Ten people attended Bremex’s meet from 18th-20th January 2019, based at Bethesda, Snowdonia. Accommodation was in the warm and comfortable Caban Cysgu Bunkhouse, which doubles up as the village hall. The original plan had been to practise winter skills with an instructor, Paul Poole MIC, but unfortunately winter conditions did not prevail, so this had to be postponed to a future meet.
However, Paul kindly gave a free two-hour talk on the Saturday evening on winter walking awareness and trips to Toubkal, which at 4167m the highest mountain in Morocco and indeed in the whole of North Africa.
The rest of the weekend focussed on quality mountain days. On the Saturday the whole group set out from the bunkhouse towards Foel Grach (976m), which is just to the north of Carnedd Llewelyn. The outward route was via the lesser summits of Gryn Wigau, Drosgl, Bera Bach and Carnedd Gwenllian (formerly Carnedd Uchaf). After Drosgl the group divided into two with the majority continuing to Foel Grach, while the smaller party practised navigation on the slopes of Drosgl.
The main group finally hit the snow line about 100m below the summit of Foel Grach, with wet snow of up to a metre in depth in some depressions.
Dense cloud brushed the very top. Crampons were briefly donned, but more for practice than out of necessity. The return route was via the west ridge of Foel Grach with a descent into the Afon Caseg.
On the Sunday everyone travelled to Aberwyngregyn on the northern edge of the Carneddau to ascend Moel Wnion (580m), heading south from the village on the outward route, then returning via Aber Falls and the Afon Rhaeadr-fawr. The weather was mainly cold and grey on both days, but without major precipitation and with some bright intervals. Despite the disappointment of not being able to adhere to the orignal concept of instruction in winter skills, two good days of hill walking and navigation made it a very worthwhile weekend meet.