Wild Camping at the
1 Million Star Hotel

Marchlyn Mawr Reservoir

At 4:30 am on Saturday morning I made the 3 and a half hour journey up to the mountains of Snowdonia. A fellow Mountain Leader trainee and friend met me at the Ogwen Cottage where our two day expedition would commence. At 10:00 we ascended Glyder Fach along the Bwich Tryfan, probably taking longer than should have due to a having a lengthy catch up! The highlights of the conversation stuck to my recent, and not so successful trip to the Cairngorms mixed with my mates ski season away. So as you can guess there were a lot of stories to chuckle about. We walked up the mountain along the Bwlch y Ddwy-Glyder was a scramble. The rocks were lightly covered in snow but the use of winter equipment was not needed.

Hiking over to Gyder Fawr, the views were amazing. The sun was beaming and the walk was effortless. It definitely made the early start and the long journey up worth my while. The walk down to Llyn Cwm, on the other hand, was a little bit of a struggle. The slope was steep and covered in scree. The snow had been walked over far too much, to the extent where it was just too slippery to walk on. Watching the people ahead practically run down the slope I thought to myself ‘how hard could it be?!’ A few steps in I quickly changed my mind. There was no other way to tackle this slop but to go down on my bottom! Slowly dragging myself along and down I could see my mate waiting and just staring at me in disappointment at the base of the slope. Walker after walker went by giggling to themselves because of the total fool I was making of myself. But sometimes you just got to do what you got to do, right? After I eventually made it down and breathed a sigh of relief, we decided to walk over to Marchlyn Mawr Reservoir, via Y Garn, so we could set up camp for the night.

As we got to our wild camp spot, the night could not have been more perfect. We sat in the tent cooking dinner with a sea view and beautiful sun-set. We thought how silly it would be to not sleep under the stars. When the sun finally set I looked up and thought to myself this wasn’t a 5 Star spot, but 1 million star spot. The last time I got such a clear night sky was 3 years ago, wild camping in the Tanzanian Sahara with the Massai tribe.  As we sat there reminiscing of all the times I have been wild camping (good and bad), I felt thankful that, that night I was having am absolute blast. Great weather, warm night and a clear sky… Perfection.

The following morning we tore ourselves out of our sleeping bags and headed over Carnedd y Filiast. We picked up tracks which lead all the way down to the main road at Braichmelyn. Knowing we had over a 5km hike along a flat and busy road we thought we would try our luck at hitch hiking. Magically within 5 minutes a young couple pulled over, excited to give their first lift to hitch hikers. Kindly they drove us back to the Ogwen cottage where we drove straight to the Cafe Siabod for a bacon sarnie!