel 2)the walk in was a really good walk in the country,3)we lived to fight another day.
The negative was 1)no 8 pointsto make my total 150
The positives outweigh the negatives.
And a Lesson learned!
P.S I will post some photos on Flicker when I have time later today