A Quick Getaway
June’s bivvy a month is the halfway mark in this year of adventures. The month of the summer solstice is the main night for spending a night under the stars but as I was too busy for that one I had to squeeze a bivvy in at the end of the month. So I had to squeeze this bivvy in midweek as the Salsa’s were booked in for a long-awaited service so were unavailable on the last weekend of June. The only way for my #BAMfatbike2018 to work was to get a quick 12-hour adventure in after work.
So after tea at home, I made the 25-minute drive to the start of the route. My plan was to bivvy on the summit of Wales’s second highest mountain, Carnedd Llewellyn (3491 feet). The route was a tough one which I’ve done many times before with plenty of ‘hike a bike’ on the way up. But as the UK was baking in a heatwave I knew that I’d be blessed with a great sunset & sunrise given the clear skies.
I took less kit for this months trip, a bivvy bag, summer sleeping bag, brew kit and a few beers! There was no need for extra layers and as I’d already eaten my evening meal I just took some snacks. The start of the trail was a steady climb on a firm double track and with the 28°c temperature beating down in the evening the going was tough. I soon had to start the long hike a bike up the steep grassy slopes. Thirty seconds of pushing and a stop to reduce the build-up of lactic acid in the legs followed by more of the same. The streams that usually flow down the mountain were all dried up but I luckily had this in mind prior to leaving and had packed enough with me in one of the Oveja Negra Bootlegger fork bags. The pushing was soon over after an hour or so as I got onto the wide plateau with the reward of the mountains of Snowdonia in full view in the evening light.
As I got higher up the mountain the sun cast long shadows behind me onto the dried out track. With the final 20 minutes of ‘hike a bike’ done, I was now on the summit with minutes to spare before the sun dipped below the horizon. The summit is very uneven with stones and boulders all around but I knew of a nice flat area with a 3 foot high stone wall around it just a couple of hundred meters away.
Once the airbed was inflated I lay on the sleeping bag and watched the sky change into some wonderful colours.
I had a few hours sleep as I was up for 4am to watch the sky brighten up. I packed up my kit, made a coffee and started the descent as the sun rose at 5am.
The descent was fun as I made my way down the same track as I climbed the evening before. The reason for the early start was that I had to be back in work for 8am! The Salsa Mukluk felt different from previous bivvies this year as there was less kit although the Bucksaw would have made it a comfier ride down. So after a much easier ride than the day before I soon got back to the van for the short drive home for breakfast even though I was itching to keep going. So this one ended up with me being away from home for 12 hours and 10 minutes.
So #BAMfatbike2018 #6 is now done and all being well #6 & #7 should be easier to fit in as I’m not that busy, how’re your trips going?