Running long 5:31:08  39.3 km (8:26 / km) +2460m 6:25 / km
What an adventure. Truly inconceivably bad weather, I think I’ll allow myself to complain on this occasion. When I crawled out of the tent, as late as I could risk, the rain was hammering down, all the rivers coming down from the mountain were in flood, and the path along the valley floor was under a foot of water. Naturally took a lot of motivation to get going, and I’m not even sure if I’m glad I did on this occasion.
Very tricky conditions up high, no visibility, and ridges blasted with freezing rain and high wind. Was all going pretty well considering until I made it to Llwytmor, which I found with some good luck and well considered direction. Then knew I’d have to traverse back round the top of the valley to find Bera Mawr/Bach, so got to work, and in a complete stupor thought I found one of them, about a kilometre too early. Looked at my phone to check, and it was dead. Love to see it. Just flashing the apple logo on and off. So with no way to navigate or communicate, and with no visibility, I blundered off in search of the other Bera.
And would you believe it - I found it! Or so I thought, but in fact I’d found the top of Carnedd Gwenllian which I’d been standing on top of about an hour previously. Pretty euphoric, so happily set off towards home, or so I thought… but in fact I was following the path I’d just followed to Foel Fras, and I didn’t realise for far too long, extreme deja vu kicked in when I saw a very familiar looking style over a wall, but I didn’t truly believe for a few minutes after that.
Really have to consider myself lucky, because had I not been along there before, I could’ve kept matching features from my vague memory of the map to infinity, and who knows where I’d have ended up. But in reality I counted my lucky stars and started heading back the way I knew, and half an hour later, I dropped out of the mist and finished the job, with just the two ‘pens’ to complete, in the sun. Crazy piece of experience today, how the weather can turn a day where I wouldn’t even have needed a map, into a day where I really needed a paper map and compass more than anything in the world.