Waun Oer and Beyond.

The lurgy wasn’t completely behind me, but having had a stroll on the beach the day before I decided it was time to head out into the hills on Friday. I had a day’s annual leave booked and didn’t want to waste it. I wasn’t really up to anything too strenuous though so decided an easy hill walk from the Brigands Pass up to Waun Oer and beyond would be just the ticket. It would tick off a few summits that I hadn’t bagged yet as well.

It was a gorgeous day for it too. Temperatures were below freezing, even here on the beach, and would only be colder inland and in the hills. The skies were however clear and there was barely a puff of wind. I set off with plenty of layers and was soon parked up at the Brigands Pass and heading slowly up the hill.

Hilltop Selfie
Hilltop Selfie

The first climb was north-facing and therefore in the shade and frozen solid. The small streams were pure ice and I had to watch my footing on the slippery rocks too. Partway up I paused to remove a layer or two and noticed a tent on a ridge across from me with a couple of people stood next to it. I’d been wanting to camp out and try out my new tent for a while but, thanks to being ill, hadn’t yet had the chance. These two had obviously had a good night in the hills.

I continued up to the top and out into the sunshine. Here I made my way along the ridge, exploring an old quarry and admiring the views north to the snow-capped peaks of Snowdonia and West to Cadair Idris. All was quiet up here with no one around and no wind.

Beautiful Cadair Idris

I ticked off the summits as I went. First were Cribin Fawr (659 m) and the Waun Oer (670 m) the highest point of the day. These were only low peaks, but that was intentional as I didn’t want to overdo it.

Waun Oer Trip Point
Waun Oer Trip Point

I continued along the ridge to Mynydd Ceswyn (605 m) and then Mynydd y Waun (564 m). I could have descended here and bagged a couple of the subsidiary peaks of Cadair Idris, but that would have made for a long day and quite a bit more climbing. Instead, I took the easy option of a gentle stroll back the way I had come and a relaxed stop for lunch.

I set up my lunch stop on a south-facing slope in the sunshine. I brushed away the frost and ice and set up a little space to get my stove out and my mini espresso maker out and soon had a delicious double espresso brewed. Coffee with a view!

After lunch it was back the way I had come and then I started the descent to the car park. The tent was still on the ridge across the way and this time there was about 20 people lined up along the ridge. A telltale sign that we were expecting a fly by of some fast jets. This was part of the Mach Loop.

The Mach Loop (also known as the Machynlleth LoopWelshDolen Mach) is a series of valleys in the United Kingdom in west-central Wales, notable for their use as low-level training areas for fast aircraft. The system of valleys lies 13 km (8 mi) east of Barmouth between the towns of Dolgellau to the north and Machynlleth to the south, from the latter of which it takes its name. The training area is part of the United Kingdom Low Flying System and lies within Low Flying Area 7 (LFA7), which covers all of Wales.[1]

Fly By
Fly By

Sure enough, before long I could hear some jets approaching. I only just had time to get my phone out, and in comparison to the massive lenses that those of the far ridge had set up to capture them, an iPhone wasn’t going to cut it. I did manage to get some video footage of them as they flew up from below me and out across the hills of Wales. Pretty impressive stuff. The photo above is a still from one of the videos.

With the excitement over it was just a short descent from my viewpoint towards the bottom of the hill and the car park. Another lovely day in the hills.

1 Response

  1. Avatar forComment Author Mum x says:

    I remember years ago driving somewhere in the hills of Wales when two jets flew so low we all ducked ! We were with your Grandad so many years ago now .

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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