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Ascent of Moel Famau on 2014-11-15

Climber: Marcus Lostracco

Date:Saturday, November 15, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Moel Famau
    Location:UK-Wales
    Elevation:1818 ft / 554 m

Ascent Trip Report

Wales CoHP #4 for me.

I spent the day at Chirk Castle right on the Wales/England border to watch some World Rally Championships action... Rally racing is super impressive - seeing it at the top level of competition was a treat. Really nice day in Wales - sunny (sometimes)!

I watched the international competitors, which lasted until 2pm. There were going to be more cars (national competition) later, but I had enough at that point. Stopped in at a gas station to refuel the car and noticed I still had about 2 hours until sunset... enough time to bag a CoHP I thought to myself. I checked the nearest one, Moel Famau - CoHP of Flintshire. 45 minute drive from Chirk. I hit the road, A5 to A483 via Wrexham, then west from Mold towards Moel Famau. My GPS took me way the hell the wrong way up some farmer's private road, took my car pretty high up until I realized it was not going to get me anywhere. Drove back out to the main road, on the way saw a walker's sign labeled "Moel Famau" - this is the eastern approach via private farm road... I went down it about 8 minutes until I realized it was going to be a long trek and I could get caught in the dark. Some runners came by, told me there was a shorter approach which was well-marked. I set back off to find the TH, which was just around the corner. There is a gate to the parking area - 2 pounds to park - make sure you have coins...

It's a popular hike among the locals, well-marked trails in the park. The signs indicated that the hike to the "Jubilee Tower" at the summit of Moel Famau would take 2 hours. It was 4pm at this time and sunset was supposed to be at 4:18pm... I decided there was no choice but to crush that 2-hour estimate. I started running (wearing jeans, casual boots, flannel shirt... not my choice of gear), up the scenic trails to the summit. Of course, a cloud had settled right on top of the mountain, shrouding any views I would have had. It was clear literally 10 minutes before! Seems to be my luck in the UK. I had some sparse views, hung out on the summit for a while, was surprised to see a guy and his dog pass buy - he was kind enough to snap a summit photo for me.

The summit is really cool on this peak - and it was actually great to be up there alone... I can tell that it would normally be pretty crowded. There is a huge structure (about 25 feet tall) built in 1810 to commemorate the golden jubilee (50th anniversary) of King George III. It apparently used to be much taller, and just the base remains. A pretty epic county high point, I must say.

On the descent, I noticed some markers for a trail race being placed for the next day... Had I known about it I would have stuck around! Didn't have my shoes with me though... I made it back to the parking lot by 5pm, 40 minutes RT... 2 hours, yeah right...

Lessons learned for the day:
-always pack your hiking shoes/boots
-days are just not the same without bagging a peak
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Marcus Lostracco
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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