There’s a part of Snowdonia National Park rarely visited by the hordes who descend on the roads around Wales’ highest mountain in search of their epic.
"It’s called the Moelwyns, and it’s magic."
Driving through the phalanx of cars lining the roads approaching Snowdon there’s a serenity in knowing in just ten minutes time you’ll be arriving in a pot-holed lay-by that on a busy day has 2-3 cars in it.
And there’s a calm bubbling joy in the awareness that fifteen minutes after that you’ll be up on the rolling hillsides, stumbling across hidden fields of cotton grass, probably alone, with awe inspiring views up to Cnicht (the Welsh Matterhorn) one way – and across to the whole Snowdon range the other.
"Some of my favourite memories of the Welsh mountains (somewhere I called home for a while) have been made in this little pocket of wild, and I’m looking forward to making more with you."
The part of the Moelwyns we visit at The Living Project is surprisingly easy to access.
Following a little path up into the valley the sensation of being out in the wild arrives pretty quick as the valley leading to Cnicht opens up in front of you, and with it, an explorer’s playground of little rocky peaks perfect for watching the sun set over the water to the west, and hidden little llyns (lakes) just asking to be swum in. I’ve camped by some of these little llyn’s many-a-time, and waking to the silence of the mountains as the sun rises, often watching a cloud inversion in the valley below is a gift.
I’ve also been buffeted so hard by the wind that making the summit of Cnicht was a no-go and I was encouraged by nature’s forces to explore some of the less-exposed gems at lower levels. Ruins of settlements of humans that came before us, living and working right up in this wild valley, little rivers that disappear underground only to reappear further down the slopes, and sheltered mountain meadows of cotton grass that look like clouds.
One of my favourite memories is from my first visit to the little llyn’s I’m partial to sleeping by. Cormac and I had, following the respectful code of wild-camping, arrived late in the afternoon, pitched our tents, and were preparing for the sun to set to practise some night navigation. As the sun was setting a small group of wanderers arrived by our hidden mountain home, scaled the little rocky peaks that surround it, and proceeded to stand still with their arms open wide. For a long time.
We wondered and in truth, giggled at what an earth was going on. As we headed out into the dark with our head torches on ready to count our steps and test our ability to arrive at a certain ring contour in the dark (yep, this is what training to become a mountain leader involves!) they were still there. Stood still, on the top of the rocks, like sentinels.
"We later discovered they were studying, and practising meditation. A more magical, wildly humbling environment for the journey to peace you would struggle to find. Hence, years later, it’s one of the places we visit with our guests to undertake inspiring journeys of adventure, presence and human connection with the wild."
I hope you’ll join us soon to explore the magic of the lesser known Moelwyns , while they still are...
Our Snowdonia wild weekend is taking place on the 16th - 18th September 2022.
To find out more and to book, head here: https://www.thelivingproject.life/wild-weekend