I had just opened the 8th door of my advent calendar and realised I’ve not been out since the end of October (well, apart from a 4 mile stroll around Thurstaston shore)
I decided that no matter what the weather wanted to throw at me, I was heading out to the hills. This thought came while the news channels were still covering the devastating effects of storm Desmond so perhaps wasn’t my brightest idea!
I had good intentions of planning routes all round the local area, however, as with all good intentions, other things got in the way and I ended up at old faithful, the Moel Famau car park.
Just as I pulled up, the skies turned from a nice blue to black, then the rain came. Huge clumps of the stuff.
Not to worry, the waterproof jacket and over trousers are more than a match and off I headed through the woods following the pinky/purpley coloured arrows before joining the Offa’s Dyke path.
All was good as I headed up towards Jubilee Tower, the route was easy to follow, the sun was starting to make an appearance and it was unseasonably warm (around 10 degrees Celsius).
A few layers were shed, which was to prove a bad move.
Just before the peak I took the left hand path with the intention on pressing on to Moel Dywyll and perhaps Moel Arthur however, the wind really whipped up in this more exposed area. Forecasts for Cilcain suggested 25mph winds, gusting 37mph…… then the hail kicked in.
Trying to put my waterproof back on proved to be rather awkward, think of an octopus trying to change a duvet cover and you’ll get the idea.
My Arc’teryx waterproof was on the verge of becoming an Arc’teryx kite.
After that hassle, I decided against a further battle with the waterproof pants, the wind would soon dry my legs off.
Normally my philosophy is to carry on regardless, never wimp out, however, with ice battering my face and the wind trying it’s very best to push me over, the little voices in my head told me the that high, exposed ground was, perhaps, not the best option.
Reluctantly I gave in to the sensible side and turned back towards the last junction I passed, taking a left, crossing a style and heading North.
Now for a different problem.
The ground from here on in was muddy, extremely muddy and slippery.
Somehow I managed to stay on my feet and my bum remained mud free by pulling off moves and agility that Beth Tweddle would have been proud of.
My path came to a ‘crossroads’, I could have continued straight on, shortening my walk, however, given my earlier route failure, I took a left, heading North following the Clwydian Way towards the reservoir and Cae Newydd.
At the next junction I headed right, this path went South initially on tracks and through the odd stream before becoming a narrow wooden walk way.
At the base of Ffrith mountain I went West before taking the mixed use route to my left. This soon becomes a big wide track, big enough in fact for a large digger which was busy doing some work in the area.
By the time I reached the car park, I’d completed about 9.5 miles. Not bad, but I had hoped for more.
An excuse to book another day off work and go on another walk I guess!