When you think of a sleepover you may reminisce back to your 13-year-old self with a sleeping bag on your best friends bedroom floor. Well, now that we’re all adults (sort of), how about trying the ultimate sleepover—wild camping on a mountain top! Packed with all the right gear you’ll have a cosy night under the stars, before waking to an unforgettable sunrise from your tent—wild camping in the mountains really is an unforgettable way to enjoy the great outdoors.
Views from our tent towards Snowdon. Image: @lauraoutdoors
Last summer, my partner and I drove to Snowdonia with our rucksacks full to the brim of our camping gear: sleeping bag, tent, sleeping mat, food, water, camping pillows and camping stove, as well as our usual mountain walking gear (read my previous post for a full list of what to pack for a day of walking). We parked at the foot of one of our favourite hills, Elidir Fawr, grabbed our packs and headed up the mountain with no set plan of where we were going to set up our tent that night. We needed to find somewhere sheltered from the wind and on flat ground, ideally with a view worth waking up at 6am for! Such a camp spot turned out to be a rarity on the high plateaus of the mountains on a breezy September evening. We followed the path over to a neighbouring mountain, Elidir Fach, which as its Welsh name suggests was lower down and therefore more sheltered (fach translates to small while fawr means large, or great).
A haze of cloud surrounded us as we set up camp—the views over to Snowdon itself becoming more and more obscured, only peaking out from the cloud every few minutes until it was too dark to make out whether we were looking at hillside or cloud. We set about boiling our dinner and filling our bellies, almost oblivious to the clearing skies and beautiful moonlit views slowly opening up around us. Wrapped in three or four layers of clothing, we paused and watched the lights of head torches on distant mountainsides snake their way down to the valleys—lone walkers who had watched the sun set from the summit of a mountain, or so we liked to think. A panorama of a billion stars had opened up above us, impossible to take in through just one field of vision. The Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye on a clear night in Snowdonia. We lay back on the grass to get the best views that we could. The distant sounds of civilisation were so, well, distant that they became entirely insignificant amongst the tranquillity of the mountainside, eventually subsiding entirely to the sound of the wind.
This was the first night in quite some time that I’d slept on a mountain and it was truly magical.
A fiery sunrise. Image: @lauraoutdoors
Waking at first light, we emerged from our tent to a fiery scene. The rising sun cast oranges, reds, and yellows against the morning fog, turning the sky into a blazing colour-show. After only twenty minutes or so, the hillside fog cleared once again to reveal the crisp mountain views we’d been waiting all night for. This calls for a celebratory coffee, I thought to myself, before heading back to civilisation.
If you’re inspired to give wild camping a go, why not try Addictive Adventures’ Sunset & Sleepover adventure where you’ll be taken by an experienced and friendly guide to camp on a mountain top and witness a beautiful sunrise; The ultimate sleepover experience guaranteed!
Snowdonia National Park, with the summit of Snowdon just touching cloud level.
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