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Emily Hikes: Diary of a Hiker in Training - North Wales

Having spent 5 days walking and unsuccessfully wild camping in Scotland last October, I was ready to correct all my mistakes on my planned 5 day North Wales adventure in May.

With my updated wet weather gear and even fancier new ultralight tent in my backpack I was hopeful I would at least stay dry this time. The plan was, as always, to prove to myself that I can walk lots of miles with a heavy backpack while staying self sufficient with my food, water and means of shelter and warmth.

The journey started with multiple buses over hours to get to Penmaenmawr so I was eager to get stuck into walking. The sudden steep hill to walk out of town exhausted me within minutes. Slightly disheartened I stopped early to have lunch and rearrange my bag telling myself not to be so precious about sweating and walking up a bit of a hill. Unusually the weather in Wales on that day was sunny and warm, not quite what I had prepared for. When I finally hit the moors I decided to go completely off trail from the North Wales Path and just float in the sort of direction I had planned for my second day. Floating is the word I use because I was walking in no particular way or trail, on top of spongy heather and moss which was bouncy in weather that was very dreamy.

I walked up and down small peaks that were actually the remnants of disused quarries now overgrown with moss and I rested by ancient stone settlements scattered on the hillside. As time headed towards sundown I began to think of where I would sleep. Reviewing the map I decided to begin my traverse of the Carneddau, a range of mountains in Snowdonia. Of course the higher you ascend the stronger the winds, one side of the mountain range was windy enough to make me put all my layers on, while the other side was slightly calmer. Before I found my spot for the night on the calmer side, I summited Carnedd y Ddelw and Carnedd Penyborth-Goch (Drum), a warm up for the next day.

I spent the first evening joyfully pitching my tent in dry weather, rehydrating my meal in dry weather and just sitting and admiring the views in dry weather. I had learnt from my Scottish trip that I needed to consume more calories but carry less food weight so I chose Expedition Foods for every evening meal of this trip. Surprisingly I had phone reception and was notified of rain arriving 10 minutes later. Watching the storm clouds surround me while hearing the wind rattle around from the shelter of my tent was really comforting although I was wide awake by 5am and very ready to pack up...

 

Read the rest of Emily's Wales adventure and lots more hiking awesomeness on her website...